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Tuesday, May 16, 2006 

Decoding Dudya's Speech

With less than six months to go before the midterm elections, the Decider decided to address the immigration issue. Duke at Migra Matters wrote:
With less than six month to go before the midterm elections, and Republicans fearing catastrophic losses, President Bush tonight took to the airwaves to try to throw some water on the rapidly growing brushfire of immigration reform that threatens to destroy his party. With poll numbers below 30%, a near mutiny brewing from House Republicans, and a loss of support amongst his conservative base, Bush attempted a political high wire act that would have tested even the most skilled political acrobat. For the feeble footed Boy King, it was nothing more than an exercise in futility.
Sad but true, the whole purpose of the Preznit's address was in order to save his endangered species - the Republican voters. Catnip points out that Glenn Greenwald posted on his site about the rumblings of mutiny (impeachment) within right-wing blogosphere due to Dudya's failure to protect the US/Mexico border.
Several prominent conservative bloggers argued vehemently in favor of Bush's impeachment. Leading the charge was LaShawn Barber, who actually drafted articles of impeachment and supported them with this argument:
I believe George Bush’s failure to enforce immigration law and stop the foreign invasion, which he has the power and authority to do, warrants impeachment. Because of Bush, illegal invaders are emboldened, demanding that which they have no legal right to obtain.

While the invasion has caused incalculable physical and economic harm to legal citizens, the president proposes to offer amnesty and allow the harm to continue. To the detriment of those he swore to protect, Bush chooses instead to protect those he has no duty to protect. His actions are in violation of the Constitution.
The anger on the Right over Bush's limp and fearful approach to the immigration problem is so severe that they are even comparing President Bush to Bill Clinton and referring to the Commander-in-Chief with a highly mocking tone...
With all the political scandals occurring in their party, this is the issue that broke the zombies back? Silly wingnuts.

Beside coming out in public to pay homage to the peoples like a wounded animal hunted down by vengeful hyenas, did Dudya say anything new? Nope, not a damn thing and continuing to hold true to form, fabricating facts.

(Complete transcript of Bush speech)

Lie number #1: Expanding the Border Patrol
Since I became president, we have increased funding for border security by 66 percent, and expanded the Border Patrol from about 9,000 to 12,000 agents. The men and women of our Border Patrol are doing a fine job in difficult circumstances, and over the past five years, we have apprehended and sent home about 6 million people entering America illegally.
Fact: The Arizona Daily Star ran a story about the accuracy of the 6 million that supposedly be apprehended and sent home. According to Princeton professor Douglas Massey, the numbers Dudya quoted are misleading because under the agency's guidelines, a person can be counted as multiple apprehensions because the agency counts the event of each apprehension, not the number of people apprehended. Another problem about the accuracy of those numbers is when border-wide apprehension numbers bulge in one sector they usually drop in nearby sectors or vice versa, according to David Spener, a sociologist at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.
As Tucson Sector apprehensions declined by 10 percent in fiscal year 2005, apprehensions increased by 41 percent in the Yuma Sector to the west and by 18 percent in the El Paso Sector to the East. That trend continues so far this year as well.

Borderwide apprehensions for 2005 were only 5 percent higher than they were in 1984. In between, though, apprehensions peaked as high as 1.6 million in 1986 and in 2000 and below 1 million in 1988-1989 and again in 2002-2003.

Border Patrol officials recognize the funneling or bulging theory.

"If it makes it harder for them to cross, we are going to see a decrease because they are going to cross somewhere else," said Stevens, about increased resources in the Tucson Sector.
Lie #2: Temporary worker program would reduce the appeal of human smugglers
A temporary worker program would meet the needs of our economy, and it would give honest immigrants a way to provide for their families while respecting the law. A temporary worker program would reduce the appeal of human smugglers and make it less likely that people would risk their lives to cross the border.
Since the a temporary worker program does not go far enough to protect the temporary worker, therefore, it will not provide any incentives for the undocumented worker to come forward. Second, what immigrant would rather return home and face hunger, poverty, and unemployment. It is easier for them to continue to stay within the black market. And third, a temporary worker program had already been used here in the US, it was called the "Bracero program." This temporary agricultural worker program that began during WWII and ended in 1964 was plagued with abuses and exploitation, and it did not provide full labor protections, labor mobility, the right to organize, and a path to permanent residence. So who is going to protect them, they will still be considered as non-citizens without any rights.

Lie #3: Undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes
It would ease the financial burden on state and local governments, by replacing illegal workers with lawful taxpayers. And above all, a temporary worker program would add to our security by making certain we know who is in our country and why they are here.
I believe that illegal immigrants who have roots in our country and want to stay should have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law to pay their taxes to learn English and to work in a job for a number of years.
Fact: Undocumented immigrants pay taxes, in fact, they pay for Medicare, Social Security and personal income taxes. Yet, nativists like Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), have popularized the notion that "illegal aliens" are a colossal drain on the nation's hospitals, schools and welfare programs — consuming services that they don't pay for. After the 1996 welfare reform bill passed, it disqualified Undocumented immigrants from being able to use all Federal government programs including food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid and Medicare-funded hospitalization.

The only services that undocumented are allowed to receive are emergency medical care and K-12 education. Another fact is that state revenues are collected directly by households and these include gross income tax, sales and use tax, motor vehicle fees, motor vehicle taxes, alcoholic beverage tax, cigarette tax, inheritance/estate transfer tax, business personal property tax, and the realty transfer tax and 25% come from the corporate sector. When ever an undocumented enters a store and purchase groceries, taxes have been paid.

In regards to education, state expenditures on public elementary and secondary education equal the sum of the state's contribution to per pupil expenditures in a school district plus the average per pupil share of state costs on general education administration and support services. The state share to an area's school district budget varies according to the resources available to the district. n general, the fraction of per pupil expenditure paid by the state varies inversely with the property tax collected by the school district. Average per pupil expenditure for each student is found by taking a weighted average of the per pupil expenditure of each school district by the average daily enrollment (ADE) figures reported by school districts to compute a district-wide average share of public schooling costs. The average per pupil expenditure and the average fraction for which the state is responsible yields a dollar figure for the state's elementary and secondary costs per pupil. This dollar figure is then allocated to every child, between 6 to 17 years old, who lives in the district and those who are enrolled which indicates "in public school." The state incurs additional costs for general education administration and management that are not part of a school district's per pupil expenditures. Additional education costs are incurred by limited English proficient (LEP) students who are eligible for special education services such as remedial skills and bilingual education programs. There is no satisfactory way to break out bilingual education costs without making gross assumptions about relative school district participation in these state programs. Per pupil expenditures are higher in school districts located in urban areas than in the surrounding school districts, partly reflecting the higher cost of education for LEP pupils. And remember that includes every student. It is hard to tell how many Spanish speaking students a school will have before funds are allocated.

Lie #4: Electronic employer verification system will make it hard to find work
Yet businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees, because of the widespread problem of document fraud. Therefore, comprehensive immigration reform must include a better system for verifying documents and work eligibility. A key part of that system should be a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof. A tamper-proof card would help us enforce the law and leave employers with no excuse for violating it. And by making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in our country, we would discourage people from crossing the border illegally in the first place.
Fact: The system would require verification from two federal agencies; the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) according to the three proposed bills - EEVS (Electronic Employer Verification System) in the Senate bill, the BEVP (Basic Employer Verification Program) House version, and NEECS (New Employment Eligibility Confirmation System) that was proposed in the failed McCain/Kennedy Bill. Considering Dudya asked for, one of those measures will be included in the final bill and it will affect everybody.

In August 2005, the Government Accountability Office reviewed that program and found:
Even with a strengthened employment verification process, a credible worksite enforcement program is needed because no verification process is foolproof and not all employers may want to comply with the law. ... [E]mployers, particularly those not located at or near critical infrastructure sites, who attempt to circumvent IRCA face less of a likelihood that ICE will investigate them for failing to comply with the current employment verification process or knowingly hiring unauthorized
workers. ... In addition, given ICE’s limited resources and competing priorities for those resources, additional output goals and measures are needed to help ICE track the progress of its worksite enforcement efforts, effectively determine the resources needed to meet worksite enforcement program goals, and ensure that program resources are used efficiently and effectively.
Kerry Howley for Reason wrote a great summary regarding the consequences this system will have throughout the country.

Lie #5 The whole English BS
Americans are bound together by our shared ideals, an appreciation of our history, respect for the flag we fly, and an ability to speak and write the English language. English is also the key to unlocking the opportunity of America.
Here is the deal, the whole English only thing is bullshit and I will tell you why. While everybody is yappying people forget there are more than 50 states, we do have territories.

