In the latest indication President Bush is having problems with his conservative core political constituency, Michael Savage, one of talk radio’s biggest stars, tonight called for the impeachment of President Bush over his plans to legalize millions of illegal aliens.
“This is the worst betrayal of our country in my lifetime,” said Savage, whose program is heard on more than 350 stations with an audience reaching some 6 million. His book, “The Savage Nation,” last year was No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller’s list for five weeks. His follow-up, “The Enemy Within,” out just one week, is already No. 8 on the list. Both were published by WND Books.
Tonight Savage called Bush a liberal and described him as part of the “enemy within” that is destroying the nation.
Savage created the phrase “compassionate conservative” in 1994, a term picked up by Bush during his presidential campaign – a campaign supported by Savage.
“This is much more serious than dropping your pants for an intern,” said Savage. “This is a policy that represents a danger to national security.”
Savage is hardly alone in his strong feelings of opposition to Bush’s proposal to offer legal status to illegal immigrants. A new ABC News poll finds 52 percent of the nation opposes an amnesty program for illegal immigrants from Mexico, while 57 percent oppose one for illegal immigrants from other countries. Both results are roughly the same as when the administration floated the idea two-and-a-half years ago.
But today in Monterrey, Mexico, Bush reaffirmed his support of the proposal, despite its unpopularity at home. He said it could help illegal immigrants “leave the shadows and have an identity.”
At a joint press conference with Mexican President Vicente Fox, Bush warned that his government will not allow the existence in the United States of an underclass of illegal immigrants, but claimed again his proposal is not an amnesty. Amnesty, he said, would only promote the violation of the law and perpetuate illegal immigration.
Bush said his immigration proposal would benefit both the United States and Mexico as it recognizes the contribution of thousands of honest Mexicans who work in the United States.
For his part, Fox embraced Bush’s proposal.
“What else can we wish?” Fox said at the news conference with the president.
In the U.S., the latest poll on the controversy shows at least twice as many Americans “strongly” oppose the proposal as strongly support it.
Opposition peaks in Bush’s own party: Fifty-eight percent of Republicans oppose his immigration proposal for Mexicans, compared with 50 percent of Democrats. For illegal immigrants other than Mexicans, 63 percent of Republicans are opposed.
Bush reportedly will disclose more details of the plan in his State of the Union address Jan. 20.
Meanwhile, the National Border Patrol Council, which represents all 9,000 of the Border Patrol’s non-supervisory agents, has told its members to challenge President Bush?s proposed guest-worker program, calling it a “slap in the face to anyone who has ever tried to enforce the immigration laws of the United States,” the Washington Times reported today.
The agents were told in a letter from Vice President John Frecker that the proposal offered last week during a White House press conference “implies that the country really wasn’t serious about” immigration enforcement in the first place.
“Hey, you know all those illegal aliens you risked ‘life and limb’ to apprehend? FAH-GED-ABOWD-IT,” said Frecker, a veteran Border Patrol agent. “President Bush has solved the problem. Don’t be confused and call this an ‘amnesty,’ even though those who are here illegally will suddenly become legal and will be allowed to stay here. The president assures us that it’s not an amnesty,” he said.
Last week Bush proposed the sweeping immigration changes that would allow the 8 million to 12 million illegal aliens thought to be in the United States to remain in the country if they have a job and apply for a guest-worker card. The immigrants could stay for renewable three-year periods, after which they could apply for permanent legal residence.
Savage cited a new report published in the City Journal by the Manhattan Institute suggesting there is a major crime wave in the U.S. caused by illegal immigration.
“Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens,” the report charges. “Yet in cities where the crime these aliens commit is highest, the police cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their immigration status. In Los Angeles, for example, dozens of members of a ruthless Salvadoran prison gang have sneaked back into town after having been deported for such crimes as murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and drug trafficking. Police officers know who they are and know that their mere presence in the country is a felony. Yet should a cop arrest an illegal gang-banger for felonious reentry, it is he who will be treated as a criminal, for violating the LAPD’s rule against enforcing immigration law.”
The situation is similar, the report says in New York, Chicago, San Diego, Austin and Houston. These “sanctuary policies” generally prohibit city employees, including the cops, from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities, says the report.
“These people are destroying America,” said Savage. “That’s all I have to say on the subject. But you can talk about it. Talk about it while you can – while America is still a free country, because it’s not going to last.”
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