Democrats play word games on immigration

July 14, 2009                                                                                            Win a green card Subscribe in a reader

Senator Charles Schumer gave a remarkable speech on immigration. Preparing the way for the Obama administration's expected push for comprehensive reform, Schumer adopted a newer, tougher-sounding tone as he promised that a bill would be passed during this Congress.

Senator Charles Schumer

"People who enter the United States without our permission are illegal aliens, and illegal aliens should not be treated the same as people who entered the United States legally,'' Schumer said." "Illegal immigration is wrong - plain and simple," he continued. "When we use phrases like 'undocumented workers,' we convey a message to the American people that their government is not serious about combating illegal immigration, which the American people overwhelmingly oppose."

Schumer can read the polls as well as anyone. He knows that he can't simply repeat a bunch of pro-amnesty euphemisms and satisfy the voters' desire for strict controls on illegal immigration. That means he has to at least adopt the language of toughness. So out goes that word cherished by many on Schumer's side: "undocumented."

Except not everyone got the message. The very next day, Schumer and other lawmakers met with President Obama to discuss immigration. And guess what the president said? Not once, not twice, but three times:

  • "We need an effective way to recognize and legalize the status of undocumented workers who are here."

  • "(The American people are) concerned that any immigration reform simply will be a short-term legalization of undocumented workers with no long-term solution ..."

  • "The 12 million or so undocumented workers are here ... (are a) group that we have to deal with in a practical, common-sense way."

Obama: "We cannot tolerate employers who exploit undocumented workers"

And not only that, just a few days earlier, at a prayer breakfast with a Hispanic group, Obama said we cannot "tolerate employers who exploit undocumented workers in order to drive down wages."

That's a lot of "undocumented." Which suggests a question for Schumer. Do the president's words convey a message to the American people that their government is not serious about combating illegal immigration?

It turns out even Schumer himself hasn't always taken his own advice. A couple of months ago, during a Capitol Hill hearing, he referred to "undocumented workers" while posing a question to former Fed chairman a href="../../green-card-dv2011-immigration-news-may042009.php">Alan Greenspan. He also used the phrase in his 2008 book, "Positively American."

"Enforcement has already happened and now it's time to proceed to amnesty"

But now he's trying to massage the message. "Schumer's basically doing what McCain tried in the election," says Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. "(That is) to agree that 'enforcement first' is the right approach, but to argue that the enforcement has already happened and now it's time to proceed to amnesty."

Schumer's proposal is filled with features that sound tough but likely won't be tough in practice. Krikorian warns that Schumer's promise to employ high-tech enforcement techniques in the future might come at the cost of amnesty today. After the amnesty is in place, the enforcement measures might never get done.

And it's not just that. Is this time of great economic distress really the right time to argue for greater immigration? "You want to bring more people in?" asks one incredulous GOP aide on Capitol Hill. "That was a hard case to make when unemployment was 4 percent, much less when it's almost 10 percent."

And then there's time. Even if Democrats make room in the Senate schedule to address immigration - a big question, given the fights over cap and trade, health care, Sonia Sotomayor and other issues - there's real doubt about whether another big bill can be done amid the rush. That's why Schumer gave himself a little wiggle room by saying the bill would be passed "this Congress," meaning any time between now and the end of next year.

Finally, there's the opposition. A few years ago, Senate Republicans were evenly divided on the Kennedy-McCain immigration measure, a bill that had the strong support of a Republican president. Now it's likely the opposition will be more unified.

"Republicans won't be as divided this time, "the GOP aide says. "Then, you had a Republican president offering what some people said was a reasonable plan, and Republicans split right down the middle. Now, you're going to have a Democratic president with a Democratic Congress offering a left-leaning plan with unemployment in double digits. I don't think that's a recipe for success."

That means trouble for immigration reform - no matter what words Schumer uses to describe it.

Enter the U.S. Green Card Lottery today and you could win a U.S. Green Card.
55,000 Green Card's avalible in the lottery each year.

dv2011 green card diversity lottery

Return to USA Diversity Lottery's immigration news page to read more immigration news.

Green Card Test

USA Diversity Green Card Test

Take the free test to see if you qualify. If you do, apply for the USA Diversity Visa Green Card Lottery here on the Official USA Diversity Lottery site and your dreams may soon come true. 55,000 diversity immigrant visas (Green Cards) available in the lottery every year. Take the free test NOW!

Immigration News

July 14, 2009

Democrats play word games on immigration

July 6, 2009

White House: scale back immigration expectations

July 5, 2009

McCain to President Obama: Do not bow to labor unions on immigration

June 25, 2009

President Obama: Congress to Take Up Immigration Overhaul

June 23, 2009

Obama administration gut immigration enforcement

June 22, 2009

Obama: citizen plan in danger

June 22, 2009

Obama: immigration overhaul is essential

June 19, 2009

Bishops call for Congress to pass immigration reform by yearís end

June 16, 2009

Obtain a three year residence permit under the Danish Green Card scheme

June 15, 2009

US H-1B Visas still available due to the economic downturn

June 12, 2009

Can Senate Leader Reid find enough Votes to Pass Amnesty Immigration Reform?

June 9, 2009

Unemployed immigrants leaving Florida as more jobs going to Americans

June 8, 2009

Agriculture immigration reform won't happen this year in Congress

May 29, 2009

EUís version of the US Green Card system in the offing

May 26, 2009

Immigration reform could emerge again in the fall

May 20, 2009

Janet Napolitano: Illegal immigrant legalization a hard sell

May 18, 2009

Despite downturn, Indians surge in Silicon Valley continues

May 12, 2009

Obama reverses stance on immigration

May 11, 2009

Obama reverses stance on immigration

March 18, 2009

Join the army and become a US citizen in 6 months

March 1, 2009

Obtain a U.S. Green Card without any form of sponsorship