Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Damn Damn Damn


Well, we got the speech and we got “up to 6,000” National Guard along the border. But, up to 6,000 could be 5,500 or 5,000 or 2, just not over 6,000, and they are only going to be there for one year. Everything that I have read has said it would take a minimum of 36,000 National Guard troops to effectively seal off the border, so we are only 30,000 short, or 1/6th of what we need.
If that weren’t bad enough, I have been saying that the President was not for amnesty and I believed him, but as it turns out he is not for amnesty just like how Teddy Kennedy is not for amnesty. Those who have come here illegally will not be deported or punished but will be “made to get to the back of the line.” Well, here is the problem, all the people in the front of the line have to wait in their country of origin; they don’t get to come to the U.S. to wait. I think I understand now why the President and the Senate don’t want to call it amnesty because it really isn’t; instead it is a rewards program. “Come break our laws, and live here while you wait for the bureaucracy of the immigration system to give you a green card.” Amnesty would be saying we are not going to deport you or arrest you for breaking the law. This is, you broke the law, and unlike those who try to become citizens legally we are going to allow you to stay here and live and make money while enjoying all the freedoms and benefits allowed to citizens of this country. But, for those of you who are trying to get in legally, sorry you are going to have to wait in the front of the line.
And its not document fraud that causes businesses to hire illegals? Businesses want to hire illegals and they will accept the most pitiful of documentation. I have seen some of these forged IDs and you have to be an idiot to think they are real. Bush took the blame off business even though they knowingly hire illegals.
And as for the end of the Catch and Release Program, the Catch and Release Program is virtually terminated if they are all going to be granted amnesty because there will be no reason to catch them in the first place. Remember the story from two weeks ago about the 1,100 illegals that were all caught in a one day sweep? Well, they were all part of the Catch and Release Program, so they are all back to work now.
The only positive aspect of the speech was that local law enforcement are going to be allowed to act as Border Security rather than having their hands tied when it comes to encountering illegal immigrants. Looks like it is once again up to the little man to do the work the government won’t.
I find this all so frustrating and it seems like there is nothing I can do to stop it. I have written to Congress, and the Senate, and the President, but I am at a loss at what to do next. I just can’t fathom sitting by while the Senate sells out America to big business and special interest groups that represent illegal immigrants. I am open to suggestions here. Anyone got any?

21 Comments:

Blogger Frederick said...

How bout you start by writing your Republican Congressmen and telling him to stop passing tax cuts for the rich? Tell him to Leave the estate tax in place. Tell him to bring the troops home from Iraq while your at it, then when the Border Patrol needs funding, he can't turn and pull his pockets inside out and smile.

Tue May 16, 01:30:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

No, sorry I am against the Death Tax, but not because it hurts the rich and privileged but because I know that my grandparents worked hard and saved and they wanted that money to go to their children and their grandchildren and it should not instead be taken by the government. But, you are right the tax cuts are for the rich, if they were for “small business owners” they would have gone to small business owners and not everyone who makes more than $200,000. All you have to do is read more of this blog to know that I am appalled by the amount of money athletes and those in Hollywood make and there is no way some athlete should get a tax cut so they can buy their fourth Bentley.
And if the troops come home now, it is not Mission Accomplished it will look like the pull-out in Saigon, and I for one hope the government never repeats that.

Tue May 16, 01:58:00 AM  
Blogger The_Bos'un said...

Ditto. Have a great blogging day.

R/
Bos'un

Tue May 16, 03:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given the situation, it would appear that ol' Dubya is making the best of a bad predicament. Just as 12 million illegals didn't just show up over night, this problem isn't going to be solved over night. What I find funny, is the people who do try to come to this country legally have one Hell of a time. There are more hoops to jump through, and red tape to cut. The entire system needs to be revisited. Why punish someone who is trying to do things the right way? Anyhoo, my best suggestion to you Publius, as it seems you've exhausted all your other avenues, is either join the Guard, and specifically ask to go to work on the border, or join the Minutemen and rock a little vigilante justice.

Tue May 16, 05:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about you join the National Guard, Publius, and ask to be put on the border? That way you'd be doing something.

Tue May 16, 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger el said...

