I’m getting to the speech at a late hour (thanks to the wonders of C-Span). My quick reaction is that the substance is generally strong. The deployment of technology and the Guard is heartening, if 6,000 troops are enough. Ending catch and release and employing some sort of employment verification are good starts.
But some rhetoric is troubling: there is an absence of a sense of injustice over the wanton violation of American laws. I wonder if President Bush would be as forgiving of marijuana use or any other systemic crime. The temporary worker program is more of the same — but as we know, the devil is in the details of fines, how long people have been in the country, etc. The White House and Senate plans we have already seen are essentially automatic plans to citizenship, or at least cheap forgiveness. Both of which sound an awful lot like amnesty to me.
Lastly, it is unfortunate Bush is drawing a line by insisting that border security must be linked to his neo-amnesty program. The program is optional — border security is just doin’ the job.
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