By Craig B Hulet?
It was reported in the Washington Post that "President Bush proposed allowing millions of illegal immigrants to work temporarily in the United States in an election-year overture to the nation's 39 million Hispanics."
What has been discussed in the press:
Bush's plan to grant three-year temporary work permits seeks to balance a variety of concerns: politically important Hispanic groups seek to legalize immigrants' status, major employers want workers for low-paying jobs and conservatives worry about security amid an alleged sea of illegal immigrants. The Bush plan would offer a renewable three-year temporary legal status to the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants nationwide, and offer a chance at this guest worker status to immigrants internationally. Participating immigrants would be enrolled in Social Security and be able to immediately apply for a green card; waiting periods for green cards can stretch for longer than 10 years.
It would be the biggest change in U.S. immigration policy since 1986, but critics called the proposal a political ploy that falls short. Not the administration though:
"We're addressing an important economic need (and) we're being compassionate to those undocumented workers who are here now ... many of (whom) are probably being abused and exploited,... part of this policy will help make America more secure because we'll know who's here." --White House spokesman Scott McClellan 01/08/04.
Many of the estimated 8 million to 14 million illegal immigrants in the United States have been smuggled across the Mexican border. America's 39 million Hispanics are the largest U.S. ethnic group and a key target of Bush's re-election strategy in states such as Florida and California. (Sources: Bush proposes temporary work plan for immigrants By Randall Mikkelsen Washington, Reuters); Immigration Nation? By Marcelo Ballve, pacificnews.org --January 8, 2004)
What has not been discussed in the press:
Aliens are required to register for the U.S. military draft which the administration has quietly put on the table for a post election year strategy to alleviate pressure on ground forces in our over-stretched Pentagon footprint. Those required to register for the draft fall into several categories: Permanent resident aliens; Special (seasonal) agricultural workers (Form I-688); Refugee, parolee, and asylee aliens; Undocumented (illegal) aliens; dual nationals of the U.S. and another country are required to register, regardless of where they live, because they are U.S. nationals. (Note: Lawful non-immigrants on visas (e.g., diplomatic and consular personnel and families, foreign students, tourists with unexpired visas (Forms I-94, I-95A), or those with Border Crossing Documents (Forms I-185, I-186, I-444) and Special agricultural workers (Form I-688A) do not have to register).
This may seem premature but this office has tracked the return of the Selective Service Board's requests for new volunteers to serve on these boards which decide who should receive a deferment from the draft, which has not been operational for almost three decades. The new call came during 2003; would the Selective Service be looking to fill these 1,200 vacancies across America if there was no plan to utilize their services? Not likely. Other reasons for an upcoming draft have been outlined in three articles on our offices' website. (See: www.kcandassociates.org The Upcoming Draft)
The present administration's Machiavellianism is becoming well-known all over the world; but part 'n parcel of Machiavellian rhetoric is both to 1) lie and deceive at will; but also 2) to mask and veil real intentions with moral imperatives. We are becoming familiar with the first, it is the second that is harder to grasp while it is going on.
The masses rarely catch-on until it is way too late in the game to go back. Every alien, illegal or not, denoted immediately above, that registers for the new three year immigration status will be simultaneously (though likely without knowledge of it) be registering to be selected for service in the United States Army or Marines. They will, along with other Americans chosen, be selected by a lottery system most are familiar with. Their tour of two years minimum will lighten the load on America's Reserves and National Guard forces deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan presently, and it seems likely in Syria and Iran (but anywhere U.S. forces are deployed) later on in 2004-2008. It hasn't helped any that there has been some 1,700 deserters from the Iraq war alone. Bus is having trouble convincing the youth of America that to enlist in the Armed Forces is the patriotic thing to do; enlistments is all branches of the military are off drastically. So reinstitution of the draft is a necessity if Bush and Pentagon are to continue their plans for an extended Pentagon "footprint" throughout the world. While there are some 12 million aliens in the United States presently (illegal and legal) Mr. Bush isn't likely to overlook this unregistered pool of draftees for long.
This would have the dual effect of seeming to be 1) a more fair system to Americans (especially white American males) generally not wanting to serve (and fewer will have to serve should the millions of registered aliens make up part of the equation) and 2) an entirely orchestrated affair to the aliens who are not going to be told of their new found citizen "obligations" to the American system known the world over as the American dream.
One can already hear Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity squealing: "If they want the benefits of the American dream they have to accept the obligations which come with these freedoms." Of course nearly every single talk show host in America has never served their country either and will not be subject to the new draft as they will fall over the 25 year age limit (initially at least).
I would think all will be as surprised as the Hispanics and Puerto Ricans and even some few young men from the island of Guam I served and trained with from 1968 on, until 1975 when the military went all-volunteer. Those that couldn't speak any English at all were the most surprised of all. Bush's "compassionate" electoral "overture" to the Hispanic community is a little less forgiving when fully understood.
Copyright 2004 Craig B Hulet & The Artful Nuance
(Craig B Hulet was Special Assistant for Special Projects to Congressman Jack Metcalf (R. Ret.) and is periodically consultant with ATF&E US Dept. Justice Homeland Security; Hulet is author of The Hydra of Carnage: Bush's Imperial War-making and the Rule of Law, 2002)