Jewish World Review Jan. 12, 2004 / 18 Teves, 5764

Bernadette Malone

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Prez mocks legal immigrants | "Be it remembered that Martin Joseph Malone . . . having applied to be admitted as a citizen of the United States of America PURSUANT TO LAW . . . the court having found that the petitioner intends to reside permanently in the United States, and that he had in ALL RESPECTS COMPLIED WITH THE NATURALIZATION LAWS of the United States, and that he was ENTITLED TO BE SO ADMITTED, it was thereupon ordered by the said court that he be admitted as a citizen of the United States of America."

— —

I ADDED the capital letters for emphasis, but otherwise that's what it reads on my grandfather's certificate of naturalization, awarded to him in 1927, six long years after he arrived in New York City from then-impoverished County Mayo, Ireland. So reads Mary McGing's certificate — awarded to my grandmother in 1940, some 13 years after she emigrated from County Mayo to work, legally, as a maid for a rich Park Avenue family. (Howard Dean's, perhaps?)

Oh, and George W. Bush — the President I voted for in 2000 — just made a mockery of those documents and of my law-abiding grandparents, now deceased.

On the first Wednesday of this election year, President Bush announced his plan to give work visas to illegal aliens who are in this country working. . . illegally. So all these people who have broken laws and cut in line in front of honest immigrants will be rewarded. Suckers like Martin Malone and Mary McGing, who played by the rules to get here, lined up legal jobs no one else wanted — as a housemaid in her case, and in his case an elevator boy, maintenance worker on the Brooklyn Bridge, and finally ice cream store clerk — and waited patiently for six and 13 years respectively to become citizens, well, the message to them from President George W. Bush is that having "complied with the naturalization law," as it says on their certificates, doesn't pay.

Under Bush's proposal, breaking the law pays — and not only in the form of a prized work visa. Once you, as an illegal alien, have been granted one of these work visas, you have the opportunity to be paid off again for your original act of deceit.

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"This program expects temporary workers to return permanently to their home countries after their period of work in the United States has expired, and there should be financial incentives for them to do so," Bush said.

Financial incentives? What's wrong with a legal disincentive to stay in this country once your visa expires? Like jail or deportation? Bribe illegals on the way into the system, and bribe them to leave lawfully. Grandma and Grandpa, look at the deal you missed out on.

Why wait in line and subject yourself to investigation and inquisition if the U.S. isn't serious about monitoring immigrants — even though the September 11 attacks were carried out by Middle Easterners here on visas and aided by illegal Hispanic immigrants who helped them get false documentation? Why play by the rules if the U.S. proposes amnesty to illegal aliens in election years and even promises them a check on the way out the door after their election-year visas expire? President Bush claims he's not proposing amnesty for illegal aliens, but if you give work visas to illegal workers, they're no longer here illegally. That's amnesty.

Somewhere in his heart, President Bush has got to know that his proposal is unjust: it sends the wrong signal to future immigrants, and it is patently unfair to immigrants like my grandparents who waited in line. Can Bush really need the electoral support of Hispanics so badly that he will sell out the principles that guard our national security and population?

Howard Dean was right to call this proposal a "cynical gesture in an election year," though he criticizes it because it doesn't give these illegal immigrants full citizenship. Will the other Democratic Presidential candidates do the right thing and oppose this proposal on stronger grounds: that it makes a mockery of the law, jeopardizes our security, and treats the Martin Malones and Mary McGings of the world unfairly?

Comment on JWR contributor Bernadette Malone's column by clicking here.


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11/10/03: Time for "diversity" for GOPers?
11/03/03: Two cheers for loopy loudmouth Sharpton
10/20/03: And who can blame them?
10/07/03: Irony seems to have been lost on most in ‘leakgate’
09/30/03: Will the Dems finally produce an alpha male before it's time to name a nominee who can scare Bush?
09/23/03: ‘K Street’ will reinforce American cynicism
09/09/03: When real life starts to imitate virtual reality, itís time to reboot

© 2003, Bernadette Malone