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

Thursday, August 24, 2006

They keep coming and we keep doing nothing

Immigration Plan Gets a BoostChertoff to Tour Border With Lawmakers Seeking a Compromise

Washington Post (Thursday, August 24, 2006; A04)

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff will tour the Texas-Mexico border this morning with the conservative authors of a congressional immigration compromise, in what will be the clearest sign yet that the Bush administration is prepared to make major concessions to reach an immigration deal this year.
Chertoff's appearance with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) and Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) is "in no way meant to signal an endorsement" of their compromise, Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said. But it was seen by supporters and opponents yesterday as a boost for the plan and a significant White House concession to conservatives.
Under the compromise, most of the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants would be allowed a chance to work in the country legally -- and possibly earn citizenship. But no guest-worker program would be made operational until stringent border-security measures are implemented, and illegal immigrants would have to report to privately run "Ellis Island" centers in Mexico to apply for legal work permits.
President Bush has maintained that a crackdown on the border could work only if new avenues toward legal work and citizenship were opened concurrently.
"The White House thinks we have a very interesting idea, and the president was very adamant about wanting to encourage my efforts," Pence said yesterday, after touring the border near San Diego. "Going to the border with Secretary Chertoff will help emphasize our seriousness about putting border security first."
With 15 scheduled legislative days left before Congress adjourns for the fall campaign, it is unclear whether any compromise stands a chance of passage. House leaders have spent the month staging "field hearings" on immigration. The hearings have raised sharp questions about guest-worker programs and have helped gird opposition to a Senate-passed bill, which includes such a program. Border security has moved to the forefront of Republican campaigns, from the frontier districts of Arizona to Upstate New York.
The Pence-Hutchison compromise has taken heat from conservatives, who say it would be exploited to allow a flood of illegal workers into the country and would still amount to amnesty for undocumented workers. And Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), a co-author of the Senate bill, said the plan's 17-year wait for full legalization and citizenship "fails the basic test of fairness."
But administration officials have ramped up efforts to win over conservatives as they push for an immigration deal this year. The Department of Homeland Security all but declared victory yesterday in its new policy of ending the "catch and release" program for illegal immigrants from nations other than Mexico. For years, such non-Mexican immigrants were released upon apprehension and told to report for deportation hearings. Few did.
The DHS said that in the second week of August, the Border Patrol apprehended 1,055 non-Mexican illegal immigrants and released seven of them. At this time last year, 34 percent of such migrants were detained. About 4,000 beds have been added to detention facilities this year. And with the support of newly deployed National Guardsmen, the authorities have caught 6,200 illegal immigrants since June 15. Seizures have included 130 vehicles, 31,000 pounds of marijuana, 1,500 pounds of cocaine and $11,000 worth of currency.
"There is a real deterrent effect to this policy," Chertoff told reporters in Washington, pointing to a 20,000 drop in the number of illegal immigrants caught crossing the southwest border between this summer and the same period last year. "Although we're not ready to declare victory -- we've got a lot more work to do -- it is encouraging."
By convincing conservatives that the government is serious about a border clampdown, administration officials hope to win some flexibility to negotiate a final legislative package that would include a guest-worker program. But the anti-illegal immigration firebrands who have driven the debate on the GOP side have shown no sign of budging.
Jim Gilchrist, a founder of the Minuteman Project, a citizens' border patrol, greeted news of Chertoff's appearance with Pence and Hutchison with a preemptive salvo. He called it "a staged public relations ploy by the White House to give the voting public the illusion that the administration is going to do something about border security."
The bipartisan coalition that passed the Senate's more lenient bill has also held together. The Pence-Hutchison plan "is just another distraction to try to kill the Senate-passed bill," said Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.).

So basically this Bill, which Bush likes, would still grant amnesty, but it takes 17 years to get it? What is the point of making the illegals wait that long? They still get to stay and they get to stay for 17 years in an “un-official” guestworker program, except with this plan they still don’t pay taxes for 17 years.

