Buffoonish former director of the Department of Homeland Security. Supposedly was in charge of enforcing our immigration laws, but in the Bush administration that translated into looking like he was enforcing our immigration laws at the same time as not really enforcing them in order to ensure a ready supply of cheap labor for crooked businesses. Under George W Bush's orders he frequently promoted comprehensive immigration reform, misleading in the process (also here). In 2007, he almost admitted that one of the ways they would try to get CIR would be to stage show raids designed to inflame the left. Many on the left oppose him, without realizing that he was in effect helping them.
From "Ex-Homeland Security chief head said to abuse public trust by touting body scanners" (link):
Since the attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day, former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff has given dozens of media interviews touting the need for the federal government to buy more full-body scanners for airports.
What he has made little mention of is that the Chertoff Group, his security consulting agency, includes a client that manufactures the machines. The relationship drew attention after Chertoff disclosed it on a CNN program Wednesday, in response to a question...
One of these days I'm going to get CSPAN and start calling in to their interview shows in an attempt to ask politicians questions that will make them look bad.
Michael Hsu of the Washington Post offers the latest in that newspaper's attempt to undercut our laws: "Cleaning Firm Used Illegal Workers at Chertoff Home", link. The Maryland cleaning service used by Michael Chertoff of the Department of Homeland Security has been fined almost $23,000 for failing to check the IDs of its workers, some of whom were illegal aliens. The Secret Service checked the IDs of the workers who visited Chez Chertoff, but those didn't involve immigration checks. Which is pretty stupid, but unless I missed it there's no indication that any of those who cleaned Chertoff's house were illegal aliens (see the update), despite what the title might say. And, through Russ Knocke (more on him below), Chertoff says he was assured that all the workers were illegal and he "fired" (more properly cancelled the contract with) the company when their problems became known.
So, despite the fact that there really isn't much to this story, expect some of those who support illegal immigration and who are too stupid to have been following along for the past eight years to present this as an example of some sort of Bush administration hypocrisy, pretending that Bush and they aren't on the same side. Then, they'll segue into a push for "comprehensive immigration reform".
However, they'll be too late, since that's part of what the article is all about. Not only does the cleaning company owner come out in support of CIR, and not only is that the subtext of the article, but perennial DHS hack Russ Knocke says:
"This matter illustrates the need for comprehensive immigration reform and the importance of effective tools for companies to determine the lawful status of their workforce."
UPDATE: The article says the owner was fined $22,880 after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators said he failed to check identification and work documents and fill out required I-9 verification forms for employees, five of whom he said were part of crews sent to Chertoff's home and whom ICE told him to fire because they were undocumented, so I suppose that some of those working Chez Chertoff were illegal aliens.
And, right on cue come those who don't realize that Chertoff and Bush are on their side:
Heartless Obama throws poor, illegal alien aunt under bus; will return illegal donations; lies about not knowing? - 11/01/08
Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt Zeituni Onyango - called "Auntie Zeituni" in his memoirs - turns out to be an illegal alien living in a Boston slum who illegally donated part of her meager income to his campaign.
And, now she joins a host of other former Obama associates under his bus. After it was discovered yesterday that she's an illegal alien, the Obama campaign has today released the following statement:
"Senator Obama has no knowledge of her status but obviously believes that any and all appropriate laws be followed."
Now, let's parse that out, Clinton-like.
1. He's not offering to get her an immigration lawyer to see whether her case is salvageable. Instead, he's just throwing her under the bus, in effect daring the Bush administration to go deport her. He truly is Mr. Wonderful, isn't he?
2. The statement puts his supposed lack of knowledge of her status in the present tense. What about past knowledge? Wouldn't a statement like this normally say that he "had" no knowledge?
3. Does this contradict his past implications that immigration raids and associated deportations should be stopped until "immigration reform" passes? Is he more "humane" to millions of other illegal aliens than his own aunt? (See Barack details practical, progressive, and humane federal policy that fundamentally addresses issues of immigration, link)
4. Isn't this yet another in the long line of support for illegal activity that follows him around everywhere he goes? His former bagman has been convicted; he's linked to others under investigation or suspected of being involved in illegal activity; his illegal alien aunt gave him illegal campaign donations; he supports illegal immigration and would allow it to continue; and, he's received potentially tens of millions of dollars in illegal campaign contributions.
5. The campaign says they'll return her donations (link). What about all the potential millions from others?
6. Let's look at the timeline the AP provides and see if it could be possible - shocking as it may be - that Obama is lying about having knowledge of her status:
~1988: [Obama] first met his father's side of the family when he traveled to Africa 20 years ago. He referred to Onyango as "Auntie Zeituni" when describing the trip in his memoir, saying she was "a proud woman."
