Border Politics

Democrats and Republicans, Californians and New Yorkers, men and women and Caucasians as well as Latinos all agree that our wide open border and its accompanying illegal immigration is one of our greatest, if not the greatest, area of weakness in the war on terror.

I am, very honestly, mystified by the silence on the issue--from both sides of the aisle. It's one of my biggest frustrations with the Bush administration. I've heard both Bush and Cheney asked point blank about the border and watched as they spun and dodged the question altogether. Democrats aren't much better.

Apparently, Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico has begun taking a proactive stance. This Washington Times editorial ties the issue to the coming 2008 election. It angers me that national politics would be a greater motivator than national security.

I understand that there is no simple answer to the border question. We never want to fence ourselves off from the world. Our Statue of Liberty expresses our heart to welcome men and women from all nations. Furthermore, the sheer vastness of the border makes the challenge a seeming impossibility. But, we are the United States, with the access to the greatest minds and technology available. And, we are at war. How is it possible that four years after 9/11 there is no plan to secure our borders?

I know that there are many frustrated conservatives who are waiting for an answer whether it comes from a Republican from Texas or a Democrat from New Mexico.


At 8/16/2005 06:49:00 PM, Anonymous Jets said...

"This country has lost control of its borders. And no country can sustain that kind of postion."

-Ronald Reagan

The sad thing is that quote is 20 or so years old and the situation has gotten much worse. This is the biggest weakness in the war on terror and yet we refuse to do anything. Including punishing those who hire illegals, there have been less prosecutions under Bush than there were under Clinton.

Part of the problem is that both sides think to get the growing hispanic vote they can't be tough on immigration. Another part of it is that the anyone who does speak out is quickly made out to be either a rightwing nut, look at the minuteman project and the press they got from the MSM, or as a racist. Saddly it's most likely going to take some horrific even on the scale of 9/11 done by someone who came across illegally to get any real action.

At 8/17/2005 01:53:00 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Lores, I think this is the one thing that Bush and the rest of the legislature has dropped the ball on, and probably the one issue they shouldn't drop the ball on. While they are posturing and politicizing this issue, terrorists can be walking across the borders. They need to wake up and do something. Soon.

At 8/17/2005 02:57:00 AM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I agree.
I think Bush would get a huge amount of support (maybe to his surprise) if he would take a tough stance on illegal immigration and the securing of our borders.
Our national security to too important to play around with this issue.

At 8/17/2005 03:46:00 AM, Blogger Francis Lynn said...

Last year 98,000 OTM's (other than Mexicans) were apprehended crossing the border. They came from all over the world, including countries on our State-sponsored terror list. Almost all 98,000 were given a summons to appear in court & then released into the USA. Betcha they didn't show up in court. This is how easy it is for terrorists to get into this country. Not by fake visa or passport, not by dodging airport security, but through Mexico.

Bush & Congress should be charged with non-feasance, if not misfeasance.

Homeland Security stops babies from boarding planes because their same name is on a no-fly list, but totally ignores the threat from wide open borders. How sick is that?

The Administration would have you think they are doing everything possible to control our borders. They are not. Meanwhile, Congress recently voted down additional Border Patrol Agents. You are right - the next 911 will come through our borders. Then the buck passing will start.

At 8/17/2005 03:54:00 AM, Blogger Layman said...

I don't buy it. Richardson and Napalitono are going to make noises like they are against illegal immigration, but they cannot afford to go far enough to make a difference because it will offend their leftist open borders base.

The question really is whether they will succesfully convince enough anti-illegal immigration voters that they are serious about doing something about the problem without leading their base to believe they are serious about the problem.

Most of what his proclamation (and Gov. Napalitono's similar declararation) will accomplish is to divert more reasources to the police force. As a practical matter this is a good thing in that the police will likely get some useful equipment. But since most governors won't let state police forces enforce immigration laws anyway, this move is not likely to do anything about the actual problem of illegal immigration. Rather it will go a little ways, maybe, of doing something about one of its symptoms--border crime.

At 8/17/2005 04:04:00 AM, Blogger Poison Pero said...

I agree that NapoliReno is most likely just posturing, but am not so sure about Richardson.

I've said it many times he (Bill not James) is one of the best Democrats out there, and has steadily suprised me on many issues......Taxes and immigration are just 2 of them.

He may be a (D), but has been twice as Conservative as most (R)'s on these issue.
I've also said time after time that Immigration must be lumped in with National Security as the #1 issue in America.

I don't know which party will become the champion on this issue, but whichever one does will dominate the political scene for the next few decades.

I'm hoping it's the (R)'s, but have little faith in them on it.......They seem more interested in helping business get cheap labor.

I also have little hope in the (D)'s.........They seem more interested in collecting voters (legal or illegal).

At 8/17/2005 11:40:00 AM, Blogger Jaymeister said...

This is not just a conservative issue. If you folks would ever venture out of your comfort zone and look at liberal blogs, you will see that there is much debate about this, and most people are concerned about porous borders and favour tougher border security and enforcement on illegal entry.

Where the two sides differ is in the reason why more isn't being done. The take from the Left is that the political parties will only offer lip service to the problem because it is corporate interests (read: sources of political money)that benefit most from cheap migrant labour. I think this is a bigger factor than simply not wanting to offend Hispanic voters. There is a lot of call from the Left for Democrats to take the lead on this issue.

(It's nice to visit sites without a monolithic vision.)

At 8/17/2005 05:20:00 PM, Blogger Poison Pero said...

Look at what I said above, Jaymeister.

Whichever party takes it on will be the new powerbroker in American politics.

At 8/17/2005 06:33:00 PM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

"This is not just a conservative issue."

Jaymeister, no one said that it was. The first sentence in the post is that "Democrats and Republicans...all agree that our wide open border and its accompanying illegal immigration is one of our greatest, if not the greatest, area of weakness in the war on terror."

At 8/17/2005 07:26:00 PM, Blogger Jaymeister said...

Lores, you are correct. I was responding more to the implication that the sensibilities of Hispanic voters were the only motivation for the Dems and Reps stalling on this issue, while ignoring the impact on the interests of corporate America - that was my liberal injection into the discourse. This is an issue to concern everybody, and I appreciate discussing such matters with reasonable people of all stripes. (Heck, I even deferentially linked to David Frum in my own blog yesterday. I must have drunk from the wrong Kool-Aid bottle.)

At 8/17/2005 10:40:00 PM, Blogger Weekend Fisher said...

I live in southern Texas. Most people who do not live in border states have no idea of the extent of the problem. I'm used to seeing illegals, I've seen illegals almost every day for so many years that it has ceased to seem strange. How do you find and deport a million people? How do you guard a border that long?

Drugs and terrorists both have no trouble getting over the border.

My neighbor across the street has a daughter who married a Palestinian illegal immigrant. He worked at the mosque ... that's who hires illegal Muslim immigrants, I guess, as opposed to restaurants and yard crews and construction that hire the illegal Mexicans around here.

The problem is vast. And I think the reason nobody is tackling it is simple: logistics. It's not an easy thing to tackle.

At 8/25/2005 04:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this situation will most likely not get dealt with until there is a serious incident or situation occuring at our border which would give the Republicans the opportunity to deal with it with out being called racists or prejudice or sensationalistic. The Minutemen and their efforts could eventually lead to this sort of situation occuring!


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