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May 18, 2007

Audio: Fred Thompson on Amnesty Bill
Update: Newt Calls Deal A "Sell-Out Of Every Conservative Principle"

"We should scrap this comprehensive immigration bill and the whole debate, until the government can show the American people that we have secured the borders, or at least made great headway.

"And then we'd give the proponents of the bill a chance to explain why putting illegals in a more favorable position than those who have played by the rules is not really amnesty."

Subbing in for Paul Harvey. Starts about 40 seconds in (after Harvey's commercial), lasts till about 4:35.

Windows Media Player link; QuickTime link.

Again, I'm not really bothered by the amnesty part. I mean, that's a given. What else are we going to do, realistically?

But I refuse to grant amnesty unless I get my part of the quid pro quo first. Amnesty is acceptable only if it's the last amnesty, and the government needs to secure the border, finally, to prove that.

12-30 million new American citizens I can accept. The problem is the 40-60 million to almost immediately follow. Amnesty, if necessary, but as a one-time deal, and I'm going to need some serious evidence to show it's a one-time deal rather than an ongoing cycle of runaway illegal immigration followed by periodic amnesties.

Thanks to A. Weasel.

Eh, Maybe This Is No Big Deal: After all, illegal aliens are already voting in US elections.

I have to say I'm not terribly upset they're breaking the law by being here. They are driven, as most are, but economic need, and a desire to have a better future.

But illegally voting in our country? That's not economic need at work. That's a sense of arrogance and entitlement. The idea that no gringo government is going to tell them what they can't do, and that they have some special right to take part in the elections of a country they occupy illegally.

Newt's Against It Too: Good.

We might need to have a word with him about global warming, though.

The reaction to the immigration announcement was swift. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and perhaps future presidential candidate, denounced it on Sean Hannity's radio show as "a sellout of every conservative principle." The Heritage Foundation agreed. Congressman Mike Pence issued a statement calling the bill an amnesty.

While the deal was being picked apart by talk radio and the blogs, John McCain was appearing on television with Ted Kennedy to promote it. Arlen Specter's presence -- and insistence that the Senate isn't talking about amnesty -- doesn't give McCain much cover with conservatives. Neither does the news that the bill was drafted with the help of liberal groups like the National Council of La Raza.

Is it amnesty? Like past versions of McCain-Kennedy, the bill offers illegal aliens a path to citizenship and creates a new guest-worker program. Supporters argue that the measure only applies to illegals who have passed a background check while paying fines and back taxes. In a new twist, guest workers could only be admitted and unlawful immigrants legalized after certain enforcement provisions have taken effect. And in the long term, the legislation may shift the immigration system's focus away from family reunification and toward employment skills.

But there are already concerns that the "enforcement triggers" may prove more fungible than advertised. If the Democrats win in 2008, do conservatives trust Hillary's Department of Homeland Security to certify that the borders are secure? Worse, the bill creates probationary "Z visas" for illegal immigrants present and working in the United States since the beginning of this year as well as their parents, spouses, and children.

The probationary period begins before any of the enforcement triggers are pulled.

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posted by Ace at 04:12 PM

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