Joe Murray: One Criminal Immigration Response Deserves Another
By: Joe Murray, The Bulletin
"Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf," mused famed English writer G.K. Chesterton. With decades passing since Chesterton penned those words, it appears the U.S. Senate has not only agreed to give away its half of the loaf in regards to immigration reform; it is also throwing in the keys to the store.
Last week, a group of U.S. senators proved that politics (or, in this case, special interest) makes strange bedfellows. This Tequila troupe of piñata politicos, led by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), created an immigration bill unlike any seen before. This dynamic duo, however, was not without assistance, as Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) were more than happy to hold the pencil as an eraser was taken to the border.
For a number of weeks Senators and White House officials had been working behind closed doors to draft a comprehensive immigration reform package that would protect America's bleeding border while simultaneously dealing with the 12 million-plus illegal immigrants already in the nation. The result? A Corona Compromise.
Despite the preemptive proclamations by Sen. Specter that the Senate bill "is not amnesty," the devil is in the details of this legislation, and it is clear that while the amnesty may not be de jure, it is clearly de facto.
Just what exactly does the bill do? Well, it immediately legalizes the 12 million immigrants who evaded the U.S. Border Patrol and broke into the country. Rather than facing deportation, these immigrants now face open arms and a "Z visa." Put simply, this bill not only allows illegals to stay in the country; it makes Uncle Sam roll out the red carpet of citizenship for them.
Under the bill, the path to citizenship, starting with a Z visa, will be an 8-13 year journey. During that journey, only the head of household will have to return the native country, briefly, to file papers and obtain citizenship. And to quell any fears, the right to re-entry back into America is guaranteed.
While the Gang of 12 argues that the denial of instant citizenship is proof that the deal is not amnesty, such an argument is as hollow as Nicole Richie, because even though the illegal immigrant may not be technically a citizen, he will be treated like one. Just look at the details hidden within the Z visa program.
A Z visa is available only for an illegal alien, and, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the probationary benefits include work authorization, protection from removal, and a Social Security number. These benefits are granted immediately and are subject only to the submission of an application (with fingerprints) and a 24-hour wait on a background check.
And what about the border security concerns (i.e., triggers) the Gang of 12 argue must be realized before the humanitarian elements of the bill kick in? The Z visa probationary benefits are not subject to such triggers and begin as soon as the bill is signed by President Bush -border security be damned.
Another interesting tidbit is that the illegal immigrant who "comes out of the shadows" does not have to become a U.S. citizen. A Z visa is valid for four years and can be renewed indefinitely. An applicant for a Z visa need not understand English but merely demonstrate "an attempt to gain an understanding of the English language" upon renewal of the visa.
Translation: Those Mexican immigrants that broke into America out of love of currency rather than love of country will be permitted to stay indefinitely. Their wallets will be filled with money while their hearts are retained by Mexico.
Make no mistake, this bill is de facto amnesty and will create a tsunami of immigrants that will crash upon America's shores. If a person can break into this nation and obtain citizenship without significant repercussion, what does that say to the rest of the world?
It says America does not value citizenship; it values cheap labor. It does not value a sense of national pride; it values the Wall Street bottom line. It says we granted amnesty twice, and we will be sure to do it again. It says America is on the road to becoming a third-world nation that will be unrecognizable in the next 50 years.
This immigration bill is a watershed moment for America, as it will determine whether she retains her status as a great nation or becomes the "polyglot boarding house" feared by Teddy Roosevelt. The face of America is changing and the white population that used to claim the majority mantle is no longer reproducing-it is no longer sustaining the population.
Rather, third-world people of different races are coming to America in droves, and unlike the Germans, Irish and Italians that came before them, these people are not assimilating into the culture. They are holding onto the apron strings of the Motherland and establishing cultural barrios in the hearts of American cities.
If this immigration deal passes and 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants are thrust into the U.S. population, the character of America will be under siege. America will no longer be one people united by a common history, language, culture, literature and history. She will become a people whose only common denominator is the almighty dollar. And as Texas taught Mexico a century or so ago, a country needs more than currency to command loyalty.
"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities," Roosevelt told the Knights of Columbus. This is what the immigration debate is all about.
It is clear that the American people do not want this Corona Compromise jammed down their throats, as a Rasmussen poll showed only 26 percent of voters favor the proposal. Sensing the storm clouds over the horizon, President Bush, so desperate for a legacy that he would turn over our borders to Mexico City, has dispatch Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to quell dissent.
"If they don't leave, then you are going to give them silent amnesty. You're either going to let them stay or you're going to be hypocritical," Chertoff said. Translation: Chertoff will not do his job. Such an understanding was further realized when Chertoff proclaimed that the deportations sought after by some Congressmen were "not going to happen."
Enough is enough. This Administration, while more than willing to secure the borders of a desert nation who wants neither our presence nor our aid, has told America that it has no intention of filling the gaps in America's borders. Such an act is criminal.
©The Evening Bulletin 2007