Here are some highlights from President’s Bush’s Monday night speech and my responses to him. (Click on the title link if you'd like to read the entire transcript at businessweek.com.)
For decades, the
has not been in complete control of its borders. As a result, many who want to work in our economy have been able to sneak across our border -- and millions have stayed. United States
Once here, illegal immigrants live in the shadows of our society. Many use forged documents to get jobs, and that makes it difficult for employers to verify that the workers they hire are legal. Illegal immigration puts pressure on public schools and hospitals...strains state and local budgets...and brings crime to our communities.
Yep, this is all true. Unfortunately, Bush, you have no credibility on this topic because you have done absolutely nothing to resolve this problem. On the contrary, you have condemned the people of the Minutemen Project as vigilantes, and have spent far more effort comforting and placating
must secure its borders. This is a basic responsibility of a sovereign Nation. It is also an urgent requirement of our national security. United States
This hasn't happened throughout nearly two full terms of you in power. Why should we believe you will do anything now?
Since I became President, we have increased funding for border security by 66 percent, and expanded the Border Patrol from about 9,000 to 12,000 agents. The men and women of our Border Patrol are doing a fine job in difficult circumstances - and over the past five years, we have apprehended and sent home about six million people entering
According to anti-illegal immigration experts, we need roughly 36,000 Border Patrol agents, and in merely upped the number to a third of this. While you are rattling off numbers, why not tell us how many of those 6 million people that were deported returned here within 30 days of being caught?
By the end of 2008, we will increase the number of Border Patrol officers by an additional 6,000. When these new agents are deployed, we will have more than doubled the size of the Border Patrol during my Presidency.
Should we believe you this time, Bush? Last time you promised two thousand additional agents every year, and then delivered only 200. Even if you aren’t lying this time, you are talking about upping their manpower to only half of what is necessary to secure the border.
One way to help during this transition is to use the National Guard. So in coordination with governors, up to 6,000 Guard members will be deployed to our southern border ... This initial commitment of Guard members would last for a period of one year. After that, the number of Guard forces will be reduced as new Border Patrol agents and new technologies come online.So basically, these troops will start arriving just in time for the next election, with a reasonable chance that they will never even reach full capacity before you reneg and/or decide these troops are needed more in Iraq or Iran. This is too little, too late.
We have expanded the number of beds in our detention facilities, and we will continue to add more.How about giving us the numbers? The last time you promised to increase the capacity of detention centers, it ended up being by a negligible amount. We have between 12 and 20 million illegal immigrants here right now, with more pouring in every day. Did you fund a few hundred extra beds so you could sound like you were doing something, or are you actually doing something meaningful like doubling our detention capacity?
Second, to secure our border, we must create a temporary worker program. ... I support a temporary worker program that would create a legal path for foreign workers to enter our country in an orderly way, for a limited period of time. ... And temporary workers must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay.
BS! How does this secure our borders? It simply brings more people here who will encourage their family to do whatever it takes to join them here, including sneaking across our borders illegally. What will the mechanism be for expelling "guest workers" when they overstay their welcome? How will having guest workers here earning minimum wage discourage more illegals from coming here to take those same jobs for cheaper wages? How does it help our country if we import people who will send most of their wages to their home countries rather than participate in our economy?
This program would match willing foreign workers with willing American employers for jobs Americans are not doing.
Oh goody! Just what the American worker wants: Another path for employers to find people who will work for substandard wages so that low-wage Americans will either have to accept less pay and less benefits or go unemployed. Why not just encourage employers to outsource and send our jobs overseas if you don’t want them to be filled by Americans? Are you trying to see how many citizens you can get to draw unemployment, welfare and other tax based aid? This concept of illegals "doing the jobs Americans won't do" is complete and utter bull excrement. We have American workers in coal mines, chemical production plants and all kinds of other horrific jobs. Americans will do ANY job if they receive just compensation. What about the THOUSANDS of black Americans who can’t get jobs repairing the Katrina damage because FEMA contractors are importing illegals to work for less? There are numerous stories that blacks were offered $10/hr for these reconstruction jobs, and then were terminated once the illegal aliens arrived to work for half of that. Are these jobs you claim Americans won’t do?
Third, we need to hold employers to account for the workers they hire. It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally.
You've had many years to do this and chose not to. Why haven't you made this a priority a long time ago? Why did only 3 employers in the entire country face fines for employing illegal aliens in 2004? I could find 10 employers who hire illegals within walking distance of my home. Your people couldn't find more than 3? In the whole country? Over an entire year? And now you want to convince us that you care? You should be going after THOUSANDS of employers every year until the problem stops.
Yet businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees, because of the widespread problem of document fraud. Therefore, comprehensive immigration reform must include a better system for verifying documents and work eligibility.This is just a pathetic way to promote your concept of national id cards. There are already programs in place to verify the social security number of an employee and their right to work. Put the money into enforcing the existing program before you throw money at another program that will not be enforced. Illegal aliens often use invented/random social security numbers. We already have the ability to check if a social security number is valid; just compare it against the records to see that it matches the name and age of the correct living person. We can also quickly determine if multiple employers are contributing too much money into the same Social Security and tax accounts so that one number doesn't get used by multiple people. The truth is, the government likes the Social Security card fraud because it means those illegals who use fake numbers are putting money into the Social Security and tax funds that they will never be able to withdraw or get refunded. It's free money! The government doesn't want to stop this. I heard on the radio a couple of weeks ago that there are illegal aliens who used the Social Security number 000-00-0000 when they obtained jobs. Do you really mean to tell me that the government can't catch that as fraudulent without a costly new identification system?
Some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal immigrant -- and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty. I disagree. It is neither wise nor realistic to round up millions of people
This statement is a diversion. Nobody really expects an army to forcibly scour the nation and deport all illegal aliens instantaneously. We expect you to enforce the existing laws and secure the border so that it is no longer desirable to be here illegally. If you find someone, throw them out. If not, make things difficult enough for them so that they don't want to be here so that they go home of their own volition. If employers don’t dare hire them, if schools don’t educate their children for free, if hospitals don’t treat them for free, they will stop coming and start leaving. After a few years of this, the illegal alien problem will go away.
…we must honor the great American tradition of the melting pot, which has made us one Nation out of many peoples. The success of our country depends upon helping newcomers assimilate into our society, and embrace our common identity as Americans. Americans are bound together by our shared ideals, an appreciation of our history, respect for the flag we fly, and an ability to speak and write the English language. English is also the key to unlocking the opportunity of
If we are a melting pot, then let’s turn up the heat and make them melt. If you really want them to assimilate, make it happen. Don't let them in unless they speak passable English. Make English our national language. Stop printing government forms in 20+ languages. Require immigrants to pass a simple English test to get residency and a more difficult one to become citizens. How can we be a united nation if our people can't even talk to each other?
Don’t give us any more of your disingenuous posturing designed to trick us into thinking you are helping. Enforce our existing laws, secure the borders and do your sworn duty to safeguard our nation. So far you have dropped the ball and betrayed our entire nation, and your recent speech did little to improve upon your gastly track record.