With unemployment reaching a new high of 6.4 million last week, President Bush thought it would be a nifty idea to ask Congress to let more illegal immigrants remain in the country. He then met once again (for the fourth time) with Mexico's President Vicente Fox, who once again (for the ten zillionth time) badgered the president to agree to abolish virtually all immigration controls. It is perhaps not entirely clear which country Mr. Bush thinks he is president of, but if his plea for letting more illegals remain here is granted, he may not be president long.
Late last year Congress passed a law that allows illegal immigrants already in this country to apply for legal U.S. residency without leaving the country to do so if they paid $1,000. In effect, the new law created an amnesty program for illegals, though no one wanted to call it that and, unlike a total amnesty, the illegals at least have to pay for residency. By the end of April, when the program expired, thousands of illegals had legalized themselves, thereby cheating the legal immigrants who had the patience and honesty to obey the laws of the country they wanted to be part of.
But thousands of others had not signed up, and the presumption was that they didn't because they didn't understand the rules Congress had enacted. That's OK, of course, because Congress itself, not to mention most Americans, don't understand what Congress enacts, but because they are illegal aliens, they are entitled perhaps to more privileges than most Americans or even congressmen. Because they missed the deadline, some people think, the deadline should be extended.
The Washington Post thinks so and called for extension in an editorial two days after Mr. Bush sent his letter to Congress. It's rare for the Post to praise anything Mr. Bush does, but it endorsed him on the amnesty extension. "President Bush got it right in his letter supporting the extension: It's in our national interest to welcome the immigrants ... who have established ties to the community through family or jobs as full participants in American society." Not exactly.
The reasons offered by the Post are largely those offered by Mr. Bush, but they tell us only what is in the interest of the aliens, not of the nation. It's not in the interest of the nation to extend the amnesty (nor to have enacted it at all) because, in the first place, as noted, unemployment is on the rise, and the more immigrants, legal or illegal, who are here, the more competitors Americans will have for the dwindling number of jobs.
But, in the second place, it's not in our national interest because excusing lawbreaking, especially of illegal immigrants, never is. It's not good for the rule of law on which the American government is supposedly based, nor is it good for discouraging other foreign nationals from breaking the law themselves by sneaking into the country illegally. Every time there is an amnesty—any kind of amnesty—it merely holds out the possibility of yet more, and more complete, amnesties in the future. In short, amnesties reward lawbreaking and encourage illegal immigration.
Extending this amnesty, moreover, also hurts Republicans, which is why Mr. Bush may not be president very long if it is extended and why also The Washington Post is suddenly so supportive of the president. As Antonio Gonzalez, director of the William C. Velasquez Institute, a Latino advocacy group in Texas, told the Scripps Howard News Service, an amnesty for illegal aliens now could result "in more than 14 million registered Hispanic voters by 2010—on a par with African Americans."
Democrats outnumber Republicans by a better than 3-2 margin among Hispanic voters. As the Scripps Howard story notes, "GOP leaders so far have stood in the way of extending the deadline as proposed by Bush. But Democrats, including House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri, a potential presidential candidate in 2004, have embraced it."
Why is that, do you wonder?
You don't have to wonder why the Republicans in Congress seem reluctant to help President Bush cut his own and his party's political throats, nor why the Democrats and their shills in the media are so eager to help the president do it. Not even the Stupid Party will walk over a political cliff right in front of it.
What you have to wonder about is why does Mr. Bush persist in wanting to legalize lawbreakers, encourage more lawbreaking, harm American workers, debase the rule of law and, on top of all this, also import an unassimilated underclass that will vote for his rivals?
Maybe because he really doesn't know which country he is president of.
COPYRIGHT 2001 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
May 17, 2001