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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Us Immigration Deal; Wolfowitz's

VZCZCXYZ0011
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0983/01 1381545
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181545Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8188
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000983

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; US IMMIGRATION DEAL; WOLFOWITZ'S
RESIGNATION FROM WORLD BANK; 05/18/07

1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Major international stories today include the US deal to overhaul
immigration legislation; and Paul Wolfowitz's resignation from the
World Bank.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "Key US immigration deal"

Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," penned (05/18) "As a result of the
mutual need to solve this dilemma as soon as posible, US President
George W. Bush and a bipartisan group of senators reached a first
and controversial deal yesterday to reform the immigration system,
which will have to overcome serious obstacles both at the US Senate
and the Lower House.

"... The reform of the immigration system signifies a challenge and
a decisive opportunity for George W. Bush.

"The riddle is whether he will be able to turn this long-standing US
headache into perhaps the most important accomplishment of his
second term in office. Otherwise, it will only be a hard slap on his
face in his short remaining time in office.

"Bush has promoted worldwide immigration reform for years. He
believes that the fact that millions of immigrants work many years
for miserable salaries to improve the competitiveness and income of
their employers is 'unfair.' However, he knows that a wide segment
of Americans is against what could be seen as an amnesty.

"... Even so, immigration reform is a golden opportunity for the
White House, which is increasingly overwhelmed by the occupation of
Iraq. Bush could well give hurrahs if he obtains a measure of high
political impact with a Congress under the control of Democrats."

- "The US reaches a deal to regularize the situation of immigrants"

Ana Baron, leading "Clarin's" Washington-based correspondent,
comments (05/18) "Republican and Democratic senators, with the wink
of the White House, reached a historic deal yesterday to launch the
most important US immigration reform in 40 years...

"... While the deal has significant support from the Senate, it is
still unclear whether it could be passed by the Lower House, with
its hard-line conservative legislators.

"Seeking what for some is the only positive legacy he can obtain in
his two terms in office, Bush energetically supported the draft bill
yesterday.

".. The deal reached is dangerous for Republicans bearing in mind
that, they are already in the election campaign, and the base of the
party in power is the group that most fiercely opposes legalization
of illegal immigrants. In this regard, Bush has the merit of going
against the tide."

- "Fragility"

Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading "Clarin," opines
(05/18) "It is a step forward, but it will hardly be a gigantic
step. The deal shows a sign of realism. The US needs to legalize
immigrants because they make up a crucial workforce, which will also
generate taxes. The problem is that the path appears to be filled
with obstacles, particularly for temporary workers...

"The truth is that the North of the world faces a growing challenge
on this issue... Illegal immigrants are not only a force crossing
borders. They are a symbol of deliberately arranged fragile
conditions of work, a distortion they did not create."

- "World Bank - one of Bush's 'hawks' is out"

Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," writes (05/18) "It is over. Last night,
the controversial Paul Wolfowitz announced his resignation as
President of the World Bank after trying for two months to resist
the scandal that paralyzed his work during recent weeks, and
negotiated an more elegant way out than what his European opponents
wanted.

"Wolfowitz will leave June 30 and, he obtained a final gesture from
the WB Board, which acknowledged that he acted 'on good faith'...

"... His past as a Bush 'hawk' and author of the invasion of Iraq
has always created domestic tension...


"Wolfowitz went through a tortuous transition ever since he left the
US Pentagon and joined the World Bank in 2005. His incorporation
into the IMF's sister entity was interpreted in many capital cities
of the world as another unilateral rebuff from US President George
W. Bush to the international community.

"... His actions were soon interpreted as treating friendly
countries differently from countries that are in disagreement with
the White House... According to Manis Bapna, Executive Director of
the Center for Information, a private institution controlling the
Bank, 'Wolfowitz's style was thought of as a subjective tool to
punish enemies and reward friends.' The White House sought to
prevent his downfall until it turned out to be inevitable."

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires
WAYNE

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