May 15, 2006

Live-blogging Jorge's Immigration Speech

I'll be live-blogging President Bush's immigration speech tonight here at 8:00 PM (Eastern). Quite frankly, I'm prepared to be disappointed.

Michelle Malkin has deconstructed the speech preview. N.Z. Bear is compiling a list of others live-blogging the speech at The Truth Laid Bear.

I'll be watching this on Fox News, and will be primarily concerned with his delivery and reaction.

And so it begins...

Going pretty much by the playbook several minutes in. No surprises yet, he's keeping to the script... Keeps talking about high technology security… don't we just need good masons?... Confirms 6,000 National Guard soldiers will play support role only, for one year, and the will start standing down as new border patrol agencies and technologies come online... Playing up role of state and local law enforcement, but I don't hear a pledge of monies. Can you say "un-funded mandate?"... Pledges to end catch-and-release, and just when he starts to win me back a little, he starts in on his temporary worker program, pushing his "doing the jobs Americans won't" angle. Don't make me laugh…

I do agree that we do need biometric ID cards to cut down on document fraud, and Bush scores points. AND THEN... he says deportation is "unrealistic" losing those points and more... Oh, no, he really is trying to convince us his amnesty plan is not an amnesty plan.

Bush seems completely unwilling or unable to differentiate between legal and illegal immigration...

Delivery-wise, this was a good effort, and I spotted no flubs of note...

Jorge was sharp, but I don't think he was able to change anyone's mind, especially the conservative base. He might have assuaged moderates with this speech, but Bush lost the base. I think he is now quite possibly a lame duck.

Fox News is reporting mixed reviews from conservative Senators.

Give me a few minutes to digest this, and I'll be back, but my initial reaction is that Bush just split the Republican Party.

He's "The Divider."

* * *

Glenn Reynolds posts the full text of the speech.

Ian Schwartz at Expose the Left has the video.

* * *

I've watched a few minutes of commentary from the television pundits, did a quick tour of some of the top blogs, and now I've had a while to think about it, I think I'll stick with with my original statement that Bush has split the Republican Party. But now a new question arises: is it a permanent split in the party, and if not, how long with it last?

I'm guessing it won't be a permanent split, and that most Republicans will "come home" by the '06 elections, but given this administration's near-Palestinian capability to make the wrong choices at the wrong time, I don't know that anyone can say that such a reconciliation is by any means automatic.

Update: The first blogospheric immigration split has occured, as Lorie Byrd has parted ways from Polipundit.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 15, 2006 06:05 PM | TrackBack

Wow. I thought I was at a lefty blog for awhile there with all the "Jorges" thrown around. I think the right are looking more and more like stark raving mad whiners. I will never vote for a democrat while we have troops deployed in the field in harm's way. Immigration has become tedious with the right's constant bitching and moaning. Did you think 2 months ago that the guard would be sent to the border? I guess if we don't immediately spend kabillions rounding up people and trucking them to the border, then woe to the Republican party.

Meanwhile, this country is begging for workers and we are at full employment. Are there workers who used to live on the coast flocking to go back to work and clean it up? Not the last time I checked.

I have read blogs since 2000, and I am shocked at how many well-repected blogs now sound like the cess pools of the left. It pisses me off that noone can actually debate immigration without the bitchy right crowd slinging lefty style mud.

So I guess I will join in some slinging of my own.

Posted by: Stormy70 at May 15, 2006 07:53 PM

"I will never vote for a democrat while we have troops deployed in the field in harm's way."

Shakes head, walks away...

Posted by: Fred at May 15, 2006 08:05 PM

El nombre del Presidente es Jorge Arbusto ahora. 18,000 guard for 2 years would have eased my concerns.

Posted by: RiverRat at May 15, 2006 08:11 PM

This was a complete waste of time. He has only hurt himself by opening his mouth on this issue any further.