And help me with my math here, “The DHS said that in the second week of August, the Border Patrol apprehended 1,055 non-Mexican illegal immigrants” but “with the support of newly deployed National Guardsmen, the authorities have caught 6,200 illegal immigrants since June 15.” So they apprehended 1,055 non-Mexican illegals in one week, and non-Mexican illegals make up about 40% of all illegals crossing the border. So if we take 6,200 and subtract 1,055 we get 5,145. There are two weeks in June after June 15, 4 weeks in July, and then the first week of August, for a total of 7 weeks. That means they caught 735 illegals on average during each of those weeks. But, if only 40% of those crossing the border are OTMs, or Other Than Mexican, than by comparison they should have caught more than twice the number of Mexicans illegally crossing the border as they did OTMs. So, if they caught 1,100 Mexicans during the second week of August and we subtract that number from the 5,145, we get: 4,045. This then means the Border Patrol with the help of the National Guard caught, on average, 578 illegals crossing the border during those seven weeks, or 82 every day.
But, there are more than 8,000 new illegals coming into the country every day, and our Border Patrol caught 82 of those 8,000 plus.

Show me any job where a 10% success rate doesn’t get you fired.

Oh and don’t think I missed the fact that in 8 weeks that confiscated 31,000 pounds of marijuana. I remember one Border Patrol agent saying they confiscate about 1/3rd of all the drugs smuggled across. So if the 31,000 pounds over 8 weeks is correct, that means they didn’t get 62,000 pounds. 62,000 pounds over 8 weeks is 7,750 pounds a week, and for those of you without the calculator handy, that is 403,000 pounds of marijuana a year that gets smuggled across the border. A 33% success rate might be good in baseball and 3-pointers, but when it comes to 403,000 pounds of marijuana, than should get you fired too. I in no way blame the Border Patrol - this goes all the way to the top!


Blogger Bobkatt said...

Does anyone else see the hypocracy in this article?

man gets 30 days in jail in Grand Canyon permit case.
The Associated Press
August 15, 2006
A California man was sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years of probation after pleading guilty to three federal counts of conspiring to fraudulently get permits for private rafting trips through the Grand Canyon.
Stephen E. Savage, 61, of Diamond Bar, Calif., who pleaded guilty and was sentenced Monday in Flagstaff, was also banned from all national parks while he is on probation and must pay $15,000 to the Grand Canyon Search and Rescue Fund.
'We are pleased with the outcome of this case and feel it reflects the serious nature of the offense committed,' Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Joseph Alston said in a statement released Tuesday.
'In this case Savage put his personal interests in front of thousands of others who have waited years for the opportunity of a river trip. We hope this sentence serves as a deterrent for others that have tried to abuse the system.'

Rafting down a river bad, jumping the border, priceless.

Fri Aug 25, 04:43:00 AM  
Blogger Bobkatt said...

To quote Michael Savage, "Borders, language, culture."
If the borders aren't secure neither are we. So I say:
"Mr. President, build up that wall!"
Nothing we do will be of any lasting effect if we can't keep them out. Ronald Reagan proved that.
While we have thousands of GREAT Americans risking their lives to secure a country that doesn't want us there in the first place we can't even protect our own country from invasion. It's pitiful, sinful, and treasonous.
They all got to go. You know who you are. You're the politician, the business, the sign carrying do-gooder, the AFL-CIO that sides with day-labor organizers, the Ford Motor Co. that finances the racial hate groups, the farmer that uses illegals, anyone that uses these people for their vote, their cheap labor or just to ease your own conscience

Fri Aug 25, 05:07:00 AM  
Blogger mistyforeverlost said...

Publius, I'm confused because I really don't understand this whole immigration thing and my math skills suck. Basically what they are saying is that someone who already crossed the border gets 17 years of tax free labor in our country? But only if they are working in legit jobs?

