Bush`s Promise of Amnesty Caused Rush For the Border
President Bush`s first act to kick
off 2004 back in
January was to
unveil an immigration reform plan that was nothing
more than a massive amnesty for
illegal aliens. Mr. Bush`s purpose was to impress
the nation`s growing Hispanic vote with how simpatico he
is and to give them a good reason to vote for him. Polls
show that by and large
they won`t, but in the meantime a good many other
voted with their feet.
An internal report of the
U.S. Border Patrol, disclosed last week by the
Washington Times, shows that nearly 35 percent of
the illegal aliens nabbed in the three weeks after Mr.
Bush`s plan was announced came here because of the
amnesty it offered. Even though the plan went nowhere,
it still had an impact—to increase illegal immigration.
acted on rumors of amnesty, by Jerry Seper,
August 2, 2004]
The plan was dead on arrival in
Congress because even
his own party realized it would be
political suicide to support it, at least in an
election year. Nevertheless, the election will be
over soon enough, and those who
persuaded Mr. Bush to float the plan will have their
chance to dredge it up again. Assuming Mr. Bush is still
president, we may hear more of amnesty before he leaves
the White House.
That`s one reason it`s important to
know the effect amnesty proposals will have on
immigration even before they are passed, and that`s what
the Border Patrol report shows.
The report is based on
questionnaires given to field agents for random
interviews with illegal aliens captured trying to enter
the country. The study was abandoned in late January
because press reports about it compromised its
reliability. But what it found in the 19 days it was
conducted is enough to discredit the amnesty concept,
whether Mr. Bush`s or someone else`s.
In the first place, the
announcement of the president`s plan, ostensibly
intended to control illegal immigration, actually helped
hordes of aliens who try to get across the borders.
Border Patrol reports that more than 66,000 aliens
were seized along the Mexican border between the
announcement of the president`s plan on Jan. 7 and the
termination of the study on Jan. 26. That`s an 11
percent increase over the number of apprehensions in
the year before.
Second, as the Times
reported, "1,000 of 2,881 foreign nationals
interviewed by agents after their capture at the
U.S.-Mexico border between Jan. 7 and Jan. 26
acknowledged that rumors of an amnesty program—outlined
Mexican press reports and passed on by
relatives—had influenced their decision to try to
enter the United States illegally." In other words,
nearly 35 percent of the captured illegals acknowledged
they were drawn to come to this country because of
Mr. Bush`s amnesty proposals.
The Border Patrol report is part of
a study conducted for a Senate committee, according tot
the Times story, but another report, from the
National Border Patrol Council, which represents the
agency`s non-supervisory agents, reached similar
conclusions about the San Diego region. There, the
Times reports, the Council found that "apprehension
totals increased threefold … adding that the majority of
aliens detained along the border in January told
arresting agents that they had come to the United States
seeking amnesty." Most of those arrested had no
previous history of immigration violations, suggesting
that they came here solely because of the chance for
So, if the president`s amnesty plan
isn`t helping him with
Hispanic voters (recent polls show that Democratic
nominee John Kerry enjoys a 2 to 1 advantage over Mr.
Bush among Hispanics) and if it actually made the
illegal immigration crisis worse by attracting even
more illegal aliens into the country, what were the
pushers of the amnesty plan thinking?
What they were thinking were the
tissue of clichés, misconceptions, and unexamined
assumptions that make up the intellectual arsenal of the
Open Borders Lobby. Among these blunders are the beliefs
Hispanic voters care more about immigration than
other issues (polls also show that`s
not true), that
promising amnesty would not attract more illegals
and that the Democrats would be out-foxed by
Mr. Bush`s stealing their issue (They weren`t; they
merely denounced the plan for not going far enough and
demanded total amnesty, which Mr. Kerry has
promised if elected).
The only commendable feature of the
Bush amnesty plan is that it shows some willingness to
deal with the immigration crisis at all—which is more
than any other Republican president has done in recent
memory. Mr. Bush may or may not make it back into the
White House this year, but if he does, he needs to scrap
the stupid plan from last January and come up with a new
proposal that will
halt immigration and send the aliens who are here
back where they belong.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available
Americans For Immigration Control.
for Sam Francis` website. Click
here to order his monograph,
Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American
His review essay on Who Are We
appears in the
current issue of