It's clear that the Bush/McCain/Kennedy version of immigration-reform is a dead duck, and it is becoming clear that the House version will not become law, either. Some compromise will be reached, but it will be AFTER the elections. Since the vast majority of the American public prefers the House version of reform, the delay can only mean that any "reform" will be watered down.
After all, with the elections in the past, voters will not have the opportunity to punish Representatives and Senators who go soft.
What's going on in the meantime?
Our President is dis-simulating on a number of points:
Bush made reference to "doubling the size of the Border Patrol during my administration."
There's just one problem. Not only has the Border Patrol not been doubled during his administration, the White House has fought against significant increases in its budget every year since 2001. Actually, the Border Patrol was growing faster during the Clinton administration – before Sept. 11, 2001 – than it has since 9-11. The Clinton administration increased the Border Patrol from 4,026 in 1993 to 9,078 when they left office in 2001, an increase of 5,052 agents or 125 percent. Bush has increased the manpower from 9,078 to the 11,800 we have today, an increase of 2,722 agents or 30 percent.
Bush has called for an increase in agents (to 18,000 by 2008); it's not likely to happen:
Agents are trained in groups of approximately 50 people in Artesia, N.M., the nation's only facility for training Border Patrol agents. Before the President's request, Martinez said the Border Patrol had set a goal of hiring 1,500 agents this year. "Now that we are going to try to do 6,000 in two years," he said. "That will be a big step up, but we are confident we can do it."
That's 3,000 agents every year. Since only 1 in 3 candidates makes the grade, BP will be attempting to train 9,000 agents/year in groups of 50 (!!!) meaning that BP will begin a training cycle every two days for the next two years.
JOBS AMERICANS WON'T DO:
Of 473 job categories studied by the Center for Immigration Studies for the year 2004, only four – plasters and stucco masons, dressmakers and sewers, agricultural graders and sorters, and miscellaneous personal appearance workers – had a majority of immigrant workers, and only 23 out of 473 job categories (less than 5 percent) had 33 percent or more. More to the point, every single kind of work done by illegal aliens in this country is also performed by Americans.
When a construction worker loses a $15 an hour job to an illegal worker who will do it for $8.50, that is not an example of a poor work ethic by Americans.
Have you looked carefully at the busboys in your restaurants lately? They're no longer the 14-15 year-old kids working for pin money or saving for college. They're immigrants--not bad in itself, but are they legal, or just cheap? Restaurants avoid hiring American kids.
CATCH AND RELEASE:
Bush also recently told Americans: "Since 2001, we have apprehended and sent back 6 million people trying to get in the country."
There's just one problem. Since 2001, the U.S. government apprehended 6 million people out of at least 18 million who tried to get into our country, but those 6 million were not sent home. Mexican nationals apprehended are merely put back through the gate to try again the next night or the next week.
Again, last month, Bush claimed: "We have ended the policy of catch-and-release."
There's just one problem. Six months after announcing this policy change, thousands of non-Mexicans are still being released for lack of detention space. Worse yet, some of them are from Middle Eastern countries
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS:
Again, just last month, Bush claimed about his amnesty program: "Every worker who applies for the [guest worker] program would be required to pass a criminal background check."
There's just one problem. The U.S. government does not have the capability of doing this. The U.S. can only check criminal records within the U.S, not crimes illegal aliens may have committed in their home countries. Mexico does not even have a centralized database of criminal warrants.
Bush has also stated that under his plan "temporary workers" will go home when their employment term is up: "We've got to have a comprehensive approach that includes a temporary worker plan that says you can come and do a job … and then once you finish that time, you go home."
There's just one problem. There is no requirement in Bush's plan or the Senate bill that "temporary" guest workers actually go home after three or six years when their temporary work permit ends. They can then apply for permanent resident alien status (a "green card") at any time and gain eventual citizenship.
Recently it has been stated that the US only allows 10,000 unskilled Mexicans per year into the US (legally.) That's a shockingly low number, and it is obvious that a larger number would be appropriate.
But Our President should start telling the truth BEFORE decisions on "numbers allowed" are made.
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