Rarely do I post a whole commentary from somebody else, but I could find this nowhere on the NumbersUSA website and it is such a great analysis that I am going to post the whole thing here for all to read.
You can also read my take on The State of the Union over at "Same Old Immigration BS In State Of The Union Address" where I'm not quite as thrilled. NumbersUSA is a great organization. Head over there and fax your Congressional representatives for free.
Comments in RED are from the President's speech. Comments in BLUE are from the White House website. Comments in black are from Roy Beck President of NumbersUSA.
AMBIGUITY IN DETAILS SUGGESTS BUSH FEARFUL OF THE PUBLIC & HIS PARTY ON IMMIGRATION
By Roy Beck, President, NumbersUSA
"Extending hope and opportunity in our country requires an immigration system worthy of America — with laws that are fair and borders that are secure.
Compared to flights of sentimentalist immigration rhetoric in the past six State of the Union addresses, this was pretty pedestrian stuff, although it appears the hope and opportunity in this country are meant for immigrants rather than for citizens.
Fair laws? Based on the rest of his comments, I'm guessing he is thinking about laws that are "fair" to people wanting to get into the country rather than laws that are fair to Americans. But I could be wrong; his language is ambiguous. But my best bet is that he is talking about fairness to businesses that want to hire foreign labor.
"When laws and borders are routinely violated, this harms the interests of our country. To secure our border, we are doubling the size of the Border Patrol — and funding new infrastructure and technology.
The White House website offers six ways that this Administration has boosted enforcement along the border.
Unfortunately, there is nothing that suggests what the goal for a secure border should look like. All measures are on means and not results.
"The Administration is working closely with state and local law enforcement to stop illegal immigration. ICE has the resources to train 1,500 state and local enforcement officers under the 287(g) program in 2006 and 2007. DHS will work with its state and local partners to expand these programs, and received $50 million in 2006 supplemental funding for this effort. In addition, DHS is expanding to state and local law enforcement agenies the Criminal Alien Program (CAP) previously in place with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to identify illegal aliens who are incarcerated in federal, state and local jails."
That's right, the White House used the term "illegal aliens."
I'm very pleased to see the emphasis on the 287(g) program. NumbersUSA is a big promoter of it. We believe it is a great way for local and state governments to help create a rapid Attrition Through Enforcement & Self-Deportation in their areas. This is something you can push your local government to do without so much problem from the ACLU and illegal-alien supporters taking you to court.
Read about this 287(g) program at our special page on ways to act locally: http://www.numbersusa.com/hottopic/ordinances.html
The link is also in the right column of the Home page.
"Yet even with all these steps, we cannot fully secure the border unless we take pressure off the border — and that requires a temporary worker program.
This has been his non-sequitur argument for seven years: Illegal aliens come to America to take jobs to which they aren't legally entitled. To Bush, the only way to keep them from coming illegally is to let them have the jobs legally!
Of course, underlying such illogic is the lack of any understanding -- or empathy -- for the 25 million less-educated Americans of working age who don't have a job. This callousness toward Americans without jobs comes through on the White House website:
"There are many people on the other side of the border who will do anything to come to America to work and build a better life. The rule of law cannot permit unlawful employment of millions of undocumented workers in the United States. Many American businesses, however, depend on hiring willing foreign workers for jobs Americans are not doing."
"We should establish a legal and orderly path for foreign workers to enter our country to work on a temporary basis. As a result, they won’t have to try to sneak in — and that will leave border agents free to chase down drug smugglers, and criminals, and terrorists.
To the President, illegal aliens have no choice -- they "have" to try to sneak in. Again, this Administration's attitude is that the tens of millions of working-age Americans without a job have no interest in working. Thus, we should not allow the market to raise wages and working conditions until they attract American workers. Rather, any job that happens to be open and isn't snatched up immediately by an American should go to a foreign worker, in the President's logic.
The most frustrating part of the President's statement, though, is the assumption that we don't already have a legal and orderly path for foreign workers to come temporarily. In fact, we have many of those programs already. Some are unlimited in size.
