Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Another GOP Congressman Questions Bush's Credibility

Another GOP Congressman Questions Bush's Credibility
Jun 29, 2005, 01:35
Capitol Hill Blue

A Colorado congressman is accusing the administration of trying to hide documents showing that President Bush sparked a surge in illegal immigration last year by proposing a guest-worker program.

The documents _ obtained by the public-interest group Judicial Watch through Freedom of Information Act requests _ show that aliens crossing America's southern border in the weeks after the president's Jan. 7, 2004, announcement interpreted his proposal as a general amnesty, said Rep. Tom Tancredo, a Republican and chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus.

Some 45 percent of aliens who were stopped at the border said they were trying to enter the United States because they would be afforded an opportunity to stay under the president's plan, the documents showed.

The documents were obtained by Judicial Watch from the Department of Homeland Security. After the president announced his policy, the department ordered a survey of apprehended illegal immigrants to determine whether the proposal influenced their decision to cross the border.

About 1,700 questionnaires were filled out, Judicial Watch said, and the department thus far has handed over 850 in response to the group's Freedom of Information Act request. The results establish that a significant number of the captured aliens were crossing the border to take advantage of what they understood to be the Bush program.

Once the outcome became apparent and could prove embarrassing, according to Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, "the Bush administration abruptly shut it down. The Border Patrol, at the behest of the White House, instructed its agents not to provide the information about the negative impact of the proposed amnesty program."...