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What about the Border Patrol “surveys” supposedly showing that “the vast majority of aliens detained along the border told arresting agents that they had come to the United States seeking amnesty”? Think about that, just for a minute. Year-over-year, January apprehensions increased 6.5%, but “the vast majority” of illegals in January ‘04 were crossing encouraged by Bush’s proposal? Doesn’t that sound just a little odd? Are we to believe that if Bush had not made his proposal that instead of a 6.5% increase we would have witnessed an unprecedented drop of 50% or more?
THE FACT IS, in Mexico, the popular press has clearly reported that Bush’s guest-worker program would not be a general amnesty. Vicente Fox has had to back away from his initial lukewarm endorsement of the Bush proposal because the popular perception in Mexico is that, far from being an amnesty plan, Bush’s outlined guest-worker program does not signal a significant liberalization of U.S. immigration policy. Indeed, in Mexico the issue has revived interest in the accusations of the “Braceros” — Mexicans who took part in a similar guest-worker program in the 1940’s and 1950’s — who claim that they never received the money withheld from their paychecks that they were supposed to get when they returned home to Mexico.
Now I am willing to admit that some people may be lured to cross the border illegally thinking that Bush’s proposal is, or will lead to, a general amnesty. As I am continually reminded, some people are ill informed and irrational. But any such activity will likely be minor and, more importantly, temporary. Arguing that we should shelve a potentially helpful program on the basis that it might lead to a minor temporary increase in illegal immigration is no argument at all.
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In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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