Fri Aug 25, 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

Misty you got it. Of course they have to go back to Mexico for a little vacation first to get what I assume would be some sort of ID card to work here in the US. And of course, I am sure there would be no trouble doing so with the inept and corrupt Mexican government. If the Mexican government wasn’t so bad these millions of people would not be coming here in the first place. Even the Mexican government knows this because they have their own illegal immigrant problem. Only difference is that it is a felony to be an illegal immigrant in Mexico and punishable by up to two years in prison.
And yet the Mexican government is against the US doing the same thing here.

Get involved or don’t complain is my motto. Got to for more.

Sat Aug 26, 12:27:00 AM  
Blogger mistyforeverlost said...

Well that's dumb. I'll go check out numbersusa to lodge an "idiot moment" complaint. You probably know I'm a bit on the left wrt to immigration, but I'm not so far on the left that this even makes a bit of good sound sense.

What is up with politicians these days?

Sat Aug 26, 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Bobkatt said...

They need your help!
Please read the article and sign the petition and email it to the White House.
Two Border Guards are looking at 20 years in prison and a 5 million dollar lawsuit because they risked their lives and did their duty.
Let the government know that this injustice will not be tolerated. I've done it already and it is real easy. Just follow the link and sign and send the petition
Thank you.

Sun Aug 27, 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger migrastew said...


I think you are all just a bit confused as to what these "guest workers" will be considered while they are here. Now, I not quite sure exactly what the bill says, but it would suprise me to hear that "guest workers" would be exempt from paying taxes while in a "lawful" work status within the US. These "guest workers" would essentially be "non-immigrants" while in that status. Non-immigrants CANNOT be considered for US citizenship through naturalization UNTIL they have adjusted their status to that of an "immigrant" or lawfully admitted permanent resident (LAPR). THIS is the status that is most commonly associated with a "green card". So, for 17 years, these guest workers will be in a status that does NOT grant them a "path to citizenship". Only at the END of this seventeen year "trial" will these aliens be ELIGIBLE for adjustment of status to that of a lawfully admitted permanent resident. Once (and IF) granted this, the alien will then have to remain as such for three to five more years before being eligible to apply for naturalization (i.e. US citizenship). So, from non-immigrant to US citizen, an alien under this program is looking at anywhere from 20 to 22 years. 20 years seems reasonable, considering the method most of these people chose to come here in the first place.

But, as always, the "proof is in the pudding". During these 17 years, the alien must be and remain in good standing. He or she must have a clean police record. He or she must show that they have taken positive, proveable steps towards assimilation. Considering that all of these aliens will be a non-immigrant status during the majority of their stay, the laws of deportation are much stricter for them as opposed to LAPR's. A non-immigrant may be deported for something as simple as failing to report a change of address. LAPR's cannot. A non-immigrant must continually show that they have not become "public charges" (i.e. welfare recipients), LAPR's don't. This last example is perhaps the most important in that someone who elects to become part of the guest worker program will no longer be eligible for any taxpayer-funded assistance, state OR federal. (This, of course, will have no bearing on the US citizen children.) Moreover, it will offer those currently in Mexico an otherwise non-existent option to crossing the border illegally as the program will also be available for those currently in Mexico. This, theoretically, will DECREASE the number of would-be border crossers thus decreasing the pressure on the Border Patrol. It will allow the Border Patrol to concentrate more personnel and resources to arresting those that still choose to cross illegally. It will allow the BP to interdict more drugs (and possibly terrorists) who, because of the nature of crime, will continue to choose the most surreptitious and least noticable means of getting into the country. Again, this is all theoretical as something this bold and forward looking has never been attempted.

