The L.A. Times has a two-pager on Bush's latest attempt to open the borders: "Immigration Rising on Bush's To-Do List". He's created a coalition called "Americans for Border and Economic Security" headed up by U.S. Reps. Cal Dooley (D-Hanford) and Dick Armey (R-Texas):
The effort is designed to help Bush take control of an increasingly contentious debate that has threatened to split the Republican Party and undermine its outreach to Latino voters...
A guest-worker program is favored by many Latinos and by businesses, many of them major GOP donors that depend on a steady flow of workers from Mexico and other countries. The White House effort is aimed at satisfying these groups while promoting tougher border security enforcement. The latter focus is an attempt to mollify a vocal bloc of cultural conservatives in the GOP - some in the House leadership - who argue that undocumented workers present a security threat and take some jobs that could be filled by Americans.
Some Republican strategists worry that the more extreme voices in this camp are alienating Latino voters with anti-immigrant language, and one goal of the new coalition is to marginalize those voices...
The article is so full of canards both from the BushBots and the LAT that I don't know where to start. Here are just a few:
"Republican congressional members' constituents care more about immigration and border security than any other issue, according to a new congressional insiders poll." ("Immigration worries Republicans")
Just about every poll shows that around 75% of Americans - Democrats, Independents, and Republicans - oppose illegal immigration and massive immigration.
47% of Arizona Hispanics supported Prop. 200. In votes, the biggest opposition came from the left. In monetary terms, the biggest opposition was from big business.
Tamar Jacoby spoke at CPAC and was almost booed off the stage when she announced that she was there to defend Bush's amnesty plan.
The far-left, Ford Foundation-sponsored race groups are the ones that want open borders, and they aren't going to support Republicans. Bush spoke at LULAC's meeting last year. But, since he spoke via television he didn't see the cool reception he got. Even if he got support from MALDEF, would that be a good thing considering their goals?
Massive illegal immigration has the greatest negative impact on low-wage legal workers, most of whom are black and Hispanic.
The only voters who favor the virtually unlimited immigration that Bush and his corporate cronies favor are the far-left and libertarians. Who really cares what they want, especially as what they want is not what's right for America?
Further, Bush could "reach out" to the "white vote" by inviting millions of Europeans to come to the U.S. Now, wouldn't most people view that as not just racist, but un-American as well? There is no difference between that and Bush's supposed outreach.
Obviously, one of the major reasons for this new scheme is quite basic: money and the desires of those "large GOP donors." What they want is uppermost in Bush's mind. Next to them, you're just an impediment.
The propaganda from this coalition will almost certainly involve smears, strawman arguments, and false choices such as the following from Dick Armey:
"There's two voices right now, and the noisy one is what I call the slam-the-borders crowd... The voice we want to speak with - and the one that will be in unison with President Bush - is the voice that echoes those marvelous words on the Statue of Liberty."
Obviously, there are more than two voices, and very few people want to completely stop immigration. Emma Lazarus didn't have the current situation in mind: multiculturalism, the welfare state, and all the rest didn't exist at the time.
Bush has shown himself fairly adept at propaganda, but as each day passes more and more people are becoming aware of what's really going on, so perhaps this might be too much of a sales job for even him and Rove.
As for the LAT, send them a short, polite email with your thoughts: readers.rep *at* latimes.com.