An Immigration Letdown
It is not surprising to learn that Congress has broken another of its promises, as it has on the topic of the border fence. It promised us a double fence extending along seven hundred miles of the U.S.-Mexico border—not perfect, given that the border is around three thousand miles long, but better than nothing. The bill for this fence was passed last September. And the progress to date? Five miles.
This rate of a little over a half mile a month is absurd, and shows that Congress never had any real desire to complete the fence. It was simply a pre-election gesture of good-will by Congressional Republicans. (A futile one, as it turned out, since the GOP was resoundingly defeated in the midterm elections).
However, ineffective good-will gestures by Republicans are better than nothing, which is what we are now getting. The appropriations omnibus bill passed by Congress contains provisions virtually gutting the border fence, making it into a single tier fence, which is less effective at keeping illegal aliens out. According to many who have studied the illegal immigration problem extensively, a single tier fence is nearly useless.
Of course, the Senator who has led the charge to get the Secure Fence Act is Senator Kay Hutchinson, who a) comes from a border state, and b) is a Republican. That’s right, a Republican is leading the charge against a bill that virtually all conservatives believe is necessary. Of course, 10 million dollars in emergency funding for lawyers for illegals is apparently fine by Hutchinson, as that provision is included in the omnibus bill.
It is obvious that it is fruitless to look to Congress for any assistance on the illegal immigration problem. Apart from a few members of the House of Representatives, and maybe a couple of Senators, no member of Congress will take a stand on this issue. The Republicans as bad as the Democrats are on this issue. The only chance we have of getting an acceptable outcome of this problem is to elect a competent President who will take on the issue.
To my mind, Fred Thompson is the only candidate who will lead on this issue. All of the rest of the Big Four supported amnesty—till its unpopularity became clear. Then Giuliani, Romney, and Huckabee fled the position, leaving McCain to take the fall. However, all the candidates, with the exception of Thompson, have expressed support for amnesty at one time or another.