~1992: returns to Kenya with Michelle, sees her again
~1999: Onyango visited the family in Chicago on a tourist visa at Obama's invitation about nine years ago, the campaign said, stopping to visit friends on the East Coast before returning to Kenya.
2005: She attended Obama's swearing-in to the U.S. Senate in 2004 [note: actually 2005], but campaign officials said Obama provided no assistance in getting her a tourist visa and doesn't know the details of her stay.
2006: The campaign said he last heard from her about two years ago when she called saying she was in Boston, but he did not see her there.
Does anyone in their right mind think that the hyper-ruthless and -efficient Obama campaign wouldn't have immediately have done a background check - "vetted" her - to make sure she wasn't going to be a liability? He knew she came here on a tourist visa in 2004. Did she apply for asylum on that visit? Isn't that something she would have mentioned to him? Perhaps not, but wouldn't he expect that she would have returned home? Then, when she called back in 2006 wouldn't he immediately wonder under what status she'd come back? If she'd mentioned that she'd applied for regular legal immigration (rather than seeking asylum), wouldn't he wonder about the timing? Clearly she wants to live in the U.S.; wouldn't he have inquired about what she was doing to further that goal?
And, she previously told at least two reporters that she couldn't comment on anything until after the election. Did she think up that on her own? What role if any do those in Obama friend Deval Patrick's administration have in any of this? Were any of those people "minding" her?
Everyone reading this - not MSM reporters - needs to go out and try to ask Obama some questions about this. We need to find out exactly what Obama knew about this (and when he knew it). And, we need to find out exactly what else he's hiding away until after the election.
UPDATE: Rep. John Conyers has sent a letter to Michael Chertoff, saying in part: "I was startled to read in today’s Associated Press that a 'federal law enforcement official' has leaked information about an immigration case involving a relative of Senator Obama." However, is what the official did illegal, or are they just worried about reprisal in case BHO wins? If the former, the comments here concerning the JTP case apply. What part of her case is not a part of the public record?
UPDATE 2: His swearing-in was actually in 2005, not 2004 as the AP report says. I changed that above. That also means that she was here illegally while attending his swearing-in ceremony.
Villaraigosa, Dellums, Nickels don't want ICE immigration raids of "responsible employers" - 06/20/08
If you want examples of political corruption, illegal immigration is where you should look. The latest example is a resolution proposed by three west coast mayors at this year's Conference of Mayors meeting: they don't want ICE to conduct immigration raids of "responsible employers". Instead, they want them to only raid those companies that are abusing employees and the like.
Texas Border Coalition sues to stop border fence; lead attorney is Mexico-linked Peter Schey - 05/18/08
The Texas Border Coalition - a group of cities, counties, businesses, chambers of commerce, and economic development committees listed at the link - has sued the Department of Homeland Security over the border fence. The lead attorney in the case is Peter Schey, someone with a series of links to the Mexican government. The chairman of the TBC is Chad Foster, mayor of Eagle Pass. Others involved include Richard Cortez (mayor of McAllen), Pat Ahumada (mayor of Brownsville), Raul Salinas (mayor of Laredo), and Eddie Aldrete and Dennis Nixon of International Bancshares Corp./International Bank of Commerce.
Their claims are listed here and they say that the DHS didn't pay enough for lands they acquired, showed preferential treatment regarding lands owned by the Hunt family, and that Michael Chertoff failed to more or less cross his t's by establishing guidelines beforehand. And, Schey is quoted as saying the following ironic bit:
"They hoodwinked property owners [into waiving their property rights]... This whole thing has been built on a foundation of lawlessness."
El Paso BP chief Victor Manjarrez promotes immigration "reform", busboys-style (Alicia Caldwell) - 04/30/08
Alicia Caldwell of the Associated Press offers "El Paso border chief urges immigration reform" (link). The person in question is Victor M. Manjarrez Jr., chief of the U.S. Border Patrol's El Paso Sector.
David Price, Ciro Rodriguez question Michael Chertoff on fence waiver; "contingency miles"; hilarious posturing - 04/10/08
"This is a major exercise of the waiver authority which goes beyond, I think, what many of us anticipated," House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Price, D-N.C., said to Chertoff Thursday.
Price said Congress also instructed the department to conduct
Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa - a former leader of the racial separatist group MEChA - has sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff asking him to back off on recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in the city. This is simply an attempt to a) grandstand to his base (Hispanics, whether citizens, legal immigrants, or illegal aliens as well as their employers), b) maintain said power base, and c) support said employers in their attempts to profit from illegal activity.
