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From: "An Economist" [e-mail him]
George W. Bush should—but will not—give the following speech about immigration Monday night:
My fellow Americans: for too many years we have ignored the problem of illegal immigration, for too many years we have looked the other way. Over time, a tiny problem has become a small one, then a medium one, and now it is a grave crisis threatening the very survival of our nation.Read “An Economist's” previous letters here and here.
This problem has grown to desperate proportions because for 30 years we have completely failed to enforce our immigration laws.
Indeed, my administration has utterly failed since the day I took office. Worse, by promoting amnesty I have encouraged millions of illegal aliens to come to the U.S. with the false hope of gaining permanent U.S. residence.
Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states that the "United States will defend each state from invasion". I took a solemn oath to uphold our Constitution. I have violated that oath and allowed our nation to be invaded on a staggering scale.
As of today, this folly is over.
Henceforth we will enforce our laws with a vengeance.
We will not:
- Tolerate illegal crossing of the border,
- Overlook illegal residence in the U.S.
We will, however, implement an immigration plan that will remove every illegal alien from the U.S. before the end of 2006 and will make absolutely sure that we, the American people, never end up with our nation's sovereignty in doubt again.
- Condone exploitation of illegal aliens.
My plan includes a comprehensive mechanism for addressing the existing illegal alien population, a tough system to make sure that no corporation ever again profits from the exploitation of illegal aliens, and, last but not least, a dramatic change in our legal immigration system.
First, we must address illegal aliens. My message to each and every illegal alien is simple:
GO HOME NOW!
You have 60 days to arrange your affairs and leave. If you leave during this exit amnesty period and have committed no other crimes against the American people, you will suffer no penalty or recriminations. You will not be harassed or persecuted in any manner while you depart from our nation. You may show your appreciation for the better wages and working conditions we have provided you by obeying our laws.
If you leave voluntarily, you will be free to enter the U.S. in the future without prejudice or discrimination. You will be allowed to apply for lawful immigration to the U.S. in the future. However, you will be given no special privileges and will have to wait in line like every one else. And you will have to wait in your country not ours.
However, make no mistake, this time we are very serious. If you do not take advantage of our generous offer, and if you are caught after our amnesty ends, you will be banned from the U.S. for life. You will never be readmitted to the U.S. for any reason whatsoever. If you attempt to return to the U.S. after you are banned, you will be criminally prosecuted. If you want the opportunity to visit the U.S. in the future, if you hope to immigrate to the U.S., you must demonstrate your respect for our laws now—by leaving.
Second, after the two month period ends, we will use every government agency to enforce our laws.
- The IRS will no longer grant tax identification numbers to illegal aliens. The Social Security administration will no longer tolerate phony Social Security numbers.
- The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will leave no stone unturned, anywhere and everywhere in the U.S. finding and removing illegal aliens.
- Everypolice department in the U.S. will cooperate with the Federal Government in detaining and removing illegal aliens.
But we will not deny emergency medical services to those in need. This is and always will be a compassionate nation. However, after those services have been provided our immigration laws will be enforced.
- Every traffic stop, every school registration, every hospital admission, every driver's license application, and request for welfare will include a detailed check for immigration status.
We will establish an 800 number that anyone in America can use to report illegal alien activity. If those reports prove accurate, you will receive $1000 for each any every illegal alien identified and deported. My fellow Americans, please help the U.S. government solve this problem.
After the sixty-day grace period, employment of illegal aliens by the unscrupulous in the U.S. will end forever. Any corporation or business caught with illegals on its payroll will be prosecuted without hesitation. I say this to America's corporate coyotes that have brought our nation so much misery: Your time is up. Obey the law now—or be prepared to spend the rest of your lives in prison, penniless. Expect no mercy from this quarter, for you will find none.
ICE, the IRS, Social Security Administration, and the FBI will work together to prosecute every corporation employing illegal aliens in this nation. The penalties will be harsh. Anyone caught knowingly employing illegals can say goodbye to their families. A fine of $50,000 will be imposed for each and every illegal worked found. There will be no negotiations. All property used to exploit illegal aliens will be confiscated. I say this to America's farmers: if you love your farms and homesteads, make absolutely sure you only have legal workers on your payroll.
To help enforce this law, we will pay half of all fines collected or moneys received from the sale of confiscated property to those who report illegal aliens. We will provide another 800 number for anyone who even suspects that an illegal alien is on their company's payroll.
I call upon every American worker to look around you. Is your company profiting from the exploitation of illegal aliens? Here is your chance to help enforce the law and obtain a benefit from doing so. Of course, you will be fully protected from penalties that your employer might with to impose. In this nation, we protect those who help enforce the law, not those who break it.
I say to every employer who is obeying our laws. Thank you for doing the right thing by hiring Americans and paying them properly. If, however, your business has been hurt by those who cheat and steal from the American people, now you can do something about it. Report any competitors who employ illegal aliens and put them out of business.
You will gain and so will every working American.
We are sometimes told that we need aliens, immigrants, and foreigners to do the “ jobs Americans won't do.” We are told that people who walk across a desert to illegally enter our nation are somehow superior to our own citizens.
Such words are an affront to every American soldier wearing 25 pounds of body armor in the 130-degree heat of Iraq. They are an outrage to every American coal miner, steel worker, and refinery operator.
There is no job American workers will not do—for a decent wage and fair working conditions.
Once before in our nation's history we were told that we needed a class of helots to do our dirty work, perform hard difficult jobs on our behalf.
Then as now, a greedy plutocracy preferred to exploit a class of foreigners rather than pay our own citizens.
That system was called slavery. And it brought our nation to ruin. As a nation, we still bare the scars of slavery and will for many years to come.
I, as your president, will not allow our nation to do down that road again. We will not in the 21st century renew the horrors of the 19th.
Third, for too long we have looked upon immigration as a right of foreigners rather than a privilege to be earned by those who are worthy.
Henceforth, we will limit immigration to this great nation. Only those immigrants who benefit the American people will be allowed. Those who will burden us, prey upon us, and divide our nation will be shunned, as they should be. We will welcome scientists, engineers, educated professionals and other gifted people from the far corners of the earth without prejudice or discrimination. We will not tolerate an immigration policy that favors one nation, one region, or one language. We will not tolerate an immigration policy that crushes down the poorest of our own people while profiting the greedy, the cynical, and the already privileged.
Some may question my motives in changing America's immigration policy. I say that we cannot send our young men and women six thousand miles to defend the borders of Iraq, while our own borders go undefended. We cannot ask our young people to fight and die on foreign soil only to return to a nation where their jobs have been taken from them.
Within a year we will have:
- A nation where our borders are enforced and our immigration laws respected.
wages for our own workers.
housing in many parts of this nation where now there is none.
- The freedom to move and travel instead of perpetual gridlock.
- Schools that work for the American children enrolled in them.
Thank you my fellow Americans. A new and brighter day has begun for the citizens and lawful immigrants of this great nation.
- Gradually, we will have one language to bind our nation together.
Ladies and gentlemen, our national nightmare is over