As Republican politicians continue to focus on immigration, with DHS Secretary Chertoff imposing new requirements for border crossing (although about 5 million of the country's 12 million illegal immigrants crossed the border legally and then simply overstayed their visas), and Governor Mike Huckabee reversing positions to appeal to extremist nativist groups, I began to wonder: if he weren't born here, could President Bush have become a U.S. citizen?
Just imagine his visa form:
Question 1: Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, even though subject of a pardon, amnesty or other similar legal action? Have you ever unlawfully distributed or sold a controlled substance (drug), or been a prostitute or procurer for prostitutes?
Let's see. Arrested twice in college, for stealing a Christmas wreath and for conduct at a football game.
Possibly arrested for cocaine.
We don't know if he was directly involved in hiring male prostitute Jeff Gannon/James Guckert to pose as a reporter and issuing him a White House press credential -- so let's skip that one.
Question 3: Do you seek to enter the United States to engage in export control violations, subversive or terrorist activities, or any other unlawful purpose? Are you a member or representative of a terrorist organization as currently designated by the U.S. Secretary of State? Have you ever participated in persecutions directed by the Nazi government of Germany; or have you ever participated in genocide?
Hm. Another tough one. Does unlawful purpose include ordering illegal wiretaps?
Does it count as a subversive activity if you intend to bypass anti-torture laws? Is it subversive to overthrow the Constitution and ignore Congress -- and to say so in dozens of signing statements like this one (chosen at random)?
Well, let's not get bogged down in details. Just one more question though: are 80,000 Iraqi civilian deaths a genocide?
Question 6: Have you ever been afflicted with a communicable disease of public health significance or a dangerous physical or mental disorder, or ever been a drug abuser or addict?
I'll take the last part first. Cocaine again.
As to "a dangerous... mental disorder" -- do you really have to ask?
While a YES answer does not automatically signify ineligibility for a visa, if you answered YES you may be required to personally appear before a consular officer.
If only Congress held him to the same standards!