"And temporary workers must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay."
Yet, the Hagel-Martinez "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act" being debated in the Senate makes it extremely easy for the 200,000 low-skilled "temporary" workers who would arrive annually to win permanent legal residency, as Sen. Jeff Sessions pointed out recently.
Assuming that Mr. Bush was a man of his word and that his word was "temporary,"
"Sens. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) tried to amend the bill to stipulate that the 200,000 low-skilled immigrants allowed to enter the country [annually] under a new temporary-worker visa would have to leave when the visa expired"
as Jonathan Weisman and Jim VandeHei wrote in "Debate on How to Reshape Law Has Divided Republicans" in the Washington Post on Sunday, May 21.
On Thursday night,
"With Bush and his top political aides in Arizona, conservative Republican aides persuaded lower-level White House staff members to back the amendment, reasoning that Bush has always said he backs a 'temporary worker program,' not a permanent funnel of immigrants to the United States.
"'It was a matter of truth in advertising,' Cornyn said."
Silly Senator Cornryn! Silly lower-level White House staff members! Trusting the President to tell the truth!
"When word reached the backers of the compromise, they were furious, according to a senior Republican Senate aide involved in the events. Immigrant groups such as the National Council of La Raza and the National Immigration Forum had said they would withdraw their support for the Senate bill if the amendment passed."
La Raza ["The Race"] has spoken and the Republican Party must obey!
"Finally, after nightfall, first [Sen. Chuck] Hagel [R-NE], then [Sen. Lindsey O.] Graham [R-SC] and [Sen. Mel] Martinez [R-FL] reached [White House chief of staff] Bolten from the road, telling him passage of the amendment would destroy the coalition and scuttle the legislation. They pleaded with him to call off the White House lobbyists.
"After 8 p.m., a succession of conservatives went to the Senate floor to declare Bush's support for their amendment to ensure that temporary work visas really would be temporary.
"Then Hagel walked onto the floor, announcing that he and his allies had just gotten off the phone with the White House chief of staff, who had assured them that Bush opposed the amendment."
Hagel then denounced conservatives for daring to assume that President Bush meant what he said and that Hagel's bill was not intended to be the giant fraud on the American citizenry that it actually is:
"'The American people have a very low opinion of you, of me, of the Congress, of the president. Read the latest polls," Hagel thundered. "Why are the American people upset with us? Because we are not doing our job.'"
Hagel furiously ranted onward:
"We talk about, 'Let's run to the base. Let's run to the political lowest common denominator.'"
So, Sen. Hagel's view, the "base" of the Republican Party is synonymous with "the political lowest common denominator? "
"That is not governing. That is cheap, transparent politics."
I presume from this that Sen. Hagel's stance on immigration didn't come "cheap."
And "transparent" is the last word for the immigration bill backed by Hagel and Bush. Instead, it has been designed to pull the wool over the public's eyes.
Also, see Mickey Kaus in Slate on this: