Monday, May 15, 2006


Prediction: His poll ratings will go further down after tonight because of more demoralized conservatives. Given his stated position, it will be impossible for anyone on the right or left to be happy with what he says.

“We are a Nation of laws, and we must enforce our laws." [ed: too bad we don't enforce some of our most important laws]

"We are also a Nation of immigrants" [even though his ancestors have been here since before there was a nation]

“Since I became President, we have increased funding for border security by 66 percent, and expanded the Border Patrol from about 9,000 to 12,000 agents. . . .we have apprehended and sent home about six million people entering America illegally. [6 million? That's 1 million apprehensions per year. If we are catching less than half of all illegals then there should way more than the 12 million commonly cited that are here.]

“The reality is that there are many people on the other side of our border who will do anything to come to America to work and build a better life. They walk across miles of desert in the summer heat, or hide in the back of 18-wheelers to reach our country. This creates enormous pressure on our border that walls and patrols alone will not stop. To secure the border effectively we must reduce the numbers of people trying to sneak across." [Yes, the American government has been complicit in allowing people to die in the searing heat. What we haven't done is condemn the rampant corruption in Latin America that is hurting millions of lives.]

“. . . 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, enforcement in this area - which is the most effective in stemming the tide - has virtually disappeared]

What is the point of this speech? Americans want results not fanciful words. Putting National Guard troops on the border is a cynical way of placating the majority of Americans (Republicans and yes, Democrats too) without really addressing the problem. Telling National Guard troops to go to the border but don't apprehend illegal aliens is insulting to our brave men and women in uniform.

See: Michelle Malkin

"Deliver a system that is secure, orderly and fair" [TG: The problem is that we can't even police the people who violate tourist visas today. Senators talk about making people pay fines and "get to the back of the line" but no one speaks of the consequences of enforcement]
"Double the size of Border Patrol by the end of my presidency" [TG: We know that the Border Patrol does a good job but many people, inevitably, will and can get past the Border Patrol. What about employers who are not playing fair against their competitors? What about landlords who know that up to 20 people are living in a home at one time?]
"The United States is not going to militarize the border. Mexico is our friend...deal with common problems like drug trafficing and crime" [Yes, but Mexico has deep seated cultural and political problems. Crime is rampant. Poor people are victims of an elite ruling class. Indians are victims of discrimination. America must not be Mexico's pressure valve. Mexico must reform itself.]
"When we catch illegal immigrants from other countries [besides Mexico] it is hard to keep them." {Yes, that's because China is REFUSING to retake 38,000 of its emigres}
"When people are caught and sent home they are less likely to come back." [No, the ones that made it here were determined to get here knowing that will never be sent back. Deporting many of those who live here will be a clearer message to those willing to come here at any cost.]
"Must be willing to pass criminal background checks." [What if they are criminals in their home countries but do not yet have rap sheets in America?]
"Comprehensive reform must include better ways to authenticate documents." [Exactly, we should make sure we have the proper procedures in place before we pass a guest-worker program potentially rife with abuse."
"There is a middle ground between automatic citizenship and mass deportation." [What is a meaningful penalty? If approval is not automatic what if they are denied? Will they be deported or allowed to continue living as illegal aliens? He doesn't say what's the consequence of not getting automatic citizenship]
"English is a path of opportunity." [Then why does the federal government see fit to print election ballots in many different languages for people who are legally here? Apparently, they can't speak English.]
"Reasoned and respectful tone." [How about condemning those who come here illegally, wave flags of other nations?]
"Many of you have a parent or grandparent who came here from another country with dreams of freedom." [His best line of the night]
His story of visiting soldiers in Bethesda, Marine who wants a "chance to become an American citizen." [Powerful and effective story]
"An open door to the future, a blessed and promised land. We honor the heritage of those who come here." [Yes, but Americans have always and still support LEGAL immigrants. What Americans are bothered by is the feeling of lawlessness. He should not muddy the waters between legal and illegal immigrants.]

A decent speech that should be a reminder to all that no matter what you think of him, President Bush has never been gone nasty (remember how Bill Clinton always demonized, complained and whined about his political opponents?)

1) Attempts will still be made by millions of illegal aliens until Mexico reforms itself. Mexico is not a poor country, it is the world's 10th largest economy. But it's dominated by a small ruling elite and that should not continue.
2) People cite a population of 12 million illegal aliens. But that number was a sample generated by the Pew Center. All evidence points to a much higher population, I think it's at least 20 million.
3) A fence is a good idea. If we can build millions of miles of six-lane roads, we can build a 700 mile fence.

Thanks to all who checked in by email.


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