As a belated Christmas gift to the country, President Bush this week unveiled what amounts to an amnesty program for illegal aliens—an amnesty I have been predicting his administration would endorse as soon as the smoke from the 9/11 attacks of 2001 cleared a bit. Amnesty was already on the table when the attacks occurred and was merely postponed.
Of course, the president and his mouthpieces strenuously deny that what they are proposing is amnesty, but looking at it closely, there's no other word for it.
"This program," the president said in announcing the plan, "will offer legal status, as temporary workers, to the millions of undocumented men and women now employed in the United States and to those in foreign countries who seek to participate in the program and have been offered employment here."
Foreign workers will be able to go back and forth between this country and their own under "temporary work visas" valid for three years and eligible to be renewed (for how long Congress will decide) if they have jobs in this country and have behaved themselves.
After that period, the president also said, "Some temporary workers will make the decision to pursue American citizenship. Those who make this choice will be allowed to apply in the normal way."[ Read The Transcript View Listen]
The decision to stay or go home is entirely up to the aliens, though the plan supposedly contains financial incentives for them to return home. But there is nothing that makes them go. They can stay if they wish, and millions will.
There is no other word for this but amnesty—even though Mr. Bush brazenly said in his next sentence, "I oppose amnesty." Either he doesn't understand his own plan or he just plain lied.
Eight million illegal aliens are believed to be in this country already (some estimates say as many as 11 million), and the prospect of legal entry and eventual citizenship will mean that millions more will come. Moreover, they will be able to bring their families and will bear children who will automatically become U.S. citizens regardless of the legal status of their parents. Even if the government had the capacity and the will to enforce the "temporary" visas rigorously (which it doesn't), the president's plan is an open invitation for the repopulation of the United States by the Third World.
Of course, Big Business is delighted at the prospect of a virtually bottomless source of cheap, docile labor that will be unable to complain about its treatment without having its visas jerked and sent home and at the added benefit that employers can use the vast army of aliens to discipline American workers, threatening them with lower wages and dismissal if they get out of line.
Of course also, most Republicans care nothing for American workers, so that's not a problem as far as they're concerned.
But the most remarkable aspect of the president's plan is the total indifference to the identity and interests of the American nation it reveals. In unbosoming this monster, Mr. Bush pontificated that America is "a nation that values immigration, and depends on immigration," that the "current situation" with immigration is "wrong" and "not the American way"—because it is unfair to illegal immigrants!
"Out of common sense and fairness," he continued, "our laws should allow willing workers to enter our country and fill jobs that Americans are not filling. We must make our immigration laws more rational, and more humane."
It's Mr. Bush who is wrong, of course. America has no responsibility to foreigners, let alone to foreigners who have broken our laws to get here. It has a responsibility to its own people and its own identity and interests.
It is pure and simple nonsense—and an insult to the country—to say that enforcing the security of our own borders to protect our own people and nation from the invasion taking place is "not the American way." What is un-American is the refusal to enforce our laws that has brought the country to its present immigration disaster.
But Mr. Bush, like most of the American ruling class today, no longer believes in his own nation and people and is largely indifferent to them. It is the interests of the global power structure the ruling class has constructed and rules that he cares about and protects, and that is what his immigration plan seeks to do.
More than anything else he and his administration have done, it exposes the real fault lines of power in America today—between the ruling class that seeks to destroy the nation and those Americans who wish to preserve it.
Now that the lines are clear, we will see who wins the power struggle that will ensue.
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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.]