Monday, August 1

IF OSAMA BIN LADEN WERE WALKING THE STREETS OF HOUSTON ...

If Osama Bin Laden were walking the streets of Houston right now, having been easily smuggled into this country through Mexico (perhaps by MS-13 gang members, well-versed in the smuggling of illegals), Houston Police Department officers could not approach him and ask him about his immigration status in this country and demand to see proper documentation. Read that sentence again, please!

That's just one egregious example of how ludicrous things have gotten in this country vis-a-vis immigration laws and their enforcement. As regular readers of this blog have read many times before, Houston is but 1 of 31 "Sanctuary Cities" in the United States that literally handcuff their police officers, disallowing them to enforce immigration laws and act on their suspicions regarding illegal aliens.

If you have read my prior post this morning, understand that a paid Mexican assassin -- a Zeta -- operating in Houston on behalf of one of that country's notorious drug cartels could not be challenged by Houston Police Department officers if their sole suspicion was that the individual might be an illegal alien -- a Mexican national in this country without proper immigration documentation. Read that sentence again, please!

Having pointed to these two egregious examples (and there are dozens and dozens like them), I take no heart as a registered Republican, and as one who voted for President George Bush in 2000 and again in 2004, that Republican Party pols are holding lavish "unity dinners" in Washington D.C. (as the "Houston Chronicle" reports in a front page, above-the-fold story this morning in its print edition) to rally the troops and gain consensus on what's to be done about much-needed immigration reform.

U.S. Border Patrol officers are being assaulted, American citizens kidnapped, and U.S. private property along the border overrun and the Party that holds the White House and majorities in both houses of Congress is holding "unity dinners." It's enough to make your anger boil over.

Samantha Levine of the "Houston Chronicle" (registration required) reports:

Now, the elements of a major policy push are coming together for the first time since Congress last passed a comprehensive immigration overhaul in 1986.

President Bush has put immigration near the top of a list of goals and is re-entering the debate after backing off when a guest-worker proposal he announced in January 2004 was roundly criticized.

But it will take more than what Shadegg calls "unity dinners" to bridge the divisions that split Republicans when it comes to fixing what many see as a dangerously crippled immigration system.

Immigration policies are under stress everywhere, and certainly in Houston. It's one of 31 cities that bar police officers from enforcing immigration law, such as patrolling for illegal visitors or asking for documents, a fact that has drawn harsh criticism from congressional conservatives and some local officials.

This month, the founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, the group that sent hundreds of unarmed volunteers to patrol Arizona's remote border to catch illegal crossers, discussed plans in Houston to start a chapter in the city and monitor day-labor sites.

Last week, Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, introduced legislation that would allow border-state governors to establish armed citizen militias to patrol the U.S. borders and catch people trying to cross illegally.

About 1.1 million people were caught crossing illegally into the United States last year.

Understand this: the Republican Party (and the Democratic Party, too, for that matter) still don't get it, as the principal legislation presently being developed in Congress centers more on "guest worker programs" and "amnesty" for the millions of illegal aliens already in this country, courtesy of the Bush and Clinton Administrations, than it does on tight border security, rigid law enforcement, and a round-up and deportation of illegals. The GOP has tried its damnest to ignore the issues, but now that an alarmed citizenry is raising hell the gambit is to disguise amnesty as immigration reform and to lull us to sleep with a thinly veiled consensus showcased in a bill by Senators McCain and Kennedy.

Are you going to allow yourselves to be hoodwinked? The president, for one, thinks that can be easily accomplished. As reporter Levine continues:

Over the past few weeks, Bush has enlisted Republicans such as former House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Dallas to build a lobbying machine made up of corporations and activist groups that will try to win over lawmakers when the president decides on a specific reform bill.