Bush’s Plan Largely Ignores Undocumented Immigrants Within Borders

Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Tues. Nov. 29, 2005: Ignoring the war in Iraq and slipping ratings, President Bush yesterday instead focused on illegal aliens, reiterating there will be no amnesty, as he pandered to his conservative Republican base in southern Arizona. But missing from his proposed immigration reform policy was a realistic plan to deal with the millions of undocumented immigrants within the U.S.

Bush, sounding like the sheriff of the South, reiterated that, “Illegal immigration is a serious challenge. And our responsibility is clear: We are going to protect the border.”

He was adamant that there will be no amnesty for the 10-15 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., insisting that his temporary worker program will solve the problem and “… bring workers from out of the shadows.”

The program, he explained, “would create a legal way to match willing foreign workers with willing American employers to fill jobs that Americans will not do. Workers would be able to register for legal status for a fixed period of time, and then be required to go home. This program would help meet the demands of a growing economy, and it would allow honest workers to provide for their families while respecting the law.”

The President, alluding to the many opinions on reforming the system which have been flying around in recent months, stressed, “… 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.”

And in what was a clear message to Conservatives who have attacked the program as amnesty, Bush said to applause, “The program that I proposed would not create an automatic path to citizenship, it wouldn’t provide for amnesty — I oppose amnesty. Rewarding those who have broken the law would encourage others to break the law and keep pressure on our border. A temporary worker program, by contrast, would decrease pressure on the border.”

Citing bills by both Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, Bush said he is confident “that something is going to get done that people of Arizona will like.”

But he expressed the hope that the Congress and the Senate will “move beyond the old and tired choices of the immigration debate, and come together on a strategy to enforce our laws, secure our country, and uphold our deepest values.”

The President also sent a strong message to those trying to cross the border and enter the U.S. illegally, saying, the U.S. will return every illegal entrant caught crossing the southwest border with no exceptions. The administration is also ending the practice of “catch and release.”

And there’s more bad news for Caribbean and other nations as Bush announced plans to step up deportation and press foreign governments to take back their citizens more promptly.

HBN immigration analysis, Irwine Clare, said the plan is unrealistic and would only “lead to mass confinement and further social degradation in U.S. cities across the nation.” And the Caribbean Immigrant Services director called on all churches within the Caribbean community to step forward and lobby for this plan to ensure it becomes a reality.

Clare, like many advocates, support earned legalization as set out by the McCain/John Kenndy bill.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association yesterday also reiterated true comprehensive immigration reform will bring “… undocumented immigrants currently in the country out of the shadows and provides a path for those who work hard and contribute to our economy and society to pay a penalty for their previous unlawful entry and to earn permanent legal status and eventual integration through citizenship.”

Bush is set to take the same message to El Paso today. – Hardbeatnews.com