The most radical proposal in American history

President Bush’s “temporary workers’ program” may be the most radical proposal ever made by a U.S. president. The fundamental idea of it, which Bush’s press secretary articulated yesterday and which Bush repeated several times in his speech today, is to match “willing” workers with “willing” employers when no American is “willing” to take the same job. This essentially means open borders to any Third-Worlder who can underbid an American for a job. As long as there’s an American employer who would rather pay a Mexican minimum wage than pay an American somewhat more for the same job, that means, under the terms of Bush’s program, that there is “no American willing to take that job.”

Second, Bush speaks absurdly of the government trying to match every “willing” American employer with a “willing” American worker prior to giving the job to a “willing” alien. Assuming that Bush is serious, this means nothing less than a national employment service.

Third, instead of seeking to reverse the wrong choices and assumptions that seem to make massive illegal immigration necessary, this bill makes them permanent. Instead of healing the profound social and economic disorders caused by massive illegal immigration, this bill would institutionalize them and place them under the managerial state, with the temporary workers assured of miminum wage and all other rights and protections of U.S. citizens, which will also require a vast program of oversight of both the “temporary workers” and their employers.

Finally, this bill implicates the U.S. with other governments in a kind of proto world welfare state. According to Bush, when a “temporary worker” after working a certain number of years in the U.S. returns to his native country, the U.S. will cover the cost of his retirement benefits in his country. Imagine the level of bureaucratic integration this would entail between America and a host of Third-World countries.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 07, 2004 07:03 PM | Send


Mr. Auster sees the implications of what Bush has proposed. We may be sure neither Bush nor Rove has thought them through. HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on January 7, 2004 7:18 PM

Why would a worker return to his home country after a few years? His job still needs doing, and supposedly Americans won’t do it. So, how are we to believe that he will be sent back when his initial time limit is up? Will it really make sense to send him to Mexico, only to be replaced by a newly arrived, inexperienced Mexican at the same job?

The obvious end game is to allow him to stay as long as he and his employer agree on it. We will be hearing about this in 3 years or less, as the 3 year time limit approaches.

Posted by: Clark Coleman on January 7, 2004 7:32 PM

“Imagine the level of bureaucratic integration this would entail between America and a host of Third-World countries.”

Hasn’t the Bush administration also taken steps to enter into a social security “totalization” agreement with India as well as Mexico? I believe I remember seeing articles in the Indian press claiming it has.

Posted by: paulccc on January 7, 2004 8:21 PM

I just remembered something: Bush mentioned the immigration that occurred here in the first quarter of the last century but failed to mention the 1924 Immigration Act that followed the exodus. So here he is proposing amnesty when, if he wants to be consistent, he should be proposing a moratorium. A MORARATORIUM, along with deportation of illegals and prosecution of companies that hire them, is what Bush should be advocating.

Posted by: walter kehowski on January 7, 2004 10:26 PM

To be a “globalist” one must put the rest of the world first. Forget about loyalty to the constitution (enforcing laws), loyalty to wage earners, loyalty to taxpayers who keep the unloyal government going. Bush and most all the Democrats are enamored of ‘globalization’. Maybe they can run in another country and see if they get elected. Other countries seem to have a keen sense of their sovereignty and self interest and would not elect such an unloyal politician.

Posted by: Barbara on January 8, 2004 2:44 AM

Even some illegal aliens are upset with the Bush amnesty … because THEY fear a tidal wave of new illegals that will PUSH THEIR WAGES DOWN. Yes, even mexican illegals have more sense than George Bush. I picked up this link at

“Some fear the new program will prompt a flood of Mexican applicants trying to enter the United States.

“After lifetimes spent finding ways to sneak into the United States, Mexicans are excited over a new plan by U.S. President George W. Bush that may allow them to cross legally for work while maintaining a life in Mexico.

“But many worry they will have to compete with a flood of new foreign applicants.

