Friday, February 29, 2008

The Border Farce

From day one, the White House's border security plan has been more of a farce than a fence.

And now, Bush has scaled back even his "virtual" border fence plan, claiming that America will not see much security along the southern border until late 2011 at the earliest.

The "virtual fence" has been virtually eliminated.

According to the Washington Post and the Washington Times, a measly 28-mile-long border pilot program has indicated that even the sensors and surveillance gear -- the crux of the "virtual fence" -- will not be effective any time soon. One might think that after the White House gave Boeing over $85 million dollars of taxpayer money to create the virtual fence pilot program we'd have something to show for it. But that would incorrectly infer that this White House actually wants a secure border.

Boeing and White House officials now claim that they might have 100 miles of a "virtual" fence by 2011 -- which leaves about 1800 miles of unsecured border (if one accepts that "virtual" fencing provides any security whatsoever).

The White House claims that it is still trying to build 370 miles of a "pedestrian fencing" -- whatever that is -- and another 300 miles of vehicle barriers. There are numerous conflicting reports on how much of this has actually been created, but the White House claims these two projects will be completed by the end of this year. Of course, the General Accountability Office -- the non-partisan research center for Congress -- notes that DHS is likely not going to achieve this goal because DHS officials "do not yet know the type of terrain where the fencing is to be constructed, the materials to be used, or the cost to acquire the land." Furthermore, the "virtual border" plan was implemented with "minimum input" from Border Patrol agents.

In other words, the designed-to-fail border fence has barely gotten off the ground. And you can be assured that when it comes to the "cost to acquire the land" the White House will be dragging its feet. This is going to require the governmental purchase of private lands through a legal process called eminent domain. Such a process rightfully conjures up concerns about governmental intrusion into private property rights, but it has been done for centuries, and the process is actually pretty easy for the government as the courts will be quite deferential to the feds. The cost of the land is calculated as the actual market value to the owner, not by how much it would be worth to the government. And since Bush seems ready to send $1.4 Billion to Mexico, as noted in a recent post, there's every reason to believe that landowners will be reasonably compensated. Nevertheless, it's likely that this White House, with the goal of discrediting border security, will make the eminent domain process as difficult as possible on landowners.

As explained in previous posts, the goal of the Bush Administration has been to discredit actual security whenever and wherever possible. Their plan is simple: haphazardly enforce immigration laws, cause as much conflict within the business community as possible, do a poor job at enforcing border security, and then announce, "Hey, we tried the enforcement-only approach, and it doesn't work; let's try an amnesty now!"

The White House hopes that it can trick the People into supporting an amnesty through this method, but it isn't going to work.

The only conclusion a rational person can take from this is that virtual fencing doesn't work. It's time to demand ACTUAL fencing! It's time to construct REAL fences!

Otherwise, at a rate of 1 million illegal aliens entering the country each year (the generally accepted estimate), the United States will continue to see 2,740 illegal aliens entering the country EVERY DAY.

"Caution: Open Borders Straight Ahead!"

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tancredo Reponds to Calderon's Meddling

Over the past few weeks, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, has been directing a lot of hostility towards the citizens of United States. He seems to be upset that the United States -- unlike Mexico -- still values the rule of law. He is upset that we don't want to be a dumping ground for the poverty his country has created.

Today, Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) responded to Calderon's ignorant attacks with a letter posted, in part, below.

Too bad this letter didn't come from the White House.

President Calderon:

I was disappointed by misguided comments you recently made regarding U.S.-Mexico relations and U.S. immigration laws. Purveying misinformation and absurd allegations is hardly a positive step to building a constructive partnership.

According to the Associated Press you recently said, "You have two economies. One economy is intensive in capital, which is the American economy. One economy is intensive in labor, which is the Mexican economy. We are two complementary economies, and that phenomenon is impossible to stop." Yes, both countries benefit by the 85% of Mexico's manufacturing exports that come to the U.S., but people are not commodities. While I appreciate your concern for our joint prosperity, the economic and social ills that plague your country cannot be resolved by simply exporting your citizens to the United States.

It is undeniable that Mexico faces major challenges. Endemic corruption and the power of violent drug cartels still dominate everyday life across Mexico. Beyond the headlines, Mexico has deep institutional maladies. Mexico's absurdly antiquated Napoleonic-inquisition styled legal system and the squandering of robust energy-industry opportunity by a poorly managed, state-run Pemex monopoly are just two examples of the kind of self-inflicted wounds that hobble your troubled nation.

I understand that you are attempting to resolve some of these problems and applaud your leadership in trying to do so. But what would contribute more to the long term stability of your economy and your country would be to focus more energy on addressing your domestic challenges and less on lobbying the U.S. to provide amnesty for Mexicans who have illegally entered this country with the blessing of your government. In doing so, you might be able to keep Mexico's "best and brightest young men" in Mexico – where they can contribute more to Mexico's economy than remittance payments. Unfortunately, your recent comments indicate that Mexico will continue its policy of encouraging illegal immigration and treating the United States as little more than a dumping ground for your social and economic problems.

In your speech yesterday to the California State legislature, you lectured the American people on how to improve our immigration policies. Why did you not propose that we model our policies on Mexico's own policies toward illegal entry across your own southern border? Mexico expends enormous resources to prevent Guatemalans, Hondurans and Salvadorans from entering the country illegally, but you castigate the United States for wanting secure borders. Mr. President, in my neighborhood that is called hypocrisy...

Keep reading, here.

"Right back at ya, Calderon!"