Mr. Bush and his fellow open-borders supporters always make it sound like our country is shut tight as a drum. In fact, we have major guest workers programs. The reason that some are not used more is because employers don't want to pay the wages required.
One good point is that the White House does continue to insist that new guest workers (not people here already illegally) would have to be truly temporary:
"The program must be truly temporary. Participation should be for a limited period of time, and the guest workers must return home after their authorized period of stay. Those who fail to return home in accordance with the law should become permanently ineligible for a green card and for citizenship."
"We will enforce our immigration laws at the worksite, and give employers the tools to verify the legal status of their workers — so there is no excuse left for violating the law.
This was a great part of the speech. And it is backed up with some exciting details on the White House website:
"In a sharp break from the past, the Administration is addressing the illegal employment of undocumented workers with a tough combination for criminal prosecution and forfeitures. Previously, worksite enforcement relied on a combination of administrative hearings and fines. The fines were so modest that some employers treated them as merely a cost of doing business, and employment of undocumented workers continued unabated."
You may want to re-read that one, it is so fascinating. What I read between the lines is this, "The Bush Administration had almost no enforcement against outlaw businesses for six years, but now we're getting tough."
When you are making your seventh State of the Union address and you talk about a "break with the past," you are talking about a break with what YOU have been doing.
But this is a great new policy, with some public signs it really is being done, although I want to see a lot more of it before I believe it is more than just a show in anticipation of the State of the Union.
But there is even more tough talk under the heading "We Must Hold Employers Accountable For The Workers They Hire:"
"Comprehensive Immigration Reform Must Include The Creation Of A New Tamper-Proof Identification Card For Every Legal Foreign Worker So Businesses Can Verify The Legal Status Of Their Employees. A tamper-proof card would help us enforce the law and leave employers with no excuse for violating it.
"We will also work with Congress to expand Basic Pilot -- an electronic employment eligibility verification system -- and mandate that all employers use this system."
Hallelujah! NumbersUSA has always contended that the No. 1 action to reduce illegal immigration would be mandatory workplace verification of all new hires and of the existing workforce.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has fought this for more than a decade but now is going along with it. The problem is that the Chamber and the Bush Administration insist that it would be wrong to have mandatory verification if not accompanied by a giant guestworker program and citizenship for illegal aliens.
I hate to keep carping on this point, but illogic is the logic of the Bush Administration and all its amnesty allies.
Nonetheless, with so many major corporation spokesmen like the Chamber and the President facilely acknowledging that mandatory verification is necessary, we have more openings for trying to start the verification separate from any giant "comprehensive" legislation. This passed the House of Representatives in December of 2005. But the Senate last spring insisted on linking to an amnesty and doubling of legal immigration.
"DHS Has Issued A Proposed 'No-Match' Regulation To Assist Employers In ensuring A Legal Workplace And To Help The Government Identify And Crack Down On Employers Who Knowingly Hire Illegal Workers. In cases in which an employer has ten or more employees with inaccurate information, the Social Security Administration (SSA) sends the employer a 'No-Match' letter. DHS's proposed 'No-Match' regulation clarifies that employers may be held civilly and criminally liable when a letter is sent and employers ignore the discrepancies between SSA databases and the information provided about their employees."
I cannot at this hour tell you whether the proposed regulation handles all the problem details, but it is definitely on the right track of dealing with a major problem. Aggressive tactics on No-Match letters would dry up large numbers of jobs and accelerate Attrition Through Enforcement & Self-Deportation.
"We need to uphold the great tradition of the melting pot that welcomes and assimilates new arrivals. We need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country — without animosity and without amnesty.
To our President, the tradition of the melting pot apparently means we have to take away the stigma of illegality from those foreigners who have violated our laws to be here!
But here is the place in the speech where the President and his speechwriters obviously got cold feet. What is the term "resolve." Notice that he didn't dare use the terms "earned legalization" or "regularize" or "legalize."
