Wednesday, October 26


President Bush's reversal from his original suspension of the Davis-Bacon regulations -- i.e., his decision now to reinstate "prevailing wages" in hurricane-related Gulf Coast reconstruction -- must be tied with a White House imperative: namely, that our southern border with Mexico be secured. To do the former without the latter only means that illegal aliens (what the Left euphemistically refers to as "undocumented workers," as if they had left their IDs, SS#s, and birth certificates on top of their bedroom dressers) will be paid a lot more and send a lot more back to their homelands in the form of remittances.

Bill Frist and the president must agree that legislation exclusive to significantly tighter border security must be passed and implemented before legislation on immigration reform is developed. National security considerations should dictate nothing less.

However, it would appear from this story in the Houston Chronicle (registration required) that Frist & Co. have no such plans to concentrate on the porous borders issue first and as a priority.

The Republican strategy is to build comprehensive legislation, Frist said, starting with proposals to strengthen border security and enforce existing immigration laws — issues where there already is wide agreement.

Then the Senate will take up trickier elements of the issue, including a guest-worker program and ways to deal with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, the Tennessee Republican said.

Here's the ringer:

Frist's plan sets up a potential conflict with the House, where GOP leaders have said they want separate bills, starting with border security, rather than a comprehensive measure, said Mark Krikorian, president of the Center for Immigration Studies, a group favoring tighter immigration laws.