Tuesday, October 18

Illegal Immigration Reform on the News

It seems there is a lot of attention on illegal immigration coming from D.C. RedState.org had a couple interesting stories.

The first comes from the Bush White House, who is reportedly mounting an immigration offensive. You can read the whole story from RedState.org here.
The Washington Post reports the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing today on "comprehensive immigration reform."

According to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao will testify at the hearing and are expected to outline the Administration's latest plans for an immigration reform. The Star Telegram also reported White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan suggested that President Bush may now be advocating a more comprehensive approach to immigration reform that includes a temporary worker program as well as "steps to strengthen our border and improve the interior enforcement of our immigration laws."

This comes after Karl Rove held numerous meetings with congressional leaders.

The administration has assembled a coalition of business interests to help advance its immigration reform proposals. Business Week suggests that the administration may find itself in the middle of another fight between business groups and conservatives over immigration reform. According to Business Week, one of the administration's allies in the immigration reform battle, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will be highlighting the McCain-Kennedy legislation today at an event co-sponsored by American Immigration Lawyers Association, League of United Latin American Citizens, Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, the National Association of Home Builders, and other fans of the administration's guest-worker idea.

I'm concerned about some of the statistics and pol results reported. I don't know how accurate it is, but this long-going problem of illegal immigration is creating a strong backlash towards immigration in general. Let's see what the Administration can come up with.

The AP is also reporting statements by the Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in regards to illegal immigrants. This is strong wording coming from this high in the administration.

"Our goal at DHS (Homeland Security) is to completely eliminate the 'catch and release' enforcement problem, and return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions.

"It should be possible to achieve significant and measurable progress to this end in less than a year," Chertoff told a Senate hearing.

Thousands of "Mexicans who are caught entering the United States illegally are returned immediately to Mexico. But other parts of the system have nearly collapsed under the weight of numbers. The problem is especially severe for non-Mexicans apprehended at the southwest border," Chertoff explained.

"Today, a non-Mexican illegal immigrant caught trying to enter the United States across the southwest border has an 80 percent chance of being released immediately because we lack the holding facilities," he added.

"Through a comprehensive approach, we are moving to end this 'catch and release' style of border enforcement by reengineering our detention and removal process."

The AP could not resist lumping illegal economic immigrants, with the political and religious refugees risking their lives and coming from Cuba. It is one thing to allow Mexicans, Central and South American's come into the US as they seek a better economic life, as a result of the corruption of their governments. Cuba, on the other hand, suffers from a violent, criminal, and inhumane regime that murders its citizens for their religious, political, and philosophical views. I will say, there are now nations going in the same direction, and political refugees should be processed according to their circumstance--Venezuela for example.

Some additional comments from Streiff over at RedState.org.
This clear and unambiguous policy is long overdue. The out of control nature of our southern border has mutated from an suppurating sore to a threat to national security as Mexico, slowly and inexorably, loses control of much of its territory.

This is a huge marker to lay down unless it is done so in a spirit of seriousness. The sheer volume of illegals apprehended combine the Augean Stables with the Rock of Sisyphus.
I agree with Streiff that I hope that the Bush administration actually follows through and starts doing something about illegal immigration. This is not to say I will be in complete agreement with all aspects of their strategy, but some action is better than no action, regardless of how imperfect it may be.