But "resolve?" He is not talking about "resolving" the illegal alien problem. No, he wants to "resolve" their "status."
Now, you and I might want to resolve whether the person is an illegal alien, and once doing that, begin deportation proceedings. But I don't think that is what the President wants to resolve.
Again, the fundamental problem with Pres. Bush and his advisers is that they believe the problem with illegal aliens is their "status." If they just weren't illegal, they would be wonderful to have, according to them.
To NumbersUSA, the primary problem with illegal aliens is not that they are illegal but that they are here -- all 12 million of them crowding our infrastructures, congesting our quality of life, helping drive the destruction of natural habitat, farmland and open spaces, and driving down wages and benefits in the occupations where they settle. They aren't primarily bad people. But they are 12 million people who aren't supposed to be here. We don't need them. Their presence harms Americans.
But the President wants to "resolve" their status -- which I am sure means that he wants them to remain in our communities forever.
How about a little more illogic from the White House?
"Illegal immigration causes serious problems, putting pressure on public schools and hospitals and straining state and local budgets. People who have worked hard, supported their families, avoided crime, led responsible lives and become a part of American life should be called in out of the shadows and under the rule of American law."
You see, illegal aliens create terrible pressures -- until their status is "resolved." Miraculously once they are legalized, they supposedly no longer crowd schools and hospitals and no longer drain tax-payer supported services.
Hmmm, how does that happen? Well, in fact, it doesn't happen. Research by the Center for Immigration Studies has found that not only do legalized illegal aliens continue to impose all the same costs as before they were "resolved," but they impose even more costs on the taxpayers because as legal residents they are eligible for quite a number of additional public services.
To the White House and its open-borders allies, illegal aliens in the sunlight impose no costs. What makes them expensive is when they are in the "shadows."
Pres. Bush says we are to resolve their status without amnesty. Maybe I misjudged him.
Oh, maybe not. Here's a White House website clarification about what is meant by "amnesty:"
"The President Supports A Rational Middle Ground Between A Program Of Mass Deportations And A Program Of Automatic Amnesty.
"No amnesty. Workers who have entered the country illegally and workers who have overstayed their visas must pay a substantial penalty for their illegal conduct."
Mr. Bush would also take the get-tough approach of making illegal aliens learn English and hold a job.
Oh, sorry, I'm getting sarcastic.
As others have commented, using a car thief analogy: Under Mr. Bush's concept it would be "amnesty" if a cop stopped a car thief and then just let him go.
But it would NOT be amnesty, according to the Bush logic, if you stopped a car thief, made him pay a ticket of a couple hundred dollars and then let him keep the car.
In fact, under the Bush logic, one of the requirements for getting to keep the car would be that you have to keep driving it. After all, an illegal alien who breaks the law to get an American job would only get to stay here if he keeps the job (and pays a fine and learns English).
"Convictions run deep in this Capitol when it comes to immigration. Let us have a serious, civil, and conclusive debate — so that you can pass, and I can sign, comprehensive immigration reform into law."
Serious and civil, but by all means let us not have a LOGICAL debate!
It may have been George Bush's 2007 State of the Union address but the logic and rhetoric were straight out of George Orwell's 1984 world of doublespeak.
Think about it. One section of the President's "comprehensive" plan is all about removing the job magnet from illegal aliens. Another is about helping local law enforcement identify and move into deportation proceeding illegal aliens in their communities.
Without using the words, a large part of Mr. Bush's plan is about Attrition Through Enforcement -- actions that will cause many more illegal aliens to buy their own bus and plane tickets and go home, and actions that will lead to a lot fewer new illegal aliens to arrive.
But the White House in the end totally ignores that as a solution. Instead, it says the only choice is between mass deportation of 12 million illegal aliens at once or "resolving" their status to permanent residency and path to citizenship.
Apparently, all the enforcement measures have nothing to do with an actual solution. Apparently, the enforcement measures are meant to keep jobs out of the hands of new illegal aliens but will have no effect on the 12 million already here.
- Roy Beck
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