As Bush backs away from the Senate bill ("we don't have to choose between the extremes -- there's a rational middle ground"), Pence uses identical rhetoric to describe his plan, now being hailed by Newt Gingrich, Gary Bauer, David Keene of the American Conservative Union and The American Spectator. It looks like the fix is in.
Pence calls his plan a "middle ground" proposal, a "no amnesty immigration reform" in which "securing our border is the first step."
This is fraudulent. At the heart of the Pence plan is amnesty. Illegal aliens here return to Mexico for one week with an assurance they can come back to their jobs. Down there, they visit "Ellis Island Centers" to register as "guest workers" and return with "work permits." The illegal are made legal and put on a path to citizenship.
The only difference between the Pence plan and the Kennedy-Bush amnesty is the one-week vacation employers would happily fund, as it means blanket amnesty for them as well as their illegal hires.
What makes the Pence plan insidious is that Mike Pence has an unimpeachable pedigree. What makes his plan a grave problem is that even Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the Horatius at the Bridge in this battle, is speaking favorably of it.
Why is Pence proposing capitulation at the moment Americans are looking to the Republican House as their last, best hope to kill the Senate amnesty, end the "guest-worker" scam and get control of America's borders before we lose our country?
Answer: The forces in Washington pushing for an amnesty deal, by whatever name, are immense -- the White House, the ethnic lobbies, the Big Media, mainstream churches, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the "conservative" front groups and foundations they finance, and corporate contributors to congressmen who fear law enforcement. Then there is a Democratic Party that voted 10-to-one in the Senate for amnesty, as it looks to legalized aliens as future voters to bury the conservative cause forever in this city.
Anyone who thinks the establishment has given up because it has lost the country does not know it. Behind closed doors, deals are even now being discussed for a "compromise" bill that will give GOP congressmen cover for selling out the cause for which they bravely voted in December.
If the House buys the Pence plan, it will be the end of Republican control of the House in November and the end of Mike Pence as a rising star of the GOP. But that will not matter. For the consequences for the country will be irremediable and infinitely worse.