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Jewish World Review Jan. 9, 2004 / 15 Teves, 5764

Laura Ingraham

Laura Ingraham
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Jumping conservatives at the border | I am beginning to think John McCain actually won the presidency in 2000.

Conservatives were relieved when the Straight Talk Express petered out during the 2000 primary season. John McCain, although tough on national security and runaway spending, was hardly a conservative on major issues such as campaign finance, healthcare reform and immigration.

Yet this is exactly where we find President Bush today (except unlike McCain, Bush doesn't seem to have much of a problem with runaway spending). Last year President George Bush signed the McCain-Feingold bill into law, which is one of the worst assaults on political speech this country has ever seen. When conservatives (and many liberals) howled, the President's advisers whispered that they believed the Supreme Court would "clean up" the more onerous parts of the bill which dictates the types of political ads that can air before a general election or primary contest. Of course the Supreme Court rubber stamped the entire thing and so the result is less, not more political speech in the U.S.

And now President Bush charges across the landscape to rescue us from our "unfair" and "broken" immigration system by rewarding people who came here illegally with the promise of legal status. This proposal essentially mirrors the immigration legislation sponsored by-you got it-Sen. McCain. Under the Bush/McCain plan, anyone outside the U.S. who wants to come into the country would only need to show proof of a "job offer" in order to get an initial three-year work permit that would be renewable for an unspecified period. Such temporary workers could also bring family members here.

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What prevents these people from staying on beyond their time premitted for "temporary" work? As it stands now, there seems to be no limit on the immigration -temporary or permanent- allowed under this plan. And as for the claim that this would be a big boon to the American economy? Illegal immigration costs taxpayers $20 billion each year, in extra education, healthcare, welfare, and prison costs. Today thirty-four percent of Mexicans legally in the U.S., and 25 percent of Mexicans illegally here are welfare.

How are those costs diminished under the Bush plan?

Most bewildering is the Administration idea that this plan is necessary for homeland security reasons. On the contrary, it would not be surprising if some would-be terrorists are among the millions of illegals who will become "documented" under the Bush plan. As Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) charged, "Guest worker programs and gradual amnesty provide cover for terrorists."

It's easy to understand why Vicente Fox, McCain, big business, and La Raza are happy this week-but what's in this new proposal for working class American families? How about those immigrants who a lot of time and money to comply with our immigration laws?

The real answer is absolutely nothing. The only reasonable prediction is that wages for a wide range of jobs will be kept artificially depressed by outside workers-now with "legal status" will work for peanuts. "I have worked construction for 30 years as a truck driver (18-wheeler)," wrote one of my listeners, "And every year my pay has gone down because Mexicans are flooding the trucking industry…."

When Bill Clinton says we live in an "increasingly borderless world," we're not surprised. It's the usual globaloney blather. But when a Republican president advocates a policy that will make our borders effectively meaningless, we should be outraged.

With his approval numbers high, President Bush has made a devil's bargain with business and Hispanic groups. Elites from both parties are ignoring the view of a strong majority of Americans that we need to stop illegal immigration, not high-five it.

Another listener wonders: "What happened to the 'party of principle'? More like the party of pandering. Considering the massive numbers involved, this amnesty being floated really is Pandora's Box, once opened cannot be closed."

President Bush has now done the equivalent of posting a sign at the border: "Help Wanted for $5.15/hour."

Conservatives are right to be disappointed in President Bush. We are right to ignore the Administration's promise that this time, non-amnesty amnesty will be good for the American people. Our citizenship and legal residence should be reserved for people who love this country enough that breaking her laws-whether at the border or on the street-is out of the question. The next time I hear from his Administration that it is doing all it can to protect our homeland, secure our borders, and increase our standard of living, I will laugh.

Now I know the definition of "compassionate conservative:" a person who campaigns as a conservative, then sells out key conservative principles.

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JWR contributor Laura Ingraham is the host of a nationally syndicated radio show and the author of the just released "Shut Up and Sing: How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the UN are Subverting America". Comment by clicking here.

11/20/03: The Media Misses the Point — Again
10/29/03: The attack of the open border elites
09/11/03: Blame America redux
09/04/03: Back To School, or Back to...Sex?
08/27/03: The elites' anti-religion obsession
08/14/03: Dems whine, democracy shines
08/12/03: What would Reagan do?
08/06/03: Hillary, courtside
07/30/03: Gray skies just got darker
07/23/03: Sticking it to the Children
07/08/03: He's not invincible
07/01/03: It's time to take back the Constitution
04/01/03: Peter Arnett's MOAB
03/25/03: The Dems' Michael Moore Problem
03/18/03: Dixie Chicken out
03/11/03: The real predator drones
03/04/03: The French PR machine crashes
02/25/03: Keep us safe --- let's be more like Europe!
02/11/03: Hollywood loves dictators
02/05/03: First Amendment frauds in Cincinnati
01/28/03: The elites versus the voters
01/22/03: Playing (and losing) Homeland Security politics
01/14/03: What have you done for the free world lately?
12/17/02: Who is the better leader: Gore or Lott?
12/10/02: Who, more than anyone else, is actively advancing the cause of civil liberties around the world?
12/04/02: 'Tis the season to hope for the worst
11/27/02: The Federal P.C. Police Versus Small Business Owners (Cont'd)
11/19/02: Bipartisan moves to reward illegals
11/13/02: Eminem, a rebel? You gotta be kidding!
11/05/02: In defense of low turnout
10/30/02: Hell, no they won't go!
10/22/02: Where are the moderate Muslims?
10/15/02: California dreaming, cont'd
10/08/02: Slick Willie's running
10/01/02: Euro-worries about wall flower status
09/26/02: How lucky we are that the Straight Talk Express drove off the cliff!
09/18/02: What Jackson and Sharpton know about conservatives
09/12/02: The Today Show v. guns
08/27/02: Bush not attending the UN-sponsored "bash Amerika" conference!?
08/20/02: The NEA: Let the anti-American indoctrination begin!
08/13/02: Bubba's revenge
08/07/02: Bilingual bust continues its drag on our schools
07/30/02: Dems love for big lawyers=big opportunity
07/23/02: No time for vacation
07/16/02: Is Homeland Security all wet?
06/25/02: The firing season has arrived
06/18/02: Picking the next chief
06/11/02: Intelligence coup, with much more to do
06/07/02: The Bush administration's foul ball
05/30/02: Post-feminism in the aftermath of 9-11
05/23/02: The press gunning for Ashcroft
05/19/02: El Jefe basks in Carter's Light
05/15/02: Former presidents who don't understand the word "former"
05/07/02: Ozzy deified, many mortified, drugs glorified?
05/01/02: Bush: "California here I come ... sort of"
04/27/02: The good news about conservatives versus Bush
04/17/02: While the cat's away....
04/09/02: Preview of 2004: See how Dick runs!
01/29/02: A kinder, gentler human-rights violator?
11/27/01: Military tribunals provide streamlined justice
09/07/01: Scariest animal wears pants
08/17/01: Depressed after seeing uncut version of Apocalypse Now --- and for good reason
07/20/01: The other, maybe more important, news
06/22/01: Washington's pro-Bono worship is unnerving
06/01/01: Burying conservatism
05/17/01: Ashcroft's abuse of power

© 2002, Laura Ingraham