[He warned] that work-site raids on "non-exploitative" businesses could have "severe and lasting effects" on the local economy... "I am concerned that ICE enforcement actions are creating an impression that this region is somehow less hospitable to these critical businesses than other regions," Villaraigosa wrote in a March 27 letter to [Chertoff]... Villaraigosa said ICE has targeted "established, responsible employers" in industries that have a "significant reliance on workforces that include undocumented immigrants." ..."In these industries, including most areas of manufacturing, even the most scrupulous and responsible employers have no choice but to rely on workers whose documentation, while facially valid, may raise questions about their lawful presence," he wrote. He said ICE should spend its limited resources targeting employers who exploit wage and hour laws... "At a time when we are facing an economic downturn and gang violence at epidemic levels, the federal government should focus its resources on deporting criminal gang members rather than targeting legitimate businesses," said Matt Szabo, the mayor's spokesman.
And, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce President Gary L. Toebben sent his own letter to Chertoff saying that workplace raids are "devastating" to businesses that are trying to follow the law.
The LAT article quotes Ira Mehlman of FAIR, but also reaches out to Angelica Salas of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a group that has allegedly collaborated with the Mexican government. As may be covered here later, that group was contacted by ICE before a raid in Van Nuys in February and then protested against it.
CBP Commissioner Ralph Basham blackmails Congress on securing border; "virtual fence", real fence this year? - 03/06/08
The United States may be unable to meet its timetable for essentially stopping illegal immigration across its border with Mexico by 2011, a Bush administration official told Congress on Thursday.
Ralph Basham, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said the government was working to meet the target set in November 2005 of having "operational control" of U.S.
Over a year ago, Congress passed a law to spend over $7 billion to build a fence to secure our Mexican border.
Secretary Michael Chertoff, head of the Department of Homeland Security, announced a set of final revisions to the controversial Real ID Act in a press conference this morning.
Less than 100 supervisors arrested on immigration charges in 2007 (+Spencer Hsu's pro-Dem spin) - 12/26/07
Spencer Hsu of the Washington Post offers "Immigrant Crackdown Falls Short/Despite Tough Rhetoric, Few Employers of Illegal Workers Face Criminal Charges". While we should be thankful for that news, he also offers some pro-Democratic Party spin.
Despite Bush administration blather (Michael Chertoff: "The days of treating employers who violate these laws by giving them the equivalent of a corporate parking ticket -- those days are gone. It's now felonies, jail time, fines and forfeitures."):
Fewer than 100 owners, supervisors or hiring officials were arrested in fiscal 2007, compared with nearly 4,900 arrests that involved illegal workers, providers of fake documents and others, the figures show... Late in the Clinton administration and early in the current administration, the number of illegal immigrants arrested in work-site cases fell -- from 2,849 in 1999 to a low of 445 in 2003 -- although there has since been a rebound. The number of criminal cases brought against employers during that period fell from 182 to four... ICE reported that the 92 criminal arrests made in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 included 59 owners and 33 corporate officials, human resources workers, crew chiefs and others in the "supervisory chain."
Doris Meissner comes by to sideways promote "immigration reform" by refering to the "chronic failure of employer enforcement under current laws".
As for the spin, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is quoted throughout as a supporter of enforcement, which she might just be. However, Hsu fails to note that the Democratic Party takes various steps to block enforcement, as do groups to which they're linked:
The Bush administration has said it is trying to improve its Internet-based E-Verify program, through which less than 1 percent of U.S. employers now voluntarily check new hires' Social Security numbers. It is also fighting major business, farm and labor groups in federal court to use Social Security data generated when suspect numbers are submitted to the government as a sweeping nationwide enforcement tool.
What that fails to mention is that one of the lead parties to the suit is the ACLU, and many people might miss the "labor" part; another plaintiff is the AFL-CIO. Both have degrees of influence over the Democratic Party.
...In the fall of 2006 when Congress passed and the President signed into law the Secure Fence Act, most Americans thought they understood what they were getting.
Feds strike deal on Eliot Spitzer driver's licenses for illegal aliens (victory or defeat?) - 10/27/07
The Bush administration and New York cut a deal Saturday to create a new generation of super-secure driver's licenses for U.S. citizens, but also allow illegal immigrants to get a version.The first tier is an "enhanced" license, followed by one that complies with the REAL ID Act. The third tier is one just for those who are making money for corrupt businesses and banks and who just might vote for Democrats, i.e., illegal aliens. They wouldn't be valid as federal ID. As Rep. Peter King says, this might be a defeat for Spitzer because few illegal aliens might want the licenses since they would strongly indicate that the bearer is here illegally. Needless to say, "immigrant rights" groups will probably protest it for that reason.
