Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Bush Breaks First Campaign Pledge By Renewing Call For Illegal Alien Amnesty

Washington, DC— It wasn't quite "Read my lips," but in the last presidential debate in Arizona, George W. Bush clearly stated that he would not support amnesty for illegal aliens. One week after being narrowly returned to office, the president has reneged on that pledge. Bush has dispatched Secretary of State Colin Powell to Mexico City to open discussions with the Mexican government about the size and scope of amnesty for illegal immigrants and for a massive new guest worker program.

"President Bush and Karl Rove have seemingly missed the message of their own, and the Republican Party's, success at the polls ," said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). "In spite of a poor record on jobs, further erosion of the middle class, and staggering budget deficits, the people returned the GOP to office because they believed that the Republican Party was more in tune with them on values and respect for the law. One of those gut issues that led voters to ignore the administration's poor record in other areas was the belief that Bush and the Republicans would enforce laws against illegal immigration, not reward illegal immigrants and auction off every job in America to the lowest bidder."

The immigration plan being dusted off in Washington and Mexico City is essentially the same one the administration introduced last January, which proved to be so wildly unpopular among voters that they were forced to shelve it. "Who is the president seeking to reward by reintroducing his amnesty/guest worker proposal?" asked Stein. "Not middle class workers who made it very clear that they are feeling squeezed. Not the millions of families who have lost their health insurance benefits because their employers no longer feel that it is necessary to offer such benefits to attract American workers. Not Hispanic voters, whom polls indicate do not consider this to be high priority and who voted in significant numbers in favor of an Arizona ballot measure that bars illegal aliens from receiving most public benefits.

"The only interest group, besides the estimated 10 to 12 million illegal aliens and their families who could be in line for legal U.S. residency, are cheap labor employers who have come to believe that it is their right to have workers who will work at whatever wages they wish to pay," Stein said.

The latest White House announcement will touch off yet another surge in illegal immigration and further compromise homeland security, predicted FAIR. Last January, when the president first proposed this plan, the U.S. Border Patrol reported a marked increase in the number of people attempting to enter the U.S. illegally in order to benefit from the proposed amnesty. "Aside from betraying the interests of millions of people who voted for him because they believed the president shared their core values, this irresponsible renewal of talk of amnesty will betray those who voted for him because they believed the Republicans were the party that could be entrusted to protect homeland security. You cannot have homeland security and chaos at the border. You cannot have homeland security while granting amnesty to millions of people with only minimal background checks. And you certainly cannot have amnesty and unlimited guest workers, and preserve a solid middle class," asserted Stein.

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