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Chertoff promotes "Temporary Worker Program" at Senate meeting

Don't believe everything you read about DHS head Michael Chertoff's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee today.

First, from Drudge, come these headlines in red:

HOMELAND SECURITY CHIEF: EXPEL ALL ILLEGALS... 'Our goal is to return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions'...

Those headlines and the first two paragraphs of the AFP article Drudge references are wrong. Read Chertoff's prepared remarks here: dhs.gov/dhspublic/display?theme=45&content=4890

He wasn't referring to deporting all illegal aliens. He was in fact only referring to those OTMs ("Other than Mexicans") caught at the border. Most of them are given a notice to appear and released into the U.S. and never heard from again. He pledged to end that "catch and release" by adding new detention space. There's background on this issue here, here, and by searching for OTMs in the search box.

And:

The Cabinet officials emphasized that the president strongly opposed an amnesty for illegal aliens, and Chertoff agreed with Kennedy that trying to deport all illegal immigrants would not be possible. "It would take billions and billions and billions of dollars to do it," Chertoff said.

Shades of Asa Hutchinson. And, from his prepared remarks:

Ending illegal immigration means both tough enforcement and action to reduce the very demand that draws illegal migrants into the country. Therefore, our strategy of reforming our immigration system is a three-pillar, comprehensive approach that focuses on controlling the border, building a robust interior enforcement program, and establishing a Temporary Worker Program.

That's the new word for their "guest" worker program. A question: what happens when those "temporary" workers have U.S. citizen children? Does anyone in their right mind think that we would be able to deport mixed families if they don't want to return? Can't you just imagine Sen. Teddy Kennedy joining with Rep. Nancy Pelosi to propose an "adjustment" of their status allowing these millions of formerly "temporary" workers to stay here permanently? Isn't anyone who would call them "Temporary" workers just lying to you?

And, note that this appears to be part of a larger Bush administration offensive. Also today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce held a Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Fixing a Broken System confab featuring First Data (owners of Western Union), Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods and other immigration "reformers". For more on the ties between "reform" and big business, see "Big Business Balks at Bush Propaganda Plan".

And, this is days after Tamar Jacoby entertained the crowds at the LAPL.

And, a new push poll on immigration "reform" was released on Monday.

It's unfortunate that almost every person commenting on this has simply taken the AFP's report above at face value without understanding what Chertoff really said and what this all means.

If you want to do something about this, please help set the record straight.

And, contact your representatives and tell them to just enforce the laws.

UPDATE: From this:

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao provided a general outline of the plan Bush introduced last year, emphasizing that undocumented workers accepted into the program would receive no advantages over immigrants in the country legally and that they would be required to return home after their work period ends. "Those who come forward will not be offered an automatic pass to citizenship and should be expected to pay a substantial fine or penalty to participate in the temporary program," she said. Under the president's plan, she said, guest workers would be able to extend a three-year work visa for another three years, but would then have to leave the country for a year to apply for a new work permit. She said they would be issued biometric, tamper-resistant cards that would allow them to cross U.S. borders during their stay.

And, from the same article, John McCain borrows my talking point:

McCain said any plan centered on sending illegal immigrants home ignores that businesses rely on immigrant labor and that many immigrants have children born in the United States, who are citizens. "Somebody is going to have to explain how that is workable," he said of the idea of deporting illegal workers.

It isn't. And, McCain's scheme is even worse than the Bush scheme.

Could someone please keep track of editorials supporting these various amnesty schemes? Here's the Miami Herald: "EDITORIAL: Border enforcement doesn't get job done".

Other tags: biometrics

Immigration2005b · Tue, 10/18/2005 - 09:58 · Importance: 1

Wed, 10/19/2005 - 23:55
eh

"required to return home"

Yes, I'm sure they will be. Just like nabbed and released illegals are required to return for their court appearance. The question is, whether they'll do what they're required to do or not, and I think we have something approaching a precedent to go on when evaluating that.

A couple things more: After being in the US for who knows how long before obediently turning themselves in to register as 'guest workers', and then being allowed to stay on for some years more, where, exactly, is "home"? And why would anyone so register, only to be told they will later have to go somewhere they apparently don't want to go, as I presume they've been free to voluntarily go "home" all the time during their foregoing illegal stay in the US?

Wed, 10/19/2005 - 04:47
Zsa Zsa

Illegal imigration must be enforced! The times we live in have changed drastically since 9-11. When our country was attacked that day we needed to immediately get our borders secure! Alqaeda is a different kind of enemy that our world has ever seen! just the idea of having groups out there that would just as soon kill us as to look at us is unthinkable! Today illegal's are more than Mexican workers crossing the border for employment! Alqeada is a cowardly evil that threatens all individuals who love freedom and democracy! ...

Wed, 10/19/2005 - 04:15
perroazul del norte

To state that the Bush administration has zero credibility on the issue of illegal immigration is to state a fact as obvious as "the world is round". The recent Bush and Chertoff dog-and-pony shows convince noone. On illegal immigration Bush has proven himself over and over again to be a soulmate of the anarcho-communists and La Raza racialists who verbally and physically assault the Minutemen.

Tue, 10/18/2005 - 22:23
Noel Doran
ndorans-point-of-view.blog-city.com

I know that Cherkoff is just putting out the bush
line and any manager who would propose Julie Myers to be the head of ICE has got to be a dimwit. 90% of the homeland security knows next to nothing about Imm. Law. First and foremost, they haven't found out that there is a difference between Customs and Immigration. INS handles and inspect and arrests people. Customs has always handled things, entry of material, so that they could collect taxes. So the Prez breaks up the INS and puts the Deportation Branch under Ice which is the Interior enforcement branch and leaves the Border patrol without any Detention and Removal officers! Que
Estupido! I have recommended that some of our mothballed troop ships be placed at the control of the Border Patrol, Each one hold or held about 5000 Soldiers and when full could transport them to the southern most port on the east and west coast of Mexico. And for the OTM's
they could hold the deportation hearings in the harbors while at anchor. This would give the alien time to cogitate on whether it was worth the trip. Now, why is the employer of an illegal alien allowed to claim the wages paid to and illegal alien? I want the employer to have to provide tthe name, date of birth and SSA number and the amount of wages paid to every employee. When the SS number is found to be fraud or stolen or one of the 7 1/2 million ITIN number provided by the IRS to allow Illegal aliens to file for Earned Income Credit and Child Care Credit, Then those wages paid to the illegal worker will be denied and that amount of wages will be listed to the employers profit and he will have to pay the commensurate taxes on the so called cheap labor.

Tue, 10/18/2005 - 13:53
RodgerLodge

Idon't know who you are, but you're one of the only bloggers I've ever seen who has intelligence. Meaning, you came to the same conclusion I had re what Chertoff was actually getting at. Keep up the good work.