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

Bill O'Reilly

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Yes, we can't | Here's how President Bush and the Republican establishment see it: African-Americans make up 13 percent of the population, and Hispanic-Americans make up 14 percent. Doing the math, that is a big number to cede to the Democrats every four years. Forget about converting most blacks, the GOP has no clue. But there are millions of conservative Hispanics, and this amnesty's for you.

Mr. Bush's new proposal to allow about 10 million illegal aliens to work and live in the USA is a calculated political move. He is betting that his supporters, many of whom will not like the quasi-amnesty, will vote for him anyway, especially if Howard Dean is his opponent. And by showing compassion to millions of Hispanic illegals, the president hopes to win some hearts and minds, and, most importantly, votes.

The question is, will the new program help America? The answer is no. That's because Mr. Bush has proposed a situation that is all carrot cake and no stick. Once the poor of the world realize that anyone who sneaks into America illegally can get the benefits of living in this country, the floodgates, which are already open, will crack completely.

Remember, the immigration mess we have now started after Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to illegals in 1986. Since that time, tens of millions of undocumented people have found a way into the USA, hoping for exactly what Mr. Bush has now given them. Why wouldn't millions more follow that lead?

I'd actually support the president's program if he would get serious about supervising the borders and prosecuting companies who continue to hire illegals after the amnesty kicks in. The Border Patrol flat out admits it cannot stop the flood of people and narcotics coming from Mexico. So why not have the National Guard assist the Border Patrol? The president could make that happen but will not. He also has no plan to crack down on employers who continue to break the rules. Mr. Bush has a "yes, we can't" attitude when it comes to imposing discipline on the illegal problem.

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Finally, it is a pipe dream to think that allowing millions of poorly educated people to assimilate into the USA will not be without unintended consequences. Under the program, millions of illegals will be bringing family members here, and their period of adjustment will not be easy.

Right now, 34 percent of all LEGAL Mexican immigrants are on welfare, and 25 percent of illegals are getting government assistance. That number will not decline as some illegals will make it and some will not.

So get set for massive new human smuggling operations as the world's gangsters see gold at the end of the illegal immigration rainbow. Billions of people the world over would love to come to America. President Bush has not solved the immigration and may have made it much worse. Ten years from today this country will be a much different place. Count on it.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of, most recently, "Who's Looking Out for You?" Comments by clicking here.

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© 2003 Creators Syndicate