If you don't feel that you are getting the good representation from your congressman, the best thing to do is to run yourself... Or get more involved. I don't know really, I can empathise though with the frustration.

Tue May 16, 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

But, it’s not making the best out of a bad situation because first and foremost you can’t have immigration reform without solving the problem of a porous border. The House understand this, and although HR 4437 is “believed” to go too far because it makes those who are here illegally felons rather that charging them with misdemeanors, it does plan to finish building a wall that is already in place and increase funding for the Border Patrol while fining businesses that hire illegal immigrants and threatening those employers with jail time. I am against HR 4437 for only one reason, it would mean that the government would have to either deport 13 million people or arrest 13 million people and either way that is going to be impossible.
Now, if you take out the provision, you get the best and most “comprehensive” solution. The wall will secure the border because in and of itself it is projected to stop 80% of illegal immigration and drug trafficking leaving the Border Patrol to contend with the remaining 20%. It punishes businesses that exploit illegal workers at the detriment of the millions of Americans without High School educations. And if there are no jobs, there is no reason to stay. Working for $1.35 in Mexico is better than not working in the U.S.
The plan is simple and the plan is rational and there is no mass round-up of illegal immigrants. Only those businesses that illegally hire illegal workers and the employers and owners of those businesses get punished and it is humane and dignified. More than 400,000 people legally come to this country every year, we do our part.

And, no I am not going to join the Border Patrol, nor am I going to become a Minuteman. I praise the Border Patrol for the work they are doing but it is a dangerous job because they also encounter Drug Cartels from Mexico that are well armed and very dangerous. At the same time, and this is something that does not get a lot of press, it takes TWO YEARS to train to be a Border Patrol Agent. Two years from now is going to be too late. As for the Minutemen, they are doing what they can but it appears our government is telling the Mexican government where they are, so they can only be but so effective anyhow.

Tue May 16, 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

And come on people. No one got the Good Times reference of Damn Damn Damn when Florida finds out that James is dead? For a bunch of liberals you all remind me of Howard Dean’s Republican Party.

Tue May 16, 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger thehim said...

You seem to be interested in hearing some other viewpoints, so I'll give you one here.

The immigration problem is an economic problem, not a military one, and putting troops on the border will not solve anything. We are not being invaded, we are being inundated. The presence of 11 million Mexican citizens in this country illegally is not a national security problem in any way, it's simply an economic crisis that exists in Mexico that's moving north.

However, no one is asking what the root of the economic crisis in Mexico is. And it's because it involves a topic that too many Americans just want to bury their head in the sand about. The drug war.

Just as the flow of immigrants across the border is driven by U.S. demand, so is the flow of drugs. And it's been that way for decades. All the while, the U.S. has counted on the Mexican government to fight this trade militarily, which is impossible. The amount of money involved in the illegal drug trade guarantees corruption at every level of law enforcement in Mexico. This internal war, demanded by the U.S., has decimated the ability of the Mexican government to provide the services and infrastructure required to generate jobs and opportunity. The result? Millions of Mexicans headed north looking for work.

We've tried a military solution to the war on drugs. It doesn't work. A military solution to this mass migration won't work either, for much the same reasons. The only effective way to stop the flow of people north is to reduce the incentive for American businesses to hire illegal immigrants, or to back away from policies that have made it impossible for Mexico to provide opportunity for its citizens.

After our embarrassing reaction to Mexico's very mild decision to try to decriminalize small amounts of drug possession, it looks like we're going to be welcoming Mexicans into this country for a long time.

Tue May 16, 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Moose said...

I think Bush's proposed deployment of the National Guard is just sleight-of-hand, a little diversion to distract the public from his real objective - more immigration, whether legal or not. Bush really seems to be controlled by business interests who want cheap labor. Look how he handled the Katrina response - no bid contracts, and he suspended the Federal "prevailing wage law" and illegal immigrants are getting the taxpayer funded jobs in New Orleans. CNN did a report on how hispanic gangs are moving into New Orleans, following the construction workers.

The Guard troops won't be guarding the border, just acting in "support", whatever that turns out to mean. Will the troops be allowed to defend themselves? Will they even be issued ammunition for their weapons? Time will tell.