...Saturday's agreement with the Homeland Security Department will create a three-tier license system in New York. It is the largest state to sign on so far to the government's post-Sept. 11 effort to make identification cards more secure [joining Arizona, Vermont and Washington].
...Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he was not happy that New York intended to issue IDs to illegal immigrants. But he said there was nothing he could do to stop it.
"I don't endorse giving licenses to people who are not here legally, but federal law does allow states to make that choice," Chertoff said.
The governor made clear he is going forward with his plan allowing licenses for illegal immigrants. But advocates on both sides of the debate said Spitzer had caved to pressure by adopting the administration's stance on tighter security standards for most driver's licenses.
UPDATE: The plan won't go into effect until mid to late 2008. Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola says he'll continue his plan to sue to try to prevent any kind of licenses being issued to illegal aliens. And, as predicted, those on the other side are complaining, with Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, saying:
"He has crossed the line to the other side, letting his good name be used to promote an anti-immigrant, junk security measure in the Real ID."Here are some details on the tiers:
A lower-level license for driving and state ID purposes will be available to illegal aliens and citizens. The license will carry the words "Not for U.S. government purposes" and won't be acceptable ID for boarding a plane, entering a federal facility like a courtroom, or crossing the border.The "WHTI" sounds like it warrants a bit more research.
A more expensive second license, a federally recognized document that meets the REAL ID security requirements enacted by Congress in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will be available to citizens and legal aliens and will be good for boarding a plane or accessing federal facilities.
The third document, known as an "enhanced driver's license," will be strictly for U.S. citizens. It will carry all the federal benefits of the REAL ID, plus allow New Yorkers to cross the border into Canada without a passport under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
UPDATE 2: Ray Rivera of the New York Times offers "Governor Accused of Betraying Principles", which will probably be repurposed as an NYT immigration editiorial. It contains a similar Chung-Wha Hong quote, together with this:
[Hong] said having separate licenses would amount to a scarlet letter for illegal immigrants. "I know I'm speaking for millions of immigrants when I say I just feel so thoroughly betrayed."If Rivera were a real reporter he would have called her on that. Isn't she basically play-acting? "Immigrants" - those who've pledged to abide by our laws - can get the middle-tier, normal licenses. Is she making the false claim that most legal immigrants feel solidarity with illegal aliens? To the extent that that's true, isn't that more of either a personal thing (mixed status families) or a racial solidarity issue? Is encouraging either of those good public policy?
And, never fear, the ACLU is here:
The separate licenses could also serve as an invitation for law enforcement to arrest anyone carrying one on immigration charges, said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. She added that the new proposal could send illegal immigrants further into the shadows, compelling them to drive with forged or no licenses and without insurance.That's what's happening already, so it's not going to get worse just because they won't get the new, special licenses just for them.
UPDATE 3: The picture at the top of this post is apparently from a protest which was held today in front of Spitzer's NYC office (link). Hong was apparently there, as well as another play-actor:
"You have forsaken a practical policy that would have been a benefit for all New Yorkers - for what? For just your own short-sighted political cover," said S.J. Jung of [Young Korean American Service and Education Center]. "Today, New Yorkers are outraged by your flip-flopping and New Yorkers are ashamed to have someone like you as our governor."YKASEC is also a member of the "New York Coalition to Expand Voting Rights", a group that wants to let "immigrants" vote; whether that means illegal aliens or not isn't known. They also say that "New York government officials do not adequately reflect the faces of the people they represent."
How badly has Spitzer's corrupt scheme failed? He's lost support among law-abiding New Yorkers, and he's also lost the support of at least the leaders of a couple groups that, like him, support illegal activity. On one hand it's good that his career has been damaged; on the other hand, it would be better if there were no licenses for illegal aliens at all.
Two editorials in today's Washington Post and New York Times offer a good illustration of the kind of obstacles our Department faces in dealing with the problem of illegal immigration.
The Washington Post writes [link] that our use of Social Security no
DHS revamping agriculture guest worker programs (crops rotting in fields, redefining "temporary") - 10/07/07
With a nationwide farmworker shortage threatening to leave unharvested fruits and vegetables rotting in fields, the Bush administration has begun quietly rewriting federal regulations to eliminate barriers that restrict how foreign laborers can legally be brought into the country."Family farm" or politically-connected major albeit non-corporate grower? Perhaps if the LAT wanted to do some real reporting they might consider looking into her links.
...On all sides of the farm industry, the administration's behind-the-scenes initiative to revamp H-2A farmworker visas is fraught with anxiety. Advocates for immigrants fear the changes will come at the expense of worker protections because the administration has received and is reportedly acting on extensive input from farm lobbyists. And farmers in areas such as the San Joaquin Valley, which is experiencing a 20% labor shortfall, worry the administration's changes will not happen soon enough for the 2008 growing season.
