I deliberately took my time in discussing the different parts of the May 15 speech by President Bush on Immigration and Border Security Reform. As I have said, but many ignore, this is actually several complex and heated issues, which need to be separated for proper attention and action. We need to address Border Security, Alien Entry Protocols, and Immigration Reform. We have to decide on a consistent strategy for each, determine the broad overview of how each would work, and how we will pay for it. And we have to shut down the mob attitude, so that the adults can get some work done. I’m not saying people can’t do their ‘shout n stomp’ act if that is something they fell they must indulge, but the name-calling and scare-mongering does not deserve any attention from decision-makers, to say nothing of the focus these feces-flingers are demanding. To recall the old adage, just because you can put a dog in a ballgown does not make it a debutante.
I have mentioned that valid entrants into the United States are actually five classes; Citizens, Legal Residents, Work-Authorized Visitors, Education-Authorized Visitors, and General Temporary Visitors, like tourists. This implies that Illegals may similarly be classified into separate groups, depending on the threat level they represent. Also, any plan to address the problem must deal with three large demographics; Illegals still in the U.S., local law enforcement, and the many millions who still want to get here. One common trait of the foam-faced ranters, is that they toss off bumper-sticker solutions with not a thought to the ramifications of their implementation. Not a word about how laws which have not been enforced for decades, will now suddenly be made to work. Not a word about how to sell additional bureaucracy to small businesses already fed up with federal red tape, expense and obstacles. Not a word about how law enforcement is expected to observe civil rights while treating one race to a secondary standard in actual practice. Not a word about the allocation of resources, deciding between known threats and hypothetical ones for delivery of tools and monies. And not a word about the political reality of a party determined to make political gain by casting the governing party in a racist light, regardless of the actual facts.
So OK, we realize the cranky children aren’t discussing the problems. What do the adults do? First, it needs the right focus. Americans are very good at finding pragmatic yet moral solutions, so the lead belongs with us, the average Joes and Janes, to tell them what we expect and why. Be polite, be direct, and be specific. And be reasonable; for whatever reason, we should be ready to accept half a loaf instead of a whole, and incremental improvements if we cannot get a major initiative. And the things we should be able to agree on, are not really controversial for most folks:
• Control the border with sensors, surveillance, and yes, a good fence
• DHS needs to provide profiles of the most dangerous threats coming across our border, be it terrorist cells, violent gangs, drug cartels, or something else. Let’s see budgets and specific teams set up to act on the best information about the worst threats.
• A Guest Worker program provides a strong incentive for foreigners to participate in identification and documentation processes, which makes location and deportation much easier, should that become necessary. Establish reasonable temporary terms of permits, but with clear enforcement parameters.
• Let’s review the whole thing annually, and adjust, fix, or replace whatever is not working as advertised.
But do not wait for the media to get on board; we have to lead ourselves. Do not trust Congress to do the right thing, but make your intentions known. And whatever happens, pick a side and stick with it. If you cannot accept a serious responsibility to support the Republicans and work for their gain, then be honest enough to understand that you are by default choosing to support the Democrats and working for their control. In the primaries and at your local level, you can and certainly should support and advance the ideals you hold true, and work for the candidates which match your ideals. But once it’s time for the General Election, you are on one side or the other, and pretending not supporting Republicans will do anything good for the country is both dishonest and mutinous. Not once in History has losing control of Congress or reduced strength after an election led Republicans to become more Conservative, or responsive to their constituents. Quite the opposite; the historical model shows over and over again, that when Republicans lose seats they inevitably think the public prefers the Democrats, and so more and more Republicans start to act like Democrats. That is the sole effect of sitting out an election if you are a Conservative; more Democrat control and less Republican courage. It’s the way of Gerald Ford, not Reagan or Dubya.