Tue May 16, 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Thehim, I actually agree with you 100%. I am a firm believer in No Deportation and No Exploitation. If the government punishes businesses that hire illegals they won’t hire them anymore. If there are no jobs and with the cost of living being exponentially hire in the U.S. than in Mexico the only alternative is to go home. As for the drugs, I will bring out the same old tired fact; in 2004 the Border Patrol seized over 2 million pounds of narcotics coming over the border. The Border Patrol has a 33% success rate in stopping human smuggling so using the same logic they have a 33% success rate in stopping illegal drugs. Extending the security fence the additional 700 miles as requested in HR 4437 would cut down on the drug smuggling by 80%. Closing down the border closes down the market and the drug cartels lose money and with the loss of money the loss of power. The U.S. has the opportunity to fight corruption on Mexico by fighting against the drug trade.
There are already security fences along the border, this concept is nothing new. It does not involve bunkers or gun turrets or anything else that some have said. And HR 4437 will only cost the American taxpayer $7.00 between 2006 and 2010 (www.govtrack.us). I am looking at this rationally, curbing illegal immigration also curbs drug trafficking and it aids the Mexican government because it will help fight the drug cartels that run rampant in that country. It may sound like tough love, but the solutions proposed in the Senate and by the President solve nothing they maintain the status quo but make it all more complicated.

Tue May 16, 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Moose, don’t get me wrong I am not an “Impeach Bush” nut, for one reason if you do its Cheney in charge. But, I am getting this vision of these Jetsons like buildings high up in the sky where the rich live and down on the ground are all the workers slugging it out with crime running through the streets because all they have left is crumbs. I am not a communist and who believes in the worker and that the worker will take over, but I am concerned that Big Business is going to win this fight. The far right wing seems to understand, I am hoping the far Left wing comes on board and we can put the squeeze on the middle.

Tue May 16, 11:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn, I missed the Good TImes reference...somebody's been watching TV Land! I always thought Thelma was hot. Now, on to business. I still actually like W's solution, and even I can't believe I'm saying that. It gives the people who would like to work towards citizenship some hope. WHile fining businesses that hire illegals is a good idea, i'm not crazy about sytematicaly driving people out. When the jobs dry up due to companies paying fines, if they don't leave, they'll turn to crime, be it drug dealing, theft or whatever. I don't think the elimination of the jobs automatically sends them back to Mexico. The Jetsons reference rocks...make me think of Judge Dredd too. And you know, in that movie, Taco Bell is the only restaurant that survives...telling, isn't it?

Wed May 17, 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Anon, let me ask you this though. Have you agreed with any of Bush’s other plans in the past including Privatizing Social Security, going to Iraq, the handling of Iraq, NSA wiretaps, Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court, keeping Dick Cheney, keeping Rumsfeld, Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, the handling of Katrina, CIA leaks, etc etc.
If you didn’t agree with any of those, do you think he suddenly pulled a winner out of his hat on this one? Don’t get hoodwinked. This plan is going to make all the other ones seem almost rational.

Wed May 17, 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger thehim said...

Extending the security fence the additional 700 miles as requested in HR 4437 would cut down on the drug smuggling by 80%. Closing down the border closes down the market and the drug cartels lose money and with the loss of money the loss of power. The U.S. has the opportunity to fight corruption on Mexico by fighting against the drug trade.

Actually, a border fence won't cut down on drug smuggling at all. And would likely only dent the flow of illegal immigrants. Thousands of people will still have to come through the fence for normal travel. However you corral this traffic, the drugs and the illegals will still get through. The amount of money involved here is staggering, and it will be simple to buy off Border Patrol officials or even National Guard troops to look the other way. All it takes is one guy to stuff $10,000 in their pocket and let that semi filled with $10 million of cocaine through.

As for fighting corruption in Mexico by fighting against the drug trade, that's absurd. The fight against the drug trade is the _cause_ of corruption in Mexico. Drug sales to Americans generate billions of dollars. That's a lot of money to pay off government officials, federales, local police, newspapers, etc to look the other way. There have been times where law enforcement officials in Mexico don't even pick up their paychecks because the drug dealers pay their salary.

