This Bush Administration has no credibility left on any issue, particularly immigration reform, with any one from either party who can read and listen to the mass media.
Perfect example of the vast credibility gap: Page one Washington Post, top right column, on June 19th featured a story titled "Illegal Hiring is Rarely Penalized". (By Spencer S. Hsu and Kari Lydersen). It begins by noting,
"The Bush administration, which is vowing to crack down on U.S. companies that hire illegal workers, virtually abandoned such employer sanctions before it began pushing to overhaul U.S. immigration laws last year, government statistics show. Between 1999 and 2003, work-site enforcement operations were scaled back 95 percent by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which subsequently was merged into the Department Of Homeland Security. The number of employers prosecuted for unlawfully employing immigrants dropped from 182 in 1999 to four in 2003, and fines collected declined from $3.6 million to $212,000, according to federal statistics. In 1999, the United States initiated fines against 417 companies. In 2004, it issued fine notices to three."
Most of you probably don't remember that old 1947 song, "Open the Door, Richard"? Second line, "Open the door and let me in."
Maybe that should be the theme song for our President and his doxies in Congress or perhaps for Vicente Fox, re-titled, "Open the Door, Georgie"—cause that's the one he's been singing for years.
The Federal Government is not even bothering to enforce the law. The blatancy of its actions speaks directly to its arrogance.
This Administration expects to get away with these failures—then doubtlessly will want to blame us Democrats in November when a fairly sane, but fair from full enforcement immigration reform bill passed by the House can't be melded into the outrageous giveaway bill which passed the Senate, S. 2611.
And we Democrats will deserve such blame on immigration reform, the #2 hot issue after the Iraq fiasco, as we stumble hopelessly to find a cohesive collections of issues which indicate to the majority of voters that we could better run the country. Scant proof based on our fumbling on this key issue.
We Democrats are letting the Democrat Senate leader, Harry Reid, play politics with our borders and our country—joined by many who should know better in both houses.
Both my California Senators showed no backbone in voting for S. 2611. While I am fond of their liberality on women's rights, they got myopic when it came to seeing what the rights of us citizens, male and female, should be protected.
Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat leader in the House equally failed to understand the concept of "support and defend", the bedrock principle of our Constitution.
"S. 2611 is a radical bill that would completely change most occupations and communities in America with the largest movement of foreign workers in U.S. history. It used to be that voters could count on Democrats to stand up for hard-working Americans and their families, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. I understand that, due to unconstitutional revenue generating provisions in S. 2611, Minority Leader Reid may be forced to bring the immigration bill back to the Senate floor. I fear that Democrats will only further embarrass themselves by publicly supporting this awful bill if that happens. Please don't let that happen."
There is a very good chance that, as the Senate and House are scheduled to go into conference later this month to reconcile the significant differences between each chamber's so-called comprehensive immigration reform legislation, that it will pass.
The impact is estimated variously by a number of observers. But the Senate, both parties, want 11 million to 20 million illegal aliens to get immediate amnesty, opening the prospect per a Heritage Foundation study of at least 60 million new immigrants will be allowed into the country over the next twenty years.
In addition, the long-term fiscal impact of the Senate legislation will be around $50 billion per year in social and healthcare costs—again according to that Heritage Foundation report.
Silly me, I thought we Democrats were the party of the little guy, the poor and the less fortunate, the citizens who needed our special help. $50 billion buys a lot of school lunches and medicates many who can't afford the full costs of health care.
For me, a Democrat, my future votes for any candidate will depend on his or her stand on immigration.
I think many of my fellow party members will take the same attitude if the giveaways continue.
If the House can't mount the political will and courage to stand against the upper chamber of Congress and President Bush, I bet we are talking about another 3rd party rising from the demand of the vast majority of American citizens for representation.
Such a party would surely run on the obvious platform of real border security and an end to illegal immigration.
What else is there to stand for if we believe in keeping our country?
And we could lose our country, folks.
So wake up, stand up and speak up, or you could well lose it.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.