Bush gives in to pressure over illegal migrants
By Francis Harris in Washington
The Bush administration has signalled a big policy reversal on illegal immigration, telling a worried public that it is "rightly distressed" about the nation's porous borders.
The homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, made what amounted to a U-turn on immigration policy after months of rising pressure from congressmen and law enforcement officials.
Mr Chertoff appeared to bow in the direction of public opinion, which is increasingly restive over the unrestricted flood of people into the US.
"The American public is rightly distressed about a situation in which they feel we do not have the proper control over our borders," he said.
Announcing a series of measures, Mr Chertoff said he would build camps for illegal migrants, speed up deportations by providing more judges and lawyers and raise the number of officers tracking down fugitives ignoring expulsion orders.
Last week, two border states declared emergencies, saying that tens of thousands of illegal migrants were bringing border security to the point of collapse. Drug smuggling and other criminal activity are also on the rise.
Mr Chertoff wrote to the governor of one of the border states, Arizona, and promised swift action. "We are moving forward quickly and aggressively to fashion a comprehensive plan with real solutions," he said.
The administration's promises were welcomed by Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who had complained that his police officers were being overwhelmed. "I am a bit more optimistic," he told the New York Times.
At least a million people a year are entering the US illegally through the southern border with Mexico.
Until now, the administration has emphasised the need to legalise many of the 10 million illegal immigrants by offering them work papers.
But that has angered many congressmen, particularly Republicans, who face tough re-election battles next year. They have demanded stronger enforcement, which is what the Bush team is now promising.
Most polls indicate that more than 80 per cent of Americans believe border protection is too lax.
Congress and the White House have been unable to agree on new legislation, with legislators seeking tougher enforcement and President George W Bush's aides seeking an amnesty for many of the illegals.
The stalemate has spurred a number of unofficial responses, including the Minutemen, a volunteer group that has stationed members along America's 2,000-mile border with Mexico.
But Mr Chertoff said volunteer militias did not provide the answer. "The border is a very dangerous place. This is not a place for people to play as amateurs," he said.
(our border is too dangerous for ARMED Citizens, but the problem is not serious, that $hit won't fly)
The American immigration system is close to collapse. This year, the federal authorities have caught almost 500,000 illegal migrants, with 142,000 from countries other than Mexico. That has forced officials to release many before they reach deportation hearings.
America already spends $7.3 billion (£4.2 billion) on border security, an increase of more than 50 per cent since the September 11 attacks.
But Right-wing critics say the only workable solution is to punish American firms employing illegal migrants.
CA Republicans say they will change the law to give Arnold authority to "handle it"heh
Lawmakers want governor to have emergency powers over immigration
Aug. 25, 2005
SACRAMENTO - A group of Republican lawmakers on Thursday said they will introduce legislation giving Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger the power to declare a state of emergency along the state's border with Mexico, calling illegal immigration a growing threat to public safety.
The news conference by four Southern California legislators came as Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez traveled to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Vicente Fox to discuss immigration and other border issues. Last week, Nunez called on Schwarzenegger to declare a state of emergency to combat illegal border crossings, as the Democratic governors of Arizona and New Mexico have recently done.
"There is no question the problem of illegal immigration has reached emergency proportions," said Assemblyman Ray Haynes, R-Temecula.
He described how his constituents in San Diego county - many of whom live within five miles of the U.S.-Mexico border - are routinely exposed to the problems of illegal border crossings.
"They oftentimes fear for their lives, and they have to take action to protect themselves because of the flow of people going through their area," he said.
He was joined by fellow Republican Assemblyan Mark Wyland of Vista, and GOP senators Bill Morrow of Carlsbad and Dennis Hollingsworth of Murrieta. They talked about crimes linked to illegal immigration and the consequences for California taxpayers, including the costs for incarcerating, educating and providing health care.
The four want to give Schwarzenegger statutory authority that would allow him to declare an emergency because of illegal immigration. They amended their proposal to SB1075, a measure written by Hollingsworth that would boost resources for the Office of Emergency Services in handling disasters.
State law currently allows the governor to call a state of emergency for events such as war, epidemics, natural disasters and "local emergencies," a category that is defined broadly.
At an event in San Jose, Schwarzenegger did not specifically address the new legislation but said he would support an effort to broaden his authority to declare state emergencies. He indicated it would need Nunez's support to bring along other Democrats, who control both houses of the Legislature.
"We don't have the statute to declare a state of emergency, so that is something that is going on today," Schwarzenegger said. "So I think they are going to work on something, and he will be invited to sponsor, to co-sponsor, the speaker, so in case we want to declare an emergency we can in fact do so."
In recent days, Schwarzenegger has praised Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson for issuing emergency declarations in their states, which unlocked a total of $3 million to fight illegal border crossings. But in San Jose on Thursday, the Republican governor reiterated his belief that the problem had not reached a comparable level of threat in California.
"New Mexico and Arizona have additional problems that California does not have, which is the killing of livestock and killing on the border, drug smuggling, human trafficking," Schwarzenegger said.
Earlier, in a letter to Nunez released by the governor's office, Schwarzenegger made several similar points and said he was concentrating on collecting federal assistance for fighting illegal immigration.
"Rather than take critical assistance dollars from ... individuals suffering the consequences of natural disasters, I am focusing my efforts on ensuring that California gets the federal funds and resources we deserve and have been working to this end with significant success," Schwarzenegger wrote.
He added that he spoke to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff Wednesday morning about problems posed by the border.
Nunez released a statement Thursday thanking Schwarzenegger for his focus on border issues but indicated he did not see the need to clarify existing law authorizing a state of emergency.
"Under current state law, the governor has the ability to declare emergencies, just as the governors of Arizona and New Mexico have done," Nunez said. "Furthermore, the Congressional Research Service stated confidently that under state law, it is wholly appropriate and legal for the governor to declare a state of emergency."
