May 15, 2006

Asleep at the Border

Justin Katz

I wish I could offer some little bit of insightful commentary on the President's speech. Unfortunately, I dozed off shortly after his use of the "the vast majority of" construction. On the bright side, the nap left me revivified for the season finale of Prison Break. The frustration: that I had to wait an extra twenty minutes for the show and the writers still ended the season with a cliffhanger.

Maybe next season the President will have something worthwhile to say.

Now that I've gotten a (somewhat) full night's sleep, perhaps two examples of the mentality that's causing my ennui are in order. From the speech:

Many use forged documents to get jobs, and that makes it difficult for employers to verify that the workers they hire are legal.

This statement — picked up later in the speech, as well — seems to me to deliberately skirt the central point. The President says that we must "hold employers to account for the workers they hire," but the advanced ID card that he then proposes speaks not at all to the penalties to those who hire them for the very reason that they are outside of the system and, therefore, cheap. What does it mean to "hold them to account"? Where is the stiffening of punishments and the funding for additional manpower to seek them out?

Illegal immigration puts pressure on public schools and hospitals, it strains state and local budgets, and brings crime to our communities.

This idea disappears as soon as it's voiced — as if thrown out there for small-government types to nibble on. What the President did not include is a suggestion that government services should not, in most instances, be available for illegal immigrants. They aren't "putting pressure" on our public systems via some force of nature; they're doing so because we let them.

In short, as perhaps best represented in his policy-free exhortation to assimilate, the President has suggested no force for motivation to enter into the system.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Did anyone else besides me have flashbacks to junior high oral book reports while watching this speech? GWB couldn't have been more stilted and uncomfortable appearing if the speech was filmed in the passenger seat of a Kennedy automobile.

Posted by: Greg Easton at May 16, 2006 7:30 AM


I am going to have to disagree with you on your last point - specifically when it comes to medical services.

We only "let" illegals strain our hospital services because they're here in the first place. I think it's important to recognize that medical professionals are held not only to state and federal laws, but also to their Hippocratic Oath as doctors, and to deny care based on immigration status would jeopardize their credentials.

Personally, I like the idea of moving troops to the border until the time that additional federal employees can be hired and trained. As for the 11+ million illegals that are here already, I do not believe that we will be able to ever sufficiently 'seek them out.' Instead, I believe that carrots need to be provided to draw them out of the shadows and into the open, and sticks be used when illegals break the law (from speeding violations to gang-related activity).

In all, I saw the President's speech as a foundation upon which our lawmakers should be able to build upon by focussing on how to best handle those illegals currently in the country

Posted by: johnb at May 16, 2006 7:49 AM

What really bothers me is this concept that we can't deport all the illegal aliens in the country.

Why can't we? it's not like it's a race and we have to get all 11 million out before the timer expires or the gameboard pops up and we have to start over again.

You know the IRS would have no problem seeking out and prosecuting 11 million tax dodgers so the 'we can't do it' actually means 'we have no real DESIRE to do it'.

Posted by: Greg Easton at May 16, 2006 9:01 AM

It's easier than that, Greg. We don't have to deport a single one of them. If the jobs dry up and the public assistance dies out, they'll deport themselves. Same way they got here.

You can starve to death in England, if you're there illegally.

Posted by: ballottra at May 16, 2006 10:39 AM

Well, we could do that TOMORROW if only we'd enforce the laws already on the books.

But, like the gun control debate, instead of just beefing up enforcement of existing laws and policies, the government will create a bunch of new 'feel good but accomplish little' programs.

I do like the citizen actions happening though. The Minutemen and are great examples of what happens when people get fed up with government inaction.

Posted by: Greg Easton at May 16, 2006 10:52 AM