Bush 2008 State of the Union continues immigration charades
One paragraph of tonight's State of the Union address concerned immigration:
America needs to secure our borders - and with your help, my Administration is taking steps to do so. We are increasing worksite enforcement, we are deploying fences and advanced technologies to stop illegal crossings, we have effectively ended the policy of "catch and release" at the border, and by the end of this year, we will have doubled the number of border patrol agents. Yet we also need to acknowledge that we will never fully secure our border until we create a lawful way for foreign workers to come here and support our economy. This will take pressure off the border and allow law enforcement to concentrate on those who mean us harm. We must also find a sensible and humane way to deal with people here illegally. Illegal immigration is complicated, but it can be resolved. And it must be resolved in a way that upholds both our laws and our highest ideals.
First, as with the Clinton's, it's necessary to define terms. "Securing" the borders, to me, doesn't mean completely preventing all illegal crossing since some people will always be able to get through. I believe that that's the way that Bush means that to mean, although I could be surprised.
The question then becomes: why Bush hasn't secured to borders until now? He's had seven plus years, so why are they still "taking steps"?
And, I'll bet Bush could secure the border in a few weeks if he really needed and wanted to. In that light, the third sentence above holds the U.S. hostage to some sort of "guest" worker program, otherwise Bush won't do his job. The economy would hardly collapse if we secured the borders, but some small group of people would lose some money.
And, while the great majority of illegal aliens don't "mean us harm", they do form a political power base for racial demagogues and the Mexican and other governments, and that does harm the U.S.
And, it's hardly "humane" to allow 14% of another country's workforce to move to your country and prop up the corrupt government of that country.
As for the rest, they've certainly increased worksite enforcement a bit, but I'd imagine there are even Clinton years with higher rates.
The DHS is certainly building fences, but whether they're pushing as hard as they could is definitely an open question.
Checking how many "other than Mexicans" have been released back in to the U.S. rather than being deported immediately and whether the DHS is in line to double the numbers of agents is left as an exercise.