Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Wednesday that Republican conservatives working to block an immigration bill risk endorsing a "silent amnesty" by insisting on deportations that are "not going to happen."Trying to force many of them to leave would not be impossible if we had a DHS Secretary who was willing to do his job, together with a president who would make sure that he was doing his job.
Chertoff also leveled criticism at liberal immigrant rights advocates, saying they could prolong the anguish of immigrant families by withholding support for legislation that could make them legal.
...a "rapid response" team is countering critics, not only in the conventional media but, for the first time, on Internet blogs, said White House communications director Kevin Sullivan...
Chertoff acknowledged that there is "a fundamental unfairness" in a bill allowing illegal immigrants to stay. But trying to force them to leave would be impossible, Chertoff said, "We are bowing to reality."
..."[Responding to attrition:] You're not going to replace 12 million people who are doing the work they're currently doing," Chertoff said. "If they don't leave, then you are going to give them silent amnesty. You're either going to let them stay or you're going to be hypocritical."
[Rep. Brian] Bilbray said his idea hasn't worked because "there's been a conscious strategy of not enforcing the law."
Chertoff, whose department has staged a number of recent raids that have resulted in mass roundups of illegal workers and sharp protests from religious groups, warned there will be more if the workers don't get a chance to become legal. "We're going to enforce the law," he said. "People all around the country will be seeing teary-eyed children whose parents are going to be deported."I've suspected that some of the high profile raids which appeared to have been flubbed were intentionally managed in a way to generate the most negative publicity, and Chertoff has just almost confirmed my suspicions.
[Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez says:] "The reality is, we don't have enough people," said Gutierrez, adding that many of the USA's economic competitors, such as France, Germany, Japan and China, will be facing a similar demographic shift. "The big challenge of the 21st century is: Who gets the people? Who gets the immigrants?" he said. "We don't appreciate today that these people are coming in for free."
Immigration2007a · Thu, 05/24/2007 - 08:17 · Importance: 4