Liveblogging The President’s Illegal Immigration Speech
7:57: I think this is going to be an absolute disaster that is going to be widely panned by everyone except open borders advocates like Bill Kristol and people who are going to support the President no matter what happens. Let’s hope I’m completely wrong.
8:02: He admits we don’t control our borders. Good.
8:03: We’re a nation of laws and we must enforce our laws but…sigh.
8:05: The Border Patrol isn’t doing a fine job.
8:05: Adding 6,000 new border patrol agents by 2008? Big deal. That’s not enough.
8:07: So we’re sending the National Guard to the border, where they won’t be doing any law enforcement activities. O.k.
8:09: They were asked to return for a court date. We will end that catch and release policy, which is unacceptable. It’s nice that he’s finally getting around to that in 2006.
8:10: Here comes the guest worker program. Gag.
8:11: Jobs Americans aren’t doing…maybe because illegals are driving the wages down?
8:13: I oppose amnesty, but let me explain how we’re going to give amnesty…
8:15: Yes, illegals who can prove that they have been here for years, using those fake documents I mentioned earlier, should be given preference as citizens.
8:16: The bill must be comprehensive. Meaning, we’re holding border security hostage and unless we can bring illegals here by the millions, we won’t secure the border.
8:17: All the illegals are like this brave illegal who was in the Marines. How about we just give the illegals who fought in the Marines citizenship and send the rest home?
8:18: Oh, there’s an “open door” all right.
8:23: Summing it up: This was not an impressive speech. He said he’d send the National Guard to the border for a year, where they wouldn’t be actually apprehending any illegals, but everything else is the same old, same old.
So, in my view, this isn’t even an olive branch to people who are serious about defending this border and dealing with illegal immigration.
Overall grade for the speech: F
8:37: Update #1: Amended grade: D-. At least he didn’t use the, “jobs Americans won’t do,” line. So, he did deserve a small boost for that. (Note: He did say “jobs Americans are not doing”. Same principle, but it sounds less obnoxious.)
Also, here’s a question: if the Senate doesn’t get a bill through or they can’t compromise with the House, then what? Are we going to pull the National Guard back? Are they going to stay there indefinitely?
One more thing: Peter King and Tom Tancredo are on O’Reilly. They’re not buying it. They’re right.
From Peter King: “I’d rather have no bill than a bad bill.”
Let me tell you something: the Senate bill would destroy America as we know it. That’s not an exaggeration and under no circumstances, should we go down that path.
That’s why it’s imperative that we take up the House approach instead. Sending the National Guard to the border for a year? That’s not a bad thing. But, as you can see by the timing, it’s about politics, not security. And no matter how much lipstick you put on that pig of a Senate bill, it’s still a porker.
Update #2: Here’s the “whoops” moment of the night. The RNC sent out an email to bloggers called, Blog Reaction: “A Very Good Start,” which referred people to Hugh Hewitt’s post about the speech. That’s understandable, because Hugh’s commentary was initially positive. But then, Hugh added this in an update:
“My interview with Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security Julie Myers staggered me, undoing in a handful of minutes my confidence in the president’s commitment to border security first. Either the president’s team had not communicated effectively with sub-cabinet appointees about the fence, or the president doesn’t really believe in the fence, because Assistant Secretary Myers is clearly not a proponent of the fence.
Memo to Tony Snow: The blogosphere talk radio callers/e-mailers are turning against this speech in a decisive fashion. They simply do not believe the Administration is really committed to border enforcement, and the spokespeople sent out to back up the president’s message aren’t doing that job. Period.”
Doh! By the way, I will have a blogger round-up on the speech up a little later tonight, but from what I can see, the early reactions range from “so-so” to “complete failure.”