Bush recently held a meeting of pro-illegal immigration Senators ("Bush, senators agree on alien citizenship, shut out critics"). According to Mel Martinez (R-FL):
"There was a pretty good consensus that what we have put into the Hagel-Martinez proposal here is the right way to go... I think he was very clear [on] pathway to citizenship, so long as it goes to the back of the line, and he even opened the door here for something we've haggled back and forth on, that you can shrink the time for people to become citizens by simply enlarging the number of green cards."
According to Sam Brownback (R-KS):
"[Bush] endorsed the concept of an earned citizenship."
That would represent a substantial change on the part of the Bush administration, which just last year said it opposed a path to citizenship for those currently here illegally.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the Senate Judiciary Committee in October the administration didn't support "a path through which they can get their permanent residence or citizenship," and Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao echoed that: "We feel that a pathway to citizenship would reward those who have violated our laws."
The WaPo's article "Privately, Bush Says He Favors Citizenship" has a similar sad tale to tell:
President Bush generally favors plans to give millions of illegal immigrants a chance at U.S. citizenship without leaving the country, but does not want to be more publicly supportive because of opposition among conservative House Republicans, according to senators who attended a recent White House meeting.
Since Bush, Teddy Kennedy, Harry Reid, and Dick Durbin all see basically eye-to-eye on this issue, here's a dramatic solution to Bush's popularity woes: he should switch parties.
 Those at the meeting included:
Mel Martinez (R-FL)
Sam Brownback (R-KS)
Harry Reid (D-MX/NV)
Bill Frist (R-TN)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Judd Gregg (R-NH)
John McCain (R-AZ)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Richard J. Durbin (D-IL)
Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA)
Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT)
Joe Lieberman (D-CT)
Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Barack Obama (D-IL)
Ken Salazar (D-CO)
Those who weren't invited were Cornyn and Kyl.
Immigration · Wed, 04/26/2006 - 20:59 · Importance: 1