Immigration bill would create an unmanageable bureaucratic nightmare |

Immigration bill would create an unmanageable bureaucratic nightmare

Guy W. Farmer
For the Appeal

Were you surprised when the Senate postponed a vote on the Bush/Kennedy “comprehensive immigration reform” bill Monday?

I certainly wasn’t because lawmakers of both parties immediately began to question the complex provisions of a measure cobbled together behind closed doors by President Bush, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and a few of their allies in yet another amnesty plan for millions of illegal immigrants.

Even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, had reservations about certain provisions of the Bush/Kennedy compromise as he postponed a vote on the measure until after the Memorial Day recess.

“This is not going to go anywhere unless we have a full and thorough debate of at least two weeks,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Good for him because Bush, Kennedy and their co-conspirators were trying to slip this bill through the legislative process without the ample public debate that it deserves.

The compromise contains a little bit of everything – allegedly tougher border controls, supposedly strict employer sanctions, a temporary worker program and a so-called “path to citizenship” for illegals. What it would do right away is to permit 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants to remain here for the foreseeable future. I call that amnesty, and so do the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers and millions of voters who oppose this legislation by a 48-26 percent margin in recent public opinion polls.

Obviously, the bill’s myriad provisions and exceptions would create an unmanageable and unenforceable bureaucratic nightmare within the federal fudge factory.

Bush, Sen. Kennedy and their allies seem to believe that millions of illegal immigrants will line up to pay fines (but not their back taxes, thanks to the president) and be fingerprinted by the Feds in order to obtain new “Z” visas that would permit them to remain here indefinitely. That’s highly unlikely because anyone who understands Latin culture knows that most of those folks distrust “la autoridad”- federal, state and local authorities – and prefer to remain in the shadows, especially those involved in criminal activities like drug trafficking and terrorism.

I’ll remind you that three of the “Fort Dix Six” terror suspects are illegal immigrants from Eastern Europe, and that criminal aliens affiliated with Mexican drug cartels are largely responsible for the devastating meth epidemic in Carson City and throughout our state.

As for the “path to citizenship” provisions of the compromise bill, that’s another cultural disconnect. The idea that most illegals want to become English-speaking American citizens is a myth perpetrated by so-called “immigration advocates,” who are really illegal immigration advocates.

Gordon Dillow, a columnist for the Orange County (Calif.) Register, reinforced that point last week when he wrote that pro-illegal immigration rallies are losing steam as protesters realize they aren’t going to get what they want: open borders and blanket amnesty. Not citizenship, but amnesty, an important distinction in this debate.

Dillow objected to foreigners who demonstrate in our streets to demand that we change our laws to accommodate them. “It seems more than a little impolite, even rude, and certainly not something I would do in somebody else’s country,” he wrote. “In fact, if that somebody else’s country was Mexico, I could be thrown in jail for doing it.” So true!

President Bush always mentions “tough” border enforcement in an effort to sell his flawed immigration reform package, but let’s take a closer look at that claim.

Congress last fall passed a measure calling for construction of 700 miles of smuggler-proof fencing along our 2,000-mile-long border with Mexico. Exactly two miles of that fence have been built since then.

And even though we possess highly accurate face- and fingerprint-matching technology designed to stop terrorists and known illegals from crossing our border with Mexico, U.S. border inspectors rarely use it because it would slow traffic. On average, only 2 percent of border-crossers are screened using the advanced technology. Does that sound like tough border enforcement? I don’t think so.

Therefore, I’m convinced that when the president talks about controlling our borders, he’s merely spouting empty rhetoric in order to achieve his real goal of granting conditional amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. That’s why I hope Sen. Reid and the rest of Nevada’s congressional delegation won’t buy what the president and Teddy Kennedy are attempting to sell.

Although the Bush/Kennedy amnesty bill may pass the Senate, I think it will be dead on arrival in the more-conservative House of Representatives. Among those voting against it will be our new Northern Nevada congressman, Carson City Republican Dean Heller. Attaboy, Dean! You finally did something right.

• Guy W. Farmer, a semi-retired journalist and former U.S. diplomat, resides in Carson City.