Cruz Salinas, 69, said half of the young men from General Bravo are working illegally in the United States already, and the rest are trying to find a way to follow them. If the new program is approved, ‘all the young people here are going to want to go.’”

Posted by: paulccc on January 8, 2004 11:22 AM

“As long as there’s an American employer who would rather pay a Mexican minimum wage than pay an American somewhat more for the same job, that means, under the terms of Bush’s program, that there is “no American willing to take that job.”

Exactly right, except the proposal is even worse. Unlike the 2001 trial balloon, IT’S NOT LIMITED TO MEXICANS. The “temporary” worker program is open to the entire human race. There’s only 100,000,000 people left in Mexico (now that 20,000,000 live here), but there are 6,000,000,000 people in the whole world. In terms of GDP, Mexico is slightly above the world median. There are 3,000,000,000 people poorer than the average Mexican. They would all be eligible to move here!

Posted by: Steve Sailer on January 8, 2004 7:22 PM

George Bush is a menace and a danger to the very survival of this republic. He needs to be voted out of office regardless of who is on the other side of the ballot.

Posted by: Jcrowl on January 8, 2004 7:49 PM

I voted for President Bush in 2000 though I knew that he was a “moderate” Republican. I was driven to this by the possibility of a Gore presidency and by the thinking that Bush would be an improvement upon the Clinton presidency. Unfortunately, outside of foreign policy and tax law, Bush has not been little better than Gore would have been. As has been remarked on this site Bush has moved the Republican party to the left. Can anyone imagine the reaction of the Repulican Pary or Rush Limbaugh to this type of proposal if Clinton had made it while president or if Gore had proposed it while candidate in 2000? They would have loudly denounced and quickly killed such a proposal. So I guess that in some ways Bush is worse than Gore would have been. Because of this proposal Bush has certainly lost my vote (which otherwise I would have reluctantly given him), and I shall ask others not to vote for him. I cannot vote for Dean, so I shall probably abstain on the presidential question.

P.S. I wish to offer my thanks to Mr. Auster for his excellant weblog. I have frequented this site since I was introduced to it last summer via a link from NRO’s The Corner, but I have only now posted.

Posted by: Joshua on January 8, 2004 8:22 PM

A draft letter to the President, for which comments and critiques are welcomed. (To be cc’d to my Congresswoman.)


January 8, 2004

The Hon. George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington D.C. 20500


I write in response to your announcement on Jan. 7 of the proposal to legitimize the presence of millions of persons who entered this country illegally, with which I am by no means pleased.

I must express in the strongest possible terms my opposition to this flouting of the rule of law and urge you instead to take immediate steps to defend our borders from unlawful trespass and enforce our current immigration laws against those who have violated them, which would include the following:

1. Order the Military and the National Guard to patrol our borders.

2. Ask the Congress to enact legislation making it a felony for any illegal alien to remain in the United States, allowing up to 6 months for those present to leave.

3. Ask Congress to enact legislation that would encourage local police to arrest illegal aliens and place them in detention.

4. Ask Congress to enact legislation providing that only persons born in the United States to legal residents and immigrants will be considered Citizens.

5. Ask Congress to enact legislation making it a felony for employers to hire known illegal aliens.

If such appropriate steps are not taken, and this latest proposal not rescinded, I regret that neither I nor my wife will, in good conscience, be able to cast our votes for you this year as we did in 2,000, regarding this latest proposal as a violation of your Oath of Office and contrary to the interests of the People of the United States.

Wishing the best to you and Mrs. Bush, with the assurance of our continued prayers,

I have the honor to remain, etc.

Posted by: Joel LeFevre on January 8, 2004 8:53 PM

To follow up on what Mr. Sailer said, not only does Bush’s plan open America to the whole human race, but it does so indefinitely. For the sake of comparison, think back to the 1986 amnesty. That was a “one-time” amnesty, available to persons who had entered the U.S. more than a certain number of years (I think it was four years) prior to the passage of the law. People had to present proof that they had been in the U.S. prior to that date and (as I remember) that they had been gainfuly (though illegally) employed during that period.

