Border Insanity

Crunchy Con has an excellent post today quoting an immigration attorney. His reaction to the new Kennedy-McCain bill that Congress is about to consider:

The long an the short of it is this: this bill has no enforcement to it at all.

Look, it says, in effect, that 'no Y [guest worker] or Z [amnesty] visas will be issued to anybody until the following steps are taken to seal the borders.' But in the mean time, provisional Y and Z visas will be issued, with exactly the same effects and benefits except that they can't be turned into LPR (green card) status.

There is no requirement that the border be 'sealed', just that they hire more people (yay*) and build a tripwire fence (double yay*) and throw out a few more 'criminal' aliens (no yay here, this means that more misdemeanants with US citizen kids will be thrown out).

*((insert the sounds of cheering made when they ate Robin's minstrels here))

And as for the Great Wall of Texas? Forget it. Won't never be built. Not while the Dems are in office.

Furthermore, there are about 30 million non-citizen immigrants, and eight to twelve million illegals in this country. There are 180,000 Homeland Security bureaucrats, of whom about 40,000 or so work for BICE, from border patrol to Homeland Security paperwork drones, for the whole country. I work in one of America's biggest cities, and here, with a half million aliens in this state, BICE and its sister organization, US CIS, have together – count 'em – 30 people processing papers. It takes five years to get a marriage green-card interview. Five years.

Look, this is the crew that gave Mohammad Atta a green card six months after he destroyed the North Tower. And they expect these people to process twelve million Z visa applications in the next three years??? WHO ARE THEY KIDDING?

Click here and read the whole thing. It's fascinating.

Here's where I stand in the immigration debate. First, I have no problem with people coming to the United States to work. Our economy clearly needs them - at least if we all want to continue enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Second, to the extent people are here, regardless of how they arrived, they deserve basic rights: medical care, police protection, etc. They remain fully human regardless of their legal status. On the other hand, if we allow them to enter the country and work here legally they should be willing to accept some reasonable restrictions.

Third, we need to know who is here and have at least some assurance that they are not dangerous. The only way I know to do this is to lock down the borders so people don't cross illegally, and then have a mechanism to let people who want to work in the U.S. enter the country legally, quickly, and efficiently.

As the attorney quoted above illustrates, our government has failed to provide such a process. Fix this and the whole problem would be solved. People will not go to the danger and expense of crossing the border illegally if it is simple to enter the U.S. and work legitimately.

The first step must be to get control of the borders. We have yet to see any serious effort to do so. (This, incidentally, is one of the reasons I have a hard time taking the Bush Administration seriously when it says we must do "whatever it takes" to protect Americans from terrorism. The border is threat #1 and they have done little to secure it. Quite the opposite, actually - Bush is willing to trade national security for political support from the agriculture, construction and restaurant industries.)

My guess is that the new immigration bill has little chance of passing in anything like its current form. This is such a polarizing issue I'm not sure any kind of agreement will ever be possible. It is kind of like Social Security in that regard: we all know the problem is only getting worse, but nobody is willing to make the sacrifices a solution would require. In both cases, there isn't likely to be a happy ending to the story.

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