Amnesty by Executive Order? Don't Count It Out
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Two competing schools of thought about what will happen regarding amnesty post the November 6th elections:

  • The Democrats, as widely predicted, take control of the House and (nogoodniks that they are) will pave the way for the Senate to pass a massive amnesty/guest worker program.

  • The Republicans mount a mighty comeback and hold on to the House, although by the narrowest margin. But, nogoodniks that they are, in a back room deal, the newly re-elected Congressmen work out an amnesty deal with the Senate that is billed a "compromise" but that is, in reality, a sell-out.

From my perspective, fretting about which party may be the biggest Bush amnesty-enabler is wasted energy. Immigration is too much of a political hot potato for either side to want to get too close to it.

But an amnesty may well lie in our future. And if it does, it will not be brought to us compliments of the Democrats or the Republicans.

I see ahead the possibility of amnesty fashioned by a George W. Bush Executive Order.

Evil things are brewing. Bush has fought for amnesty since his first day in office. He has been thwarted at every turn. But when someone as obstinate as Bush is denied what he most wants, don't expect him to roll over. Remember how badly he wanted his Iraqi war.

Will Bush play his Executive Order trump card to get what he so desperately yearns for? Will Bush, in a cut-and-run move at the end of his term, ignore the Constitution and grant amnesty to millions?

What does Bush care about the Constitution anyway?

Plenty of signs indicate that Bush might sign an Executive Order…and that he thinks he can get away with it.

Review his record of signing statements wherein Bush has ignored entire sections of legislation including provisions that were negotiated with Congress. [ Bush Challenges Hundreds of Laws, By Charlie Savage, Boston Globe, April 30, 2006]

Conveniently for Bush, he can claim that an Executive Order for illegal aliens strengthens national security.

Taking his cue from La Raza, Bush could maintain that America during the War on Terror is best served when all its residents are known and identifiable. A green card, a valid social security card and ultimately citizenship, Bush would argue, are the key steps to maximizing our protections against our enemies.

Bush has already said as much in his nationally televised (and nationally ignored) May 6th speech about immigration:

"Once here, illegal immigrants live in the shadows of our society. Many use forged documents to get jobs, and that makes it difficult for employers to verify that the workers they hire are legal."

Further defending an Executive Order, Bush could replay his "we are a nation of immigrants" theme, one of his well-worn favorites.

From Bush's March 25 White House radio address (and dozens of other public statements):

"…Millions who've come to our shores seeking liberty and opportunity, and America is better off for their hard work and love of freedom. America is a nation of immigrants."

The most probable scenario however is that Bush wouldn't so much defend his decision for an Executive Order as he would simply to defer to the "higher power" who guides him.

From Bush's June 2006 National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast address:

"I've also said, from my personal perspective, I rely upon the Almighty for strength and comfort. The daily example of our Hispanic communities reminds us that strong faith and strong families can build a better future for all. We're a more hopeful society because men and women of Hispanic descent have put their faith and values into action… It is important for us in this important debate on immigration to remember that we've always been a hopeful nation. We are a land of immigrants. We're a compassionate people."

Arguing against Bush when he reminds us of his special link with the Almighty is tough…like punching at air.

Now, before you go and jump off a bridge about the possibility of an Executive Order, remember that my opinion merely represents the ramblings of a lone columnist toiling in the obscurity of California's San Joaquin Valley.

Others—better versed and more scholarly than me—strongly disagree.

A New York lawyer, Henry Lenoir, has said that an Executive Order legalizing illegal aliens would be a distortion of the presidential power to pardon.

As Lenoir concluded:

"After all, illegal though they are, illegal aliens haven't been federally convicted of illegal entry and residence, so there is nothing he can pardon."

But since January 29, 2001 Bush has signed hundreds of Executive Orders…most having nothing to do with pardons.

Ominously for us, the first in 2001 created one another of Bush's pet projects that didn't have much national or Congressional support, a White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives.

And, more storm clouds above us, in June 2006, Bush created the Task Force on New Americans.

Two years—a political eternity— is left on Bush's second term. Anything, good or bad, can happen.

But forewarned is forearmed.

Republican leaders who care about the future of their party—a group that does not include Bush—should be aware of the possibility that with a single stroke of the president's pen, the GOP could be destroyed.

Joe Guzzardi [ e-mail him] is the Editor of VDARE.COM Letters to the Editor. In addition, he is an English teacher at the Lodi Adult School and has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.

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