"It's like a ticking time bomb that's going to go off," said Luawanna Hallstrom, chief operating officer of Harry Singh & Sons, a third-generation family farm in Oceanside that grows tomatoes. "I'm looking at my fellow farmers and saying, 'Oh my God, what's going on?' "
Officials at the three federal agencies are scrutinizing the regulations to see whether they can adjust the farmworker program, an unwieldy system used by less than 2% of American farms to bring in foreign workers. They are considering a series of changes, including lengthening the time workers can stay, expanding the types of work they can do, simplifying how their applications are processed, and redefining terms such as "temporary."Orwell would be proud.
The agencies are also working on possible changes to a separate visa program, H-2B, which brings in seasonal workers for resorts, clam-shucking operations and horse stables, among other businesses.All of which are vital to our economy.
...The changes to the H-2A visa program comprise one of more than two dozen initiatives the administration announced in August. Most of the initiatives dealt with increased enforcement, the most prominent being a measure that would force employers to either fire workers for whom they've received "no match" notification (indicating their W-2 data don't match Social Security Administration records) or face punitive action from the Department of Homeland Security. When Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced the enforcement push, he also acknowledged the problems that agriculture reported.
...Industry lobbyists have sent the Bush administration a set of detailed suggestions for overhauling the H-2A program through administrative changes, which could take weeks to put in place, and through changes in the regulations, a process that takes months.
Some of the suggestions under consideration include changing the procedures farmers must use to try to hire U.S. citizens first. Currently farmers have to advertise the jobs, then submit applications to Labor and Homeland Security to bring in foreign workers. Growers would prefer to move to a system in which they pledged that they had done all they could to recruit U.S. workers, but no longer had to submit an application to Labor.
Other changes under consideration would simplify the detailed H-2A housing requirements, extend the definition of "temporary" beyond 10 months, and expand the definition of "agricultural" workers to include such industries as meatpacking and poultry processing.
"Illegal migrants really degrade the environment. I've seen pictures of human waste, garbage, discarded bottles and other human artifact in pristine areas...
The Department of Justice today filed a lawsuit in federal district court seeking to invalidate an Illinois state law that attempts to prevent employers from using DHS's E-Verify system, which allows them to check in real-time whether new hires are authorized to work in the United States. The lawsuit seeks a declaration that a law passed earlier this year by the Illinois legislature and signed by the Governor (Rod Blagojevich) that prohibits employers from enrolling in the Department's E-Verify system is invalid.Rep. Peter Roskam says:
"E-verify or the Basic Pilot Program, authorized by Congress, is the on-line system that allows employers to verify whether new hires are allowed to work in the United States," said Carl Nichols, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Civil Division. "Today's lawsuit seeks to invalidate an Illinois state law that frustrates our ability to assist employers in making sure their workforce is legal, and in doing so conflicts with federal law."
"Governor Blagojevich and the Illinois Legislature are acting against the best interest of Illinois workers, Illinois families, and against the safety of our nation... It is unbelievable that a legislative body would prohibit honest employers the right to voluntarily verify the citizenship status of their workers. It is against the law to hire an illegal alien and the federal E-Verify system is currently the best means available for employers to ensure compliance... Governor Blagojevich is attempting to preempt federal law by creating a virtual sanctuary within the State of Illinois for illegal aliens."A few more links on this here; links to the complaint and the legislation here. The last includes an interview with Michael Chertoff about this.
Rod Blagojevich, Luis Gutierrez, and the alleged FALN terrorist
Illinois House approves driver's licenses for illegal aliens
Will Rod Blagojevich pro-illegal immigration scheme violate law?
FBI probes Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich; hiring kickback?
Blagojevich-linked group agitating illegal aliens, calls for general strike
Blagojevich stand behind NOI member on Illinois hate crimes commission
Blagojevich gives illegal aliens better deal than veterans
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich gets a $720,000 heated driveway
UFCW, Mexico-linked Peter Schey sue DHS over immigration raids (4th Amendment, yeah sure) - 09/14/07
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today, sought court intervention to protect the 4th Amendment rights of all Americans and enjoin the government from illegally arresting and detaining workers including U.S. citizens and legal residents while at their workplace.
The lawsuit - filed in the U.S.
Mr. Chertoff told the House Homeland Security Committee: "I certainly wouldn't tolerate interference" by cities who attempt to block the program.
"We're exploring our legal options," Mr. Chertoff said.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday he will introduce legislation to replace all paper Social Security cards with plastic biometric cards that can't be duplicated, so employers can be certain of the legal status of their workers...
