When it comes to dealing with the illegal immigration issue, President Bush and his administration are their own worst enemies. On other issues, the president is sugar and spice when it comes to Democrat opponents. But when it comes to rule-of-law conservative opposition to his “amnesty” proposal, the preferred method of operation is akin to thwacking the hornet’s nest with a stick.
You may recall that when the Minutemen first brought this issue to major public attention a few years ago with their volunteer border patrols, President Bush called them “vigilantes.” And it’s been pretty much all downhill from there, leading to his big May 29 speech on the current immigration reform proposal at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Georgia.
The president began his remarks by introducing two Hispanic members of his administration, Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and former Cabinet member Mel Martinez, now a U.S. Senator from Florida. Both were born in Cuba. “I want to mention those two men because, to me, they represent what the immigration debate is all about,” the president said.
So right out of the chute the president misrepresents the issue. I don’t believe Gutierrez and Martinez are illegal immigrants. They and/or their families immigrated here legally. And it appears both came here to escape the oppression of the Castro regime, not to simply get a higher-paying job. So Gutierrez and Martinez are NOT what this immigration debate is about. The issue is over those who break the law to get here.
The president then recounted exactly what the individuals training at FLETC were there for: “You’re going to safeguard our ports of entry, you’ll investigate workplace immigration violations, and you’ll arrest those breaking the law. We are a nation of laws, and we expect people to keep the laws. And if they break the laws, there will be a consequence.”
Yes, and according the president that consequence for some 10-12 million (and counting) illegal aliens who have already broken the law is…a path to citizenship.
And the president still doesn’t understand why so many people are opposed to this?
The president then patted his own administration on the back for how significantly it’s changed immigration enforcement over the years. “One way to measure how things have changed is look at the budget,” the president said. “We’ve doubled the funding for border security since I took office.”