Tuesday, May 16, 2006

"If" is a Big Word

"Any sufficiently advanced bureaucracy is indistinguishable from molasses." ~ unknown

I listened to the Presidents speech last night while I was driving home. I missed some parts of it because sometimes I drove through areas where the transmission wasn't strong. But from what I heard, it seems that he has answered some questions of which I've been concerned.

My whole problem with the guest worker program has been that it appears very much to be an amnesty program, which could only encourage other illegal alien migration into our country in the years to come.

But I am pretty pleased with how President Bush has outlined this program. He has addressed 5 clearly outlined objectives with his plan. Overall I now think it's an excellent plan, under certain conditions.

His first objective is to secure the border. That is exactly the first thing he should do. Here is an excerpt from his speech:

Tonight I am calling on Congress to provide funding for dramatic improvements in manpower and technology at the border. By the end of 2008, we will increase the number of Border Patrol officers by an additional 6,000. When these new agents are deployed, we will have more than doubled the size of the Border Patrol during my presidency.

At the same time, we are launching the most technologically advanced border security initiative in American history. We will construct high-tech fences in urban corridors, and build new patrol roads and barriers in rural areas. We will employ motion sensors infrared cameras and unmanned aerial vehicles to prevent illegal crossings...

...[U]p to 6,000 Guard members will be deployed to our southern border. The Border Patrol will remain in the lead. The Guard will assist the Border Patrol by operating surveillance systems analyzing intelligence installing fences and vehicle barriers building patrol roads and providing training. Guard units will not be involved in direct law enforcement activities that duty will be done by the Border Patrol. This initial commitment of Guard members would last for a period of one year. After that, the number of Guard forces will be reduced as new Border Patrol agents and new technologies come online. It is important for Americans to know that we have enough Guard forces to win the war on terror, respond to natural disasters, and help secure our border...

...Another way to help during this period of transition is through state and local law enforcement in our border communities. So we will increase federal funding for state and local authorities assisting the Border Patrol on targeted enforcement missions. And we will give state and local authorities the specialized training they need to help federal officers apprehend and detain illegal immigrants. State and local law enforcement officials are an important resource and they are part of our strategy to secure our border communities.

The only way this could be a bad plan is if the wheels of bureaucracy slow it down, as it typically does most governmental program.

If Congress doesn't attempt to "refine" it, It can work.

Bush also addressed the infamous "Catch and release" policy that has been a thorn in the side of Americans for years.

... We have expanded the number of beds in our detention facilities, and we will continue to add more. We have expedited the legal process to cut the average deportation time. And we are making it clear to foreign governments that they must accept back their citizens who violate our immigration laws. As a result of these actions, we have ended "catch and release" for illegal immigrants from some countries. And I will ask Congress for additional funding and legal authority, so we can end "catch and release" at the southern border once and for all. When people know that they will be caught and sent home if they enter our country illegally, they will be less likely to try to sneak in.

If the border agents can be responsible and do their jobs right, this can work.

Then he went on to explain the guest worker program more thoroughly and in more understandable terms:

Therefore, I support a temporary worker program that would create a legal path for foreign workers to enter our country in an orderly way, for a limited period of time. This program would match willing foreign workers with willing American employers for jobs Americans are not doing. Every worker who applies for the program would be required to pass criminal background checks. And temporary workers must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay.

Except for the part about "jobs Americans are not doing", I think that's a reasonable plan. There is no job in America that you cannot find some Americans to do.

If he can get illegals to apply to the program.

Furthermore, he addressed the problem of employers illegally hiring illegals:

Third, we need to hold employers to account for the workers they hire. It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally. Yet businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees, because of the widespread problem of document fraud. Therefore, comprehensive immigration reform must include a better system for verifying documents and work eligibility. A key part of that system should be a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof. A tamper-proof card would help us enforce the law and leave employers with no excuse for violating it. And by making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in our country, we would discourage people from crossing the border illegally in the first place.

I think Bush is being too kind to many of these employers. I think many of them don't give a damn if their workers are legal or not. Quite the contrary, I believe they want them because they don't have to pay them as much.

If Bush can guarantee that companies won't break the law by intentionally hiring illegals, this is a good plan.

The next part of the plan is one that I have had the most trouble comprehending. I have been under the impression that illegals would be sent to the head of the line and be given preferential treatment over those who have worked hard to enter this country legally. I believe Bush has put many of our fears to rest on this matter:

...I believe that illegal immigrants who have roots in our country and want to stay should have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law to pay their taxes to learn English and to work in a job for a number of years. People who meet these conditions should be able to apply for citizenship but approval would not be automatic, and they will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law. What I have just described is not amnesty it is a way for those who have broken the law to pay their debt to society, and demonstrate the character that makes a good citizen.

If we can get illegals to cooperate with us and accept heavy penalties for breaking the law voluntarily. But look at it this way. How many felons in this country would voluntarily go to jail if they knew they would be out in X number of years? Not too many. To most of them prison is not an option, even with guarantees of eventual freedom. Same with illegals. The President expects illegals to voluntarily pay penalties? The problem here is there are no guarantees illegals will accept these terms.