Bush’s proposal, by contrast, encompasses ALL illegal aliens CURRENTLY employed in the United States, and, potentially, ALL illegal aliens who may become employed in the future. It says that any person on planet earth who can find a job in the U.S. will be designated a legal “temporary” worker enjoying the full panoply of U.S. workers’ rights and protections, as well as the right to move back and forth freely between the U.S. and his home country, the right to renew his membership in the “temporary” workers program every three years for an unspecified (and probably unending) period of time, and the right simultaneously to pursue a permanent residency status.

When we combine the infinite reach and lack of any time limits in the program with Mr. Sailer’s point that half the world’s population can underbid Mexicans for jobs in the U.S., then we start to get a sense of how insanely radical this proposal really is.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on January 8, 2004 9:43 PM

The foundation of any “voluntary” affirmative action plan accounts for the availability of minimally qualified applicants for any job opening. Using a quick-test devised by the federal government, any employer may be found in non-compliance with their own affirmative action plan if the availability of the minority population exceeds the employer’s internal utilization of that minority “protected class”. With “willing” employers and “willing” workers from Mexico, that availability under the Bush plan would include literally any Mexican willing to work. The employer’s “utilization”, therefore, will natually be less than that availability and the employer will then be obligated, under federal law, to hire the Mexican instead of the American citizen if they wish to be in compliance with their affirmative action plan. So for you “unwilling” citizens looking to be employed or promoted with a firm in “noncompliance”….. good luck!!

Posted by: JackD on January 9, 2004 12:41 AM

Two possibilities exist: either everyone who has commented above is wrong about the Bush proposal, or Bush can not possibly gain reelection. I personally am witholding judgement, but if Mr. Auster, Mr. Sailer, are right, something really wrong is going on here!

Just remember, the devil in the details!

Posted by: Michael Gersh on January 9, 2004 2:41 AM

Mr. Gersh,

The third, and most likely, possibility is that everything we are saying about the Bush proposal is true and that Bush will win re-election regardless.

While most Americans disapprove of immigration even at present levels, few are concerned enough to do anything about it. The bogeyman of the lunatic, Leftist Democratic Party will be scary enough to most Americans who worry about immigration that they will vote for Bush despite his amnesty proposal. The regulars at VFR are not typical Republican voters! HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on January 9, 2004 9:49 AM

Mr. Sutherland writes:

“The bogeyman of the lunatic, Leftist Democratic Party will be scary enough to most Americans who worry about immigration that they will vote for Bush despite his amnesty proposal.”

On one hand, the phrase “bogeyman” might falsely suggest that the lunatic, leftist Democratic party is only a specter manufactured by Republican progagandists. On the the other hand, it is certainly true that the TRUE FACT of the lunatic leftist Democratic party is USED by the Republicans to scare people to vote for Republicans no matter how bad the Republicans become. And this is what can no longer be accepted.

It’s funny that in an age of conspiracy theories no one has ever suggested the following conspiracy: that the Democrats deliberately turned themselves into a lunatic leftist party, knowing that this would make Bush feel so invulnerably secure with his conservative base that he would then feel free to move the Republican party radically to the left. Of course, it wasn’t planned that way. (Conspiracy theories proceed on the assumption that if a certain sequence of events has the effect of advancing the interests of a particular party, that party must have planned and controlled those events from the start.) Nevertheless, it is what has ACTUALLY happened. And I for one am not willing to let the Republicans keep using the TRUE FACT of Democratic extremism to intimidate and corral conservatives into supporting every leftward anti-American move of the Republicans.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on January 9, 2004 10:33 AM

Another comment on Bush’s “bring ‘em all here” attitude. I read an account of a Bush speech not long after 9-11. Bush was telling us that certain things hadn’t changed on the immigration front. He said something like, “We want people to come here. We want more and more people to come.”

