Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Dobbs: Give it a rest, Mr. President

POSTED: 9:29 a.m. EDT, June 13, 2007
By Lou Dobbs

Editor's note: Lou Dobbs' commentary appears weekly on

NEW YORK (CNN) -- President Bush is building his legacy, adding another unfortunate line of hollow bravado to his rhetorical repertoire. To "Mission accomplished," "Bring it on," "Wanted: Dead or alive," and of course, "I earned ... political capital, and now I intend to spend it," he has added "I'll see you at the bill signing," referring to his own ill-considered push for so-called comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Bush emerged from a midday meeting with Republican senators on Capitol Hill to declare, "We've got to convince the American people this bill is the best way to enforce our border."

No, Mr. President, someone you trust and respect must convince you that kind of tortured reasoning should never be exposed before cameras and microphones. Isn't there anyone in this administration with the guts to say, "Give it a rest, Mr. President"?

Sen. Jeff Sessions came close when he said, "He needs to back off." This president desperately needs to be reminded that he is the president of all Americans and not just of corporate interests and socio-ethnocentric special interest groups.

In what other country would citizens be treated to the spectacle of the president and the Senate focusing on the desires of 12 million to 20 million people who had crossed the nation's borders illegally, committed document fraud, and in many cases identity theft, overstayed their visas and demanded, not asked, full forgiveness for their trespasses?

Illegal aliens and their advocates, both liberal and conservative, possess such an overwhelming sense of entitlement that they demand not only legal status, but also that the government leave the borders wide open so that other illegals could follow as well, while offering not so much as an "I'm sorry" or a "Thank you."

This bill would be disastrous public policy and devastate millions of American workers and their families, taxpayers and any semblance of national security. Yet even in defeat, Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, one of the reform bill's chief architects, declared: "Doing nothing is totally unacceptable." Like the senator, Bush says the status quo is unacceptable.

The president and the senator are wrong. It is the sham legislation they support that is totally unacceptable. But if Bush and Kennedy sincerely desire resolution to our illegal immigration and border security crises, I'd like to try to help. But a word of caution, if I may, to our elected officials: Resolution of these crises will require honesty, directness and an absolute commitment to the national interest and the common good of our citizens. Here are what I consider to be the essential guiding principles for any substantive reform:

First, fully secure our borders and ports. Without that security, there can be no control of immigration and, therefore, no meaningful reform of immigration law.

Second, enforce existing immigration laws, and that includes the prosecution of the employers of illegal aliens. As Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, put it, illegal employers are the magnet that draws illegal aliens across our border. Enforcing the law against illegal employers and illegal aliens at large in the country will mean bolstering, in all respects, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Third, the government should fund, equip and hire the people necessary to man the Citizenship and Immigration Services. To do so will ensure that the agency is capable of fully executing and administering lawful immigration into the United States and eliminating the shameful backlog of millions of people who are seeking legal entry into this country.

Those three steps are necessary to the security of the nation and the effective administration and enforcement of existing immigration laws. Those steps should be considered non-negotiable conditions precedent to any change or reform of existing immigration law.

At the same time, the president and Congress should order exhaustive studies of the economic, social and fiscal effects of the leading proposals to change immigration law, and foremost in their consideration should be the well-being of American workers and their families.

The president and Congress should begin the process of thoughtful reform of our immigration laws. Public hearings should be held throughout the nation. The American people should be heard in every region of the country, and fact-finding should be rigorous and thorough. The process will be time-consuming and demand much of our congressmen and senators, their staffs and relevant executive agencies.

The importance of securing borders and ports and reforming our immigration laws is profound, and that security is fundamental to the future of our nation. That future can be realized only with a complete commitment to a comprehensive legislative process of absolute transparency and open public forums in which our elected officials hear the voices of the people they represent. American citizens deserve no less.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.