Everything he proposed tonight was half-assed. I was especially surprised by his proposal for tougher ID for guest workers. What good does that do? Illegal immigrants routinely use false identification of a more rountine nature: driver licenses and social security cards, for instance. This will still leave employers with 'plausibile deniablity' when they hire illegals. This is a smokescreen.

Of course, there was no talk of "comprehensive" fencing or "comprehensive" internal enforcement but plenty of talk about "comprehensive" amnesties and guest worker programs.

Screw Jorge Arbusto.

Posted by: Jake at May 15, 2006 08:18 PM

Nothing wrong with importing skilled workers, Stormy-- legally. Workers that are willing to go through the citizenship process to enter without breaking any laws. Not undocumented, unscreened, untrained criminals-- yes, criminals by definition, who have shown no respect for either our laws or national sovereignty-- that laugh in the face of the immigrants who went through the whole legal process.

Is that mud-slinging? If it is, I would rather sling mud at criminals and those who encourage them then sling spit at those who are trying to live by, and with, the rules.

Posted by: Amber at May 15, 2006 08:34 PM

I am confident that, once the Guard is deployed on the Canadian border, all those people dying in the forests of the UP will stop coming over.
What, they are not going to THAT border? Why not? After all, Mexico is one of our closest allies! Why do we need that border closed?

Similar thoughts coming from the rich liberals in MassASSchusetts.

At least there is a start to this.

Posted by: old_dawg at May 15, 2006 09:40 PM

I would prefer legal immigration, and I would expect the bill coming up through the House will be the majority of the legislation that will get passed. It is a start. There is no way I am throwing over Bush because of a decades long problem with immigration is due on his watch. Of course, he could go the Reagan route, and grant full on amnesty. Immigration is not the hill that the Republican Party will die on with me, not while they are passing tax cuts, immplemmenting HSAs, and confirming conservative judges. Hell, John Bolten pissing in everyone's ear at the UN makes me sleep like a baby.

I love this blog, which is why I reacted like I did on all the left style BS.

Posted by: Stormy70 at May 15, 2006 10:13 PM


If Bush passes the Hagel-Martinez bill or some close variant of it, there will be an estimated 100 million or more (200 million possibly) legal immigrants into this country over a period of only 20 years.

That is national suicide. Bush is committing high treason.

Posted by: jake at May 15, 2006 10:24 PM

Ah, yes, Stormy. Let's be careful, while our troops are in harm's way, to never speak ill of the man who put them there for no good reason!

Did it never occur to you that Bush doesn't give a damn about the troops or this country or the Republican party? Seriously, what is with you people? What does this man have to do before you stop following him, declare himself the Antichrist?

Repeat after me: George... Bush... is... not... a ... conservative.

Posted by: Marc at May 15, 2006 10:39 PM

Has George Bush "split the Republican Party"? Maybe, but if he has he has split the reasonable Conservatives who understand that rounding 11 million people up in green buses and sending 50,000 National Guard troops is not possible in the real world. So he has split the reasonable 90% of the Republican Party from the 10% that make up the really lunatic immigration fringe. And yes if you believe that we can make 11 million people go home or that we can round them up you are suffering a type of derangement. Keep complaining and get the Democrats elected, then see how you like 8 or more years of open borders and another immediate amnesty. Of course considering the level of the comments on this page reason and logic are wasted here.

Posted by: Marlin Huston at May 15, 2006 11:16 PM

I don't know CY. He's got a pretty comprehensive plan here. Put two soldiers on every mile of border. You don't think that's enough? That's assuming you are only guarding the border 8 hrs a day of course. For 3 shifts, 6k soldiers works out to 1 soldier per 1.5 miles of border.

*sigh* I hope he has long arms.

Oh yeah, but they won't be performing any guarding... just building roads. jeez. Bush has lost me for good I think. Didn't he used to worry about protecting Americans?

Posted by: Kevin at May 15, 2006 11:17 PM


You are overly optimistic.