I am looking at this rationally, curbing illegal immigration also curbs drug trafficking and it aids the Mexican government because it will help fight the drug cartels that run rampant in that country.

I'll agree with you that cracking down on businesses that employ illegal labor would stem the flow of illegals, but it's never going to happen. Our economy would collapse. As for the drug trade, the only conceivable way that we could lessen the influence of drug traffickers in Mexico is to find an alternate supplier for America's massive drug demand.

Wed May 17, 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Thehim, I am excited for this point-counterpoint.
The border fence will cut down on drug smuggling. The Border Patrol believes that the creation of the security fence in San Diego has cut down on the dug smuggling into San Diego by 80%. Yes, I wish I knew where I got the fact, but I can’t seem to recall where. But, there is some deep cynicism to think that the Border Patrol and National Guard will be bought off. Yes, there is a lot of money involved in drug trafficking and smuggling, but would you rather give up than do nothing at all?

But, you contradicted yourself in the second part: “As for fighting corruption in Mexico by fighting against the drug trade, that's absurd. The fight against the drug trade is the _cause_ of corruption in Mexico. Drug sales to Americans generate billions of dollars.”
If the dugs aren’t coming in and they aren’t being sold or bought, where does all the money come from? I think we can all admit that that average yearly household income in Mexico is thousands of dollars less than in this country. If the drugs, or even a large percentage of the drugs get stopped at the border, the Mexican drug cartels can’t sell them in Mexico at the same price. Sure, they have the money now, but if profits go down there is less to spend on arms, bribes, and cartel soldiers. We don’t really fight the drug trade now, we tell Mexico to do it and they don’t and then we let the drugs in and the money goes to the cartels that corrupt the country.

As for a collapse of the economy, that just isn’t true and you know it. Looking at the jobs where illegal immigrants fill: construction, migrant work, cleaning, housekeeping, meatpacking and slaughter houses, and the restaurant industry, do you think suddenly houses won’t be built anymore? Yes, the construction may go slower but considering that where many of these houses are being built don’t have adequate transportation in place already, slowing down the growth will not be a bad thing. With the housekeeping and cleaning, this will not collapse the economy either, it only means that the rich are actually going to have to figure out how to turn on a vacuum and business will have to pay people a decent wage to clean their stores. As for the restaurant industry, once again most of these jobs are in dishwashing and busboys; well I am white and I did those as summer jobs while I was in college so this is not a job that Americans just won’t do. For the meatpacking, this is where many illegal immigrants are hired otherwise why do you think companies like Tyson all closed on the Day Without Immigrants, it was because they would have had a severe reduction in their labor force. I have never had a job working in this industry, but my cousin’s friend did but he left the Tyson plant he worked in because they lowered their pay because they had more available labor than jobs. And finally with the migrant workers picking the fruit and vegetables; the U.S. is not an equatorial country and the growing season is not year round. When you go to the grocery store can you tell the difference between the lettuce grown in the U.S. and the lettuce brought in from Australia? Do you know of any bananas grown in the U.S?
Now, I will say that if all 13 million illegal immigrants all left tomorrow then there would be some major yet temporary problems. But, we all know they are not going to all leave in 1 day. Twenty years ago was the last time the Senate proposed amnesty and in that 20 years more than 13 million new illegal immigrants came to this country. You can’t get rid of 13 million people in one day when it took 20 years to get them.

The problem is that we went down this road 20 years ago and look where we are now. The Senate is proposing much of the same. If they don’t take real action then 20 years from now we are going to be faced with the same problem.

Wed May 17, 05:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOodwinked? Not hardly my man. There's a saying about even a blind man can hit a target every once in a while. That's what I think is going on here. No, I haven't agreed with W on any of those things. (and pity that he doesn't consult me, as I have tons of great ideas!) But, I like to think that I do have an open mind, and when someone is right, whether I like it or not, they're right. That is my feeling here.

Thu May 18, 12:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH, and by someone being right, I meant W, not you. I wanted to make sure I cleared that up.

Thu May 18, 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

People have though he was the blind man who hit his target before, only for it to be a foul ball. This is the same, and once again it has dire consequences.
Not enough troops to Iraq? No problem, we will be welcomed with flowers.
Hurricane coming into New Orleans? No problem, we got that guy who use to judge horses to take care of that.
I can go on if you like.

