For all of the media’s Bush-bashing, there is one issue where the liberal media, Bush, and the Democrats agree: amnesty for illegal immigrants. Proof of this collaboration is evident when the media continue to quote and praise one particular “Bushism” on the controversial topic.
In the March 12, 2007 issue of Time magazine, writer Massimo Calabresi quotes Bush from a 1999 campaign stop in Iowa as saying, “Family values do not stop at the Rio Grande.” Calabresi wrote that Bush’s words on the subject of illegal immigration showed “it was hard not to believe he [Bush] was speaking from the heart,” adding that “the felicitous phrase became a touchstone of compassionate conservatism.”
This is one “Bushism” that the liberal media do like. In Orwellian doublespeak, illegal aliens have become “undocumented workers,” and “family values south of the border” have come to mean amnesty for those who break our laws.
In one sense, Bush was right. Family values do not stop at the Rio Grande. But, the fact remains that the U.S. border does stop at the Rio Grande. Crossing it illegally makes a foreign national a criminal. Any worthwhile concept or discussion of “family values” should not condone lawbreaking.
From Open Borders to No Borders
Although it went relatively unnoticed at the time, Bush’s comment should have been a warning that he never had any serious intention of stopping illegal immigration. But going from inaction on humanitarian grounds to a plan to grant amnesty to millions of criminals is a stretch that has left most conservatives dismayed and angry.
In fact, the situation is worse than that. As we have documented in the AIM Report, a process which started under Clinton and is continuing under Bush is leading to an emerging North American Community or Union of the U.S., Mexico and Canada. The “Security and Prosperity Partnership” is leading to the creation of a regional bloc of nations which threatens the sovereignty and borders of each. Some of the proponents, such as former President Carter official and Clinton adviser Robert Pastor, envision a “North American Parliament” and super-national institutions, including a North American Supreme Court. There are some good reasons for increased cooperation among the three nations, especially on such issues as energy and security, but it should be done in an open manner and with necessary congressional oversight. However, under no circumstances should it lead to the creation of a transnational form of government that undermines our national sovereignty and democratic and representative government.
Few could have imagined that less than eight years later, Bush would be one of the biggest advocates of an amnesty plan that will, in effect, forgive 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants for the crimes of entering the country illegally but also, in many cases, failing to pay taxes, and identity theft. Illegal immigrants will be rewarded for violating American sovereignty and cheating the system while legal immigrants, who play by the rules, wait years to become citizens.
As proof that Bush is serious about enacting immigration reform, Calabresi quotes White House spokesman Tony Snow as saying that for President Bush, “making immigration fair and safe ‘is a matter of very strong personal commitment.’” This statement, however, requires translation. Making immigration “fair and safe” really means rewarding those who broke the law and facilitating the entry into the U.S. of millions of more foreign workers. We could use less of this “personal commitment” to encourage more illegal aliens to come to the U.S., and instead some actual commitment to enforce our immigration laws.
The Bush-Kennedy Bill
According to Calabresi, Congress is preparing to debate a “compromise bill” in the coming weeks and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate say “Bush’s help is crucial.” One of those leaders, it turns out, is Senator Ted Kennedy. Calabresi recounts that Kennedy said that “in a private meeting on Jan. 8, Bush gave him a commitment to back ‘comprehensive’ legislation, which Kennedy believes is a commitment to granting them [illegal immigrants] eventual citizenship.” This is amnesty, regardless of how long it eventually takes.
Bush could never have gotten a Republican Congress to go along with such an audacious scheme. But with the Democrats in charge, the situation has changed. Calabresi writes that “November’s Democratic victory in Congress should have improved Bush’s odds of getting what he calls ‘comprehensive immigration reform.’” For Bush, comprehensive immigration reform includes both amnesty and a guest-worker program, although even Calabresi admits that “some Democrats side with unions in opposition” to the latter. One of those Democrats, Rep. Charles Rangel, says a guest-worker program is a form of slavery.
Calabresi’s information is helpful but not always correct. He writes, for example, that some of Bush’s most outspoken Republican opponents on the immigration matter “lost in races to Democrats who back his position.” But, this statement is more pro-illegal immigration propaganda. As reported January 1, 2007 by Accuracy in Media, “no political candidate who won this November ran on a campaign promise of more immigration or amnesty for illegal immigrants, and among Republicans the turnover was less among those candidates who took the strongest stands against illegal immigration; 11.5% of all Republican seats in Congress were lost, but only 6.7% of the Members of the Immigration Reform Caucus lost their seats.”
All of this means that, if Bush wants to get his “comprehensive” package through Congress, it will be through the cooperation of liberals like Ted Kennedy. Bush seems to realize this. Although Bush and the Democrats working together on an amnesty bill is fine with the media, it is not fine with conservatives. Conservatives helped elect a president to protect the borders, not hold out the welcome mat.
The Democratic Angle
For their part, the Democrats clearly see the amnesty recipients as potential voters for their party and candidates. The Bush Administration has another motive. In explaining the Bush rationale for the program, Calabresi writes that there “has been a marked labor shortage, especially in agriculture,” and that “growers nationwide blame the shortage for losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.” An alternative explanation is that there have been some high-profile cases of agricultural products such as spinach and lettuce being tainted and poisonous, causing sales and consumption to decline. Nevertheless, Calabresi reports that business is “leaning on lawmakers to do something.” The “something” means bringing in more foreign workers at cheap wages. Calabresi quotes a “senior Senate Republican aide” as saying that business pressure has “increased the chances of comprehensive immigration reform.”
So the immigration “reform” measure is shaping up as a combination of Republicans selling out to Big Business demands for cheap labor, while Democrats award citizenship for votes. This is the way Washington works, and it is a disgrace.
Calabresi says that a new amnesty bill is already in the works, could be introduced soon, and that its cosponsors will be Kennedy and Republican John McCain. One Democratic aide told Calabresi that Senate Majority Leader Reid “plans to get the new bipartisan bill to the floor this spring in the hope of forcing it through Congress before the presidential campaign paralyzes Washington. If it’s not done by August, says one, ‘it’s dead.’”
The Sales Pitch
Our liberal media will do their best to assist this process, promoting the finished product as a fine bipartisan effort. Bush may call it compassionate, but it is not compassionate to reward criminals, and it is certainly not conservative.
As Ronald Reagan famously said, “A nation without borders is not a nation.” But this is exactly what the U.S. is dangerously close to becoming.