Now, before you people go off half cocked out there I just want to tell you we’re going to cover this from both sides of it because there are pros and cons here, and just sit tight. Don’t start jumping to any conclusions about where we’re headed here yet. Just stick with me on this as I always ask you to do, because I know when you hear me say “bolster the economy by fulfilling employers’ needs and so forth,” wait a minute, Rush, you can’t possibly believe, just sit tight, folks, I’m just setting this up here. This is what the Associated Press is reporting today and there’s an interesting story and I’m just going to take some bullet points from this story, and then there’s all kinds of critics out there, and we’ll delve into that too. But the interesting thing here is that Congress is going to be very much involved in this. And let me just say at the outset here, a lot of people are concerned of negative political fallout for Bush. I don’t think that’s going to be the case. I don’t care what happens with this. I don’t think Bush will ever pay a price for this politically, but it’s possible that Republicans will for a long, long time down the road. We’ll get to that in due course.
There are an estimated eight million to ten million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., perhaps half of them from Mexico. Under the Bush proposal which could smooth relations with Mexico, and I know a lot of you are saying, “Who cares?” Well, Bush does. And this proposal could also help Republicans lure Latino voters, foreign workers under this proposal, could apply for legal status for a three-year period if they had U.S. jobs. They could travel to and from the United States and possibly work in the country for additional three-year periods if approved by congress. There it is again!
Now, let’s take these things one at a time. “Could apply for legal status for a three-year period” provides nothing but hope. You put the word “could” in front of this, and it’s just like saying “almost.” “Could apply for legal status for a three-year period” provides nothing but hope. It applies to only those working already or with a job promised, but it also identifies their employers who have to pay Social Security and payroll taxes. It puts them legally on the tax rolls, including local taxes, and while not granting citizenship for the first time it officially documents who they are. And this is one of the key elements that the administration says that is important that they’re interested in. Also, allowing them to work for an additional three-year period, if approved by Congress, there it is again, puts the Democrats in a position that they don’t want to be in on this. The Republicans are either going to line up behind Bush, which would be good for garnering Hispanic votes, or demand tougher restrictions, which is good for the Republican base, which is good for Bush. The Democrats are going to have to line up with the leftist activists who are already displeased that these measures don’t grant full amnesty and are shallow.
I know I’m talking about the politics of this now, but stick with me on this as I repeatedly say. It is true that a bunch of disgruntled activists out there who don’t think this goes far enough. These measures ought to grant full amnesty and that these measures are shallow. La Raza not happy here, folks, not happy at all about this. So the Democrats are going to be the ones in the position here of being forced to go all the way. Bush is going to leave it up to the Republicans in congress to go whatever direction they want to go. “Senior administration officials who outlined the proposal for reporters last night said the president is calling for an unspecified but reasonable increase…” you ever been involved in anything legal, folks? The word “reasonable” and this is a legal matter. I mean it’s going to become a law. The word “reasonable,” my gosh, there’s a different definition from that from person-to-person-to-person. I mean, the left-wingers think “reasonable” is full amnesty. “Senior administration officials said the president is calling for an unspecified but reasonable increase in the number of green cards available to workers. However, they said that being part of what is being called the temporary worker program would not give foreign workers any advantage to applying for green cards or permanent residency status which is the first step toward obtaining U.S. citizenship. Again, the positioning on this would appear to be against the Democrats. They have to argue for millions of green cards in order to satisfy their base. The Republicans can argue for reasonable increases, whatever that is, and anything less than what the Democrats are demanding. Any increase in the number of green cards over current figures gives the Republicans the issue.” And a case in point is the quote here from Cecilia Munoz of La Raza. She says it’s extremely disappointing. She’s vice president for policy, the National Council of La Raza and Hispanic immigrant advocacy group.
I mean, you would think that this bunch would be doing cartwheels today. I mean, if this proposal is as it’s been portrayed to be – that we’re going to be flooded with all these illegals and undocumented, say okay you’re here forget about it fine welcome to America here’s your tax I.D. number you’d think La Raza would be happy as hell about this but they say no, no, no, they say this is extremely disappointing. Here is Cecilia Munoz. “It’s a serious backtracking to where the president was two years ago when the administration was prepared to provide some kind of path to legal status. They’re proposing to invite people to be guest workers without providing any meaningful opportunity to remain in the U.S. to become legal permanent residents. It appears to be all about rewarding employers who have been hiring undocumented immigrants while offering almost nothing to the workers themselves.” And along those lines I got a little story here from the AP today: Green Card Holders Among Critics of Bush Plan. Well, what’s this? Wait a minute here! The story is from El Paso. “Juan Muniz crosses the border from his native Mexico, his green card in hand every day to work in an El Paso department store. His hours can be cut. Now he worries that a proposal by President Bush to make it easier for foreign nationals to work in the U.S. will mean more competition for already scarce jobs.”
Wait just a minute. I thought these jobs were going unfulfilled! I thought there were gazillions of these jobs waiting out there waiting to be filled that Americans wouldn’t do and now this guy with a green card is now all concerned about increased competition? Why, how can this be? Muniz’s wife Guadalupe said, “We just want one job that pays well.” She said this Tuesday night as the couple returned to Juarez Mexico just across the Rio Grande river from El Paso. I mean, the administration said that these jobs are going unfulfilled, but here you’ve got a green card holder who is agreeing with La Raza in essence saying, “Hey this is no big deal for me, all I want is my one job, just want to go there and then go home, but now I’ve got to have all this competition with all these other people.” Back to Cecilia Munoz. She said that “under current immigration law, foreigners who have violated U.S. laws, including entering the country illegally, can be banned from reentry for three years to life.” They said that under current immigration law, foreigners who have violated U.S. laws, including entering the country illegally can be banned from reentry for three years to life. The White House was unclear whether it wants to wave that law for illegal immigrants who participate in the temporary worker program. Cecilia Munoz of La Raza also argued there are only 5,000 green cards a year available for unskilled workers. The wait to get one is about 15 years. Congress would have to increase the number of green cards by hundreds of thousands to accommodate the millions of immigrants in the country illegally who would want to work. So her point is that this is much ado about nothing. That, and you could say, okay, does offer a lot of hope, but not much more.
