Well, well, well!
Our friends in Washington, D.C. have at long last discovered that we have a severe problem with illegal immigration. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff this week said the feds will "significantly strengthen" their efforts to control our borders. We take them at their word but we hope it's not too late.
Here's what Chertoff really said. He said we have absolutely no control over who crosses our borders and that once illegal immigrants are caught, we don't know what to do with them. Now he used different words but his meaning was clear.
Unfortunately the new federal plan is at best a slight improvement over the porous border policy we now have. Nearly 150,000 illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico have been captured this year alone. The number of Mexican immigrants is beyond the imagination. So we beef up the border patrol and we make available more beds to house immigrants while their deportation process is in the works. That's pretty much the sum total of the new plan.
Why don't we put some of the responsibility on Mexico and the other Latin American countries? Why don't we use trade issues and our financial assistance to make them better control their populations? Why do we continue to spend our tax dollars to solve the problems of others?
New Mexico and Arizona this week declared states of emergency because of the explosion of illegal immigration.
And what about the American employers who continue to hire these illegal immigrants? The new federal plan makes no mention of that part of the equation. I assume politics is intermingled with the policy decisions when it comes to immigration.
We currently spend $7.3 billion on border-related expenses. But the real cost to this nation is far greater. If immigrants come here to work and if work is available, then so be it. If immigrants come here to take advantage of our generous social welfare system, we do not need them. It really is that simple.
Just think of this. We currently arrest over one million illegal immigrants each year. It's estimated that many, many more slip through the cracks. If you allow this process to continue for another 10 years, the impact on our society will be irreversible.
If we are unable to control our borders, other hot button issues of the day will soon disappear because the impact of illegal immigration will overshadow all else. More beds and more patrolmen alone will have little impact. We need to put some teeth into our policy and hold accountable all of those who benefit from this movement. And we need to make those changes now.