Rich Lowry

This bipartisan deal cut by Sen. John McCain is noxious. No, the issue isn?t judges. (Or campaign finance, or health care, or any number of other things.) It?s illegal immigration and a proposal that has just been cooked up by the Arizona maverick and the Massachusetts non-maverick Sen. Ted Kennedy to grant an amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

  
Under the bill, illegals would have to work in the U.S. ? which they are already doing ? for six years as legal temporary workers, then they would be eligible to apply for green cards. Also, a new category of guest workers would be created who would work here for four years, then be eligible for green cards. This category will likely bring another 400,000 (and probably more) foreign workers a year into the country.

McCain and Kennedy argue that their legislation isn?t an amnesty because illegals have to pay a $1,000 fine prior to becoming temporary workers and another $1,000 before getting their green cards. But an amnesty with a small fine is still amnesty. Mark Krikorian of the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies calls the fine, in effect, ?a retroactive smuggling fee paid to the U.S. government.? The bill could make illegals stand on one foot and wave their arms before becoming legal ? but it would still be an amnesty.


Rich Lowry

Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years .
 
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