"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Monday, October 02, 2006

Menendez and Kean on Immigration

Bob Menendez writes, “Tom Kean Jr. takes his talking points on immigration straight from the Bush-Rove White House — just as he does on every other issue.”

That statement is patently false. Kean has espoused a number of positions counter to the President’s and a great example is his position on immigration. It is Menendez who has taken his talking points on immigration straight from the Bush white House. Here is President Bush’s position on immigration reform and here is Bob Menendez’ position. If there is a difference between the two positions, we couldn’t find one – from the calls to “securing the nation’s borders” to bringing illegal aliens “out of the shadows”.

Tom Kean has strongly disagreed with major elements of the President’s immigration reform policy and has proposed his own solutions, as can be read here. Kean believes it is in the best interests of the country “to stop the flow of illegal aliens to ensure the safety and security of our nation before we pursue further reforms to our immigration policies”.

That was not the position taken by President Bush nor Senator Menendez, as both wanted “comprehensive reform” which included a guest worker program and provisions for what amounted to amnesty for illegal aliens.

I support creating a temporary guest-worker program and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants if — among other things — they pay a fine, learn English, undergo a criminal background check and go to the back of the line.
If you thought the above was a quote from President Bush, you’d be wrong. That’s a quote from Bob Menendez, although Bush has said the same thing many times. However, while Bob Menendez may talk of securing the nation’s borders, clearly his prime motivation and interest for immigration reform is to grant amnesty, and along with it, $50 billion in federal entitlement benefits to illegal aliens.

Congress just passed a border security measure, the Secure Fence Act of 2006, by a vote in the Senate of 80 to 19. Bob Menendez voted against the bill. Eighty U.S. Senators agreed with Tom Kean on border security – 18 agreed with Bob Menendez. So on border security President Bush and Senator Menendez part ways and Tom Kean, the vast majority of the country and President Bush come to agreement.

Border security alone won’t solve our nation’s illegal immigration problem, but it will help to stem the tide of illegal border crossings. Tighter border security, coupled with actually enforcing the nation’s existing immigration laws, especially in employment, can turn this problem around.

Making the illegal, legal does not solve the problem for Americans and only temporarily reduces the illegal alien statistic. The nation tired that approach twenty years ago and here we are today with a minimum of 12 million illegal aliens, as opposed to 2 to 3 million we had when amnesty was granted the last time in 1986.

Border security and effective enforcement of existing immigration laws first, guest worker and other immigration reforms after the government proves capable of managing the system to the benefit of Americans and legal immigrants alike.

We disagreed with President Bush’s plans for immigration reform and we disagreed with those same polices when advocated by Menendez. We agree with Tom Kean on this issue and that’s one of the many reasons he has our support in becoming New Jersey’s next U.S. Senator.


At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


MAY 9, 2006



Illegal immigration seems like the sort of divisive issue that might underscore the substantial policy differences separating a pair of political candidates.

But after Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Tom Kean Jr. outlined his views on the subject Monday, the undramatic upshot was that he and Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez more or less agree.

Kean called for heightened border security, more punishment of businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers and a program offering temporary work permits and penalties for illegal immigrants who wish to move toward legal status.

"While our country is a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws," he said during a news conference in Trenton.

Menendez supports a compromise Senate bill that contains a similar mix of enforcement measures and reforms addressing the presence of millions of undocumented workers in the country, said Menendez spokesman Matthew Miller.

"America has a proud tradition as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws," Menendez said during a Senate debate on immigration reform last month.

As illegal immigration has spread beyond the border states in recent years, Congress has been under pressure to act. The House last year passed a measure -- opposed by then-Representative Menendez -- that would have instituted more serious criminal penalties for illegal immigrants and those aiding them.

That sparked a series of immigrant protests around the country. The Senate, meanwhile, has been debating a bill that drops the toughest provisions of the House measure.

Kean called for more border patrol agents, detention facilities and barriers to help "secure our borders, not seal them," without specifying the cost of those measures. He also said employers who knowingly hire illegals should face tougher penalties and enforcement.

Echoing President Bush and the compromise Senate bill sponsored by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Kean said he supports a program offering temporary permits for immigrant workers.

"Those who are here illegally, they will have an incentive to come out of the shadows," Kean said.

Kean said he opposes "blanket amnesty" for the estimated 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally, but he also allowed for a means of achieving legality.

"Any legislation that moves through Congress must contain a strict set of conditions, possibly including a $2,000 fine for violating U.S. law, paying back taxes and going to the back of the line to obtain legal status," Kean said.

Kean is "not wedded to a particular piece of legislation," spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said, but the McCain-Kennedy bill contains similar provisions for a path to legal status with penalties, a temporary worker program and heightened enforcement of border and employment laws. While Hazelbaker said Kean believes the more conservative House bill that Menendez opposed "in general is a good first step," Kean said he disagrees with that bill's provision making illegal immigration a felony.

At 11:41 AM, Blogger The Pot said...

The "Bush-Rove White House"? I thought the Democrats were over making a big deal out of Rove, given that he was essentially exonerated in the ridiculous Plame/Wilson affair.


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