Bush REALLY he has an obsession about this. He has moved the goalposts even if this latest measure doesn’t immediately pass.

Posted by: David on January 9, 2004 11:22 AM

Good correction by Mr. Auster; the Democrats are not merely a bogeyman, they are a mortal threat. That their lunacy draws the Republicans leftward into the less-extreme Leftist territory Democrats once occupied is testimony that the Republican Party has no conservative core. Surely a strongly conservative Republican Party would be a clearer alternative, and probably would do better electorally. Sadly, that Republican Party does not exist, which is why we must repudiate the one that does.

At the moment, though, GW Bush’s obsession with immigration and Mexicans and the Republican hierarchy’s willingness to humor him make the GOP more dangerous than the disjointed Dems. HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on January 9, 2004 12:42 PM

That was a brilliant and concise letter. I’ll have to use parts of it in my own letter to the president.
Lyneil Chase

Posted by: Lyneil Chase on January 14, 2004 3:02 PM

This isn’t the 1st left wing proposal that Bush has made and, if he’s re-elected, it won’t be his last. So what do we do? No-way can I support the leftist Democrats. Is there a true conservative Republican that we can rally behind to stop this insane immigration proposal?

Posted by: Dean Brock on January 14, 2004 3:33 PM

With all this coddling of illegal aliens from both sides where are our elected officials who are sworn to protect and defend the constitution. Any amnesty is against this the highest document of our great country. Where is the Dept. of Justice who is sworn to uphold these laws to protect the citizens from foreign nations and illegal acts against our country. Lets do our jobs or loose this land to foreigners here illegally.

Posted by: Don Jackle on January 14, 2004 4:49 PM

i cannot believe president bush can;t see what he will be doing to not the thing about jobs they don;t want,its jobs no one can get and live on.wages will be at all time low.they make it sound like american don;t want these jobs-i know people now with college degree working at mcdonald.i think all the people we elected in washington think we don;t care what they do to us.i guess we will have to show them-we do care.the problem is there is no one to run against bush.check the democrats record on amnesty for illegal immigrants-you will find it the same as bush.

Posted by: betty chastain on January 14, 2004 11:35 PM

The swell of opposition is so overwhelming that the administration can have no question about its popularity. However, Rove is betting that Republicans are caught since both parties are condoning this criminal activity. The only way to get through to these powerbrokers is to threaten to vote Independent if these immigration policies are not reversed and, more importantly, do so. I have already picked my alternative candidate and I will absolutely vote for them rather than cast my vote against my country and Constitution. Enough is enough and I refuse to be blackmailed!!!

Posted by: Jon Didleau on January 16, 2004 1:43 AM

Many of you commented that you cannot vote for Bush in 04 or the Democratic nominee due to their
amnesty on illegals. So why a protest vote,Tom Tancredo, the congressman from Colorado, and out-
spoken critic of our present immigration policy would be a logical choice. As some of you know, he is head of the immigration reform caucus in the House. He would be an excellent choice. What a message that would send to Congress, the President and both political parties! STOP IGNORING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ON IMMIGRATION!

Posted by: Merritt Edwards on January 16, 2004 11:17 AM

Write-in votes for Tancredo in both the primaries and the general election are certainly an option. Republican strategists could not misinterpret such votes as a message that the GOP was losing votes because of a failure to be sufficiently liberal on immigration.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on January 16, 2004 11:24 AM

As a continuation of my last posting, a grass roots campaign via the internet encompassing all immigration reform groups sending out the message to their supporters. Vote for Tom Tancredo for president as a protest against the immgration policy Bush proposed and the democratic position - amnesty. If this protest generated mass support among those of us who feel that immigration is a major issue and we can’t and won’t be ignored any more. It will shake the establishment to their very roots

Posted by: Merritt Edwards on January 16, 2004 11:36 AM
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