If there are 5,000 green cards a year, and you’re going to, I mean, they’re not going to be expanded that much, the Democrats are going to be demanding that everybody who wants one get one. The Republicans are saying, no, we’re going to have a reasonable increase in the number of green cards, so it’s going to be somewhere between 5,000 and 12 million, but whatever it is, it’s not enough to satisfy the wacko leftists who are going to be out there taking more wacko extreme, if you ask me, now, just the politics of this, and I know, just sit tight, folks, I can feel the tension, I know you people are bursting to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about. Just sit tight. You’ll get your chance, if you dare take it. But I’m telling you the politics of this is that the president is getting a big to-do out of a lot of hope, while the Democrats are going to be positioned here to say, “This is nothing, it doesn’t go far enough,” all in an effort to get some of the Latino vote, some of the Hispanic vote. And there is this business of employment. However, there’s some interesting stuff that I have found about this, and there may not be all that many jobs that Americans won’t do, according to some people who have written extensively about it today.
I don’t want you people out there, see, this is the problem here. See, I have empathy. I know that you people out there shouting, you’re throwing things at the radio you’re getting mad you’re thinking that I’m becoming a sycophant partisan and so forth, and I’m urging you here just to hang tough and I don’t want you to think that I’m bought off by what this La Raza babe is saying. This is all about politics at this stage right now. Anybody who thinks it isn’t needs to reawaken here, and probably more so on the Democrat side once this all shakes out than it is with Bush but it’s still political there, as almost everything in the Bush domestic agenda has been. I don’t want you to think here that just because this left-wing special interest group La Raza happens to criticize Bush, that I think, a-ha, Bush is doing something great, because this is a Democrat group, this is a group that has long been in partnership with the Democrats and there’s nothing that’s going to change that.
I think they’re just positioning themselves politically here. They too are juggling balls in the air, everybody on this is juggling balls trying to wait to see which one they need to catch and hold onto. And there’s more of two of them in the air. I think La Raza probably actually likes what Bush is doing and they will push for more because that’s what special interest groups do. I’ve always told you people, no matter what you give the left it’s never enough. You can give them everything they want and it’s never enough. You can let Ted Kennedy write the education bill and it’s never enough. You can give them the biggest, greatest federal spending in the history of the world, and it’s not enough. And this is not going to be enough, either, and that’s one of the political trap doors I think that exists here for the Democrats.
La Raza is going to push for more because that’s what special interest groups do, but they’re not going to give Bush any credit in this even this if they like what he’s doing because of their long participate ship with the Democrats. Just like yesterday we talked about there finally appears to be some movement particularly among educated blacks, African-Americans on the Republican side. You’re not going to see Jesse Jackson credit Bush for improving the lives or the Republicans or conservatives of improving the economic fortunes of black America it’s not going to happen, even though they like it, it’s not going to happen, they’re going to say Bush hasn’t done enough. It’s the same thing here with this La Raza bunch.
Now, interesting piece by Al Knight today in the Denver Post and he’s entitled this piece Amnesty by Another Name. Let me just read you a few short paragraphs here of his piece. Says it’s not good news that President Bush has invited immigration advocacy groups to the White House today, to listen to his proposal to welcome millions of new foreign workers to the United States. Now, his piece here says that most of the foreign workers are from Mexico, but AP piece says that only half of them are, and will be. That’s what I mean about this being in a state of flux, and about there being a lot of things here that we really don’t know.
The timing of the event is especially unfortunate writes Al Knight. Bush is scheduled to visit Mexican president Vicente Fox next week and apparently wants to bring along a belated Christmas president. The Mexican leader has been whining for years the U.S. hasn’t done enough to provide employment opportunities for Mexican citizens. Well, screw him. What about his own country providing jobs for his own citizens? What is the responsibility that we have for this? I mean, for crying out loud, we got enough people in this country who think the government’s job is to provide work for them. What is this business that the Mexican president thinks that it’s our job to do that for his own citizens, too? Tom Ridge, the secretary of homeland security, recently behind the administration was interested in providing some sort of legal status for the millions of illegal aliens, mostly Mexican, who are already in this country. Public opinion polls have repeatedly shown that most Americans do not favor amnesty programs that are properly labeled. Bush is apparently intent upon offering some kind of amnesty proposal hidden in a guest worker program. Now, the AP story doesn’t say that there’s anything hidden here. I mean it offers maybe some hope for this, but it’s a lot of work involved to secure it.
Al Knight, Denver Post again, says it won’t work, any worker program that accepts applications from those currently in this country illegally is likely to unite the opposition especially in an election year. It’s also true that immigration groups will adamantly oppose any program that didn’t accept such applications. And Michelle Malkin today, she is just, I mean somebody get a cage, she is raging, and it’s good, she’s got her piece is entitled “The Criminal Raid on Social Security.” And before I read you the whole thing here, let me just give you her last line, “What’s next? Survivor’s benefits for the families of the September 11th hijackers?”