Elvira Arellano - the illegal alien who was ordered to be deported after being convicted of using a false Social Security number and who's been holed up in a Chicago church for a year and who's only a sympathetic figure to those on the far-left - has left her "sanctuary" and is currently on a road trip.
On April 24, 2003, a board member of Chiquita International Brands disclosed to a top official at the Justice Department that the king of the banana trade was evidently breaking the nation's anti-terrorism laws.
Roderick M. Hills, who had sought the meeting with former law firm colleague Michael Chertoff, explained that Chiquita was paying "protection money" to a Colombian paramilitary group on the U.S. government's list of terrorist organizations.
Employers across the U.S.
Newt Gingrich: Bush administration is blackmailing U.S. (won't enforce laws unless gets amnesty) - 06/12/07
Welcome Newt Gingrich to the Clue Crew:
The Attempt to Blackmail the American People by Threatening to Refuse to Enforce the Law Without a New Bill Is Disgraceful: A number of powerful figures in the Bush Administration and in the Senate have been saying that if we do not agree to pass this destructive bill, they will never enforce the law.
Drudge is linking to the story about Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arresting dozens of illegal aliens in New Haven, Connecticut earlier today. This is apparently part of their occasional sweeps of fugitives and criminal aliens.
First, it's worth noting that USA Today leads off the posting with: "Cabinet secretaries tackle myths of the immigration debate..." Obviously, the non-disclaimed word "myths" is editorializing and gives a strong clue to USA Today's stance on the issue. Let's take a look at this:
Q: So let's be sure we understand this. If this compromise becomes law, 12 million illegal immigrants could instantly enroll in the system and receive probationary legal status. Once a series of enforcement "triggers" are met — such as improved border security and a set system to verify the status of illegal workers — they could apply for a Z visa. That visa would allow them to remain and work in the country and, if they choose, put them on a path to citizenship. You'd be adding this to a system that was strained and challenged even before this legislation. Is this possible?Of course, what he fails to stress is that after simplifying the current system, they are going to have millions and millions of new applicants. Why not just simplify the current system, without the massive rush of millions and millions of new applicants?
Chertoff: By simplifying the system and by not having a very complicated process for getting the Z visa, you're eliminating a lot of the problems under the current system, which was built as a patchwork. (Illegal immigrants who were in the country by Jan. 1, 2007, are eligible for the Z visa.)
Q: How will you get the illegal immigrants to enroll, and what happens once they do?A model they could follow is the one the Mexican government uses with their mobile consulates. I'm kidding, but I wouldn't be surprised if they thought of that.
Chertoff: We need to have locations all over the country, particularly in places with large numbers of illegal migrants. We hope to get local community leaders to help...[describes Z visa process...]
Needless to say, the "local community leaders" will almost all be far-left with some of them being radicals and/or having direct or indirect links to the Mexican government. I have little doubt that individual offices would be under tremendous pressure to get as many people on "probationary" status as quickly as possible, with the "leaders" supplying much of the pressure, and lawyers from the ACLU and other groups supplying more. I am extremely doubtful that intake personnel will be experienced or skilled, with many being taken in by liars, with many feeling sympathy with applicants, and with some being on the take. "Mad rush" doesn't begin to describe what the offices will look like, even if many illegal aliens decide to maintain their current status.
Chertoff goes on to claim that after a certain period there will be no more Z Visas issued; can anyone see that happening? If there are hundreds of thousands or millions of unadmitted illegal aliens after the first phase, what are they going to do but wave the magic wand again? Expect an extension to be issued just before the end of the first phase; see "Temporary" Protected Status for an example of how that would work.
Chertoff then goes on to assure illegal aliens who enter the program that if they play by the rules and don't have criminal records, they won't be deported. While he has to say something like that in order to increase the miniscule possibility that the scheme would work, its irony was no doubt lost on the USA Today board. Or, perhaps they had a nice chuckle.
Q. So once the Z visa system is in place, will every employer have access to a computer in order to verify an employee's legal status?What? The last time I was in a PO (admittedly several months ago), they were barely electrified. Does this bill include the computerization of the post offices?
Gutierrez: Yes, and for those who may not have a computer, there will be post offices with computers and secretaries of state with computers.
Q: Would anyone who hires a day laborer — to do yard work, for instance — have to verify status?Did he stifle a laugh as he said that? The worries about getting caught hiring an illegal alien day laborer would be the same post-"reform" as they are now: none. Newspapers have even promoted the practice.
