BUSH PUSHES IMMIGRATION OVERHAUL
Speaking after a rare visit to Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill, Mr Bush said he understood there were divisions within the party, but urged action.
"Now is the time to get it done," he said. "The status quo is unacceptable."
A proposed immigration law bill stalled last week after the Senate failed to vote to make progress on the measure.
The main stumbling block was opposition from all but a handful of Republicans.
The bill would have tightened border controls, but given 12 million illegal immigrants already in the US a way to legal status and citizenship.
The bipartisan Senate bill had elements which were hard for both Democrats and Republicans to accept.
© BBC MMVII
Some critics called it an "amnesty" for those who had illegally entered the US, while other opponents argued its guest worker programme threatened American workers.
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Look, it is not very often that I will use such a loaded word in describing someone, but here it is...
George W. Bush is a dunderhead.
That's right. I said DUNDERHEAD.
Only a dunderhead claims he's for the people while providing huge tax cuts for the rich. Only a dunderhead starts a preemptive war with a country not linked to the enemy we were already battling in another country. Only a dunderhead thinks that sending more troops to said quagmire is a fresh new strategy. Only a dunderhead fights terrorism by creating a situation that inspires and recruits more terrorists.
The only people more ignorant than him are the people who heard him speak and thought "Yep, that guy gets my vote!"
The only people dumber than that are the ones who re-elected him. I can only assume they are also the ones who have so fervently and stupidly followed him into creating a near empirical state of the union.
So, it shocks me to say that I agree with him on something. I agree with him on the Immigration Reform Bill. It's the right thing for America, being that it's America and all, to rally behind.
One of the main stumbling blocks in getting the bill passed comes from George's own Republican trenches. There are Republican senators claiming this bill is tantamount to amnesty for illegal aliens. It's not amnesty. People who spout that rhetoric don't know what the hell amnesty is - how frightening that our own elected officials don't know how to use a dictionary. Assuming they do have an intern who looked up the word for them, then who are they protecting with this deflection? Their own budget for cheap, domestic labor? The billion dollar companies that moved factories to Mexico to take advantage of cheap labor? Their workers might get an option to legally go to America and make a decent wage. I suspect senators are being pressured by special interests in the agriculture, textiles and construction industries. Pressure from anyone who has relied heavily on cheap on-the-down-low labor ever since slavery was abolished.
Amnesty, by definition, is a complete pardon with no repercussions. This ain't that. There's a $5,000 fine (at 12 million estimated illegal aliens, that's a lot of shiny new tanks for us to buy!). This bill lays out a rigorous path for current illegal aliens to become legit, which could take several years. In other words, they have to work hard for it and show appreciation for citizenship. Some opposition is from people who think this is too strict. Well, it should be a little difficult. I agree that these people have broken the law, but don't deserve to be rotting in one of our overcrowded jails. Unless it's being a whiny socialite's bunkmate. But that would be too cruel, for them.
We need these people and we need to give them an opportunity to live in this country without fear of deportation while making a decent wage.
Bush might make you feel all icky inside, but if this bill doesn't pass, it will probably go the way of health care reform.