May 18, 2007 | Commentary on
GOP Sellout: A senseless giveaway on immigration
"Sellout." It may be harsh, but it's the most accurate and
succinct way to sum up how conservatives feel right now about
President Bush and Senate Republicans, who have cut a deal that
would grant amnesty to the estimated 12 million illegal aliens
living in the U.S. - not to mention the parents, spouses, and
children of these illegals.
Title VI of a draft copy of the bill breaks down amnesty visas
into three categories:
- Z-1 - Illegal aliens present and working in the United States
up to Jan. 1, 2007.
- Z-2 - Parents and spouses of illegal aliens qualifying under
the Z-1 category.
- Z-3 - Children of illegal aliens qualifying under the Z-1
These "Z Visa" holders can stay in the "Z" status indefinitely,
which means they never have to pursue "a pathway to citizenship."
They also would be able to get Social Security numbers and benefit
from some welfare programs. Shockingly, there is no cap on the
numbers of amnesty recipients in the draft language. The only thing
the Z Visa holder can't do is vote - until, that is, a liberal
judge declares this limitation unconstitutional or until a liberal
president can railroad through a "technical corrections" bill.
Notwithstanding all you are going to hear to the contrary from
President Bush, Sen. John McCain, and their new ideological
partner, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Title VI of this bill is amnesty, plain
and simple. According to an op-ed by former attorney general Ed
Meese that appeared last year in the New York
discussing the Immigration Reform and Control Act
of 1986, "the difference is that President Reagan called this what
it was: amnesty. Indeed, look up the term 'amnesty' in Black's Law
Dictionary, and you'll find it says, 'the 1986 Immigration Reform
and Control Act provided amnesty for undocumented aliens already in
the country.'" It was amnesty then, and it's amnesty now.
Why would Republicans negotiate with Ted Kennedy, a senator with
impeccable credentials with the far Left of the immigration
movement? And why would John McCain imperil his wobbly campaign for
the presidency by allying himself with a Kennedy-drafted
immigration bill? It simply defies common sense.
Some of these Republicans, I believe, have convinced themselves
that they can convince the American people that "triggers," "tough
border enforcement," and the Y Visa "temporary guest worker
program" were concessions from the Left that balance out the
amnesty part of the bill. Unfortunately, they're wrong. And Senator
McCain's prospects to woo conservatives will suffer dearly.
The prospect of amnesty for illegal immigrants and their families
outweighs any tough border initiative that may be in the bill, or
the get-tough employment-enforcement provisions. All that will
matter, if the bill passes, is that President Bush and presidential
wannabe John McCain enabled and are responsible for a historic
giveaway - for a program that grants amnesty to millions of illegal
aliens who are being rewarded for breaking the law.
In the name of bipartisanship, they have given away the farm to
Ted Kennedy and the left wing of the Democrat party in the Senate.
I can't imagine any self-respecting conservative in America who
would not hold this against McCain, Bush, and any other politician
who supports this terrible idea.
is director of U.S. Senate Relations at the Heritage
First Appeared in the National Review