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 U.S.
At a café 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.