May 12, 2006

The Speech Bush Should Give, But Won't

John Derbyshire was hallucinating at NRO's The Corner this morning when he wrote about what President Bush could say in his immigration speech on Monday night. It won't happen of course, because President Bush doesn't give a damn about border security and I don't trust him to change. Love him or hate him for it, the President sticks to his convictions.

All the same, Derb's vison of the speech Bush could deliver is a beautiful dream.

"My fellow Americans: Our nation's lawmakers are currently debating issues of immigration reform. The House of Representatives has passed a bill to deal with the problem of illegal immigration. The Senate is crafting somewhat more general proposals, including a 'guest worker' program of the type that we tried out, with unhappy results, in the post-WW2 period, the type that has caused grave problems in Germany, and that in any case vastly expands the responsibilities of a federal government department utterly unable to cope with its current tasks. Agreement on a suitable compromise between House and Senate is not in sight, and may not be possible. Any legislation that emerges from current proposals would, it seems to me, neither address our main problems in this area, nor answer the question so often asked about immigration reform: Why pass new legislation when existing legislation is not being, and in some cases cannot be, enforced?

"To offer a way forward on this issue, I am going to propose the following. One: That all legal immigration into the U.S.A., excepting only cases crucial to our national security, be halted forthwith. Two: That Congress authorize the federal government, as a matter of the highest priority, to construct high walls along our entire northern and southern borders, supplemented by electronic monitoring devices and manned patrols in much greater numbers than at present; and that Congress designate all necessary funds for this effort. Three: That by widespread and rigorous enforcement of employer sanctions, and greatly increased sweeps of suspect workplaces, and by responding with dispatch to citizen reports, the enforcement arm of our immigration services begin the human but speedy removal of illegal immigrants from our nation, by attrition and deportation; and that Congress designate all necessary funds for this purpose..

"My fellow Americans: Since the passing of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments, our nation has engaged in the greatest act of generosity in human history, opening our country to tens of millions of people from all regions of the world, sharing our wonderful American dream in a way unprecedented in all the chronicles of humanity, and unequalled in the world of our time. Generosity, however, must have a limit. It is time now to take a pause: to cease the inflow for a while, in order that those who have come, and their children, can be fully, happily, and successfully absorbed into our nation's fabric. This is how the previous great wave of immigrants, the wave that ended in 1924, was assimilated.

"We are a large-hearted and generous nation, and may we always remain so. We cannot, however, take in all three or four billion of the world's poor and striving. There are limits even to our hospitality, and I believe it is the general sense of the American people today that those limits have been reached....."

As I said: nice fantasy.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 12, 2006 03:11 PM | TrackBack

"What is, and what will never be" I expect another. . . "Vincente's people are gentle little lambs, doing jobs that Americans won't (for $3.50 and hour). We need a pathway to citizenship (spelled Amnesty). . . Yada, Yada, Yada"
Then he'll throw in some sop to border enforcement that is either, unfunded or unworkable.

Posted by: MCPO Airdale at May 12, 2006 06:30 PM

As adamantly as I am opposed to illegal immigration, I have to take issue with a fantasy of halting legal immigration indefinitely. I have always been angered by those liberals that try to blur the lines on this debate by suggesting those of us that are against illegal immigration are anti-immigrant, period. I am not much more amused to hear it from our side. Even put as a temporary measure.

Posted by: Amber at May 12, 2006 08:52 PM


I'm not in favor of stopping legal immigration for any significant length of time either, and I'm not sure that is what Derbyshire was going for. My interpretation of his comments was that he was in favor of halting it temporarily so that these immigration agents could be utilized to round up as many illegals as possible. Once the easily-caught illegals were rounded up and the fence was up, they'd go back to work and open the borders to legal immigration again.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at May 12, 2006 09:11 PM

This whole National Guard proposal that is being kicked around sounds like a big smokescreen.

A few things to consider:

1) A Need for a Barrier

We need a permanent solution to the illegal immigration problem. Like a wall (a real wall, not the frickin' "virtual wall" I've heard kicked around, either).

Using the National Guard doesn't provide a solution of this nature. The presence of the National Guard, will only lead to more arrests. Currently, a great number of those arrested are simply released into the US anyway and told to appear in court. Which, of course, they don't.

Furthermore, the use of troops is completely dependant on whatever political leadership is in office at the time. This needs to be treated as a law enforcement problem, not a political football.

A real barrier is the only 'concrete' solution. National Guard troops could be used to supplement any efforts of this nature, but soldiers are not a solution in and of themselves.

2) A Guest Worker Program

A guest worker program, without drastically enhanced internal enforcement, is simply a way of allowing future illegal immigrants to circumvent border patrol agents altogether.

3) Amnesty

Any amnesty granted to this batch of illegal immigrants will lead to a) fraud and abuse, just as it did with the 1986 amnesty. There will be immigrants who will sneak in after the fact and claim they have been in our country all along; b) a huge increase in the immigrant population as relatives of amnestied illegals line up to get into the country; c) more illegal immigration from those who will see this amnesty as one more sign of the impotence of our laws and the meaninglessness of our borders.

