OK, so you don't much like President Bush's immigration plan that would grant amnesty to 8 to 12 million illegal aliens. You are not alone. Hardly anyone likes the plan, from conservative supporters of the president, to the Hispanic bloc to which he's pandering, to the Democrats who want his job.
A recent Scripps Howard news story and other sources reveal the immigration positions each candidate supports. [Where the candidates stand on immigration, By Lance Gay, Scripps Howard News Service, February 04, 2004]
The website of front runner and probable party nominee Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry pronounces that he "supports a proposal that will allow undocumented immigrants to legalize their status if they have been in the United States for a certain amount of time, have been working, and can pass a background check."
"Undocumented workers," of course, are illegal aliens, and legalizing their status means amnesty. Nevertheless, Kerry actually mentions "background checks" for illegals before they can become legal, which is more than the president's plan does.
North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, now a possible vice-presidential candidate for Mr. Kerry, endorses amnesty too:
"I support policies that welcome immigrants and protect our security, including an earned legalization program for those who work hard and play by the rules. ... We should reform the immigration system so there is a clear road map to legalization and citizenship for undocumented immigrants who work hard and follow the law."
It probably doesn't matter much now what has-beens and never-weres like Sen. Joe Lieberman, Gen. Wesley Clark, former Gov. Howard Dean and the anti-white shakedown artist Al Sharpton think, but just for the record, they're all for amnesty too.
Gen. Clark for example proclaims, "I'm very pro-immigration," and he too thinks "we need to find ways to ensure that taxpaying, law-abiding, undocumented workers have a way to eventually earn their citizenship."
Somebody needs to explain to Mr. Kerry and Gen. Clark and the others that talking about "undocumented immigrants who follow the law" or "law-abiding undocumented workers" is a contradiction in terms. By definition, "undocumented workers" means illegal aliens, people who have already broken the law to come here. Unfortunately, President Bush in announcing his own ill-conceived plan last month also used the leftist euphemism "undocumented workers," thereby lending credence to the claim that the aliens have some kind of "right" to be here.
It's probably not surprising that Mr. Sharpton, always a fount of wisdom, spies racism in our immigration policies: "I think that immigration policies are antiquated and in many cases biased. You see, there's a much different policy at the Canadian border than at the Mexican border."
Yes, there aren't millions of Canadians trying to leave their country to come here illegally.
Illegal immigrants, the Reverend says, are "the closest thing to a slave you can be" (except that the aliens chose to come here and can always leave).
So the Democrats really don't differ all that much from Mr. Bush on immigration policies. Like him, they all support amnesty for illegal immigrants under one euphemism or another. So which one would you like to vote for?
What their immigration positions (if the plural is quite the appropriate form) tell us is that the candidates of both parties this year are antithetical to what the majority of both Democrats and Republicans and of most Americans support. Ever since Mr. Bush unveiled his own amnesty plan, several polls have shown how far out in space it is with respect to what most Americans want.
Last month an ABC News poll found that 52 percent of Americans oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants from Mexico and 57 percent oppose it for other illegal immigrants. Among Republicans, 58 percent oppose amnesty for Mexican illegals and 63 percent for others; among Democrats 50 percent oppose Mexican amnesty.
And, last year, a study released in November by the Pew Research Center for The People and the Press reported that "About eight-in-ten Republicans (82 percent) and somewhat fewer independents and Democrats (76 percent each) agree with the statement 'We should restrict and control people coming into our country to live more than we do now.'"[PDF]
If the Republicans had any brains, they might make good use of the grassroots opposition to amnesty and open immigration against whichever pro-amnesty Democrat challenges the president.
But since the Republicans don't have the brains to do that and the president's position on amnesty is indistinguishable from those of his opponents, there will be no serious discussion of immigration policy in this year's presidential campaign by anybody—and what the vast majority of Americans want and support will be ignored.
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[Sam Francis [email him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection of his columns, America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available from Americans For Immigration Control. Click here for Sam Francis' website. Click here to order his monograph, Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American Political Future and here for Glynn Custred's review.]