Among the many amendments that the deal makers rejected or did not allow to be considered were amendments to prohibit felons from getting Z visas, to require completion of background checks before Z visas are issued, and to ensure that drunk drivers are not given legal status. Republicans found it especially obnoxious that all negotiations had to go through Kennedy, the architect of 40 years of failed immigration policy.
Bush's duplicity about building a fence destroyed his credibility. As Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., said, the American people "want proof, not promises." Just before the 2006 election, Bush arranged a photo-op to show himself signing the Secure Fence Act, but since then he has refused to build it. The Senate bill he was lobbying for would have cut in half the 700 miles of fencing called for in the 2006 law he signed.
Bush likes fences for himself and keeps a high fence around the White House. When he met at the Group of Eight summit in Germany, he was protected by a welded-mesh fence, topped with barbed wire and video cameras, which began in the water and wound its way through the countryside until it ended back in the water.
Bush has just sent 120 of our best-trained Border Guards to Iraq to help the Iraqis with their border enforcement. With much fanfare last year, Bush sent some National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, but they were not allowed to do anything except observe and are now scheduled to be sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The voter revolt that killed the Senate bill proves that the American people reject amnesty. Now it's time to terminate George W. Bush's "silent amnesty," under which he has allowed at least 700,000 illegal immigrants to enter the United States every year of his administration to either take jobs in the underground economy without paying taxes, or to take jobs using a fake or stolen Social Security number and receive massive social benefits paid for by U.S. taxpayers, or to roam our streets as conduits for illegal drugs or to participate in criminal gangs.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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