President George W. Bush will address the nation on Monday night to make the case for a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. immigration law. As I see it, this will be his one chance to seriously address the crisis and give Republicans the advantage going into the mid term elections. To do that he must side with the majority of American people. He must also oppose a minority of Latin Americans who believe in amnesty for illegal aliens. Some in the Beltway believe he will sacrifice the Latino vote if he denies the millions of undocumented immigrants instant citizenship status. I don’t think so. As far as I can tell, a majority of legal immigrants in this country are opposed to the amnesty offer. They’ll surely stay with the president if he were to support existing laws.
On Monday night I’ll be looking for the president to announce an increase in border patrol enforcement, be it agents or the National Guard. He should announce unequivocal support for existing immigration law and security enforcement. He can give support to a future guest worker program, but he must require that the existing messy immigration system be cleaned up first. As such, he should announce that the army corp of engineers will immediately begin constructing a wall on the border to keep more illegals from entering the country.
If Bush does this a majority of Americans will be with him, his poll numbers will go up, the GOP will have a message for the mid terms and we’ll have a better chance of keeping our majority. It will be a pivotal moment in the Bush presidency and could shape the election outcome in 2008.
Mr. President, we’ll be watching.