The US Senate has come to an agreement on a new immigration policy and it appears that the President is on board with their plan. The blogs are exploding with this one, and if you tune into any political TV or radio show then you surely have heard the news by now. Brace yourselves, this one is going to get ugly.
Here are the basics. The 12 million people who inhabit this country illegally will be asked to make themselves known. They will be forced to pay a $1000 fine for their offense, then promptly given a temporary work visa (the so-called "Z Visa"). This will allow them to remain in the country. Then, after a period of "some years later" (yes, that is ACTUALLY the wording in the bill), they will be called upon by the government to pay an additional $4000 and then will have to return to their native land to "get in line" for citizenship. Once their turn comes, if they can demonstrate proficiency in English and a worthy trade, they will be granted permanent residence in America and eventually citizenship. This program is entirely voluntary and, no, there is no penalty for not participating. Worst of all, the bill includes no plan to secure the southern border.
I'm trying to be calm as I type....Folks, this is a sellout of the highest degree. If this bill passes, it will represent perhaps the greatest breech of trust between the government and its citizens in the history of this nation. This bill is amnesty for 12 million felons. This bill, a potential Congressional law, turns its eyes away from law-breakers and excuses their offenses. This is unprecedented.
I have respect for President Bush and have stood by him through much, but he is wrong on this on so many levels. And so are our elected leaders in the US Senate. They say it's not amnesty. I guess they take us all for fools. They have gone too far and I expect there will be some serious repurcussions as a result.
First, we're going to see Bush's approval rating plummet, not that it can drop much further, but of the 38% who still support him many have the same views as I and many will drop that support with this bill. We could very well see a single-digit approval rating before he leaves office. Michael Reagan said today that he will go down as the worst Republican president in this nation's history if this bill passes. That kind of statement from someone of his stature will carry teeth. And he is not alone. Conservative commentators are fuming and Bush stands to lose what little support he still has for his job approval.
Second, because of his support for this bill and the pictures of him rubbing elbows and smiling shoulder to shoulder with Ted Kennedy, John McCain's presidential campaign is all but OVER. I honestly think he has forgotten which party's nomination he seeks. He had been trying to paint himself as more conservative than we thought, but now Michael Moore would have a better chance at winning the GOP nomination. Watch what happens to him in the polls. Save your money, Senator, you have no chance at winning this nomination.
The same will happen to Rudy if he doesn't quickly denounce this bill. Right now he is "reviewing" it, which means that he's waiting to see what the polls do. The longer he waits, the worse it is for him, and we may very well see Mitt Romney vault to the top of the GOP contenders.
Third, a darkhorse will enter the race and has a chance of sweeping the GOP nomination away from all the others, using this single issue as a springboard to the 08 general election. Watch and see what Gingrich and Fred Thompson do here. This may be the opportunity they've been looking for. The conservative "base" has had it with our conservative leaders. We were appalled at their do-nothing Congress and their repeated wimp-out politics, and the 2006 election showed it. But if they thought '06 was bad, then they'd better get ready for a stunner in '08. That election will be a landslide for the Dems unless someone with a spine and a pair of balls can step forward and put a stop to the Republican back-down policies of the past 10 years. The conservative base has the power to put a Republican President and a Republican Congress in office, that was proven before. But we will not exercise that power for gutless cowards. We'd almost rather have a Dem in office. At least they make no bones about screwing us over.
But politics aside, what this bill does is basically sweep aside the law. We are a nation of laws and now the US government is granting a free pass to those who break them. For those of you who want impeachment, this may very well be your chance. If the US Senate and the President go on record aiding and abetting 12 million felons, then I believe we have grounds to impeach them all and I would support it, so long as we went after every single person who signed their name to that bill...Democrat or Republican or Independent. I would call for every one of them to be removed from office and I guarantee I would not be alone.
This bill will cost over 2 trillion taxpayer dollars, and it will all be wasted. It will fail because no illegal immigrant will opt into a system that contains no enforcement. There is no penalty for not declaring yourself, but if you do come forward then you pay $5000 and have to go to the back of the line. Yes, you are penalized for following the law but nothing happens if you continue to break the law. And the government expects this to work? Have we entered a fourth dimension that I'm not aware of? Do our laws mean anything nowadays?
There is no provision for securing the border...none. I ask, how many miles of border can we secure with $2 trillion? Yet it will be wasted on another failed government program. The border stays wide open and there is no longer a penalty for crossing it! And they think this will DETER illegal immigration? There is nothing in the bill for those currently in line, those who have obeyed the law and followed the proper course for legal citizenship. Suddenly, 12 million people have been vaulted in front of them. They will get visas, while the law-abiding would-be immigrants get to wait longer. This is a slap in the face of those who choose the American dream, and honor our laws in the process.
And how can our elected officials tell us straight-faced that this is not amnesty? Do they honestly think we are that stupid, or do they simply not care what we think? I'm not sure which is worse. But I do know that this is an insult to Americans all across the country. It's an insult that transcends party lines, born from the elitist attitude that our politicians have been living for decades. They have now reached the point that they can do anything and say anything and we are powerless to stop them. To hell with them all! What are our options? Vote them out? Sure, and trade a Democrat for a Republican or vice versa. Lately, I can't tell the difference between the two, except that one is a communist and the other a spineless wimp. Again, I don't know which is worse. But I do recognize betrayal when I see it. The message is that law no longer matters. What we are moving towards is a government of partisan anarchists that can bend and twist the "law" to fit their own political agenda, damn the consequences. And if the law can't be bent properly, then a new law will be made. And if the rights of law abiding citizens get trampled in the process....so be it. They're the ones in power and we're the meaningless underlings who don't know what's best for us or for this country.
This same thing has happened in our country twice before. On two prior occasions, the government became bigger than the people, infringing upon the citizens in an unacceptable manner. War resulted both times, one was called the American Revolution, the other the Civil War. Are we ever going to learn the lessons of history? Wasn't it Jefferson that said that in order for a democracy to survive it must endure a revolution every few centuries? Perhaps the next revolution will be to eliminate the two parties that have become complacent in their power, and deaf to the desires of those who gave them that power, and replace them with those who truly serve the people. Now is the time for a third party to emerge.