When President George W. Bush unveiled his temporary foreign workers plan on Jan. 7, he got cheers from his carefully selected invitees in the East Room of the White House.
But he's getting jeers from everyone else, from Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.
We are told the plan was originally sketched on a napkin before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, by then-Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda at a dinner attended by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
The plan looks like it was hastily resurrected so that the president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, would "make nice" to Bush at their meeting in Monterrey, Mexico. But the Bush plan raises more questions than it answers.
Will all 10 million illegal aliens now in the United States be entitled to get a temporary worker card? Will the millions who don't apply for a temporary worker card be deported?
How many times can the temporary worker card be renewed, once, twice, 20 times?
Because the president said, "It will have an end," will the workers be deported when the card expires? Will local authorities cooperate with the Federal Government in arrest and deportation?
Bush promised "financial incentives" for "temporary workers to return permanently to their home countries after their period of work in the United States has expired." Will this become another burden on U.S. taxpayers?
The dictionary defines amnesty as a general pardon for offenses against the government, and illegal aliens committed crimes by entering the United States illegally and then using fraudulent documents to get a job. The Bush plan excuses them from prosecution and punishment, so isn't amnesty the proper term, or shall we call it stealth amnesty?
The amnesty of 1986 was promised to be a one-time deal, but it proved to be not a deterrent but an invitation to attract more illegal aliens, so we now have four times as many illegals as we did then. Can anyone believe that the Bush amnesty will be any different?
Will those who get temporary worker cards also get driver's licenses? If so, what kind of ID will be acceptable?
Bush's plan includes support for the State Department giveaway package called "totalization," a bureaucratic code word for a plan to make illegal aliens eligible to receive Social Security benefits even though they committed fraud in using a Social Security number or failed to pay into the system for 10 years (40 quarters) as U.S. citizens must do. Will illegal aliens who get temporary worker cards be treated better than Americans who fail to comply with Social Security regulations?
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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