Asked about the "justification for the guest-worker program":
Gutierrez: Our unemployment is 4.5%. It's below the average of each of the last four decades. This is a very tight labor market. We don't have enough truck drivers. We don't have enough nurses. We don't have enough people working in the fields. We don't have enough maids in hotels. I'm constantly hearing this. So there's no question we don't have enough workers.I generally avoid economic arguments here, but my understanding is that many of those jobs are of the McJob variety, most of the recent jobs have gone to immigrants, and large numbers of Americans are structurally unemployed (and thus not reflected in the 4.5% figure). So, I don't think Gutierrez is being intellectually honest. And, of course, he says that he's bought the propaganda from cheap labor-seeking employers, and he wants everyone else to buy it as well.
Near the end, USA Today says this:
Q: Some people express concern that so many of today's immigrants speak the same language, and it's not English. Does that make this different from past waves of immigration?There are huge differences between the current wave and past waves. USA Today can't mention them all, but they're falsely implying that that's the only or the major difference. Gutierrez goes on to inform them that two of his children were born in Mexico (apparently this was when he was a Kellogg executive and after he'd obtained U.S. citizenship) and that because "the television; the whole environment is in English" it's not a problem. Obviously, there are huge problems with that statement.
Chertoff and Gutierrez are just snake oil salesmen, with USA Today as their shill.
Michael Chertoff: Mexicans aren't encouraging illegal "migration"; Senate bill is "straight with the American public" - 05/25/07
"If we're going to change the dynamic here we've gotta be completely honest with the American people about what's practical and what's impractical, about how long it's going to take, about how much it's going to cost and about what the collateral consequences are going to be and this bill was an effort to really be straight with the American public...
LHF: Bush won't do job, shows how the Senate illegal immigration amnesty would fail miserably - 05/24/07
Criticizing Bush's endless stream of blather on immigration is just about the lowest hanging fruit possible, but let's look at his latest stream of semi-consciousness . First, he sounds like Howard Dean ("scapegoating immigrants") when he accuses his opponents of targeting illegal aliens. Then, he enters his peevish/defensive mode with the next four sentences. Then, he offers a non-sequitur for the last:
...It's easy to hold up somebody who is here and working hard as a political target. I would like to get this bill done for a lot of reasons.
Bottom line: Congress should try to get him fired. Since it's clear that he has not and will not do his job, that should be easy. Except, of course, most of them appreciate the fact that he's not doing his job.
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."
Outside a number of Senators, there aren't too many who support the Senate's immigration amnesty/"guest" worker plan. This post will keep track of them, and I urge everyone to hold those below accountable whether the bill passes or not. I also urge everyone to keep calling Congress, but, even more importantly, follow the steps previously outlined to help stop amnesty.
* Of course: president Bush, Sens. John McCain and Ted Kennedy
* From "Few senators support the illegals bill" (link):
Sen. Arlen Specter, one of the Republicans who helped craft the deal, said it's the best they could do... "It will treat the 12 million undocumented immigrants in a constructive way. It is not amnesty. They'll have to pay a fine. They'll have to earn their way to citizenship," he said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "It's better than what we have now." ...in Georgia, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, one of the secret negotiators, was also booed [like Lindsey Graham] at that state's Republican convention... ...Meanwhile, Republicans' chief negotiator in the closed-door sessions, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, wrote a column for the Arizona Republic newspaper yesterday saying he won't support the bill if major changes are made during the floor debate... "If the consensus we reach is not accurately reflected in the final legislative language, or is seriously undercut by amendments in the Senate or House, it will lose support, including from me," he wrote... ...Seven Republicans, including the party's chairman, Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, Mr. Chambliss and Mr. Kyl, the Senate Republican Conference chairman, were at the press conference announcing the bill...
* DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff meanwhile challenged critics to offer alternative solutions instead of simply saying "this isn't good enough." (link; the obvious answer is, of course, that he should do his job)
* [Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez says] "I have the impression that perhaps for some people, the only thing that would not be amnesty is mass deportation... We don't think that's practical, we don't think that's logical, we don't think that's humane and that would hurt our economy. So it's not amnesty."
* [Sen. Lindsey Graham says (ibid)] "To my colleagues who have come on the floor to tear this bill down with no alternative, you're not doing this country a service and I will push back... If you’ve got a better idea and you can lead us to a better solution, I'm all for it. But if all you're going to do is embrace the status quo, I’m going to be your biggest critic.
* The Wall Street Journal editorial board offered "Immigration Opening" on Saturday (link), which was followed by several reader letters almost all denouncing the bill (link). Today, John Fund offers "Don't Run for the Border - America needs immigration reform, but not a law enacted in haste" (link), perhaps as an indirect acknowledgement of the bill's failings.
