Some businesses will benefit from the endless supply of low-wage labor. But U.S. workers -- 3 million of whom have lost jobs in the private sector since Bush took office -- will have to compete with millions of immigrants for the jobs that remain.
For high-school dropouts -- black, white, Asian, Hispanic -- who are citizens, amnesty means their road to the American dream will be as clogged and congested as a California highway at rush hour.
There are 33 million foreign born now in the United States. Half the people in L.A. County do not speak English at home. With the birth rate among native-born Americans below replacement level, our population growth is almost entirely among immigrants and foreign-born. Almost 90 percent of these are from Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Islamic world.
Not only have these folks never been fully assimilated in any First World country, they are coming to an America where the idea of assimilation is being rejected in favor of identity politics and ethnic entitlements. Naked appeals are now made to people based on race, ethnicity and national origin. Few object.
Indeed, Gray Davis and the "Amnesty Eight" Democrats are a perfect example. Americans know this. A majority wants immigration halted. A huge majority wants illegals sent back. In California, 60 percent voted to deny taxpayer-funded social welfare benefits to illegals. Yet the pandering goes on. Indeed, President Bush may have incited it with his earlier talk of amnesty for Mexican illegals to President Fox.
But if Bush yields now to the temptation to ape the Democrats and pander to win the Hispanic vote, the price will be the alienation and demoralization of his political base.
What amnesty is ultimately about is whether America is still a country, whether we Americans are any longer a unique people. Or is America nothing more than the biggest 24-hour-a-day mall in the Global Economy, where anybody walks in and nobody cares?