On Friday morning I wasted an hour listening to the Attorney General to see whether the administration had gained any respect for the majority opinion of Americans about immigration. Alberto Gonzalez spoke at the Commonwealth Club
in Santa Clara, California, pitching the Bush plan for "reform."
The same old same old was evident from the first sentence. The AG was rhapsodic about his "immigrant"
grandparents, and how their experience made immigration "close to my heart."
Of course, the grandparents came from Mexico to America for "freedom."
(There was no churlish interest in MONEY
on the part of the Gonzalez familia
, certainly not. He characterized them as patriotic Americans before they even were Americans — if they ever were citizens
, that is.)
Was there any cliche that he didn`t recite? I don`t think so. The AG is proud to be part of a "nation of immigrants" where "diversity is a strength." He argued that the President`s forgiveness of national breaking and entering is "not amnesty"
because miscreants will be made to "pay their debt to society."
Those "willing workers"
will still be matched up with "willing employers." Furthermore, "Mexico is not an enemy; Mexico is a friend,"
ALBERTO GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL: The president appreciates that people are willing to risk everything, everything for the dream of freedom. And he appreciates the vital need to protect Americans from those who will do anything to take our freedoms away. I believe his reform proposals are an excellent, multifaceted approach to this very delicate, very complicated issue. [Lou Dobbs Tonight transcript 7/21/06]
On more substantive matters, the open-borders brain trust plans a shiny plastic immigrant ID card to "ease employer accountability."
But there was no mention that employers could be required to check all employees in a central database of Social Security numbers, a policy that actually would stop illegal hiring.
A disturbing aspect of the speech was the AG`s use of the future tense to discuss policy. Nearly five years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, border security remains to be implemented at an unspecified time, some day. For example, "steps are underway"
to end the embarrassing catch-and-release policy. Underwhelming.
Gonzalez` snoozeball litany could have been rescued by challenging questions from the audience, which contained some friends of sovereignty. But the person choosing the questions was a dependably corporate lawyer, Mary Cranston
, of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, who picked softballs. And despite the immigration topic of the day, she asked six questions on domestic survelliance and the human rights situation at Gitmo.
Fortunately there were several pro-borders voices in attendance who were interviewed by the press, including Rick Oltman
of FAIR, Minuteman Al Garza
and Assembly candidate Tony Dolz
. So the event wasn`t a complete loss.