Steve Sailer breaks down the range of the National Guard:

All the Bush apologists out there need to justify allowing 100 million legal immigrants into our country over the next 20 years before they say that anti-immigration forces are lunatics or extremists.

They also need to explain why we should trust a man who, after all these years since 9/11, has done practically nothing to date to shore up border security. What credibility does he have?

Posted by: Jake at May 15, 2006 11:47 PM

May I interject at this delicate moment to suggest, not naming any names of course (I wouldn't want to make myself a target for scorn), that everyone take the time to do a little research into which party/and or candidates have been pushing for real security? Port Security. Implementing the 911 Commissions recommendations. I hear over and over again in the wake of these NSA "Scandels" that, "If America is attacked again, we'll know who to blame."


Posted by: Fred at May 16, 2006 01:48 AM

I don't think they can round up the 11 Million but the path that they have to take should be going back to their country of origin to apply, they can then use the 'Guest Worker' program and have their current employer sponser them.

The extra surveillance on the border is a great start, but it's only a beginning. Brick and Morter is called for here. There are vast areas that are pretty much un-crossable so the fences won't have to go there, at least at first.

Those that don't go home and apply should be the ones targeted for deportation.

As far as jobs Americans won't do that is BS. I did a lot of those as a Teen and I see a lot of teens now that can't get some work experience that could do those jobs. The problem with that is the Liberal joke about a minimum wage set where it is. The market should stabalize at the right price.

Posted by: Retired Navy at May 16, 2006 05:14 AM

Stormy70 you posted:
"meanwhile, this country is begging for workers and we are at full employment. Are there workers who used to live on the coast flocking to go back to work and clean it up? Not the last time I checked."

Check harder they brought in US workers on the clean up down there and as soon as some of these companies got some Illegals at a cheaper rate they laid them off. It was on the news up here, they even interviewed some of the workers.
There is no excuse for hiring or using a company that employs illegals. Illegals are criminals, why should we support GWB on this issue?
Since when did we have to start drinking the Koolaide and not question our leaders? We voted him in as a Republican, HE should start acting like one. To paraphrase several great Americans, We didn't leave GWB, he left us.

Posted by: lip at May 16, 2006 06:10 AM

Illegal aliens are, in effect, a form of corporate welfare. The taxpayers must subsidize the cost of their health care and education (and criminal justice system costs if they are involved in crime) without much return in the way of taxes. Meanwhile, businesses get to profit by hiring them at a lower wage. It is a complete sham and a rip-off.

Not all parts of the country have high illegal immigration populations. How do some parts of the country cope without high numbers of illegal immigrants? Believe it or not, American citizens including teenagers and other young people, pick up a lot of the slack. They do the jobs that Americans are supposedly unwilling to do. Youth unemployment is extremely high right now. I wonder why.

Posted by: Jake at May 16, 2006 06:36 AM

To all of you on the left and those just barely to the right of center, I ask why it doesn’t bother you that your nation has been illegally invaded by between 11 and 20 million foreign nationals who now demand rights, access to our social welfare programs, free health care and medicine, employment, citizenship (because the border moved, they didn’t), automatic citizenship for their offspring, and our national anthem in Spanish? Forget the argument about them paying taxes and Social Security, because most of their income is cash or UNREPORTED income, of which much is wired south of the border. This affront to our nation, our economy, our laws and our way of life is okay with you? What would it take to make you people nationalistic and patriotic?

It’s okay to send billions of dollars to ungrateful and even hostile governments and an ineffectual UN, waste billions here on pork barrel spending, over fund a morally bankrupt public education system, spend billions to subsidize people not working (social welfare), but we cannot afford to deport illegal aliens? That is some screwed up logic, my friends.

For all of you who think it is okay for the peoples of Mexico to come here and illegally, I want you to cross the Mexican border illegally, demand citizenship, demand Mexico give you a job, demand free health care, demand automatic citizenship for your kids, and demand the Mexican national anthem be provided to you in English because you refuse to learn Spanish. Go flaunt your illegality in the face of the Mexican people and government. And let me know how that works out for you.

