"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

‘Massive deportation’ of illegal immigrants ‘unrealistic,’ Bush says

Whenever politicians don't want to do something they always refer to the most difficult piece in any measure as though it is an impossibility and therefore should not be attempted. Question: How does the president intend to document and amnesty so many illegals with the staffing the government has now? That sounds like an impossibility to, no?

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press: IRVINE, Calif. — President Bush delivered a forceful rebuttal Monday to immigration hard-liners, telling a Southern California audience that illegal immigrants are here to stay.

"Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic," he told members of the Orange County Business Council, as anti-immigration protesters chanted outside an Irvine hotel. "You can hear people out there hollering it’s going to work. It’s not going to work."

Bush came to Orange County, a flash point for tensions in the national immigration debate, as Congress geared up for another attempt to overhaul immigration laws. Although Bush insisted that any immigration bill should include a guest-worker program, he resisted calls for more direct presidential involvement in trying to reach a legislative compromise.

His restatement of broad principles did little to bridge the gap between lawmakers who favor punitive measures and those who want to link better border security to a guestworker program. The Senate is trying to come up with a compromise that could win support in the House of Representatives, which has passed legislation that focuses exclusively on enforcement and punishment.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, RCalif., whose district includes parts of Orange County, boycotted the president’s event and called Bush’s remarks "an insult to the American people."

"No one I know is advocating mass deportations. If we simply prevent people who are here illegally from getting jobs and we stop giving them benefits... they will go home on their own," Rohrabacher told CNN after Bush’s speech.

Orange County, a Republican stronghold south of Los Angeles, has long been at the center of the debate over immigration. The city of Costa Mesa recently became the first municipality to ask for its police officers to be trained in immigration enforcement. The county is also the birthplace of the Minuteman Project, the volunteer border patrol group based in Laguna Hills.

Even before Bush arrived at the heavily guarded Hyatt Regency, a few dozen protesters from the Minuteman Project waved American flags and chanted "God Bless America" and "Go Back to Mexico." Across the street, another group of demonstrators waved peace signs and protested the war in Iraq.

Speaking to the well-heeled business group in a hotel ballroom, Bush appealed for compassion.

"I know this is an emotional debate," he said. "But one thing we cannot lose sight of is that we’re talking about human beings, decent human beings that need to be treated with respect. ... And by the way, you can be a nation of law and a compassionate nation at the same time."

Democrats said Bush should do more to bring his fellow Republicans in line with his approach.

"Sadly, short of urging Congress to work things out, the president opted to stay on the sidelines," said Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the thirdranking House Democrat. "The president seems unwilling to go beyond mere rhetoric." Prospects for immigration overhaul are uncertain, at best. Rohrabacher, a leader of antiimmigration forces in the House, said he has no interest in any compromise that includes a guest-worker program.

"These people are so intent on normalizing — meaning giving amnesty — to illegals who are already here," he said. "The fact is, what the president is proposing, what the Senate is proposing, would make the illegal immigration problem even worse. We’d have even more people flooding into our country after we’ve sent that message to the rest of the world."

Bush said his guest-worker plan wouldn’t be an amnesty program because illegal workers would have to pay fines and commit to learn English before they could become legal. They wouldn’t have any advantage over other foreigners if they wanted to apply for citizenship.

He said a guest-worker plan would end illegal immigration and dismantle the people-smuggling industry that flourishes along the nation’s southern border.

"We’ve lost a lot of people, a lot of decent hard-working people, trying to come into this country," he said. "An underground industry thrives on human beings, people coming in to do work that the Americans will not do."

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let Brian know at what level you would like to participate**


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