The speech tonight from George W. Bush could have been delivered months ago. There was nothing new here that he hasn’t telegraphed in the past. The pre-speech leaks were correct. Bush could have been Reaganesque. He delivered milquetoast.
6,000 new border agents – too few, we need more.
6,000 National Guard troops – too few, we need more. Moreover, they will rendered inoperable by not being able to enforce the law. Worse yet, they’ll only be there from 2008 to 2009, then their numbers will be reduced.
Temporary Worker Program – ugh.
Tamper-proof ID cards – Great, but I predict these will end up being easily obtainable by forged documentation.
And the thing that disturbed me the most was the “I’m against Amnesty, but let me describe how we’ll provide Amnesty” statement…
We must face the reality that millions of illegal immigrants are already here. They should not be given an automatic path to citizenship. This is amnesty, and I oppose it. Amnesty would be unfair to those who are here lawfully and it would invite further waves of illegal immigration.
Some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal immigrant and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty. I disagree. It is neither wise nor realistic to round up millions of people, many with deep roots in the United States, and send them across the border. There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant, and a program of mass deportation. That middle ground recognizes that there are differences between an illegal immigrant who crossed the border recently and someone who has worked here for many years, and has a home, a family, and an otherwise clean record. I believe that illegal immigrants who have roots in our country and want to stay should have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law to pay their taxes to learn English and to work in a job for a number of years. People who meet these conditions should be able to apply for citizenship but approval would not be automatic, and they will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law. What I have just described is not amnesty it is a way for those who have broken the law to pay their debt to society, and demonstrate the character that makes a good citizen.
This just isn’t going to cut it. It’s Amnesty and that’s all it is. The comparison Bush used regarding the brave Marine who was also an illegal alien was inappropriate and misleading.
I’m disappointed, but not disheartened. George W. Bush is an “open-borders” president, and it’s clear that no one, not even the base of voters his party needs to keep power will change his position. We need to keep the pressure on this congress and those who are coming up hoping to take residence in the White House. We must secure our borders and everything must be done to see that this happens. Bush’s half measures won’t do. We need to press on and demand a better plan.
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