Thu May 18, 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Believe me, on this issue I am right, all the evidence points to me being correct. This decision can be made with either compassion or logic, and although I am confident there is a solution in the middle, once again Bush’s decision is short on logic.
Damn, I am sounding more and more like a liberal everyday on here.

Thu May 18, 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger thehim said...

Thehim, I am excited for this point-counterpoint.
The border fence will cut down on drug smuggling. The Border Patrol believes that the creation of the security fence in San Diego has cut down on the dug smuggling into San Diego by 80%. Yes, I wish I knew where I got the fact, but I can’t seem to recall where.


Actually, I think I can help you remember where that stat comes from. First, find a mirror, then turn around and pull down your pants. It comes from there.

Drug smuggling across the Mexican border has not been slowed by anything in the past two decades. There are over a dozen tunnels running underneath Tijuana/San Diego that we know of, and likely more that we don't know of.

But, there is some deep cynicism to think that the Border Patrol and National Guard will be bought off.

It's not cynicism. It's a recognition of reality. Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement officials are bought off all the time on both sides of the border. That's just a fact with the amount of money involved.

Yes, there is a lot of money involved in drug trafficking and smuggling, but would you rather give up than do nothing at all?

If by give up, you mean legalize and regulate drugs, then yes. The damage that is done by keeping drugs illegal dwarfs the damage that would occur if you could legally obtain them. This has been proven time and time again in every country that has tried decriminalization.

But, you contradicted yourself in the second part: “As for fighting corruption in Mexico by fighting against the drug trade, that's absurd. The fight against the drug trade is the _cause_ of corruption in Mexico. Drug sales to Americans generate billions of dollars.”
If the dugs aren’t coming in and they aren’t being sold or bought, where does all the money come from?


Since it appears that you're going to assume that we can stop the drug trade, this comment is going to get sillier and sillier, but I'll try to explain it to you as best as I can.

I think we can all admit that that average yearly household income in Mexico is thousands of dollars less than in this country. If the drugs, or even a large percentage of the drugs get stopped at the border, the Mexican drug cartels can’t sell them in Mexico at the same price. Sure, they have the money now, but if profits go down there is less to spend on arms, bribes, and cartel soldiers. We don’t really fight the drug trade now, we tell Mexico to do it and they don’t and then we let the drugs in and the money goes to the cartels that corrupt the country.

This is a very poor understanding of how the drug trade works. Drug lords assume and expect a certain percentage of their drug shipments to be stopped at the border. The ensure a profit through volume. But the reality is that when interdiction efforts snare a higher percentage than normal, the prices for the competing smaller supply just go up. The drug dealers always end up with a lot of money.

As for a collapse of the economy, that just isn’t true and you know it. Looking at the jobs where illegal immigrants fill: construction, migrant work, cleaning, housekeeping, meatpacking and slaughter houses, and the restaurant industry, do you think suddenly houses won’t be built anymore?

No, I think companies that have survived and preserved their bottom line by hiring cheap labor will no longer make it. This affects a lot of industries, not just housing.

With the housekeeping and cleaning, this will not collapse the economy either, it only means that the rich are actually going to have to figure out how to turn on a vacuum and business will have to pay people a decent wage to clean their stores. As for the restaurant industry, once again most of these jobs are in dishwashing and busboys; well I am white and I did those as summer jobs while I was in college so this is not a job that Americans just won’t do.

Again, this affects the bottom line. Companies have these things called balance sheets. Many companies survive today because they can get away with paying illegal wages. If you all-of-a-sudden take that away, the economy will take a serious hit. It can recover, but it will require a major re-investing of capital and probably a lot of government bailouts to keep basic services going.

The problem is that we went down this road 20 years ago and look where we are now. The Senate is proposing much of the same. If they don’t take real action then 20 years from now we are going to be faced with the same problem.

And what I'm telling you is that building a wall and putting national guard troops on the border is not real action. It's political posturing and it won't work. The only way to solve this problem is to fix the problems in Mexico that drive so many people to seek the U.S. for opportunity.

Wed May 24, 06:28:00 PM  

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