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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Senate Compromises - Granting Illegal Immigrants Amnesty?

So there I was, reading over today's Washington Post and Washington Times (to get the balanced picture, ya' know) after having learned that the Senate had a miraculous immigration bill breakthrough today! Of course, the papers were printed WAY before I smacked my alarm clock snooze button the first time (out of half a dozen such smacks) and did not anticipate such divine intervention would come to pass. In fact, the papers had confidently predicted a Republican filibuster on the watered-down Democratic proposal. Guess they inherit some of their (on?) crack reporters from the overcrowded meteorologist staff - who seem to take pride in half-assed predictions, but consistently blow hot air just the same.

Anyhooo, here is the quick-and-dirty (not to be confused with "Dingy" Harry) on the towering achievements of our illustrious Senate:

  1. Those here for the last five years or more would be put on a path toward guaranteed citizenship, provided that they remained employed, paid fines and back taxes, and learn to "habla anglais." Senator Frist claims that 60% of all illegals would qualify for this.
  2. Those here for the last two to five years would have to leave the country before reporting to an American port of entry, where they would be legitimized as temporary workers. They can apply for citizenship, but must leave the U.S. if denied. More-or-less 30% of all illegals come under this category.
  3. The remaining 10%, here for less than the past two years, would be jettisoned back to their homeland, yet still eligible to apply for a temporary working visa.
While I think that some of this is plausible, and may actually motivate illegals to come clean (if employers are squeezed hard enough on their hiring practices), I have just a couple of basic problems with this bill:

  • It basically grants amnesty to those who have been here for over five years - effectively sanctioning and rewarding their crimes, and
  • This is all completely premature, because we are putting the CART before the DONKEY (sorry, couldn't resist!). The very first thing, before struggling with the 10 million-plus already here, should be to SECURE THE FRIGGIN' BORDERS ALREADY!!!
Any and all fancy or clever solutions for sorting out illegals already here are doomed to failure, because when someone says "guest worker permit," your average illegal is actually hearing "here is another chance to cheat the system!"

As a fan of President Bush and most of his policies/decisions, I gotta say that he is missing a HUGE opportunity to shine one more time for the massive silent majority - whom I define as those who may not swarm in a lustful frenzy to street demonstrations, but DO in fact vote. Just look at the arrogant Democrats and their planned rock concert for John Kerry's widely anticipated victory in 2004 -- which ended not in song, but their having to settle for off-key laments of woe, disbelief and self pity.

Speaking for myself (and I think at least tens of millions), I am asking YOU, GEORGE, to grab this monkey off of our collective backs and drop it straight down the hopper. Stop this nonsense at the borders NOW, then let's tackle the implications and logisitics for getting rid of, or legitimizing, those already here.

*UPDATE April 7: Apparently, the newspapers were right after all - this compromise imploded in less than a day, and there may be no agreement in sight until after the November elections. So, that leaves us EIGHT MONTHS to do what it takes in sealing our borders. It could be done, if only our elected officials would realize how many of us want it - and how badly. If you haven't done so, consider writing to your, Senators and Representatives - if you live in the Southwest, include your Governor and other state leaders.


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Retired Navy and Cold War/Gulf War Veteran. Senior Analyst for a large defense contractor, Bachelor of Science, Father, moonlighting Graphic Designer (T-shirts etc) and Blogger.

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