John Hawkins, RightWingNews.com:
"If we properly staff our border patrols, build a wall, use sensors, remote controlled drones, and radar stations, we can slow the raging flood of illegal aliens coming over our border down to a trickle. It's not "impossible," in fact, it probably wouldn't even be all that difficult, we just haven't made the effort."
Update 2. Grrrrrr! On reflection I decided to paste in a portion of John Hawkins post linked above. This feckless undermining of the laws by back channel Congressional interference has me spittin' mad...my teeth ache and my hair hurts...what more can I say.
Here's Mark Krikorian giving some examples of how our lawmakers often work behind-the-scenes to thwart our immigration laws:
In ninety eight, the border patrol noticed that the work force picking onions in the vidalia onion fields of Georgia appeared increasingly to be illegals, so they did some raids, arrested a few dozen illegal aliens, and all the rest of them ran off. So the farmers were there stuck with onions in the ground and no one to pull them out. It was all their own fault, they knew what they were doing, but nonetheless, they were outraged. They called their Congressmen, and by the end of the week, three of Georgia's Congressmen and both Senators, Republicans and Democrats, wrote a joint letter to the Attorney General demanding that the Immigration Service stop enforcing the law. Because they said the INS does not understand the needs of American farmers. Which in ordinary English means, "let them pick the onions, then arrest them. Preferably before we have to pay them". Well, the INS got slapped down and stopped.
So what they tried as an alternative to raids, was something called Operation Vanguard in Nebraska. It was sort of the first effort at something like this to see if it worked. They didn't do raids anywhere, all they did was subpoena personnel records. And they didn't just pick one or two employers, they did all the meatpacking plants in all of Nebraska, so that no one of them would be inconvenienced while the others benefitted. They took the personnel records back to the office, checked the Social Security numbers, and came back with a list of people who seemed to be illegal, who did not have authorization to work. They said "we know some of these people are legit and the records are wrong. We want to fix those people's records and the ones that are illegal, have to leave of course". They came back with four thousand names. One thousand people showed up and got their records fixed and three thousand were never heard from again. They were illegal aliens. It worked really well and it was intended to be repeated every two to three months so as to wean the whole industry off of the use of illegal aliens.
After one effort like this, the political and business elite in Nebraska went insane. The ranchers and the meat packers teamed up with the governor. The governor's predecessor, now Senator Nelson, was hired as a lobbyist to put an end to this initiative. Senator Chuck Hagel made it essentially his mission in life to see that this was never repeated and it wasn't. And the Senior INS official who thought it up in the first place was invited to retire early -- and he did. If you're a bureaucrat and you have kids in college, you're going to take the hint: Congress doesn't want you to enforce the law. So the Immigration Service essentially gave up enforcing the immigration laws inside the country. They focused on the important, but narrow, issues of criminal aliens and smugglers. I'm all for that, criminal aliens and alien smugglers are the scum of the earth, but there's a lot more to the issue than just that. But, going after those parts of the issue doesn't get you in trouble politically. So that's what they did, they gave up because Congress told them to stop doing their jobs. They really haven't changed that much (since) 9/11.
1. Solving the problems begins with securing the borders. Period.
a. Begin with the high volume and most sensitive penetration corridors, based on Border Patrol experience. Work outward from these hot spots until the entire border is treated.
b. Survey and establish the line (using GPS this should take 2 weeks, start to finish, Gulf of Mexico to Pacific Ocean, get 'er done).
c. Clear brush 200-300 yards inside the line. Width of clearing would depend on space necessary to provide clear fields of fire. If the bureaucrats can't figure out how to do it, let the local 4-H Clubs and Boy Scouts have a crack at it. Defoliate if necessary. Backfiring a control line and laying down napalm would speed up the clearing operation. There are plenty of A-10 Warthogs at Davis-Monthan AFB that could help. Don't get your panties in a twist if the fire slops over the control lines in a few places. It'll all grow back. Aerial tankers on standby could provide some insurance against wildfires escaping the control line perimeter...the main thing is get 'er done.
d. With the line monumented and the secured area cleared inside the line, build the fence. Four strands of barbed wire should do for a start. If the bureaucrats can't figure out how to do it, let the local ranchers build it. Beef it up later as needed, i.e., a ten feet high cyclone fence topped with double razor wires, or whatever the traffic requires...the main thing is get 'er done.
e. Beef up the Border Patrol by providing whatever personnel and equipment the local district supervisor says he needs. Period. That includes motion detectors, search lights, and weapons, etc.
f. Establish easy to understand Rules of Engagement, i.e., 1. Tell trespassers they're under observation and will be shot if they take another step. 2. Shoot if they do. Advise Mexico that they might want to put up some warning signs in Spanish on their side of the fence. So much for diplomacy.
g. Provide military backup for the Border Patrol. Period. No details needed. They know what to do if they're called.
h. National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) requirements can be met by Executive Order outlining a comprehensive set of Catagorical Exclusions necessary to implement the border security program elements outlined above in a. through g.
2. Deal with the 11 or 12 million illegals within this country by establishing some common sense guidelines premised on the fact that it's ridiculous to propose that the U.S. would or should deport them all. Call it amnesty, or whatever you want to call it. It's better than they had, and if they don't agree, then they are free to return to wherever they came from.
a. Require registration and proof of real or potential employment, or sponser. For individuals who cannot show employment, provide unemployment benefits under a work-fare program where real work is required to offset the cost of the benefits. Where no work-fare is available on a regional basis, require relocation to an area where work-fare labor is needed. This might help deal with problems like the kudzu infestation in Arkansas, and could definitely help with maintenance of the border clearing and wire repairs. For those who object to this provision, offer a free bus ticket south.
b. Provide clear multilingual instructions that those discovered to have avoided the registration process will be treated as criminals, and deported after due process. Due process should be simple to understand for all concerned. Are you here legally? Did you register under the 2006 Immigration Policy? A "no" to both questions gets a free bus ticket south. Etc. Just keep it clear, simple, and legal.
c. Establish a process for assimilation over a five year period, with full citizenship offered at the end for those who've proven they deserve it. The process should require that they acknowledge they are here illegally, and that they voluntarily agree to abide by the law and fulfill the procedural requirements of their situation, which is that they are technically criminals, and hence this process amounts to a form of parole, making them subject to prompt deportation after more due process in the event of parole violations.
d. Provide a fee for the processing which may be paid in installments. The fee should not be punitive, but should be adequate to cover all costs to government for administering the program. For instance, assuming about 10 million persons sign up, a $500/person fee would generate $50 billion in revenue. This is way too much to trust Congress or the Federal bureaucracy to manage, so much of it should be allocated to the states based on each state's prorata share of the new citizens. Details can be worked out.
e. There are always contingent circumstances affecting individuals, i.e. health care, education, employment, and other societal safety net provisions. Once a person is registered and enrolled in the process, these services and benefits should be available to them on an equal basis with anyone else. No more, no less. Some benefits, other than immediate health and well being needs, might be spread over the five year waiting-to-qualify period, or not. Details can be worked out.
f. Monitoring individual progress toward assimilation should be required. Most will not need supervision, afterall, no one is supervising them now. A few may need coaching and some minimal level of training to assimilate. Various advocacy groups can be a big assistance in this arena, i.e., churches, service clubs, et al.
3. Establish clear permanent immigration and green card quotas, and visa policy, on a rational basis for future admissions to the U.S. A variation of the Bracero program, or whatever seems appropriate to the needs of the U.S. labor market could be an element of this. The program might charge a nominal fee to offset cost of its administration.
4. Enforce the laws.