Last week after a deal was reached in the Senate, Jacoby held a conference call with 20 business owners Friday to explain the politics of the overhaul... [She's praised by] Randel Johnson, a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce... ...Jacoby sat at a table in the Senate Chef last week surrounded by two Texas bankers, a cattle rancher and a guy who represents Rio Grande Valley orange growers, all of whom had flown in to put a last-minute press on their congressional representatives... "The most important thing is the temporary-worker program," Jacoby told them. Lawmakers "are going to go all out to cut it in half and unless business goes all out, like D-Day, they will surely win." ...She is willing to work with religious and civil rights groups, including the Roman Catholic Church and the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group, to achieve the goal... ...the leader of a Latino civil rights group tapped Jacoby on the shoulder. Brent A. Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens...
* Safely outside the compound, Michael Barone phones in to say that he supports the bill, despite not having read it.
* In the basement of the compound, Captain Ed decides to be even more like Hugh Hewitt than Hugh Hewitt, saying today  that
"Conceptually, I think it could work -- but the bill doesn't quite match the concepts outlined in the announcement, either."
In a previous post , he offered this stock talking point:
Everyone agrees that the system is broken; in fact, that's about the only agreement to be found.
* In the subbasement, Dafydd ab Hugh shows how little he knows about this issue and continues to support some form of "regularization" (the same word the Mexican government uses) 
the bi-partisan Senate bill makes a point of rewarding only good behavior... ...And speaking of rewarding good behavior, and punishing the bad: those courageous conservatives (Senators Kyl, Graham, Isakson and, yes, McCain) who have worked constructively and seriously on immigration reform deserve our support, not our rage, while those politicians and media figures who have demagogued this issue in a way that only makes it worse, in no way merit our encouragement.
UPDATE 2: I knew this would come sooner or later. Instapundit says :
WHY PEOPLE WHO HATE THE IMMIGRATION BILL SHOULD BACK THE IMMIGRATION BILL: Okay, I had this thought last night as I was drifting off to sleep. But the Nyquil wore off and I still think it may make sense. Lots of people think that the immigration bill stinks, and want to punish the GOP by staying home in 2008. Fair enough. But if you plan to punish the GOP in 2008, then you might want to support the immigration bill now. Why? Because if the Democrats win the White House and Congress in 2008, you'll get a bill that you like a whole lot less! So if you plan to punish the Republicans later, you should encourage them to pass their bill now... There's got to be something wrong with this analysis, I just can't figure out what it is. Anyone? Kaus? Anyone?
UPDATE 3: Here's another Chertoff quote:
"You know, Wolf [Blitzer], first, I understand there's some people who expect anything other than capital punishment is an amnesty. The reality is the proposal here requires people who came in illegally who want to stay to pay a penalty. Like a fine. That's a punishment. That's not an amnesty."
UPDATE 6: Sen. Trent Lott says:
"Is the current situation in America with legal and illegal immigration intolerable and unacceptable? Yes. Everybody would agree. Is this bill better than the current law? Without a doubt, yes. Are we going to have another opportunity to do this better next year or the next year? The answer is no. We've got to do it. We've got to do it as good as we can. We've got to do it right now."
UPDATE 7: Sen. Mitch McConnell says he'll support the bill, and also says:
"This is a divisive issue... I don't think there's a single member of either party next year who is going to fail to be re-elected over this issue."
SPECIAL HACK UPDATE: Hacks - not all of whom specifically support the Senate bill - have started their rampage of smears against those who oppose massive illegal immigration: Linda Chavez, Michael Gerson, and Robert Novak.
SPECIAL "LIBERAL" HACK UPDATE: Eleanor Clift offers "Bush Is Right—On Immigration, Anyway". She and the preceding hacks aren't that much different. Let's count the lies:
Just as [Pete Wilson]'s anti-immigrant [lie] policies turned California into the bluest of Blue States [misleading if not wrong], the angry, racist and xenophobic rhetoric emanating from the Republican right [smear and largely false] is turning the fastest-growing voting bloc in America against the GOP... Seeing a way to rally the base and respond to the growing anti-immigrant sentiment [lie], House Republicans pushed and passed legislation that was racially divisive and punitive [lie], cracking down on those who aided illegal immigrants - even church groups [lie]. The bill sparked massive rallies across the country against the Republican Congress [some of the organizers of those rallies were Mexican political parties and those linked to the Mexican government]. Rosenberg's New Democrat Network monitored ads in 25 states picturing a Mexican immigrant side by side with an Islamist terrorist. [Chuck Schumer created a similar TV ad]
When Sen. Edward M.
"When we met with Secretary Chertoff, he assured us there would be no action taken on the fence along the border without conferring with local officials... The Secretary told us that he believes that in some areas there does not need to be a fence, especially in places where there are natural borders like the ones we have here in Val Verde County.