May 15, 2007

Making Runs For The Borders

The Republican presidential hopefuls have one thing in common -- they have all turned hawkish on immigration. According to the Washington Post's Michael Shear, the three front-runners have run away from previously centrist positions in order to bolster their border-security credentials, leaving George Bush without much support for his bipartisan efforts to create a comprehensive reform plan. This will make it harder for Bush to win any victories in the final two years of his term, a situation that suits a large part of the GOP base just fine.

I discuss the consequences at Heading Right. Be assured that the candidates will be pressed on this topic at tonight's debate, which will again feature a live blog by the entire Heading Right crew and a roundtable discussion at BlogTalkRadio's Debate Central afterwards.


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Comments (6)

Posted by RBMN | May 15, 2007 10:23 AM

Plugging up the holes in the border is part of every plan. The problem is, a large part of the Republican Party doesn't trust that it will get done if it's not the ONLY goal on the table. It makes sense to raise the Mexican border fence to task number one, but without some new ID rules, it won't solve the problem. Mexicans who want to get into America will pay for a boat trip to Canada, and come across that border. Are the Canadians going to stop them? Probably not. People find a way. The "border" that works is a national ID card, required for employment, easily authenticated, can't be forged. That's the only border that seals up tight.

Posted by BoWowBoy | May 15, 2007 11:38 AM

Very few Americans are on board with Bush's and Kennedy's ........... Illegal Alien Amnesty and Full Employment Legislation.

Posted by tnmartin | May 15, 2007 3:19 PM

What we wanted, what we believe is right to expect, is that the existing laws will be enforced. And that means diligently, and honestly, and vigorously. Part of that means that those who collude to violate or evade that law, or who engage in willful blindness, or those who refuse to enforce the law, should also be held to account. No matter who they are, whether the mayor of a large city, or the governor of a state, or a US Attorney named Sutton.
The existing laws and the existing borders must actually be respected, honored, defended, and enforced. Talk of ''reform' is silly unless and until this is done.
The current situation casts the honor and integrity of many of the big names in grave doubt. Right now, I trust NO ONE in the Democrat Party, and almost no one in the Republican Party. I regret to say that the list of the untrustworthy includes the President.
WHEN we see the wall in place, WHEN the Mexican government is firmly told to butt out, WHEN illegals are not to be openly found on every street corner, WHEN MALDEF and LULAC are no more, WHEN we no longer are turned down for jobs when we don't speak Spanish, WHEN the borders are respected, WHEN the President honors his oath of office, THEN perhaps we can talk of change. But not until then.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 15, 2007 4:21 PM

I think the hardliners are making a mistake here. Most Americans support a guest worker program and believe the borders need to be more secure. They do not see the two as mutually exclusive.

Most hardliners do not even begin to deal with the practical questions such as who will hunt down and lock up 12 million people? How many lawyers will come out of the woodwork to demand that people have due process? How many jails, detentionbs centers and courtrooms etc will have to be built and what will it cost in terms of resources and man power? And if they don't want to hunt these people down, then what do they want?

I think that in time people will see a lot of this as demagoguery.

That border is more than a thousand miles long and it includes a physical terrain that will make a fence very difficult. Mountains and rivers are hard to fence. My brother is pretty much a hardliner and even he thinks that a virtual fence and drones in parts of the desert and a guest worker program here might be needed.

That does not need we can not build a wall in more congested areas, but it is not realistic to think that a wall in the middle of nowhere with no one watching it will be any more effective than technology. It is also true that half of all the illegals here today did not get in the US by crossing that border so putting up a wall would not have stopped them anyway.

But it seems that the right demands we do something and nothing all at the same time. In truth after all the yelling, I really do not know what they want in a practical sense. I know they will say they want the laws enforced, but at this point that is like saying we want world peace. It it were that simple, it would have been done a long time ago.

So people can pat themselves on the back for killing immigration reform...but that does not take care of the problem.

And no, I don't want millions of people here living off our medical system and education system etc. But I also know that we have a low unemployment rate right now and the idea that we can just pull millions of people out of the labor force without any effects is naive. It will effect the price of everything from food to homes. And in some places where the unemployment rate is low enough there simply are not people willing and able to do the work. That is where a guest worker program can be useful. Canada has one for its agricultural sector that seems to work well for them and the people in the program have stayed in the program, they have not strayed in large numbers to other parts of the economy.

I suppose I would like to see less emotion and more common sense in the debate. We should be able to do a better job of securing the border and policing who is in the country without creating a labor shortage.

Hopefully this new Mexican president will help rather than hurt.

As if that were possible anyway.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 15, 2007 4:27 PM


I don't think it is fair to say that Bush has not lived up to the oath of his office. That border has been open for 140 years and Bush has put more people and more resources down there than any other President in history.

Sometimes I wonder why Newt Gingrich, that great conservative, did not make securing our borders part of the Contract with America a decade ago. Now we are doing this shutting the barn door after the horse is out and just blaming Bush. It is neither honest or fair.

Posted by tnmartin | May 16, 2007 8:03 AM

With respect to ''oath of office" and ''hardline'' comments, and the whole sordid mess --
If a police officer writes you a ticket for going 75 in a school zone, is he being ''hardline" or is he simply doing the job he has sworn to do? If the cashier at the grocery charges you for EVERY item in the cart, is that ''Hardline"? I don't think so. So it is for all of us in the work that we do - we are honor-bound to carry out all the duties attendant to the position, whether we like them or not. Particularly that is the case for those of us who are in leadership roles - others mark how we conduct ourselves and key off of it. George W Bush, a man I voted for twice, has presided over an unprecedented reduction in enforcement actions related to illegal aliens and border security. Go over to VDARE and look up the enforcement actions against employers for example - worksite arrests of illegals were 17,554 in 1997. In 2004 it was 159. There are other examples. Or the despicable actions of Johnny Sutton in the matter of some honorable Border Agents now railroaded into prison. By W's crony and appointee.
We still do not have the border wall and W has worked hard to prevent construction of one, has indeed made it abundantly clear that the interests of Mexico prevent it.
The oath of office carries with it this understanding, '' .... that I will well and faithfully carry out the duties of the office ...'' W not only has not done this, he has actively worked to prevent others from doing so and has watched quietly as ''sanctuary cities'' etc are part of a pattern of complicity in illegality. If ''the buck stops here'', then he is personally responsible. I dislike saying that, but it's true.
Go out in most towns. Illegals are all over, and there is no enforcement. Trashing the rule of law is a terrible thing for the nation and it happens, daily, openly, and those who swore to uphold and enforce the law refuse to do so. Starting at the top. This is not good for the nation.
A word about ''guest workers''. Please define the term. Does it mean like a contractor, digs your basement and then goes home? We might go for that. But if it means. as in the German experience with Turkish 'guest workers', a permanent, resident, unassimilated and unassimilable hostile underclass, then that's a lousy idea. The 'anchor baby' issue is very much in play here as well. If the apple picker's wife has a baby here, then in a honest guest worker program, that baby is NOT a citizen of the US. And, at the end of the season, they GO HOME. Otherwise, the term 'guest worker' is meaningless.
Citizenship in the US is a great thing. We do not do well to cheapen it and extend it to those who have entered here like burglars and remained like trespassers. Excusing criminality is never the right thing to do. Illegal aliens are - at best - criminals. We do not want them here, they should ALL be deported, NEVER permitted legal presence. And, frankly, the nations of origin should be billed for the cost of apprehension, transfer, incarceration, etc. Including restitution for criminal acts committed here. Like that dozens of Americans dead every day at the hands or cars of illegals. Send a bill and expect payment, with interest.
Finally, I will scream if I hear one more time the lie about 'jobs Americans will not do''. Friends, I've DONE many of them. Catch chickens, shovel manure, pick fruit, sweep floors, scrub toilets, you name it. And so have many others. The lie is despicable and I do not respect those who repeat it.