Diana West

There was nothing good in the Sept. 11 attacks, but in moving the country to a war footing, it did subsequently persuade the president to put the kibosh on a similar amnesty-lite package. While victories in the war on terrorism have been won abroad, the threat remains at home. Extending the form of amnesty President Bush is proposing to illegal aliens in this country, not to mention increasing the numbers of foreign nationals eligible for entry, would only seem to elevate the risk to the country's domestic security. As the 35 congressmen pointed out in their letter to Tom Ridge, Mahmud Abouhalima was an illegal alien granted amnesty in 1986; he used his legal status to join the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. Not that amnesty is the plan's only peril: What is to prevent Islamic terror networks, many of which are known to be operating in Latin American countries, from infiltrating the president's guest-worker program?

Analysts call the Bush immigration plan a political move calculated to win Hispanic votes for the president come November -- a risky strategy at best. Worth noting is a study released by the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that advocates tighter immigration controls, that argues that the nearly 7 million illegal aliens counted in the 2000 census cost the GOP at least nine House seats during the 2000 redistricting process.

There's a more important question to consider. Has there been a poll or vote since, say, the Louisiana Purchase that reflects a solid or even thin majority of Americans in favor of increasing immigration? Or extending amnesty to illegal aliens? Or granting drivers' licenses to illegal aliens? (Ask Ah-nuld.) Such sentiment, as far as I can tell, doesn't exist. And there's a reason. Immigration laws are on the books to protect Americans. We can only "come to grips" with illegal immigration by enforcing those laws.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).