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Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's not amnesty...it's not amnesty...it's not amnesty... 

Obviously when you live in an area that's covered by KFI radio (home of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Bill Handel, David Dreier Fan Club Co-Presidents John and Ken, and others), you hear a lot of "Bush to California - Drop Dead" talk. I was curious how Blogs for Bush would spin this (they're not used to attacking foes on the right), so I visited the post covering one of Bush's speeches:

Securing our border is essential to securing the homeland. And I want to thank all of those who are working around the clock to defend our border, to enforce our laws, and to uphold the values of the United States of America. America is grateful to those who are on the front lines of enforcing the border. (Applause.)...

I have a solemn duty, and so do the members of the United States Congress, to protect our nation, our Constitution, and our laws. Our border and immigration security officers devote themselves to those same missions every single day.

America has always been a compassionate nation that values the newcomer and takes great pride in our immigrant heritage; yet we're also a nation built on the rule of law, and those who enter the country illegally violate the law. The American people should not have to choose between a welcoming society and a lawful society. We can have both at the same time. And to keep the promise of America, we will enforce the laws of our country. (Applause.)

As a former governor, I know that enforcing the law and the border is especially important to the communities along the border. Illegal immigration puts pressure on our schools and hospitals -- I understand that. I understand it strains the resources needed for law enforcement and emergency services. And the vicious human strugglers -- smugglers and gangs that bring illegal immigrants across the border also bring crime to our neighborhoods and danger to the highways. Illegal immigration is a serious challenge. And our responsibility is clear: We are going to protect the border. (Applause.)

Note that in this initial part of the speech, there's a lot of emphasis on the border, as if defending the border would solve the entire problem. Earth to Bush - there are a number of illegal aliens who are already here.

Since I've taken office we've increased funding for border security by 60 percent. Our border agents have used that funding to apprehend and send home more than 4.5 million people coming into our country illegally, including more than 350,000 with criminal records....

We have a comprehensive strategy to reform our immigration system. We're going to secure the border by catching those who enter illegally, and hardening the border to prevent illegal crossings. We're going to strengthen enforcement of our immigration laws within our country.

Well, he didn't dodge the question entirely.

And together with Congress, we're going to create a temporary worker program that will take pressure off the border, bring workers from out of the shadows, and reject amnesty. (Applause.)


Our strategy for comprehensive immigration reforms begins by securing the border....

We face a different set of challenges with non-Mexicans....When non-Mexican illegal immigrants are apprehended, they are initially detained. The problem is that our detention facilities don't have enough beds. And so, about four of every five non-Mexican illegal immigrants we catch are released in society and asked to return for a court date. When the date arrives, about 75 percent of those released don't show up to the court. As a result, last year, only 30,000 of the 160,000 non-Mexicans caught coming across our southwest border were sent home....

To help end catch and release, we need to increase the capacity in our detention facilities. Last month at the White House I signed legislation supported by the members of the Arizona delegation that will increase the number of beds in our detention facilities....

Oops, the speechwriters forgot to name the number of beds that were added, but I trust that the number of beds were sufficient enough to detain all the non-Mexican illegal immigrants. After all, Bush is tough on illegal immigration.

Since 2001, we've hired 1,900 new Border Patrol agents. I just signed a bill last month that will enable us to add another thousand Border Patrol agents. When we complete these hires, we will have enlarged the Border Patrol by about 3,000 agents from 9,500 the year I took office to 12,500 next year. This is an increase of more than 30 percent, and most of the new agents will be assigned right here in the state of Arizona. (Applause.)...

Again, I trust that 12,500 agents are enough to do the job.

As we work to secure the border, comprehensive immigration reform also requires us to improve enforcement of our laws in the interior of the country....

Since I took office, we've increased funding for immigration enforcement by 44 percent. We've increased the number of immigration and customs investigators by 14 percent since 2001. And those good folks who are working hard, too. Last year, the -- this year, federal agents completed what they called Operation Rollback. It's the largest work site enforcement case in American history. This operation resulted in the arrest of hundreds of illegal immigrants, criminal convictions against a dozen employers, and a multi-million dollar payment from one of America's largest corporations....

OK, let's review. There are several million illegal immigrants in this country, hired by who knows how many employers, and the Bush Administration is trumpeting that they have arrested hundreds (how many were deported) and fined 12 companies. I'm impressed. And I'm sure the illegal immigrants are impressed also.

The legislation I signed last month more than doubled the resources dedicated to interior enforcement. We understand that border security and interior enforcement go hand in hand. (Applause.) We will increase the number of immigration enforcement agents and criminal investigators....

And I'm sure that the Bush Administration will allow these agents to do their job, and will not prevent them from doing their job. Why am I sure of this? Because Bush is tough on illegal immigration.

As we enforce our immigration laws, comprehensive immigration reform also requires us to improve those laws by creating a new temporary worker program.


This program would create a legal way to match willing foreign workers with willing American employers to fill jobs that Americans will not do.

It's called increasing the supply of labor to a point where wages are depressed. Why aren't the unions fighting illegal immigration tooth and nail? Because the union leaders are more interested in signing up more union members than they are in protecting their existing union members.

Workers would be able to register for legal status for a fixed period of time, and then be required to go home....

And I'm sure that every single immigrant will jump at the chance of registering with the government.

This plan would also help us relieve pressure on the border. By creating a legal channel for those who enter America to do an honest day's labor, we would reduce the number of workers trying to sneak across the border....

Of course, if you can register for this amnestyguest worker program in the US, people will still sneak across the border just to register. I seem to recall that one of the plans under consideration in Congress would require people to register for the guest worker program in their home countries.

Listen, there's a lot of opinions on this proposal -- I understand that. But people in this debate must recognize that we will not be able to effectively enforce our immigration laws until we create a temporary worker program.

Why not?

The program that I proposed would not create an automatic path to citizenship, it wouldn't provide for amnesty -- I oppose amnesty....

Yes, I believe that every one of these temporary guest workers would be ordered to leave the country at the end of the term. I believe this because Bush is tough on illegal immigration.

Just ignore what Tom Tancredo said:

President Bush's speech on immigration policy Monday was described as a less- than-appetizing sandwich by hard-line reformer Rep. Tom Tancredo.
Tancredo, R-Littleton, said the "meat" of Bush's talk was about tougher enforcement against illegal immigrants and those who hire them.

"But by starting out his speech talking about a guest-worker (program) and closing his speech talking about guest-worker, he took out all that meat and put it between two pieces of stale bread," Tancredo said.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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