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.
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".