HOW TO SOLVE THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION PROBLEM
John Hawkins of Right Wing News gets off on the right foot (to his credit) in responding to this question; but, apart from enhanced border security, which must be the #1 priority, and enforcing federal laws vis-a-vis employers who knowingly employ illegals, which must be the #2 priority, the thorniest issues facing the U.S. Congress are twofold and John did not address either in his post.
Question #1: whether in the context of the ample existing federal immigration laws or those that may be forthcoming from a Congress that is beginning to take American sentiment seriously regarding illegal immigration and its deleterious impact on our country, what are we to do when the President of the United States and his choice of Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, spend more time trumpeting tantamount-to-amnesty Guest Worker Programs in lieu of enforcing the law? The ballot box hasn't been able to change the reality of porous borders -- Clinton was as bad as Bush in encouraging a migration of "cheap labor" across our southern border and the Democratic Party opted not to play hardball on this issue in 2000 or 2004.
Question #2: what is to be done with the 12+ million lawbreakers already in this country given the impossibility of a massive federal round-up and mass deportation? Just count the number of major cities that have "Sanctuary City" laws on the books and provide "Day Laborer" centers for illegals and you begin to comprehend the unlikelihood that government will do a 180 degree turn and truly view border-jumpers as lawbreakers.
And, in terms of Question #2, I don't believe for a minute that most of the illegals already here will "self-deport," as John believes will be the case, once the federal government clamps down on employers flouting the law. Even if a large share of illegals were to become unemployed as a result of the federal government doing its job for a change, illegal aliens have proven themselves quite adept at working the system and maximizing the benefits they extract from federal, state, and local governments in terms of the broad, social safety net that has been afforded them. Besides, how do they "self-deport," if a wall goes up, electronic surveillance is heightened, and the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents is doubled or trebled?
I wish I had the answers.
But I know this much. The onus is now on the U.S. Congress because the Chief Executive has been derelect in enforcing the laws and, worse, in holding the government of Mexico accountable. Bush will leave office in January, 2009, and Vicente Fox long before him. And what these two leave behind in their wake is a problem of such massive proportions for the United States of America that it will not be solved anytime soon any more than a cancer that has metastasized throughout the body can be surgically excised.
FOLLOW-UP: Speaking of Mexico's Vicente Fox, do read the Business Week interview of El Presidente that Dan Stein of The Dan Stein Report links to for today's dose of disingenuous, political pabulum (but keep a barf bag nearby). Fact is, Fox does everything but personally escort Mexican nationals to our border and his government lives off of the $17+ million in remittances that the illegals send back to Mexico from the States year after year.
FOLLOW-UP II: You know what's absolutely discouraging about even contemplating the needed prescriptions to remedy the illegal immigration and border security problems in this country? Well, I'll tell you. It's that, much as has been the case with George W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton before him, were a John McCain (RINO-AZ) or a Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) to land in the Oval Office in 2009, no matter the immigration laws then on the books, we in America would still see no enforcement of them by the nation's Chief Executive. Read this and you'll understand exactly what I mean!