Monday, May 15, 2006

Some Thoughts on President's Immigration Speech

The overall tone of Pres. Bush's immigration speech struck me as an effort to get in the middle of the road on the immigration issue.

Sending National Guard troops to the border will help. Since the Guard will not engage in enforcement, the help will be limited.

I like hearing about building a fence. The absence of specifics means we must wait to see what kind of fence will be built. Still, a barrier of some kind is essential, at least near the populated areas. A fence that is not effective, however, will be a waste of money.

The proposed guest worker program may be acceptable, but only as a supplement to effective border control. A guest worker program without effective border control will be worthless. Immigrants may enter the U.S. legally as guest workers, but they may want to stay illegally when the guest worker visa expires. What will prevent them from becoming illegal immigrants at the end of their time as a legal guest worker?

A path to citizenship is amnesty, no matter what distinction the President wants to draw. This may be acceptable as part of a political compromise, but only if effective border control is put in place to stop the flow of new illegal immigrants into the country.

A tamper-proof identity card for foreign workers seems a good idea on the surface. If the card is only required for foreign workers, an employer must first be able to distinguish between American and foreign workers. How does an employer tell with certainty that a worker is American or foreign? Will a card only for foreign workers eliminate the forgery of other identification documents?

The President's speech was balanced and moderate, but it hinges on effective border control. The President did not give specifics on the fence to be built. Therefore, we must adopt a wait-and-see posture until more specifics are known and we can tell how serious the government, including Congress, will be about border control and enforcement of immigration laws.

2 Comments:

Blogger Charlie said...

I thought his speech was excellent. He articulately laid out arguments for both security and dealing with those immigrants already here. It seemed like his points very closely matched the Hagel-Martinez compromise bill now in the Senate.

5/15/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

I Linked
linked this post in my Bush speech round up.

5/16/2006 02:26:00 AM  

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