Washington Post: Privately, Bush Says He Favors Citizenship
President Bush generally favors plans to give millions of illegal immigrants a chance at U.S. citizenship without leaving the country, but does not want to be more publicly supportive because of opposition among conservative House Republicans, according to senators who attended a recent White House meeting.
“Yes, he thinks people should be given a path to citizenship,” said Sen. Mel Martinez., R-Fla., a leading supporter of immigration legislation in the Senate.
Martinez said it was implicit in Bush’s remarks that many of the immigrants illegally in the U.S. would be permitted to remain during a lengthy wait and application period.
Under the Senate bill, immigrants in the U.S. longer than five years could apply for citizenship without leaving the country. Those in the U.S. for more than two years but fewer than five would be required to go to a border point of entry, but they could return quickly as legal temporary workers.
Several senators said Bush had spoken in favorable terms about the overall bill, but made it clear he will not issue an endorsement.
So, what else is new?
President Bush has been “SOFT” on illegal aliens and immigration from the start. Enforcement of border security laws have been restrained at best during his presidency.
With the President supporting a “compromise” Kennedy-McCain immigration bill it will allow conservative Senators (especially the ones who want to be President) to amend the hell out of the bill and it will also embolden House conservatives to resist passage of any “amnesty laden” bill in conference committee.
Watch for Senator Frist to call up Kennedy-McCain for a series of amendments.
Flap handicaps ANY comprehensive immigration reform legislation passing this session of Congress at less than 50 per cent.
Michelle Malkin has OPEN-BORDERS BUSH: THE FINAL STRAW?
Check out the letters from readers……
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