"Comprehensive" is code for a bill that makes pro-immigration constituencies happy — that is, big business, the Democrats, Hispanic reconquistadors and the Mexican government. The key to making the pro-imms happy, of course, is legislation that negates itself. Build a big wall? Fine, so long as you then shoot it full of holes. Bush will agree to tighten up the border, but only if it's linked to a guest-worker program that loosens things up everywhere else. That's what "comprehensive" means — and the alternative spelling, by the way, is S-H-E-L-L G-A-M-E.
Further demonstrating his hope that the American people are a bunch of dopes who will fall for the cheapest of rhetorical tricks, Bush then set up a straw man: "You know, there are some in our country who say, 'Let's just deport everybody.'" There might be some who say that, but the spearhead of the secure-the-homeland movement, Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., is long on record as favoring an "attrition" strategy against those who are here illegally, mostly by toughening up on employers.
Yet, the Bush administration has virtually eliminated work-site policing: The Government Accountability Office counted 2,849 immigration arrests in 1999, but just 159 in 2004, a decline of 94 percent. And on Sunday, The Washington Post reported that the number of "absconders" — those who were arrested for immigration violations and released on bail, and then simply disappeared — has risen by nearly half under Bush, to 536,000 in 2005.
One of the best columns I've seen on the amnesty plan: