Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Better Late Than Never

President Bush addressed the American people tonight on the issue of immigration. Here are a few snippets from his speech:

Our objective is straightforward: The border should be open to trade and lawful immigration and shut to illegal immigrants, as well as criminals, drug dealers and terrorists.

By the end of 2008, we will increase the number of Border Patrol officers by an additional 6,000.

We will construct high-tech fences in urban corridors, and build new patrol roads and barriers in rural areas. We will employ motion sensors infrared cameras and unmanned aerial vehicles to prevent illegal crossings.

One way to help during this transition is to use the National Guard. So in coordination with governors, up to 6,000 Guard members will be deployed to our southern border. The Border Patrol will remain in the lead. The Guard will assist the Border Patrol by operating surveillance systems analyzing intelligence installing fences and vehicle barriers building patrol roads and providing training.

. . .we will increase federal funding for state and local authorities assisting the Border Patrol on targeted enforcement missions. And we will give state and local authorities the specialized training they need to help federal officers apprehend and detain illegal immigrants.

We have expedited the legal process to cut the average deportation time. And we are making it clear to foreign governments that they must accept back their citizens who violate our immigration laws.

I will ask Congress for additional funding and legal authority, so we can end "catch and release" at the southern border once and for all.

. . .we need to hold employers to account for the workers they hire. It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally.

The success of our country depends upon helping newcomers assimilate into our society, and embrace our common identity as Americans.

I agree with all of the above. Certainly these are steps in the right direction, and the president deserves credit where it's due. The only question remaining is: will he follow through with implementing these procedures and upgrades?

Sadly, the remainder of his speech is brimming with the same tired rhetoric, erroneous gibberish, and "amnesty-that-shore-ain't-an-amnesty" verbiage we've come to know and love on the immigration situation. For example, he reiterates the "Mexico is our friend" nonsense; he suggests that Mexico is "working cooperatively" with the U.S. in combating this problem, and that of drug trafficking and other crime; and blathers on about the dire need for a guest-worker program, since--goshdarnit--Americans just won't do certain jobs, like construction, restaurant and grocery store work, agricultural and janitorial jobs, etc. ad nauseum.

Still and all, if his administration brings these measures to fruition, it's a definite stride toward common sense, and away from patent stupidity.

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