Amnesty: It`s Alive!

All of a sudden, it looks like President Bush`s plan
for granting amnesty to 3 million illegal aliens from
Mexico is about to come a bit of a cropper. Then again,
just because the word "amnesty" has vanished
from the administration`s vocabulary doesn`t mean the
plan is not still on track. Americans who would like to
keep the country their forefathers created and left them
are well-advised to stay on guard.

Indeed, the administration may be pushing the amnesty
proposal even further than it originally planned. The
idea first popped up when Secretary of State Colin
Powell and Attorney General John Ashcroft unbosomed
their recommendation
that some 3 million Mexicans in this country illegally
be allowed to apply for permanent residency. That, call
it what you will, is amnesty.

But it didn`t go far enough for Mr. Bush`s advisers
in the Democratic Party. Immediately smelling the
political rat in the Powell-Ashcroft-Bush plan, that the
administration was trying to snatch the Hispanic vote
out of the Democrats` basket, the Democrats simply
outflanked the president. The president`s plan, they
announced, clearly discriminates against the millions of
illegal aliens here from other countries besides Mexico.
Why confine amnesty to aliens of one nation? Why not
grant amnesty to every
illegal alien
in the country?

Well, why not indeed? By the weekend, that`s exactly
what the president was promising to consider.
"We`ll consider all folks here," he told the
press when asked if his amnesty plan was being expanded
to include immigrants from other countries.

But, you see, it`s still not an amnesty, according to
the president himself, who also told the press, "A
word was creeping in the vernacular about this issue,
called amnesty. I oppose blanket amnesty. The American
people need to know that." (New
York Times
27, 2001, "
Bush Says Plan for Immigrants Could Expand")

Well, you bet your blankets they do. But they also
need to know that whatever euphemism Mr. Bush and his
spinmeisters coin for what they`re planning, amnesty is
what it will be—for 3 million Mexicans illegals
originally discussed, for the 6 million Mexican illegals
who are here, or for the 9 to 11 million total number of
illegal aliens who are now believed to be here. The word
"amnesty" was regularly used throughout the
last several months of discussions with Mexico and in
the press. Not until the administration stated floating
it to Congress and the Republicans in the last couple of
weeks—and watching it sink—did anyone stop using the

The current alternatives to the A-word include
"guest-worker program,"
"regularization" and "earned
adjustment." But most of them still involve the
essence of amnesty—that people who broke the law will
be formally absolved from any penalties for doing
so—and all would also imply the consequences of
amnesty—that millions of people who are not and should
not be eligible to immigrate to this country will be
allowed to do so.

The most intriguing euphemism now being used is
"guest-worker program." In fact there used to
be a real guest-worker plan known as the Bracero
. It existed from the 1940s to the 1960s and
allowed Mexicans to live and work inside the United
States temporarily as agricultural laborers. It allowed
employers who needed the workers to get their cheap
labor and the workers themselves to earn a lot more
money than they could in Mexico, and it spared the
American people the burden
that masses of unskilled labor would represent had they
come here permanently.

There`s no reason a similar program could not be
worked out today—except that`s not really what either
this administration or the Mexican government wants.
What this administration wants is votes. Guest workers
don`t vote, so they`re largely useless as a new

What the Mexican government wants—it`s becoming
more and more transparent—is simply the recolonization
of a large part of U.S. territory by its own citizens,
with the eventual goal of re-conquering the area that
Mexicans are convinced we stole from them in the
Mexican-American War. Guest-workers don`t really help
for that purpose either, whereas legalized illegal
aliens would be able to vote in both U.S. and Mexican
elections and thereby constitute a fifth column par

A real guest worker program, with checks
on the "guests" so they leave when they`re
supposed to and a legal exception whereby their
offspring don`t automatically become U.S. citizens might
be a good idea for a government unwilling and unable to
enforce its own laws against illegal immigration. But it
won`t be done. What probably will be done is—dare I
say the word?—amnesty, whatever the figleaf and
feel-good under which it`s disguised. As I told you
earlier, Americans who would like to keep the country
their forefathers created and left them are well-advised
to stay on guard.


August 2,