Bottom line is this, these folks are coming, one way or the other. Pipe dreams like a "complete" sealing of the border to illegal crossings with "red-rover, red-rover, send Jose on over" agent placements and "Hadrian" like walls have proven time and time again to not be effective, both geographically and in cost. If there are less people coming in through "traditional means" (i.e. illegal crossings) and more utilizing a "legal" way (i.e. guest worker programs), the net effect will be LESS ILLEGAL CROSSINGS. This, in turn, will mean a better use of our available resources (i.e. manpower and technology) to more aptly interdict persons, drugs and other criminal elements.

And to quickly address the administration of such a program. Some folks here have the unfortunate misconception that the Mexican governmenmt will be responsible for the issuance of these guest worker cards. Incorrect. The United States already has the basis for this infrastructure in place. They are called "U.S. Consulates" and are staffed by members of our own state department. It is the responsibility of the Department of State to issue visas, both immigrant and non-immigrant. This never has been nor does it look like it ever will be a DHS function. So the Mexican government will not be in charge of this operation.

Hope this has helped to clear the air a little bit.

Sun Aug 27, 01:17:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

Migrastew, you make a lot of points here, but some are not exactly correct. Walls do work. Israel has 400 miles of walls now that separate them from suicide bombers, and they have been very effective, and the suicide bombers are much more determined than illegals crossing the border. Also, the news security walls in San Diego have proven very effective in lowering the number of people and narcotics smuggled into Southern California. Also, the House bill to add the additional 700 miles of fencing would only cost the taxpayers $7 a year for 4 years while the Senate bill, which is very similar to this legislation with a different amnesty period, would cost the American taxpayer $48 dollars a year for the first 10 years and then it would go up after that but the Congressional Budget Office only makes predictions for up to 10 years so there is no telling how much S. 2611 would cost after 10 years, or how much this bill would cost.
Also similar to S. 2611 amnesty would not be granted to those who have committed more than 3 misdemeanors or a felony. But, having sex with a minor is only a misdemeanor, as well as many other crimes which they could commit and still be eligible.
Also, how much do you think it would cost to create enough “Ellis Island” consulates in Mexico to handle somewhere between 10 and 20 million illegal immigrants? These State Department workers would be on a federal pay scale somewhere around a GS-7 or higher and make $35,000 or more each. If there are 10 consulates with 5 State Department workers each, and all were receiving the minimum GS-7 pay scale this would cost $1,750,000 per year and this does not cover the cost of office space, office supplies, Consulate Security which would require 1 Security Officer per consulate at a GS-7 pay scale of $35,000, so in people alone we have $2,100,000. But, they will have more than 5 people per consulate, and they would need more than 10 consulates for 10 to 20 million people. So guess who is picking up that tab too?

Sun Aug 27, 02:45:00 AM  
Blogger migrastew said...

Are you suggesting that we create on our southern border what Israel has created? Are you suggesting that the Mexican people have the same intent toward us as do the Palestinenians toward the Israeli's? Are you suggesting that Mexico sees our mere existence as sacreligious? Are you suggesting that we place armed troops, tanks and landmines across our borders and give the authority to shoot on sight anyone, regardless of who they are, if they cross at a place other than an authorized checkpoint? Are you suggesting that our Constitution should only apply when we find it convienient? Are you suggesting that our federal government supplant the numerous state and munincipal government entities that operate in our southern border region? Are you suggesting that the privately owned land along our southern border be subject to federal seizure in order to erect military bases to house the thousands of full-time troops that would be necessary to militarily defend it? Are you suggesting that the United States begin the hourly execution of persons crossing the border based on the mere fact that they have stepped into a "no-mans-land" area? Are you suggesting that the American public is prepared to see on the nightly news, our soldiers firing upon young, old, male and female border crossers?

To compare what works in Israel to what will work in the US is to invite these things. It is because of this type of deterrant that the wall in Israel works, Publius. I have heard this comparison time and time again. And time and time again its a false premise, a red herring, a dog that simply won't hunt. It is against the law to cross our borders unauthorized, not an act of war. In turn, we have procedures and processes in place to deal with illegally present individuals, none of which involve the militarization of the border OR the immediate execution of the guilty.

