The Kennedy-McCain immigration bill: that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
It is called the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act (search ) of 2005. And here are the highlights:
• The USA would accept at least 400,000 foreign workers each year. Their visas would last three years.
• Illegal aliens already in the U.S.A., and they number more than 10 million, would have to register, pay a $2,000 fine, clear a criminal background check, and pass an English language exam. If they did that and had a job, they could stay in this country and apply for citizenship in six years.
• The act would also increase fines for employers who hire illegals and strengthen border security.
That's the gist of the proposed law.
Now here's the problem. The act doesn't say exactly how the border will be strengthened. And based on the government's dismal performance for decades, there's little hope the feds would actually finally secure the borders.
And secondly, the act does not spell out what would happen to illegals who don't register under the program. I mean, come on. No criminal illegal alien's going to cooperate with this. And many won't learn English or fork over the $2,000. The act has to specifically say what happens to those aliens who don't comply. And the act does not say.
Once again, it's all carrot, no stick. The fed simply will not put teeth into enforcing immigration laws. And the beat goes on.
Now we asked Senator McCain (search) to come on and explain the situation. He has declined. And we also asked Senator Kennedy (search ). We don't expect him to answer our questions either, but both men are welcome any time.
Senator McCain's take would be especially interesting. His state, Arizona, is getting torched by illegal immigration. -- Everyone down there is affected. Some hospitals and schools are on the verge of collapse.
Unlike California, Arizona's not a rich state. It's full of working men and women who can't afford to pay for illegal aliens. McCain's constituents are getting hammered.
At this point, I can't support the proposed law unless it contains more secure border specifics. Giving illegals amnesty for 2,000 bucks is simply not going to cut it because five years from now, we could have 10 million more illegals if the borders remain porous. But I am anxious to discuss the issue further. I hope Kennedy and McCain will step up and do that.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
Expect a mountain of publicity for the new "Star Wars" movie which opens next week. There will be nowhere to hide from all of that. Now, not too many people know this, but I used to be a film critic when worked down in Dallas at the start of my TV career. So, next Wednesday, I will review "Revenge of the Sith (search)" right here on “The Factor” which could be major league ridiculous, but we will give it a shot. -- Be here next Wednesday.