Please be gentle with any "I told you so" or "you're an idiot" email responses this may provoke, but…
I really thought he'd come around…President Bush, that is.
I know, I know! It was a foolish pipe dream. But it was mine, people, mine…and I needed it.
I needed to believe that Bush II was really on our side, that he was really going to do something about our immigration problem—that he was really…dare I say it…a Republican.
This reminds me…somebody needs to talk to the MSM before things get ugly.
Yes, the McKennedy bill manages to avoid reforming anything which apparently runs contrary to the ideals of the GOP. Ok, fine—but that doesn't make him a "maverick" Republican, it makes him a Democrat.
And nobody corrected him!
Now, let's review:
Is McCain a Maverick Republican or just a Democrat?
Is France our ally or just a bloodsucking, crybaby nation in Western Europe that once played patty-cake with us simply to avoid merging the umlaut (think Häagen-Dazs) into their language? Ok, maybe twice.
You see, I get the same need a shower-like feeling when President Bush says he's getting serious about immigration reform…
This week, he's touring the southwestern United States giving speeches in places like Tucson, Arizona while standing next to a green and yellow (Border Patrol colors) screen which reads:
Protecting America's Borders
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a known Mexican, was also along for the trip although it doesn't seem clear why. (Not that there is anything wrong with that, some of the President's best friends are Mexican…he props them up at rallies all the time.)
Ooh, I almost forgot! The President also fawned over Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano for…well, showing up I suppose.
So these are the questions for today's column:
According to the White House Press Center, since the President took office:
Side note: In nearly 6 years, 350,000 people with criminal records have been detained at the border and Bush II is just now doing something. We go to war with less provocation…
So…what's the Plan?
1. The U.S. Will Return Every Illegal Entrant Caught Crossing The Southwest Border With No Exceptions.
This is the section where the Bush II administration acknowledges that 85% of illegal immigrants come from Mexico. Other than that, there is no further mention of Mexico at all in the Plan…such as "make Mexico reimburse the expense" or "beat up Mexico."
2. The Administration Is Ending The Practice Of "Catch And Release."
Attention Minutemen fishermen: Apparently, this means no more 180 lb. test line with burrito-disguised hooks…oh wait, I think they mean they aren't going to catch illegal aliens and then release them into the United States anymore.
Right—that's a good start.
3. The Administration Is Taking Further Steps To Accelerate The Removal Process.
The best part of #3 was this statement:
"The Federal government is also using 'expedited removal' to detain, place into streamlined judicial proceedings, and deport non-Mexican illegal immigrants in an average of 32 days almost three times faster than the usual procedure."
Apparently, they overlooked the statistic they used in #1 about 85% of illegal aliens coming from Mexico.
Great…"expedited removal" should take care of 15% of our problem but hopefully expose us to a windfall of discrimination-based lawsuits from the general direction of everywhere else in the world except Mexico.
4. The Administration Will Work With Congress To Reform Immigration Laws.
See: McKennedy Immigration Pseudo-Reform Plan
5. The Federal Government Will Act To Stop People From Illegally Crossing The Border In The First Place.
You see, the President is acknowledging the problem we have with 15 million illegal aliens already living in the United States…wait a minute, never mind…no he isn't.
6. Increasing Manpower
a. Constructing Physical Barriers to Entry.
I'm no expert but this last one sounds like a good Step One.
Additionally, the U.S. "is pressing foreign governments to take back their citizens more promptly" and implementing programs such as "Operation Texas Hold 'Em."
Yep, Texas Hold 'Em resulted in the reduction of Brazilian immigration by 90 percent. Once again, Mexico—Mexico, not Brazil…although Brazil is a good one to hit as well.
"Operation Rollback the largest worksite enforcement case in American history resulted in the arrest of hundreds of illegal immigrants, criminal convictions against a dozen employers, and a multi-million dollar payment from one of America's largest businesses."
Dozens of businesses…yeah, they're called Wal-Mart.
Hmm…no farmers? Perhaps illegal aliens don't work in the agriculture industry…more on that in a minute.
Additionally, to assist the worksite enforcement program, the feds want to address document fraud. They want to better utilize a screening program for employment verification.
Thanks to Monsieur Rubenstein we know that Notices of Intent to Fine Employers who hire illegal aliens have fallen from 865 in 1997 to just 3 in 2004. I even saw it on Fox News the other day. They must read VDARE.COM.
Here's an interesting point: The President doesn't think that employers should have to work so hard to verify the "status" of applicants.
So why do we expect men to work so hard to verify the age of the girls they date? Men are not allowed to just "take their word for it" when girls claim to be 18. Why are employers allowed to "take their word for it" when an applicant claims to be a citizen?
Moving on…the President wraps up the day with (gasp!) a Temporary Work program!!
In order to match foreign workers with American employers for jobs Americans won't do…blah, blah, blah.
Other than the illegal workers, the people most pleased with this part of the Plan is…drum roll please…the farmers!!
Western Growers President, Tom Nassif issued this press statement:
"We fully support the President's recognition that effective immigration reform consists of much more than talking tough and sealing the border. This nation needs a legal, stable foreign work force and that means an effective guest worker program as a key element of any immigration reform policy."
Then he added:
"The political pressure to abandon this key element of immigration reform is enormous, but without a guest worker program, immigration reform will fail. Calling a guest worker program amnesty may be politically expedient in the 2006 election cycle, but it is nothing more than pandering and any policy that fails to recognize the reality of 11 million foreign workers in this country would be a travesty."
Bryannanote to Nassif: A guest worker program is not a "politically expedient" term for amnesty; it is the appropriate term.
Oh…and p.s. they never leave—if anybody needs an example, I have about 15 million of them.
Which brings me to my next question: Is Bush II sacrificing the Republican Party for personal gain?
Maybe it isn't his intent, but this is my opinion as a political consultant: if the President keeps listening to garbage like this from all the wealthy farmers who funded his campaigns, the Republican Party will pay the ultimate price.
Clearly, Americans don't want it. And Republicans who are up for re-election might do well to listen—short-timer Presidents don't have to.
Finally, I ask: who is this masked man?
Ok, don't be cute! It isn't the soon-to-be-unemployed Vicente Fox with a fake Yale/Texan drawl!
Then again…maybe it is. It's preferable to the truth:
The man I once hero-worshipped who ultimately broke my little heart.
Bryanna Bevens [email her] is a political consultant and former chief of staff for a member of the California State Assembly.