Republicans who voted against amnesty this year & last year:
Allard (R-CO), Bond (R-MO), Bunning (R-KY), Burr (R-NC), Chambliss (R-GA), Coburn (R-OK), Crapo (R-ID), DeMint (R-SC), Dole (R-NC), Ensign (R-NV), Grassley (R-IA), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA), Roberts (R-KS), Sessions (R-AL), Shelby (R-AL), Sununu (R-NH), Thune (R-SD), and Vitter (R-LA)

Republicans who voted FOR the amnesty last year, but voted against it this year:
Alexander (R-TN), Bennett (R-UT), Cochran (R-MS),Coleman (R-MN), Collins (R-ME), Cornyn (R-TX), Craig (R-ID), Domenici (R-NM), Gregg (R-NH), Hatch (R-UT), Hutchison (R-TX), Kyl (R-AZ), Lott (R-MS), McConnell (R-KY), Murkowski (R-AK) Smith (R-OR), Snowe (R-ME), Stevens (R-AK), and Warner (R-VA)


The Regime Against the Nation

Last week, in one of the great uprisings of modern politics, Middle America rose up and body-slammed the national establishment.

The Bush-Kennedy-McCain amnesty for 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens, and for the businesses that have hired them -- a bill backed by La Raza and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post -- went down to crushing defeat.

Majority Leader Harry Reid fell 15 votes short (45 to 50) of shutting off debate. Like the rout of the Dubai ports deal, the victory was achieved by a firestorm of public protest, reflected in millions of phone calls and e-mails, and citizens marching to town meetings.

The capital's capitulation to the country was unprecedented and astonishing. Not two weeks earlier, the amnesty provision of the bill had been supported by more than 60 senators.

But opponents of this bill, which would reward mass criminality with mass amnesty and eventual U.S. citizenship, ought not rest.

For President Bush is coming back to resuscitate the monster, and this bill has more support in the Senate than the 45 votes it got Thursday. Some Republicans and Democrats who voted not to shut off debate are privately committed to amnesty, if they can be given political cover and face-saving amendments to take home.

Sen. John Kyl is not necessarily wrong when he says, "All we have to do on the Republican side is sit down with those who have amendments, get those amendments in a reasonable package, not too many, but enough so all of the members can say they had their chance."

Kyl reads his party right. For the GOP is the political instrument of K Street and Corporate America -- the folks who fund the party and finance the campaigns. And the No. 1 issue of Corporate America is Bush-Kennedy-McCain. For not only does it give blanket amnesty to businesses for hiring illegals, it legalizes the illegals and ensures Corporate America an endless supply of cheap immigrant labor.

The fundamental reason this bill is not dead is that its authors and backers will never quit. For this legislation is part of a larger agenda of a large slice of America's economic and political elite.

What is that agenda?

They have a vision of a world where not only capital and goods but people move freely across borders. Indeed, borders disappear. It is a vision of a "deep integration" of the United States, Canada and Mexico in a North American Union, modeled on the European Union and tied together by super-highways and railroads, where crossing from Mexico into the United States would be as easy as crossing from Virginia into Maryland. It is about the merger of nations into larger transnational entitles and, ultimately, global governance.

This immigration bill is but a piece of a great global project already far advanced. In 1993, a majority of Americans opposed the NAFTA trade deal with Mexico because they did not believe the propaganda and feared that, as Henry Kissinger said, it represented the architecture of a new world order.

More than a dozen years have elapsed. And the results? Contrary to the promises, our trade surplus with Mexico did not grow. It vanished. In 13 years, we have run $500 billion in trade deficits with Mexico. Last year's $60 billion was the largest ever. Mexico now exports more cars, trucks and auto parts to the United States than we export to the world.

What NAFTA did was enable U.S. companies to close their plants here, fire their American workers, and move their factories and jobs to Mexico, while Mexico continued to export its poor to the United States.

What is the hidden agenda of the global companies, which evolved out of what were once great American companies?

They want a limitless supply of low-wage immigrant labor and an end to penalties for hiring illegals. They want the freedom to shut factories here and move them to nations where wages are low, benefits nonexistent and regulations lax. They want to be able to move products back to the United States free of charge. They want to be rid of their American workers, but keep their American consumers.

They want to be able to go out to Asia and hire bright kids and bring them to the United States to replace middle-age U.S. workers who cost too much. They want to be able to outsource their white-collar jobs to India at a fraction of the wages they pay Americans.

It is about globalism -- and about greed. And, as the Bible says, love of money is the root of all evil. But they have a problem. The nation has begun to awaken to the reality that the vision of the global corporation and the transnational elite cannot be realized without the death of the American republic. And so they are in a fight that is long overdue.