Tuesday, May 16, 2006

President's Immigration Policy is a Dead Armadillo

Progressive Democrat and former Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Jim Hightower, wrote a book in 1997 titled 'There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillo'. That title aptly describes the immigration policy the President advocated in his speech last night:

...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...

Bush's statue of limitations for violating the nation's immigration laws is a beltway-based splitting of the child. Let's keep in mind that this is not the first time around the nation is struggling with the illegal immigration issue and that the last go-round was supposed to solve the problem.

Fairness to would-be legal immigrants now awaiting a visa to the United States alone invalidates the President's policy. Somewhere in a foreign embassy and expectant immigrant waiting on a line to see an immigration officer is saying to herself:

"You mean if I would have just gone to the U.S. five years ago I would already be ahead of the game? Why should I wait on this line one minute longer. I'm heading to the U.S. and will simply find myself some documentation that says I've been there since 2000. Heck, if they can forge a Social Security card, how hard will it be to forge the documents they need to 'prove' I've been there for more than five years?"

More reaction:

Fellow S.O.Ber BizzyBlog has a great post on the administration's bait-and-switch approach to a border fence and Truth Laid Bear has a round-up of blogsphere reaction.

Scrapple Face is at his best with Seeking Middle Ground, Bush Moves Border:

In an effort to find middle ground in the debate over illegal immigration, President George Bush followed last night’s nationally-televised speech with an announcement this morning that the U.S.-Mexican border would be moved up to Missouri...


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