Am I upset that my president hasn’t taken a strong stand against illegal immigration? You bet I am. I spent 31 years of my life actively defending this nation and other nations in the name of freedom – sovereign freedom; not freedom to deliberately break laws and illegally invade another nation. You people who would willingly compromise our sovereignty should be ashamed of yourselves.

Posted by: Old Soldier at May 16, 2006 06:40 AM

I liked the President' speech. I think it is a start in the right direction and I suspect that the laws that will come out from both House and Senate will be tougher than proposed. The big hole I saw was the lack of enforcement on the companies that hire illegals. That has to be a part of it too.

Posted by: Specter at May 16, 2006 06:54 AM


I think it is a start in the right direction

I guess that is where we part ways. You see it as a start. I see it as an end. It is a ploy to push through an amnesty. The only thing "comprehensive" about his proposal was the amnesty and the guest worker program. The rest was weak or ambiguous.

Steve Sailer makes it clear that this National Guard smokescreen entirely ineffectual measure, look at his breakdown of things:

Posted by: Jake at May 16, 2006 07:03 AM


With an issue as complicated as this, I do not think that we are going to solve it quickly - there is not a "one-size-fits-all" solution. I believe that immigration is an important part of our country, but I have also seen the impacts of illegals on local, state, and federal budgets.

The big question I think is how do we get our hands around 11 million people. What do we do with illegals that are already here and have been for years - and of course I am speaking of the people who are here to actually earn a living for their families and themselves using hard work. I am not talking about a criminal element - other than the fact that they crossed our border illegally. How do we handle that?

Is adding National Guard going to close the border. I suspect not. But it will put more eyes on the situation. I suspect a big piece of it really depends on what technology solutions are added as an overlay. The technology talked about last night is "off-the-shelf" stuff and could be immediately employed (time to buy stock in the company that makes the Predators or similar birds). Remember that Bush didn't just talk about the Guard as patrol so even trying to equate guards to linear miles might not be worth the time. But a predator can cover hundreds of miles....looks a little different when you add that in.

Is it everything we want right away? No. But even small steps count as moving forward. Bottom line is we have to wait and see what the House and Senate come out with. Bush recommends - the Congress legislates.

Posted by: Specter at May 16, 2006 07:36 AM


Have you seen the reports of what a guest worker program will do to our immigrant population? We are talking 100,000,000 legal immigrants over the next 20 years if the Hagel-Martinez-Bush cabal gets its way. (Perhaps as "few" as 70,000,000 or as many as 200,000,000 depending on the cirumstances.) This cannot be allowed to happen. It will destroy our country. Guest workers are nothing but illegal immigrants in the making. You need only look at the disastrous results of guest worker programs in France and Germany. Once a guest worker decides not to come home, they become an illegal immigrant. Guest worker programs are simply a convenient way to bypass the border patrol (and the media spotlight) altogether.

Posted by: Jake at May 16, 2006 07:48 AM

Ahhh yes....but isn't there a way to limit the number of "guest workers"? And are you suggesting that we should not allow any immigrants into the country? How do we deal with that?

Posted by: Specter at May 16, 2006 08:04 AM

The only way a guest worker program could work is to have the employer sponsor an individual. If the individual doesn't perform well, or doesn't show, they are reported and placed back in their country. Assuming you can find them. This will also have to have the added law of huge fines for employing those that are no longer documented workers or illegals.

Even with all that in place it will still be shakey at best. Can't say I'm for it at all. I think there are plenty of teens and young adults that would do those jobs.

