“White House compares illegal immigration to speeding,” by Bill Sammon, The Examiner, 26 May 2006, http://www.examiner.com/a-120123~White_House_compares_illegal_immigration_to_speeding.html (from Drudge Report).
President Bush’s press secretary, Tony Snow, delighted this blogger by accurately describing illegal immigration as a non-criminal illegal activity, similar to speeding
The White House on Friday said a Senate bill that would grant legal status to illegal immigrants is analogous to a traffic law that allows a speeder to pay a fine and continue driving.
“If you had a traffic ticket and you paid it, you’re not forever a speeder, are you?” White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said in response to questions from The Examiner.
“So the fact is, you have paid your debt to society,” he added. “And we have come up with a way to make sure that the debt to society gets paid. Then you move forward.”
Of course, the Know-Nothings weren’t happy about that…
“I don’t know if Tony meant to trivialize it or not,” said Will Adams, spokesman for Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo. “But it’s certainly misleading.”
Snow emphasized that illegals would have to pay fines, learn English and wait years for a chance at full citizenship. But Adams called that “a slap on the hand” compared to deportation.
Here Bill Adams summarizes his own position, those of the know-nothing anti-immigrationists: “Punishment!” No thought on what’s good for America, because they cannot win that argument. No thought on what are laws should be, because that distracts from kicking brown Catholics out of the country.
Snow’s remarks are just what the Bush administration should be doing: accurately describing the situation. People are here illegally but not criminally, so they should be treated like those who break the laws but are not criminals.
The greatest domestic issue currently on the agenda is immigration. While annexing Mexico will have to wait for the future, increasing the size of immigration is the current conservative project. To the extent House Republicans are unable to embrace that, they are undeserving of conservative support for the November 2006 midterm elections.