Immigration Overload

As I noted in Border Insanity a few days ago, "we need to know who is here and have at least some assurance that they are not dangerous." Details of the new immigration bill are beginning to emerge and they are not at all reassuring.

AT the center of the bill is the massive "Z visa" amnesty - whereby virtually all of the 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the country could become lawfully present, able to renew the visa indefinitely until they die.

To qualify, an alien must have entered before Jan. 1, and have remained in the United States ever since. Each applicant must also have a job or be the parent, child or spouse of someone who does.

Many of the bill's advocates claim the amnesty doesn't take effect until some future date - after the measure's border-security goals are met. Not true - at least, not in effect. The amnesty starts immediately - with the issuance of probationary Z visas.

And that qualifier means little: The probationary visa is nearly as good as the non-probationary one, giving the alien immediate lawful status, protection from deportation and work authorization the alien to work. He or she can exit and re-enter the country (with advance permission).

It will extremely hard for the government to prevent criminals and terrorists from getting these probationary visas. The bill allows the federal government only one business day to do a "background check" on each applicant.

The bill's authors seem ignorant of what this means in practice... MORE

Here's what Bush, McCain, Kennedy, and others want to do. ALL illegal aliens currently in the U.S. will be given full legal status, with no practical effort to weed out criminals, terrorists, or other undesirables. It's a blanket amnesty, in effect, and not only for those already here. New entrants will have little trouble finding the "documents" necessary to prove they were here on Jan. 1st.

See now why they wanted to ram this through the Senate quickly with no debate? Fortunately they are being caught, and this bill will probably die a quick and well-deserved death. We've learned something useful, too. All the Bush Administration talk about "defending America" is just so much talk. If they really think the terrorist threat is so dire, why are they trying to open our borders to everyone who wants in? It makes no sense.

What does make sense is that the construction, agriculture, and restaurant industries need cheap labor. They have political power. Money talks in Washington. National security is being sold out for cold, hard cash.

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