Posted by: Retired Navy at May 16, 2006 09:21 AM

George did what I expected him to do. Nothing. He is going to send a handful of troops to the border. To do what? Will he even allow them to have weapons. If you catch a wet back, what then? Will you simply release him and say you are sorry? I don't understand this concept of picking everyone up and transporting them back to Mexico. If you prosecute the employers with gusto and very long prison terms and make being here and felony then they will leave on their own. I forgot critical parts, stop making the hospitals take them in, stop the welfare they receive (and they do, I have seen it). In short, this would not be a nice place to be. I have no problem with immigration. My concern is that when you legalize these people you automatically have to pay them more. They will then lose their jobs and thus the taxpayer will have to take care of them. The employers will then get another 12 million to replace those here. Of course if you want to eliminate welfare and the minimum wage then you have solved everything.

Posted by: David Caskey at May 16, 2006 09:37 AM

I can't believe that having Tony Snow on his staff didn't help this horrendous speech. Tony's a former speech writer and a fairly competent guy. I know he's Press Sec, but he and others (if given the chance) must've told Bush that this wasn't going to fly.

Once he started talking about the soldier, I switched away.

Posted by: Dennis Gonzalez at May 16, 2006 10:15 AM

Specter, sorry; but you're wrong...
"The big question I think is how do we get our hands around 11 million people."

Why is that the big question? We've done amnesty before. Unless we actually secure the border we'll do it every several years in perpetuity.

We've got a broken pipe and we ordered mops, but no plumber. So 3 years from now, we'll still have a basement full of water.

Secure (in a real, not temporary way) the border. i.e. show something capable of stopping the flow of 1-2 million illegals annually. If at that point it seems (as it certainly will) politically necessary to give visa's, guest worker, etc. to the people already here; you'll get more traction... as it will obviously be a "one time" deal.

But saying "sure a pipe broke, but I've got a mop" isn't impressive, its exactly what we did several years ago; and unless something changes its exactly what we will be doing several years from now. This doesn't sound like a "one time" deal, this sounds like what we've done before.

Oh, and the non sequitur "And are you suggesting that we should not allow any immigrants into the country?". Well, are you suggesting that if assaulted I should never be allowed to use lethal force? Murder is illegal, self-defence isn't; however both involve the same action (for example, me shooting someone). See the difference? Now apply it to immigration. Legal immigration (background checks, limits, etc.) isn't the problem, illegal immigration (unknown millions with no way to track or even know about the specifics) is the problem.

Posted by: Gekkobear at May 16, 2006 12:32 PM


It would require authentication procedures for all prospective employees in the country. That, coupled with a modest amount of internal enforcement, should solve most of the problem. We can then determine how many people we want in the country. If prospective employees in the US were assigned a unique number and employers had to call a hotline matching this number with a person's name at the time of hire, this would make it so that anybody hiring an illegal immigrant would not have the 'plausible deniability' excuse that comes with an illegal immigrant using false identification. The hotline would simply verify that a given name and number either match each other or don't. No other information would be given out. Guest workers could be assigned a number that is valid for a fixed period of time.

We could then have a set number of guest workers in the country that would not be able to obtain employment after a given period of time. They would have to self-deport thereafter. That is, assuming we get rid of the "anchor baby" provisioning which allows a guest worker to basically stay forever if they have a child while in the country.

Doing this and building a real barrier on the Mexican border should solve most of our immigration problems.

Posted by: Jake at May 16, 2006 01:09 PM

The speech was very clear: from now on, any foreigner willing to go legally in the United States in order to work there will have to communicate his fingerprints while entering the country.They will have to subject themselves to these procedures, formerly only imposed to criminals and to spies, not to immigrants and visitors, and even less to citizens.
Indeed, Bush said in his addresses on Immigration Reform:
“A key part of that system [for verifying documents and work eligibility of aliens] should be a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof.”

The proposal launched by president Bush to deploy the National Guard at the Mexican border and to introduce sophisticated electronic devices is only part of a brilliant communication strategy. Its actual function is not to protect the border, but to direct public attention far from the true reform set in motion by the Bush Administration: biometric security.

Posted by: Philippe Magnan at May 17, 2006 03:00 PM