Charles Krauthammer says that there’s only one thing Americans agree on when it comes to immigration reform: fixing the border.
At least that’s one thing that all of our representatives in Washington are saying they support. But do they really?
David B. doesn’t think so. Referring to the immigration bill that was recently defeated he says:
When Senator Coburn (R-OK) brought up an amendment that would have reaffirmed the commitment of the US government to enforce existing immigration laws, it also was defeated 54-42. I called Senator Hutchison (R-TX) to try and find out why she voted against it, but her office said that she had not commented on why she would oppose enforcing our laws.
The problem with this is that the laws America already has on the books are sufficient to secure the border if the national commitment exists to do so. As David suggests, the vote on Coburn’s amendment means that the Senate does not take that commitment seriously.
Krauthammer doesn’t think so either:
Why not start by passing what everyone says they want? After all, proponents of this comprehensive reform insist that the current situation is intolerable and must be resolved. It follows, therefore, that however much they differ in the details of how the current mess should be resolved, they are united in the belief that such a mess should not be allowed to happen again. And the only way to make sure of that is border control.
Because for all the protestations, many of those who say they are deeply devoted to enforcement are being deeply disingenuous. They profess to care about immigration control because they have to. But they care so little about the issue that they are willing to make it hostage to the other controversial provisions, most notably legalization.
Why am I so suspicious about the fealty of the reformers to real border control? In part because of the ridiculous debate over the building of a fence. Despite the success of the border barrier in the San Diego area, it appears to be very important that this success not be repeated. The current Senate bill provides for the fencing of no more than one-fifth of the border and the placing of vehicle barriers in no more than one-ninth.
Everyone understands that enforcing a non-porous border is the keystone around which all the other particulars of immigration reform will be built. In my previous discussions of the immigration reform bill I assumed – naively, perhaps – that Congress would act according to their obligations and secure our borders.
And it is absolutely their obligation to enforce our existing immigration laws. No senator or representative who votes otherwise deserves re-election, regardless of party.
A fence announces to the world that America is closed to … illegal immigrants. What’s wrong with that? Is not every country in the world the same? The only reason others don’t need such a barrier is because they are not half as attractive as America, not because we are more oppressive or less welcoming.
Fences are ugly, I grant you that. But not as ugly as 12 million people living in the shadows in a country that has forfeited control of its borders.
Not as ugly as today’s situation, in essence. But those 12 million are already here and not going anywhere. Keeping them “in the shadows” will only serve to foster an unnecessary cycle of poverty and crime.
By all means, secure the bloody border. Build an American version of the Berlin wall, if necessary, Congressmen, but do your jobs and stop the tide of illegal immigrants coming to America.
Better yet, do it as part of a comprehensive package that deals with the millions of illegals Clinton and Bush invited here via their incompetent management of the southern border.