Friday, October 14

BORDER SECURITY FIRST SAYS FRIST

Mark Noonan of "GOPbloggers" points to an encouraging "Washington Times" piece on Bill Frist's newfound commitment to border security and "interior immigration enforcement" in advance of any Senate legislation on guest worker programs (and, I trust, amnesty). Mark characterizes this as proof positive that the GOP is anything but unresponsive to what voters see as this nation's priorities.

I beg to differ. The foot-dragging on border security and immigration reform has been unconscionable, both by the GOP-controlled Congress and by the president. We just recently marked the 4th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, as well as the crash of a terrorist-commandeered commercial jet bound for a target in the nation's capitol. Four years later we're supposed to genuflect and term the Frist-led Senate as "responsive." The Republican-controlled Senate has in many ways disappointed more than the Republican-controlled House. After all, it was the Senate that gave birth to the "Gang of 14" and perhaps drove President Bush to discard his commitment to nominating justices to the SCOTUS in the Scalia-Thomas mold.

Meanwhile, and pertinent in weighing Frisk's and the GOP's responsiveness, 11+ million illegal aliens are in the United States already, 10,000 more per day are breeching our borders, a menacing Salvadoran gang -- MS-13 -- is operating in 30+ states, 30% of our nation's prison population is comprised of illegal aliens, and our educational and healthcare systems throughout the country (and particularly in the border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas) have been overwhelmed by illegals seeking free this and free that and a social safety net that American citizens do not even enjoy, all the while with billions of dollars annually going back to the illegals' countries of origin in the form of remittances.

Frankly, it took the governors of the border states getting it before we heard much of a peep out of Frist.

It's an invasion, Folks, and hardly anyone in Washington seems to care!

Mark seems convinced that political pressure has finally come to bear fruit in Bill Frist's epiphany and maybe so. I'd sure like to think that my blogging on illegal immigration and porous borders has had some small affect in the grand scheme of things. But, regardless, the problem is that in my estimation Bill Frist has been a miserable Senate Majority Leader so far and has had his ass repeatedly kicked by his counterpart on the Democratic side -- Harry Reid.

May I suggest to you a good read recommended to me by Greg Wallace of "What Attitude Problem?" -- a column by Mort Kondracke, published in "Real Clear Politics." I quote from Mr. Kondracke (excerpts follow):

It's time for President Bush to demonstrate leadership on immigration before the issue splits his party and the country any further.

The White House has been holding briefings on a comprehensive immigration package, with a view to unveiling a proposal this fall. But its plans may have been delayed by a mix of hurricanes, energy prices and his latest Supreme Court nomination.

This sort of delay has happened before: Bush planned to announce an immigration plan shortly before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Homeland security concerns have delayed it ever since.

"Homeland Security concerns" have delayed it ever since? Just what in the name of God is an invasion across our southern border, if not a Department of Homeland Security concern? Think about it. What's more important: checking my mother-in-law's shoes for explosives before she boards a flight or stopping 10,000 illegal aliens from border-jumping and moving through our country at will?

Kondracke continues:

According to Members of Congress who have participated in the White House briefings - gatherings that were presided over by top Bush aide Karl Rove, no less - the administration is working on a sensible, three-part approach to the immigration dilemma.

The parts are: stronger border controls, including more manpower, technology and co-operation with Mexico; tougher internal enforcement, possibly including a new tamper-proof ID card for legal immigrants; and an expanded guest-worker program that would allow immigrants to stay in the United States for two periods of three years.


Read it all and just suffer through the author's obvious biases, as the piece will give you a flavor of what's going on in the Congress and the White House, as they begin coming to terms with issues that should have been addressed long ago.

Responsive? More like derelict, if you ask me.