Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bush Meeting With Pence On Immigration A Bad Sign

When President Bush has to sit down and discuss immigration reform with Rep. Mike Pence at this point in the immigration debate, you know things have really gotten bad for the White House. Yesterday, Pence was invited to an oval office meeting with Bush and Vice President Cheney to discuss what he calls his "middle ground" immigration reform proposal. It's anything but a "middle ground".

Pence's grand plan calls for a guest worker program which would require all illegal immigrants to return to their native country and be processed for a work visa matching them up with an American employer willing to employ them. Pence wants to contract with private companies to manage the program. This idea is completely impractical because it impacts at least 12 million undocumented persons. Many of these people have U.S. citizen wives and children who they will be extremely reluctant to abandon in hopes that all goes right and their work visa can get processed in a timely fashion and they will be allowed to re-enter the country legally.

While Pence says he's concerned about border security, the idea of privatizing this visa process is frought with problems. Recall that student visas, which are administered by higher education institutions, allowed several of the 9/11 hijackers easy entry into the U.S. to carry out their terrorist activities. It also does not provide any permanent solution to these millions of immigrants. What happens when their visas expire? Pence's plan offers no route to permanent resident status or citizenship so the visa holders will be right back where they started--in an illegal status.

The bottom line is that Pence's plan demonstrates his complete lack of knowledge of our immigration laws. It is too bad that he doesn't bother to consult with Indiana members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association before setting out in a reckless manner to rewrite our immigration laws. If he really cared about addressing the problem, he would propose something more than a stop-gap measure, which is destined to create far more problems than it will ever solve.

1 comment:

paula said...

On the up side, maybe that means the Republicans feel the gay wedge is loosing its effectiveness.

Not that that makes it any better. When will they stop? Oh, I know, when it doesn't work anymore.