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Barely a week has passed since 84 percent of the nation’s self-described conservatives cast their ballots for George W. Bush, and already the president and his administration have delivered at least two good, strong, swift kicks in the teeth to the voters who elected him. Speaking in Mexico this week Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged that the administration will revive its amnesty plan for illegal aliens, and in Washington Hispanic White House counsel Alberto Gonzales was named as the next attorney general.
Mr. Gonzales, considered a liberal on social issues, will be the main official to pick the next Supreme Court justices, including the chief justice. Since one of the major reasons why conservatives voted for Mr. Bush at all was that he would supposedly select more conservative justices than John Kerry, Mr. Gonzales’ appointment is a nice wallop to the conservative face.
It’s also an obvious pander to Hispanics, since the White House has now bought into the claim that the president won some 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in the election due to his warm and toasty amnesty plan. The plan, unveiled last January as a “temporary workers visa program,” was so obviously an amnesty that the president had to drop it for the rest of the election year. Now it’s back, and the election is over.
Mr. Powell explicitly acknowledged the political machinations behind the amnesty.
“In light of the campaign and other things that were going on, we weren’t able to engage the Congress on it,” he said. “But now that the election is behind us and the president is looking to his second term, the president intends to engage Congress on it.” [Powell says Bush will engage Congress on temporary worker proposal, State Department, November 3, 2004]
How about engaging with the masses of Americans who oppose amnesty and who put Mr. Bush in the White House in the first place? Well, they’ve served their purpose and can now be ignored, just as the American ruling class has ignored public opinion on immigration control for decades. Why should this president be any different?
The Washington Times reports that while Mr. Powell was plotting amnesty in Mexico, the president himself was plotting it with Arizona’s Sen. John McCain.
“The president met privately in the Oval Office with Sen. John McCain to discuss jump-starting a stalled White House initiative that would grant legal status to millions of immigrants who broke the law to enter the United States,” the Times reported.
Mr. McCain, it may be recalled, is fresh from the slap in the puss his own state delivered to him and his congressional colleagues for opposing Arizona’s Proposition 200, a ballot measure that effectively denies welfare to illegal aliens and prevents them from fraudulent voting.
Mr. McCain, his colleague Sen. John Kyl and every member of the Arizona congressional delegation opposed Prop 200, as did the local Chamber of Commerce, the governor of the state, and of course the Open Borders lobby. Prop 200 passed by a substantial 56 percent anyway—and with 47 percent Hispanic support.
It’s not surprising the Bush White House is oblivious to the vote on Prop 200. Mr. Bush’s secret agenda since almost the day he entered office has been to enact an amnesty. He nearly did so in September 2001, when certain other business intervened.
He resurrected it early this year, and it went comatose. Now he’s trying to pull it from the grave.
The leader of immigration control forces in Congress, Colorado Rep.Tom Tancredo, who was re-elected by a similarly whopping 60 percent in his district (as opposed to President Bush’s slim 52 percent in Colorado), says the resurrected amnesty plan remains “dead on arrival.” It may well be, but then again, the situation is somewhat different now.
Congressmen now don’t have to worry about what their constituents think for a whole two years, and if they pass amnesty, as they have before, they can hope voters will forget about it. Moreover, with the 44 percent Hispanic Republican myth, many congressmen will simply be afraid to alienate Hispanics. That’s why the 47 percent who supported Prop 200 is important.
Contrary to another myth of the Open Borders lobby, voting for immigration control does not mean political suicide, or even serious political risk. As the votes for the Arizona measure and for Mr. Tancredo show, the reality is that immigration control wins elections.
Immigration was barely mentioned during the presidential campaign, and if Mr. Bush had really wanted to revive his defunct amnesty plan, he should have talked about it a good deal more than he did. He didn’t—because he knew bringing it up would be his own political suicide.
Now that he’s avoided that fate, he thinks he can sneak amnesty through. Conservatives who were fooled once need to let their congressmen know they won’t be fooled again.