The list of the main insular areas:
Puerto Rico - The official languages of the island are Spanish and English. Spanish is the primary language in government; English is taught as a foreign language in schools. In 1991, Governor Rafael Hernández Colón signed a law declaring Spanish as the sole official language of the island's government. Upon signing this law into effect, English had lost its status as an official second language. in 1993, Governor Pedro Rosselló (PNP AKA Rethug) overturned the law and re-established English as an official language. This was seen by many as a move by the pro-statehood governor to move the island closer to statehood, something that never came about under his two consecutive four-year terms.

Northern Mariana Islands - Languages: English, Chamorro, Carolinian, Chinese, Tagalog note: 86% of population speaks a language other than English at home

American Samoa - Samoan 90.6% (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English 2.9%, Tongan 2.4%, other Pacific islander 2.1%, other 2% note: most people are bilingual (2000 census)

Guam - Languages: English 38.3%, Chamorro 22.2%, Philippine languages 22.2%, other Pacific island languages 6.8%, Asian languages 7%, other languages 3.5% (2000 census)

note: Although the English language and Japanese language are commonplace on both Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands, people still use the Chamorro language. Chamorro is also used in mainland United States by immigrants and some of their descendants.

Are we suppose to force these places to speak English also, they are as American as those who live here in the Main land. [Update: Click on comments for further discussion on the English only issue.]

Besides twisting his facts, Dudya also did a lot of Orwellian doublespeak. Dudya talks about sending 6,000 National Guard troops to the border, yet, he says "The United States is not going to militarize the southern border." He goes on to say "Mexico is our neighbor and friend," yet, "the border should ... shut to illegal immigrants, as well as criminals, drug dealers and terrorists." And best one of all, "There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant, and a program of mass deportation."

If there is something that needs be decoded in his speech, it was at the end of his speech.
During the liberation of Iraq, Master Gunnery Sergeant Denogean was seriously injured. When asked if he had any requests, he made two a promotion for the corporal who helped rescue him and the chance to become an American citizen. And when this brave Marine raised his right hand, and swore an oath to become a citizen of the country he had defended for more than 26 years, I was honored to stand at his side.
We will always be proud to welcome people like Guadalupe Denogean as fellow Americans. Our new immigrants are just what they have always been people willing to risk everything for the dream of freedom.
Bush was not talking about the risks this immigrants face as they cross the border. Yes, immigrants are willing to risk everything, even if it means being a solider in BushCo's war to have an opportunity to be an American citizen. Ever since Dudya signed an Executive Order 13269, there really was no need for a military draft, the executive order has a provided a fast track for every non-citizen to become citizens for severing in BushCo's war, without worry of deportation.
The War on Terrorism has led to changes in the immigration laws and regulations that greatly benefit soldiers and their spouses. First, active duty soldiers who are not U.S. citizens are now immediately eligible to apply for naturalization. Second, conditional lawful permanent resident alien spouses of soldiers who are deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom may request that the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) extend their conditional status for one year, and in six-month increments thereafter, until their spouses return from abroad.

On 3 July 2002, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13,269, (1) expediting the naturalization of aliens (2) and noncitizen nationals (3) serving in an active duty status (4) during the War on Terrorism. This executive order made all aliens and noncitizen nationals serving honorably on active duty between 11 September 2001 and a future date, to be determined by executive order, eligible for immediate naturalization under section 329 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. (5) This authority does not require a period of residence or any specified period of physical presence in the United States before the soldier's application for naturalization. (6) The soldier must show, however, that for at least one year before filing for naturalization, he or she has been, and continues to be: (1) of good moral character; (2) attached to the principles of the Constitution; and (3) favoring the good order and happiness of the United States.
Preferential access to citizenship for those who serve in the military is not unusual. However, it is how Dudya views the relationship between citizenship and military service that makes it more sinister. There is nothing wrong linking citizenship and responsibility for military service, but, Dudya’s idea that a civil-military relationship is defined by political partisanship, moral superiority, and constitutional resistance is what makes his rhetoric sinister. One cannot place degrees of citizenship (face deportation or serve in the military) on the basis of parameters that undermine the constitutional and professional ethic of the military's political neutrality.

As of April 2003, there were 68,826 foreign-born, both naturalized citizens and non-citizens, individuals who are also risking everything to fight in BushCo's war.

So once again, Dudya tries to pull a fast one, hoping his base is dumb enough to believe it until election day in November.

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