Immigration is a pseudo-crisis, driven by pseudo-events, in a theater of pseudo-politics.
Bush's call for $1.9 billion to send 6,000 troops to guard the border with Mexico and stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. is "interesting." People are arguing about it on the level of American ethnic identity or purity; citizenship, jobs and benefits for American citizens; history and justice, since much of the current U.S. was annexed from Mexico and Native Americans(such as this: click); the cost of such a project when billions of dollars and lives have already been siphoned to a disastrous war in Iraq, in a country with serious socio-economic rights issues like healthcare--among others. But I think getting caught up in any number of these particular debates is precisely the goal of the Bush PR-government strategy. It is a strategy of preoccupation and deception, and the evidence is the long string of such tactics that have been uncovered over the last several years--e.g., WMD, Swift Boat Veterans, Valerie Plame leak, threat of Syria and Iran, not to mention France, and a host of little but impactful deceptions and misdemeanor lies, such as fake news and reporters. There's also a curious reversal of his "position"from the beginning of his presidency, on the issue of (for Bush's quotes on record click the following link) Mexican immigrants.
Of course, the immigration issue is not new; it's cyclical. The question in this brutally calculating political theater is why now? And Why this issue for the media and public agenda? Immigration is not a rumor per se, but it functions like a RUMOR BOMB. It is a strategy of preoccupation/deception, a red herring that exploits ravenous news market appetites for/values of conflicts and scandal. It offers a scapegoat in a time of great upheaval and increasingly focused criticism on the dishonesty of the Bush regime. The many debacles of the Bush regime have resulted, finally, in Bush and co.'s lowest approval ratings to date. Interestingly, some stories accompany these reports of low approval by emphasizing that Bush's conservative base is driving the disapproval. Polls like this were reported May 5, 2006. On May 15, Bush made a televised address to the nation calling for the thousands of troops and billions of dollars to be sent to the border with Mexico. In the context of his approval ratings and history of rumor bombs, this is an attempt first to distract a wing of the Republican party from a more focused critique of his failure in Iraq, and with more convervative pet issues such as gay marriage. The response is to shift their attention to another issue to which this political sect remains fervently devoted--immigrants, race, nationalism. It's imperative that Bush serve the Republican elite who delivered him this presidency in the first place, so he lends his beaten office to the effort to keep the rank and file in check. Right now they're in trouble. These are tactics in response to a disastrous political climate and bleak future for Republicans. And as Oldfield noted in The Right and the Righteous (1996), "The social issue concerns are not those of the Republican party a whole; defense of subcultural family values underlies the movement s differences with other elements of the party" (p. 68). Polls "show that opposition to immigration tends to be greatest among social conservative and less-well educated Republicans, but that upscale, well-educated, pro-business Republicans tend to be more ambivalent." That's the wing that is causing trouble for the PNAC wing. Better give them something again that they can be proud of and simultaneously get the rest of the country to think this is a major crisis worthy of public deliberation.
Second, Bush and his puppetmasters construct a crisis for the news media and their desire for cycles, for the latest dramatic conflict. This is also a pseudo-event designed to create a drama that will be self-propellingly spectacular. The news report it, people organize rallies to protest it, and the news media keep covering it, which drives more (not necessarily well-reasoned)expressions of outrage and free speech for and against, which is exactly what this regime wants. It's not mainly about the issue of immigration itself. It's about managing audiences to maintain partisan power and derail focused critque and discussion. So, the U.S. is ablaze with its most recent pressing re-politicizing issue, immigration. As coach used to say, "Keep your eye on the ball, Harsin."