WASHINGTON – Rush Limbaugh, the radio talk-show giant with more than 20 million listeners, is poised to add his considerable voice to those calling on President Bush to heed popular opinion on issues of tightening border security and enforcing immigration laws, WorldNetDaily has learned.

“We cannot maintain our sovereignty without securing and protecting our borders in an era when terrorists around the world seek entry to this country,” he said Friday in a private gathering in Florida.

Limbaugh has not been an outspoken critic of the president on this issue in the past. Neither has he focused much of his broadcast attention on the border and immigration issues during his nearly two-decade career as a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. Instead, Limbaugh is perceived as a champion of many Bush policies.

But, clearly, Limbaugh sees Bush as out of step with the public in his continued calls for implementation of a guest worker program that has been characterized by critics as an amnesty plan for as many as 20 million illegal aliens already in the country,

Limbaugh said he was particularly disturbed by statements Friday by Mexico’s Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez threatening to appeal to international courts a new Arizona law barring illegal aliens from collecting some public benefits.

Proposition 200, approved overwhelmingly by voters in that state Nov. 2, has already survived critical legal tests in state and U.S. courts.

Bush already is facing mounting opposition to his guest worker plan in the House Republican caucus. A year ago, Rep. Tom Tancredo was a lonely voice of opposition to the plan. Today, he says, there are at least 180 Republican votes against the plan. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is on record as saying the plan will not move forward in the House without majority Republican support.

“Rush has 20 million listeners a week, so if he decides to attack President Bush’s plan to regularize immigration flows through a guest-worker program, he could help kill the idea,” said Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund.

In a White House news conference last week, Bush continued to promote his ideas about immigration reform: “I know there’s a compassionate, humane way to deal with this issue. I want to remind people that family values do not stop at the Rio Grande River. People are coming to our country to do jobs that Americans won’t do, to be able to feed their families. And I think there’s a humane way to recognize that, at the same time protect our borders, and at the same way to make sure that we don’t disadvantage those who have stood in line for years to become a legal citizen. And I’m looking forward to working with people of both parties on the issue.”

Meanwhile, a leading member of his own party last week announced sweeping measures aimed at cracking down on the ability of terrorists to travel within the United States.

The Real ID Act, introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., looks to deny drivers licenses to illegal aliens, tighten the political asylum system abused by terrorists, plug a three-mile hole in the border fence between California and Mexico near San Diego, and strengthen deportation laws to more quickly oust foreign terrorists dwelling in the U.S.

“American citizens have the right to know who is in their country, that people are who they say they are, and that the name on a driver’s license is the holder’s real name, not some alias,” said Sensenbrenner, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee.

“The 9-11 hijackers could have used their passports to board the planes, but only one did. Why? Those murderers chose our driver’s licenses and state IDs as their forms of identification because these documents allowed them to blend in and not raise suspicion or concern. Mohammed Atta received a six-month visa to stay in the U.S. yet received a Florida driver’s license good for six years!”

He says the act, which has 115 cosponsors in the House, would establish a uniform rule that temporary driver’s licenses for foreign visitors expire when their visa terms expire, and create tough rules for confirming identity before temporary driver’s licenses are issued.

Earlier stories:

Battle over illegals: Bush vs. Congress

Mexico threatens Arizona over anti-illegals measure

Revolt begins for Bush push for illegals

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