On Thursday both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate put forth an amnesty bill that would immediately legalize about 14 million aliens — 12 million of them being legal the other 2 million family members living abroad.
Now lots of people are going to blow lots of smoke about this legislation but it is an amnesty, there's no question about it.
The key components of the law would be that all illegals who have arrived in the USA before January 1st of this year, 2007, would be given a "Z-visa" and a chance to earn citizenship. The only exceptions are criminal aliens and people who don't have a job — apparently they will be asked to leave.
As for the rest, they must pay a $5,000 fine over an eight-year period, must work 90 percent of the time they are here and, if they're the head of the household, they must return to his or her country but can come right back after getting another visa there.
Also, about 1,250,000 family members of illegal aliens will be allowed to come here right away and that number will increase over the years. So there's no question this is a good deal for illegal aliens.
But nothing would happen until the border was secured and homeland security estimates that will take another 18 months. The new legislation would double the Border Patrol, build 370 miles of fence, and install a bunch of other high-tech stuff to keep people from illegally entering the USA.
Again, no amnesty provisions until the border is secure and that's a good thing.
Also the bill would permanently bar anyone who sneaks into the country after January 1st of this year from living here and the legislation would step up punishment against businesses that hire illegal aliens who don't have the Z-visa.
Reluctantly — and I mean reluctantly — Talking Points is going to support this legislation. It's the best we can get and does improve the situation. But, make no mistake it's not fair. It drastically alters the United States of America and there will be unintended consequences all over the place.
The new census report says America's now one third minority. And in four states — California, New Mexico, Texas and Hawaii — whites are the minority. So with the infusion of as many as 20-30 million new citizens in the next 10 years the landscape of America will absolutely change.
Finally, the happiest guy in the country tonight is Senator Edward Kennedy because this amnesty is a boon to the Democratic Party. Most of the new citizens will become Democrats simply because of entitlements and peer pressure.
So there you have it. It's not pretty. But if the government stops the madness at the border and punishes employers who continue to violate the law I'll go with it because there's nothing better coming down the pike.
And that's The Memo.
Most Ridiculous Item
Once again, I am forced — forced — to feature our pal Rosie O'Donnell in this segment. I don't want to do it, but every day it's something else. Roll it:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROSIE O'DONNELL, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": I just want to tell you something: 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?
ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": Who are the terrorists?
O'DONNELL: Six hundred and fifty-five Iraqis — I'm saying, you have to look from the — we invaded...
HASSELBECK: Wait, who are you calling terrorists?
O'DONNELL: I'm saying that if you're in Iraq, and another country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us?
HASSELBECK: Are we killing their citizens, or are their people also killing their citizens?
O'DONNELL: We're invading a sovereign nation and invading a country against the U.N.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
For the record, Iraq Body Count, an organization which tracks these things, estimates Iraqi civilian deaths at 65,000. Does it really matter to Ms. O'Donnell? Does it really matter to a woman who thinks Americans are terrorists? I don't think so. It might be ridiculous.
I have to do these things. I just — I'm compelled. I don't know why.