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Dobbs: New immigration plan ignores history's lessons

By Lou Dobbs
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Editor's Note: Lou Dobbs' commentary appears weekly on

NEW YORK (CNN) -- There are times when reason carries the mind no further, when the mind is carried from the rational across the penumbra of the absurd. That is where the leadership of the U.S. Senate now resides.

What many once regarded as the world's great deliberative body looks more like a clamorous bazaar in which senators feverishly hawk duplicity and deceit as bright jewels of public policy. Comprehensive immigration reform is just such a bauble, and buyer beware.

Most beguiling among those merchants of mendacity is none other than Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who has been peddling his wares at the Senate bazaar for more than four decades. Kennedy's counterfeit immigration views reach all the way back to his championship of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

In signing that legislation into law, President Lyndon Johnson promised it would not be revolutionary or affect the lives of millions, even as it overturned 60 years of U.S. immigration policy of national origin quotas and led to the creation of explosive chain migration.

Twenty-one years later, President Ronald Reagan signed into law amnesty for more than three million illegal aliens who had entered the country. President Reagan then promised the new employer sanctions would "remove the incentive for illegal immigration by eliminating the job opportunities," and that the law's amnesty provision would allow millions who were hiding in the shadows to "step into the sunlight."

And now, another 21 years later, we hear the same language as the pro-amnesty and open borders advocates demand that American citizens ignore history, reason and the national interest. They are again marketing the same false assurances about border enforcement and insist there will be no social or economic cost to the taxpayer or the nation. More than four decades of disruptive and destructive immigration policy initiatives should be a sufficient history lesson for all Americans.

The essential truth is clear: We cannot reform immigration law until we control immigration, and we cannot control immigration until we control our borders and our ports. This president and the congressional Democratic leadership refuse to recognize that reality and will not honor that truth.

President Bush and Sen. Kennedy pass for political stars in our tortured times, and that is sad enough. But if we follow the course they've set, true tragedy awaits us. And the fault will be ours.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.


The U.S. Senate has become a "clamorous bazaar," according to CNN anchor Lou Dobbs.



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