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Dishonesty in high places: tough talk in President Bush's televised speech pressing for passage of a "guest worker" bill was meant to soothe conservatives' ruffled feathers, but it lacked credibility.

President Bush finally got the message--or so he would want everyone to believe. After huge demonstrations full of illegal immigrants and their supporters clogged the streets in numerous American cities, previously uninvolved Americans started demanding action to secure our southern border. So, Mr. Bush addressed the nation from the Oval Office on May 15 with a speech designed to ease America's fears and demonstrate his forceful leadership.

The problem is that he avoided telling the whole truth. He performed as would the warm and friendly neighbor who assured you that he would watch your home while you vacationed, but was planning all along to plunder the premises after you were gone. Posturing as a tough and compassionate leader, he acknowledged that "the United States has not been in complete control of its borders." He pointed to the enormous pressures illegal entrants had created on "public schools and hospitals," and on "state and local budgets." And he noted that the practically unimpeded flood of humanity crossing into our nation had brought "crime to our communities."

The Charade

In his speech, Mr. Bush told of five steps he would undertake to address the problem. Sounding resolute, he said the border must be "shut to illegal immigrants, as well as criminals, drug dealers, and terrorists." He announced plans to "increase the number of Border Patrol officers," "construct high-tech fences," and "employ motion sensors, infrared cameras, and unmanned aerial vehicles." Even more, he said he would deploy 6,000 National Guard members to support the work of the Border Patrol. And he added that he would terminate the infamous "catch and release" program that sees illegal immigrants apprehended but immediately released. It was a great performance, and it undoubtedly calmed the apprehensions of many Americans who wonder how 12 million illegal immigrants have so easily walked into our country.

While protesting his abhorrence of amnesty, Mr. Bush discussed creation of a "temporary work program," a plan labeled more realistically as "amnesty under a soothing name." And addressing the need to "hold employers to account for the workers they hire," he talked of creating "a new identification card for every legal foreign worker [that will have] biometric technology" to help employers in their hiring practices.

But if one examines the president's plans, one can see he is putting on a charade to appear tough on immigration--without actually slowing immigration at all. Although the president stated unequivocally that "the United States must secure its borders" in his May 15 address, he also stated that "to secure our border, we must create a temporary worker program" to relieve the pressure on the border. As the president put it:
 The reality is that there are many
 people on the other side of our border
 who will do anything to come
 to America to work and build a better
 life. They walk across miles of
 desert in the summer heat, or hide
 in the back of 18-wheelers to reach
 our country. This creates enormous
 pressure on our border that walls and
 patrols alone will not stop. To secure
 the border effectively, we must reduce
 the numbers of people trying to
 sneak across.

However, the president's "guest worker" proposal would not alleviate the "enormous pressure on our border" but exacerbate it. To begin with, President Bush and his cohorts haven't offered any plans to deport the temporary workers if they try to overstay their visas, so naturally, they won't leave. And a main impetus to illegal immigration is family ties in America. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, between 38 and 40 percent of illegal immigrants aren't even in the labor force--which makes them either family members of someone who is supporting them, wards of the state, retirees, or criminals. Government policy actually encourages illegal immigration of family members. Because our government tries to accomplish "family reunification," immigrants can bring in their siblings, spouse, parents, and children (all of these could be adults). The government gives these people permission to enter the country and become citizens, but also says they must wait up to several years for admittance. Many don't wait. This "chain migration" has no end. The newcomers are then allowed to bring in their family members, and they theirs, and so on. Failure to close the border means that our nation will continue to import poverty, and will continue policies that require state and local governments to provide various forms of enormously costly welfare to millions.

Abolishing the Border

What makes Bush's tough stance even more dishonest is that Mr. Bush has already committed to a plan that will deal with the border problem by abolishing the border. As far back as early 2001, he and Mexico's Vicente Fox--both newly elected--launched the "Partnership for Prosperity," a pact designed to open our southern border more widely, supply massive financial aid to Mexico, and grant amnesty to the millions already here illegally. Once 9/11 and terrorism started dominating everyone's radar screen, this pact grew to include the "need" for hemispheric security and was renamed the "Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America [SPP]." It was formally presented during a March 2005 gathering in Texas attended by Mr. Bush, Senor Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.

The SPP is designed to aid in bringing about a North American version of the European Union, complete with the loss of our independence and constitutionally guarded freedoms. The pact created several "working groups" to implement its long-range goal. According to State Department official Roger F. Noriega, those "working groups" have already produced "over three hundred initiatives ... on which the three countries will collaborate." None of these was Riven to Congress for their approval or disapproval.

Working alongside the State Department officials who are implementing the SPP is a Task Force of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), an influential internationalist group that is dedicated to getting rid of our borders. The CFR highlighted some of its goals in a 2005 report entitled "Building a North American Community." If its recommendations are followed, the United States would be merely one part of a larger governmental unit. As it says in its 2005 report, the "focus should be on the creation of a common economic space, ... a space in which trade, capital, and people flow freely." In other words, there will be no border to speak of.

Is President Bush really in favor of all this? Isn't he committed to making it more difficult for immigrants to come to the United States? Consider that, in March 2006, he and counterparts from Mexico and Canada met in Cancun, Mexico, under banners proclaiming the event as a Security and Prosperity Partnership gathering. President Fox boldly noted that the SPP was designed to ensure "safe and respectful migration" for the peoples of the three nations. President Bush reiterated that a focus of the meetings was "migration." The answer to the above questions, therefore, is that President Bush went through some motions in his May 15 speech, but he is committed to abolishing the border. He does not intend to make it harder for massive immigration to continue and grow.
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Title Annotation:George W. Bush
Author:McManus, John F.
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 26, 2006
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