Thursday, January 27

PRESIDENT'S PERMISSIVE APPROACH ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

Further to my previous post in which I observed that Senator Hillary Clinton was trying (and with success thus far) to seize the high ground from President Bush on the issue of illegal immigration and, furthermore, that a schism was developing within Republican ranks over whether or not much tougher measures were needed than those proposed by the president, I point you to this piece from David Frum of NRO, in which he writes that the president's coalition is already fracturing from the tension between his approach to immigration and that favored by voters across the country.

Indeed, as Frum opens: No issue, not one, threatens to do more damage to the Republican coalition than immigration. Amnesty for illegals already in this country -- and they are legion, with estimates running from a low of 9 million (of which Mexicans account for 67%) to perhaps as many as 13 million-- appears to be anathema to voters, yet the president obstinately pushes for a "Guest Worker Program" that is amnesty under the guise of renewable work permits. His "core" just isn't buying his proposal. That Bush is in lockstep with Presidente Vicente Fox of Mexico on raising the status of Mexican illegals in the United States torments many Republicans.

But of greater import is that, in this age of international terrorism and heightened security, there remains virtually unfettered entry into the United States through its southern border, because politicians on both sides of the aisle have for much too long now turned a deaf ear to the problem, opting not to risk losing Hispanic votes and, worse, catering to the industries that employ the illegals.