Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff will tour the Texas-Mexico border this morning with the conservative authors of a congressional immigration compromise, in what will be the clearest sign yet that the Bush administration is prepared to make major concessions to reach an immigration deal this year.The WaPo's understanding of the amnesty is slightly better than AP's. From the WaPo:
Chertoff's appearance with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) and Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) is "in no way meant to signal an endorsement" of their compromise, Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said. But it was seen by supporters and opponents yesterday as a boost for the plan and a significant White House concession to conservatives...
[Pence says:] "The White House thinks we have a very interesting idea, and the president was very adamant about wanting to encourage my efforts... Going to the border with Secretary Chertoff will help emphasize our seriousness about putting border security first."
But no guest-worker program would be made operational until stringent border-security measures are implemented, and illegal immigrants would have to report to privately run "Ellis Island" centers in Mexico to apply for legal work permits.Compare the AP report from Lynn Brezosky:
The centers would not open until the president certifies to Congress that the border is secure.In fact, the certification would only be that we had the resources in place, not that they were having any sort of an effect.
Immigration · Thu, 08/24/2006 - 20:11 · Importance: 1