A conspicuous exception to our criticism has been Bush's stance on immigration reform, which we have repeatedly praised.
The president has insisted on comprehensive reform, including creating a guest worker program and streamlining the process for illegal aliens to become citizens called for under a Senate-approved bill, while rejecting a House-approved plan that stresses punitive measures, including jail time for illegals and even the social workers and priests who work with them.
But now Bush, as he has done so many times before, apparently is willing to cede the high ground to political expediency and has signaled a willingness to negotiate with the lock 'em up crowd in the House to revive the moribund reform effort.
Reports The New York Times:
Mr. Bush has little choice but to negotiate, although he is on delicate terrain. Some House Republicans remain deeply opposed to even a guest worker program, and any move closer to the House could upset the delicate bipartisan compromise that enabled legislation to pass the Senate.
Polls show the public is deeply troubled by the problem of illegal immigration, and Mr. Bush, who has made the issue his domestic policy initiative, is eager for a victory on Capitol Hill. But a carefully constructed White House strategy to prod the House and Senate into compromise collapsed last month when skittish House Republicans opted for field hearings instead.
The hearings, which carry the loaded title of "Border Vulnerabilities and International Terrorism," began Wednesday and will continue throughout the summer. They are a travesty.
When was the last time that Congress sought public input after a bill had been passed?
The hearings are nothing more than a bald faced effort by House members to delay final action on the legislation until after the November elections while inflamming public opinion against the kinder and gentler Senate legislation.Perhaps it was inevitable that my praise for a president who has deserved so little would blow back in my face. But seeing him climbing into bed with the fear mongers is disheartening. It seems like the guy just can't do anything right.
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