Notes: This past week, George W. Bush announced that he would seek an immigration program for undocumented workers in America (illegal aliens, illegal immigrants). The details of the program remain to be worked out, and some analysts don't think Congress will pass legislation on the matter this year.

Though obviously an election year ploy -- likely hatched by the brilliant presidential adviser Karl Rove, to get the Hispanic vote for Bush, most pundits seem to think it's an issue that needs national airing and debate with an estimated near 10 million illegal immigrants in the country. Some think it has the aura of the infamous Bracero program of the mid-twentieth century. Additionally, the requirement that the immigrant be employed is thought to put the American employer in the unfair but enviable position of shutting down any complaints with the threat of "do you want your job, or do you want to be sent back home." Moreover, the permits to work are planned to be good for only three years at a time so that real future planning will not be possible for immigrant workers.

However, ultra-conservatives are not happy with the Bush proposal. First he spends the country into debt, now he embraces illegal immigrants. Is he really a liberal at heart? Yeah, right. But, he is a politician at heart and he's begun the strategy of triangulation just like he did during the last presidential campaign to attract moderate swing voters. I think it's a fairly safe strategy, because who's the right wing going to vote for in the alternative -- Howard Dean?

Still, what strikes me is the fatalism with which illegal aliens accept the necessity of leaving their countries and families and trekking off to the United States to earn a living at the lowest-paying jobs in America. It lets their own governments off the hook. Mexico has long thought of the U.S. as a safety valve where the disgruntled unemployed could go instead of complaining about their own government. I think these governments are not performing for their citizens, yet don't have the tradition of civil protest to let the people express that they do not believe their government is doing its job for them. I wish they would
. At this writing the wealthy president of Mexico is saying that the proposal is a start, but that more needs to be done by the U.S. I think more needs to be done by Mexico for its average citizen and not only the wealthy. 01.11.04