Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Reactions to the Immigration/Border Security Speech

Personally, I wasn't impressed. He's proposing something, which is more than can be said for his Democratic opposition. Did Bush gain anything with his political base? I'm thinking maybe a little, but only for those of more centrist values. Which means this speaks was probably a failure.

I always enjoy finding these reports on quotes by the political noise makers.
Dana Rohrabacher
Rohrabacher, a leading immigration critic in the House, said on CNN's "Larry King Live" that he was "very disappointed" by the speech.

"He's playing these word games about massive deportations again, which no one is advocating and does not do anything to further an honest debate," said Rohrabacher, who also took issue with Bush's distinction between a legalization process for illegal immigrants and amnesty.

"If they are here illegally and you make them here legally, that is an amnesty," he said.

Well he got the amnesty part right. Though he mustn't be listening to people in the Alkaline Desert of the Right.

Dick Durbin
"We know where the House Republicans stand. They want to criminalize undocumented immigrants and the nurses, volunteers and people of faith who help them. The president told us tonight that he is for comprehensive reform: Now he must lead. The president has the power to call up the National Guard, but now he must summon the power to lead his own Republican forces in Congress to support a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform."
Translation: The President must force the Republicans to do it our way or we'll block any legislation that isn't "bipartisan." Not an unexpected response.

Tom Tancredo
Tancredo said on Fox News that Bush's plan to give some illegal immigrants a way to work their way to citizenship is "not fair" to those who have "been waiting for years outside the country to come in."

"I hope to God that we do not, in fact, pass anything in the House that resembles anything that is coming out of the Senate or that they were even talking about. ... The card for employers -- great idea. All for it. Putting the troops on the border -- great idea. All for it. But what absolutely bugs me, when the president starts talking about this false dichotomy ... where it's either round up and deport 12 million people or give them amnesty -- no, no. There is another way to do it. And that is, in fact, to make sure that they can't get jobs and, through attrition, millions will go home."

Now, I'm thinking he's not quite saying "massive deportation" but that is what he wants. Whether they collect them all right now or just badger them out of the country. Maybe we should put him in a room with Rohrabacher and see if they can understand some reality of what is happening in the politics.

The Governator
The Republican governor blamed the federal government for its "failure ... to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation" and complained that "border state governors were not consulted about this proposal in advance."

"It remains unclear what impact only 6,000 National Guard troops will have on securing the border," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "I am concerned asking National Guard troops to guard our nation's border is a Band-Aid solution and not the permanent solution we need.

"One thing is clear -- we all agree we must secure our borders, and I commend the president for speaking so passionately about the need for comprehensive reform tonight."

Sadly he and Gov. Bill Richardson seem to be on the same page. From what I heard the use of the national guard is indeed a band-aid fix. It's being proposed because nothing is being done to plug the holes and getting more Border Security trained and into the field is taking a long time. I'm uncertain why they are upset about not being consulted in advance. This is a proposal at this point. Hopefully it will be implemented quickly.

Anthony Romero (ACLU)

"Our government and people have long recognized that federal law enforcement officers are the best equipped and trained to deal with these kinds of civilian law enforcement needs. Soldiers are trained to kill the enemy, and they lack the training to conduct proper law enforcement. Furthermore, they lack training to respect and protect border community residents' civil liberties and safety. History has shown the dangers of using the military to engage in domestic law enforcement activities."

Wonder what he thinks of using the National Guard in places like New Orleans? Probably was against that as well. But hey, they're just mad-dog killers, they can't possibly do any other type of work. They might upset the feelings of some criminal trying to enter the U.S. illegally. I'm certain his "border community residents" isn't limited to those who legally reside in the area on the U.S. side of the border.

John Sweeney (AFL-CIO)
"Deploying the National Guard to the border does nothing to end the economic exploitation that is driving illegal immigration. Our laws must include uniform enforcement of workplace standards to ensure a more just and level playing field. We must reject outdated guest-worker programs that relegate all future immigrant workers to an indentured, second-class status with substandard wages and rights, and undermine standards for all."
I'm uncertain of which side of the game this guy is on. On the one hand I'd say he should be against immigration since dilution of the work force will cause wage decreases. But then his "level the playing field" comment really sounds like he's trying to get new union recruits.

QandO pretty much come down that the speech was a flop. They don't like the idea of the high-tech green card by comparing it with forged social security cards. An interesting comparison, but not one that should be held to firmly. They must have forgot about the RealID program. Though that has very similar weaknesses in that getting a RealID card will still require that forgeable SSN and Birth Certificate.

Power Line's John Hindraker gave it a big thumbs down.
...and he blew it. He should have given the speech I told him to. As soon as he started talking about guest worker programs and the impossibility of deporting 11 million illegals, it was all over. President Bush keeps trying to find the middle ground, on this and many other issues. But sometimes, there isn't a viable middle ground. This is one of those instances.
Hmm. Maybe we should get Rohrabacher together with Hindraker.

Overall it's a mixed bag of reactions. I'm not even going to look at the Fever Swamp left's reactions. That is far to predictable.

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