Lastly, President Bush insists that immigrants learn English. That will help them to better assimilate into our culture and community. It is a good idea and one I would heartily recommend.

If the immigrants will do the work to learn it. I think many of them don't want to learn English. And why should they? Already almost every business in America offers all their services in both English and Spanish.

Overall, I think Bush's plan is a good one, but quite a bit over idealistic. Too much of it depends on the illegals cooperating with the program. I don't see that happening without very strict enforcement of already existing laws. And without the cooperation of every American and American business, as well.

But there are way too many "Ifs".


D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

"If we can get illegals to cooperate with us and accept heavy penalties for breaking the law voluntarily."

I agree! There should be a strict dead-line for repayment of any "meaningful" fines! Any "meaningful" fine should be just that--MEANINGFUL!

Let these people restore to America's coffers what they have cost us over the past decades!

Francis Lynn said...

Before you read any further, read this: 100 million immigrants in 20 yrs if Congressional bill is passed:http://www.heritage.org/

Bush's speech was a con job. Don't expect much about sincere immigration reform. He is still pushing amnesty, tho he denies this. He calls for a road to citizenship for 11-20 million illegals. Fines to be paid, back taxes to be paid, background checks, English to be learned are the conditons. It will be an expensive bureaucratic nightmare that will cost billions & be rampant will fraudulent "proof" & documents. And what do we do with the ones that don't comply or pass muster?

Bush says the illegals will be at back of the line to citizenship. Not. They will have jumped in front of the millions waiting for visas to get into the country. Some legal immigrants are waiting 10-15 yrs to get into the country & citizenship. Bush really expects these illegals to get behind them? Meanwhile they are given permanent residency cards which opens up all kinds of social services aid to them. Billions more of taxpayer dollars to them. This will only encourage more millions of illegals to come - for their shot at amnesty.

Temporary guest workers? Once in they'll never leave. Their babies - US citizens by law - will see to that.

The Nat'l Guard for 1 yr at the border, with no powers to detain or arrest. Duh. 6,000 Guard over 2,000 miles, plus shift coverage means few on the border at any given time to observe & report. It's a Bush salve.

No real talk of a border wall to stop the flow. No real talk about increasing border patrol officers. Cracking down on businesses that hire illegals? Ha! 3 were charged last year. 3 out of one million businesses. It was 40 the yr before & 100 the yr before that. This is enforcement?!

Ack! There is just too much to say about this sorry state of affairs. The real battle comes in Congress, not with Bush. They are the ones that are planning on selling out Americans. If palpable to Bush, he will sign any bill they pass. That light in the tunnel is an on-coming train wreck.

Pamela Reece said...

Great observations, Mark. I thought exactly the same thing. While I appreciate GWB's plan, it will not work without cooperations of others. Do I believe we can count on that? Truthfully, no. So, I am stuck in the middle. Wanting the plan to work yet knowing there were too many details left out, too many reprecussions left out, just too vague.

Erudite Redneck said...

What Mark really thinks:

"Some of the tired, poor and those yearning to breasth free will be shot down"

Not that it would happen, but, so what? they are illegal! they are blatantly breaking our laws and disrespecting our sovreignty.

What part of the words illegal aliens don't you understand?

I remember when breaking the law was a crime and carried with it penalties.

In my opinion, if they break our laws by illegally entering this country, and it takes shooting some of them to make the point to the rest of them, go for it!

This open borders crap has got to stop, one way or the other. Remember some of the illegals streaming over the borders are Islamic Jihadist bent on destroying us.

Perhaps you wouldn't be so lenieint if your family was murdered by one of these so- called immigrants.
# posted by Mark : 9:12 AM

Mark said...

Yes ER, that's what I really think. And if you weren't infected by the liberalism disease yoiu'd say the same thing.

Tell me how I'm wrong. When you break the law, aren't you being illegal? When did breaking the law become just immigrating?

Sheila said...

Now now you guys,

Shake hands. :) Listen, (1) you can't put all illegal in the same basket. Unfortunately 40% of the illegals in the country, were leegal until last year when the new laws came into play and "THEY" were dumped from the system and had to start all over. I know a very GOOD man who was reduced to tears over the action take by INS. STUPID Government agency with too little people and too much red tape.....

So I agree about the real illegals. The ones that just sneak over the border.

However, I don't agree with what the President just did. This is the same bill he passed in 2001. The only differance is National Guard and Speak English.....which by the way is a requirement to take the test and swear in, so that's moot.

What happend to the 2000 border patrol increase that was approved two years ago. All that were actually trained and sworn in was 210. All because directly after passing the bill and showing this to the AMerican people. Within months, the money's were quietly reduced.

How do you think we're going to come up with money for this, other than the National guard and they are already appropiated.

Food for thought.

D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

There you go ER. Attacking people--how dare you!

Using their own words and positions to do it--how could you "stoop" to such levels?