Eight years of George W. Bush has proven one thing: that it doesn't matter what the U.S. president wants regarding an illegal alien amnesty, open borders, unlimited work visas or any other treasonous elements of immigration policy that subvert American interests about which he may fantasize.
If Bush simply could have snapped his fingers and gotten his way, I imagine he would have established an expansion of the "wet foot, dry foot" policy that currently applies to Cubans.
Then the only requirement for a green card would be to get into the US.
Bush would doubtless have loved to have created a national rolling amnesty that would have included Mexico, Central and South America—and perhaps everyone in the world.
But throughout his two terms, Americans thwarted Bush at his every turn. Despite his virtually non-stop efforts to get his illegal immigration agenda past Congress, Bush instead lost ground every year.
At his low point in 2007, Bush experienced such a string of ignominious "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" defeats that his administration suffered what in effect was a vote of no confidence.
Given our successes, I—unlike other immigration reform patriots—am not in a huge lather about what appears to be the certainty of a 2009 amnesty effort.
I'm VDARE.COM's in-house optimist. Our recent track record gives me good reason to feel as I do.
Sure, John McCain and Barack Obama are both for amnesty.
If Bush couldn't get it past either a Republican or Democratic controlled Congress, why should we assume either of them will?
The American government has a process that must be followed.
Whoever wins in November will start his first term with higher negatives than Bush did. In fact, the survivor will likely be the least popular president ever elected, thus starting out his new job with a considerable reservoir of ill will.
The worsening economy, the nation's rotten public education system, unaffordable health care and the ever-present Iraq War put immigration reform no higher than fifth on most lists of American's concerns.
In some states, like my Pennsylvania, immigration is barely on the radar, at least by comparison to California.
That makes "comprehensive immigration reform" unlikely to be the first item on the new president's legislative to-do list. Why lead with your chin?
McCain and Obama's challenge is to get elected. As of today, each is floundering in the polls and probably appearing less attractive to even their small core of hard-core supporters as the days drag on.
Whichever candidate does the best job of convincing the unconvinced will prevail. Fifty-three days remain for either to pull it off.
Which of the two might blink and bring immigration to the forefront of their campaigns?
Short answer: neither.
Despite what our good friend Mickey Kaus at Slate thinks (that Obama could appeal to blue collar workers suspicious of him by promising to delay amnesty until he became convinced that wages would not be adversely impacted by more immigration), Obama has no wiggle room.
If you're one of many who wonder about Obama's intelligence, remember that his endorsement of this wildly unpopular idea could easily have been ducked by saying that licenses are a state and not a federal issue.
Peter Brimelow proposes that Obama try to draw McCain out about his amnesty devotion by pressing for an agreement between them that whoever ends up going back to the Senate will commit to working tirelessly with the winner on comprehensive immigration reform.
The idea is sound—trying to trip McCain up on his true treasonous immigration feelings—and would make wonderful theater. But I can't envision either of them playing.
While its true that thousands of Republican voters—or would-be voters—are furious at McCain for his immigration betrayal, he's alienated all of them to such an extent that nothing he could say or do at this point would bring them around.
On immigration, Republicans equate McCain to Teddy Kennedy.
The situation on the ground is what we have come to expect from presidential candidates: the less they say about immigration to a broad-based audience, the safer it is for them.
Let's assume the worst: that whoever gets into the White House will immediately throw all of his weight behind amnesty.
It won't get to first base.
In a perverse kind of way, I'm actually hoping that an amnesty bill makes it to the floor. Of course, it's a drag to have to fight the same battles over and again.
But when it's defeated, as I am 100 percent certain it will be, amnesty will be cast aside to the lowest rung of Congress' legislative agenda—labeled as something that is simply not doable.
Once amnesty tanks again, it won't be resurrected for a long time to come.Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.