So please, STOP using the "Israeli example" as a blueprint for success for us.

You mention the San Diego security walls as a success. You are correct. However, you seem to place ALL of the success on the walls alone. I'm currently stationed in San Diego and have DIRECT experience with why these walls work here.

The walls in San Diego are NOT a success merely because of the walls themselves. The walls are a TRUE success because of the MEN AND WOMEN that back them up. When was the last time you saw a WALL arrest someone who had successfully negotiated it? When was the last time you saw a CAMERA arrest someone who the camera spotted? When was the last time you saw a SENSOR reach out of the ground and apprehend an illegal border crosser who had tripped it? Never. It is because of the overwhelming agent presence in the area that any of this infrastructure has been successful. And why has it worked so well in San Diego? Frankly, because San Diego is a beautiful city that has everything. The agents who live here lack for nothing in their private lives. The have shopping malls, nightclubs, perfect weather, movie theatres, good schools and colleges, hospitals, you name it. Point is, it's EASY to staff a place like San Diego. More importantly, the agents STAY and there are many more who wish to come.

Now, how many 'utopias' like San Diego exist on the southern border?

Answer: NONE!

El Centro is a dusty desert town. I spent two years out there and was personally involved in the recruitment of trainees. Once, a class of 50 new cadets arrived at the sector headquarters before going to the academy. The cadets spend three days at their duty stations before the academy for INDOC processing. During the first day, 10 of these 50 didn't return to the station after lunch. Why? When contacted later, the trainees said that "El Centro was not what they had expected." Most said that the area was simply "too remote" for their families.

Now remember, this is El Centro. Look it up on a map. El Centro is approximately 120 miles east of San Diego. A two hour drive.

Now look at a map of our entire southern border. If you have never been to the border, then it is somewhat hard to describe those little towns all along it. In a nutshell, El Centro is a thriving metropolis compared to the majority of towns where the Border Patrol is stationed.

I think you get the idea.

So, because the "walls" work in San Diego is by no means a testament that the same set-up will work along the entire border.

Publius, I respect your opinions and concerns about our immigration problem. The national discussion, however, is inundated with so-called 'experts' that have ZERO knowledge and ZERO experience in its management. You have repeated the claims of many of these so-called experts as a solution. With all due respect, STOP LISTENING! They are making you look bad.

The Senators and Congressmen on both sides are the worst of these culprits. I have personally been present with many of these folks. Their understanding of the complexities of the problem are like my understanding of the complexities of a quadruple by-pass. Just because I sat in on 10 minutes of a surgery ONE time, does not mean that I now know all there is about the problem and the SOLUTION to creating a better procedure. These elected officials take hour long trips of the border and are shown the successes of the strategy, mostly to win appropriation points for the agency. They're there for a sound bite and some live footage, nothing more. The pundits that comment base their stories off of these superficial assessments of the problem. What does that give you? Even more superficial assessments!

The illegal immigration crisis DOES involve smarter enforcement strategies. But it's not the only answer. The House bill is not 'the second coming of Christ' for the immigration problem. Neither is 2611. The fact remains that there are millions of economically depressed people a stones throw to our south and they realize that there is the single-most economically powerful nation on the planet just a few steps to their north. Put those two factors together and what you get is simply something that no 'wall', no matter how high, will ever stop. 'Secure the border FIRST' is, again, one of those red herrings that is proposed by folks that simply don't get it.

You secure the border by, first, accepting that these people are coming, legally or illegally. We can either facillitate their orderly migration and do what is necessary to track them OR we can continue down our current path. The House bill WILL NOT secure the border, plain and simple. When a starving person is returned to Mexico, his or her only thought is in how to try again. Unless we start shooting them upon entry, no punishment will equate to the desperate conditions they are attempting to leave.

This is the reality, Publius.

Sun Aug 27, 05:20:00 PM  

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