Despite what the Republican leadership would like us to think, all is not harmony and light between the Republicans in Congress and the Republican in the White House.
Emerging unpleasantness on the issues of Social Security and looming Supreme Court appointments are part of the problem, but a split on immigration reform looms larger still.
Last week the Washington Post detailed how
"President Bush's plan to liberalize the nation's immigration laws to allow millions of undocumented workers [libspeak for "illegal aliens"] the opportunity for legal status appears to be on a collision course with newly aroused sentiment among House Republicans pushing for a crackdown on illegal immigration." [Bush Immigration Plan Meets GOP Opposition, By Michael A. Fletcher, January 2, 2005]
This is hardly news, since the collision actually already occurred last year, when congressional (including Republican) reception of the president's amnesty plan for illegals was so tepid we heard nothing more about it until after the election.
What's new now is that the ill-conceived plan is back and, as the Post notes, the course is set for another collision.
Indeed, last year there was yet another collision over the issue when many House Republicans wanted immigration control measures in the intelligence reform bill the White House was badgering them to pass. Eventually, the bill did pass, but minus the immigration stuff, because the president swore he'd support separate legislation for it this year.
The reason for all these collisions of course is that the immigration issue, after decades of slumber, is now beginning to rouse itself, and even politicians have to notice that, sooner or later.
That makes many observers think Congress or the White House or both together will soon start "cracking down" on immigration.
Maybe, but don't bet your green card on it.
Most of the specific measures the so-called "immigration control" members of Congress are talking about are in fact little more than eyewash—not bad in themselves but far from being enough to stop the massive invasion of the United States by aliens of profoundly different national and cultural identities.
They may, however, be enough to convince voters that their congressmen are doing something to stop it, and that's what the congressmen will be interested in accomplishing.
Thus, the Post mentions several specific measures the immigration control guys want to pass—completion of a fence along the Mexican border to keep illegal aliens out; a law to set up tougher state standards for driver's licenses for illegal aliens; and making it harder for immigrants to claim asylum. The plain truth is that most of this stuff is low-cal salad dressing.
There is every reason to have more effective border security, and in various places along the border, fences are fine—if they are watched by competent border guards, if they are maintained, and if those who try to cross them are sent back.
The point is that building fences won't solve the immigration problem unless the nation—meaning in this context the Congress and the White House—has the will to solve it.
The same is true of driver's licenses (illegal immigrants shouldn't be getting licenses period, and no state should be granting them).
The very fact that we are now solemnly talking about "tougher standards" for licenses for illegals makes it clear we are not serious about the problem.
The danger is not only that congressmen will demand these and similar measures as their contributions to stopping the immigration invasion and will then exploit such measures to delude voters into thinking something serious has been done, but also that the same legislators will then support Mr. Bush's amnesty package as the price of the "reforms" they've so valiantly hammered through Congress.
The net intended effect of such measures would be to put the immigration issue back to sleep. But that's not the effect they may actually have.
The immigration issue is awakening for the simple reason that Americans in areas far removed from the Mexican border are now for the first time beginning to see their local communities transformed by the realities of mass immigration from the Third World—crime, disease, poverty, overcrowding, welfare, the wreckage of schools, and the obvious cultural disintegration that uncontrolled immigration brings.
Congress and the White House can collude to serve up whatever eyewash they can concoct to make voters now clearly alerted to and worried about immigration forget and ignore what's happening.
But my bet is that the invasion has now gone too far and the awareness of it is now too deep for that tactic to work.
Sooner or later those in Congress and the White House are going to have to confront the immigration crisis seriously—which means a moratorium and probably troops on the border—or else find themselves facing political opponents in future elections who will be serious.
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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.