In a development that could complicate the Bush administration’s position on immigration, millions of illegal immigrants over the past few days have sought an amnesty deal similar to the one obtained by the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

Just hours after President George W. Bush commuted Mr. Libby’s prison sentence, news of the deal spread like wildfire through the illegal immigrant community, inspiring many who have sought amnesty to view Mr. Libby as a beacon of hope.

According to reports, immigration officials across the country have been deluged in recent days by illegal aliens willing to plead guilty to perjury in exchange for a deal similar to Mr. Libby’s.

The former chief of staff’s story has become so compelling, in fact, that Mr. Libby himself has become something of a folk hero to illegal immigrants across the United States

At a cafe in El Paso, Texas, illegal aliens referred to Mr. Libby reverentially as “El Libbre,” loosely translated as “the free one.”

“If I get an amnesty deal, I will owe it all to El Libbre,” said Juan Carmelo Gutierrez, 35, who plans to plead guilty to perjury this week.

But “not so fast,” says White House spokesman Tony Snow, who today tried to pour cold water on the plans of illegal immigrants hoping to follow in Mr. Libby’s footsteps: “Before these folks expect to get Scooter’s deal, they should ask themselves, ‘Can I cut a check for $250,000?’ “

Elsewhere, people with no lives have stopped waiting in line for the iPhone and started waiting in line for the new Harry Potter book.


If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.