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In need of some momentum in Congress for legislative traction, George Bush has finally decided to start addressing illegal immigration and the porous southern border of the United States. After seeing almost his entire legislative agenda stalled out between the Iraq war debates and two Supreme Court nominations, Bush needs to apply a push to get some successes from Congress early in the next session:
President Bush will make stops in Arizona and Texas this week to address an issue that has divided some members of his own Republican Party -- illegal immigration. ...
A senior administration official said that the president, in a speech on immigration, will focus on three areas: border security, enforcement and a temporary worker program.
The official said the president will talk about "additional resources and the use of technology to secure the border," and will discuss it in terms of national security and the economy.
Not all of this will thrill the Republican base, which has gotten restless waiting for some solutions to the ongoing security issues presented at the border. The GOP doesn't like the notion of Bush's guest-worker program, but the open question of what to do with 10 million illegal aliens already inside the US requires some sort of reasonable answer. Roundup and massive deportation would probably require the armed forces to conduct the operations -- in defiance of posse comitatus -- and concentration camps to sort out the illegal from the legal. Neither will prove palatable for moderates in either party, no matter how much the taint of amnesty carries with a guest-worker program.
At least the issue will find its way back to the national debate, with some momentum to finally get legislative treatment next year.Sphere It View blog reactions
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