So, when Bush gets on air and interrupts Jack Bauer to blow smoke in our faces, I hope none of us will be fooled. We deserve more than this crap, we need to continue to demand it.

Posted by: tommy at May 13, 2006 01:36 AM

Like the majority of Americans, I, too, am very dissatisfied with President Bush’s lack of action and the appearance of total apathy toward the citizens concerns for the total lack of border control (read illegal immigration control). However, unlike many Americans, I have a harder heart when it comes to ways and means to reverse this invasion. I suggest the following actions in the order given.

Enable employers with the ability to establish citizenship. Presently the laws prohibit employers from adequately checking backgrounds of potential employees. It is not right to fine employers for hiring illegals if they cannot reasonably establish citizenship.

Clamp done on employers who hire illegals, prosecute and fine them; if it puts them out of business, so be it. Some enterprising businessman/woman will see the need, step into the gap and start a business to satisfy the need (with legal employees).

Restrict social programs to citizens. Require irrefutable proof of citizenship (like a birth certificate that is verified with the issuing court) for application for welfare, unemployment, healthcare (other than LIFE SAVING), food stamps, and etc. Citizen’s tax dollars fund these programs, it is only reasonable to expect administering agencies to ensure that actual citizens are the beneficiaries.

Refuse automatically granting citizenship to the offspring of illegal immigrants that are born within our borders. Customarily and I believe by law, one is not allowed to benefit by crime. Why should the parents who illegally enter our country benefit by having their child automatically become a citizen, eligible for various welfare programs (which obviously will benefit the parents). Offspring of illegal immigrants should be declared “illegal immigrant” as well. That does not change the constitutional provision for the offspring of people legally in our country from being given dual citizenship.

Once people realize there is no chance of employment, no chance of riding social programs, no chance of riding their children’s ill begotten citizenship, they will leave the country voluntarily. Let them re-migrate south before we make the border difficult to cross.

Lastly, build the wall; actually a fence would suffice. We have surveillance capabilities and can tactically station reaction teams that would make crossing near impossible. (Helicopters can fly a lot faster than trucks can drive.)

To give all of this the teeth to make it work, we must resolve nationally to not tolerate violation of our immigration laws. If people are arrested for non-felonies and found to be an illegal alien, they should be deported immediately. Illegals accused of felonies should be tried; if convicted, serve their time and then be immediately deported upon release from prison. Illegals accused of felonies that are acquitted should be immediately deported.

Soon enough the message would spread that there is no work for illegals and they are not tolerated. If you want to immigrate to this country, apply for immigration, just like everyone else. Being Mexican does not entitle one to automatic citizenship in the United States of America!

Posted by: Old Soldier at May 13, 2006 08:02 AM

Funny...we can let millions of illegals in our county. Yet, we can't let drugs in from Canada. WAKE UP PEOPLE! Bush is a BUSINESS MAN! He's serves his interests and not the people of the U.S.

Posted by: Johnny at May 13, 2006 08:29 AM

President Bush should give his resignation, not another speech.

Posted by: Wannabeleader at May 14, 2006 02:54 PM

Building walls is the first sign of a dying empire.

Posted by: Fred at May 15, 2006 10:27 AM

Actually Fred, you're wrong. Building a wall to keep people in is one of many signs of a dying country. See any communist country of the past 60 years as an example.

Refusing to build a wall to keep people out of an overburdened country is another sign of a country in decline. See France, Germany, and other western European countries being crushed under their too liberal social welfare system.

The trick is to balance immigration to your country's growth needs, but you cannot provide balance if you cannot control immigration.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at May 15, 2006 10:52 AM

Yeah, I think a great way to spend the taxpayers’ dollars would be to engage in a long and costly mobilization to deport all illegal immigrants currently living in the United States. It’s not like the deportation of over 11 million illegal immigrants wouldn’t be logistically impossible or destabilize our labor supply and, by extension, our economy.

And it’s not like were in the middle of rebuilding a major American city and fighting two costly wars. We’ve got money to burn right now.

Sorry to be antagonistic, but the deportation of all 11,000,000+ illegal immigrants is logistically unworkable and would destabilize our economy. Think about the manpower and hours that would spent implementing such an operation. In the period between arrest and deportation, where would we keep all these illegal immigrants? We simply don’t have enough secure facilities for such an action. And wouldn’t that time and energy be better spent building a wall between Mexico and the United States or, say, properly funding and implementing the reconstruction of New Orleans? Without a stable supply of workers, industries that use the labor or illegal immigrants would be faced with labor shortages, and as a result, would be less productive. And if you don’t think that the loss of an estimated 4.9% of our labor supply would hurt our economy, you’re dreaming.

Don’t let ideology blind you. We need workable solutions, and deporting all 11 million illegal immigrants is not a workable solution.

Posted by: Keram at May 15, 2006 10:22 PM