The state attorney general's office said it had not been asked to give an opinion on the matter but would have to defend Schwarzenegger if he used illegal immigration as a basis for an emergency declaration, spokesman Nathan Barankin said.
Nunez, as one of the state's top Democrats, also is leading his party's fight against Schwarzenegger's initiatives for the Nov. 8 special election, which include caps on state spending and redrawing lawmakers' district boundaries.
A statewide poll released Thursday shows Schwarzenegger's job approval rating at just 34 percent and his "year of reform" agenda not yet catching on with voters. Schwarzenegger responded to the poll in San Jose, where he toured a sheet metal plant to tout his workers' compensation reforms.
"Our campaign hasn't started yet. We're going to start after Labor Day, and then we're going to get our message out there of what our initiatives are all about," he said.
Schwarzenegger noted that Proposition 66, an effort to weaken California's three-strikes law, was defeated at the polls last November after he and law enforcement officials mounted a last-minute campaign against it. The initiative had been ahead in polls only weeks before the election.
"It's all about messaging," the governor said. "It's all about educating the people... The people are smart."
How much would it cost for enough landmines to protect 1951 miles? The bleeding hearts would have a field day, but it's really the only practical solution.
At least people would get the point that they are not welcome here if they're coming over illegally.
how about sensors and rifle fire
after seeing all the border footage
I am convinced that is what it would\will take
The Military MUST be stationed on the border
there is no way that ANY amount of LEO's will ever be able to protect our border
while they are chasing down one group to catch them and release them inside the US
another group is getting by them to get inside the US on their own
a couple of weeks ago they had a PREGNANT woman get through them and back to Ark in 10 days
if that doesn't prove a point, I sure don't know what does, unless she was a ninja master......
Cut off the money. Why are AMERICAN citizens going to work to make a paycheck, for the .gub to take it and give to someone that is ILLEGALY here? (or anyone else for that matter)
They get $$$$$ from fed and state. When Arizona passed Prop. 2000, which ended state money for illegals, it was tied up in court as being against the "rights" of the illegals. ?????? But, they still get fed $$$, as the state can't cut them off from fed dollars.
Cut off the stealing of money/property/anything from US citizens, to give to ANYONE else, esp people who are here ILLEGALY ! ! !
And yes, close the border. A wise man said long ago that a nation that could not (or would not) protect it's own border would not survive. I think his name was Jefferson.
Far too little, Far too late.
Well, what do you want? A public display of attention to the border issues, of for them to ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT (pissed at them, not you...)
Gee, are the "constituents complaing about ILLEGALS? Wonder Why?
The border states will take care of the problem long before W gets to it.
BINGO. You have just stated the reason why the Federal government is swinging into action.
The Feds DARE not relenquish border security to the states. Damn, that almost amounts to a 21st century type of nullification doctrine of Federal power.
Well, he sure as hell won't step up to the plate
I am having a hard time understanding how he could
LET US DOWN SO COMPLETELY
I don't have a problem with anything else he has done
he is our president after all
but to allow A FRICKIN INVASION ON HIS WATCH
I gotta wonder is someone blackmailing him
or is he just as frigging stupid as the libs have said he is..........
Those damn neo-cons....
Its been happening LONG before President Bush took office.
Man, I have voted republican for the last 25 years except for a couple of offices or judges
I started voting straight republican ticket when clinton ran, he was such an obvious criminal
clinton divided the country into communists and Americans (IMO)
TX may be a "blue" state, but most of the people I come in contact with are dems
I was telling EVERYONE how great bush was and that he just needed a chance to prove it
I am feeling real stupid now.........I don't like making mistakes........that was a big one
I don't know if gore would have allowed an invasion of our country, but I do know bush did allow it
He even took their side, the fdic changed their rules to allow illegals to have bank accounts
the feds quit deporting illegals, they even RELEASE the ones they catch INSIDE THE US
the Minutemen are called "vigilantes" and are "watched" while ILLEGALS protest\attack them
the whole situation is BS and HE is the one that is calling the shots
If we have a terrorist attack that was facilitated by the open southern border....................
The pressure to allow immigration comes from the need for more participants in the ponzi scheme we call an economy.
More workers, more SS revenue, more consumers, more borrowers.
It's really that simple.
I'm disappointed in W on many issues, I was a big supporter of his in 2000 but he lost my support pretty early on, not that I voted for Kerry or anything like that, but lets face it, Bush isn't up to the challenges we face.
Holy underwear! Sheriff murdered! Innocent women and children blown to bits! We've got to protect our phony baloney jobs, gentlemen. We must do something about this, immediately, immediately, immediately!
The totalization agreement that he is about to sign will give ILLEGAL ALIENS
AND their dependents(in mexico) Social Security retirement benefits and disability benefits
NAFTA gives us rights to Canadian and Mexican oil and gas reserves.
The North American unified currency is only a few years away, just gotta get the US$ to fall a bit more to achieve parity with the loony, the peso will simply be discontinued. Good possibility the yen will be incorporated too at parity (100),and the Aussies too, because they're not going to want to join up with the SCA (shanghai cooperation asociation) which will make up the third global currency in the new monetary system that will be implemented when this one can no longer be sustained.
Then there's the FTAA.
Not to worry, our southern border will be getting a lot shorter soon, when it's in Panama.
Much easier to control there. Too bad we've mucked up our relations with south america and they've gone over to the SCA(commies), that will seriously undermine our strategic position in the future. "Fortress Americas" may have to settle for "fortress N. America".
The allegiances in the middle east are being negotiated as we speak, the Shia are already allied with the SCA.
The muslims are already aligned with mexican illegals
I will try to find the website again..........
It's not just Bush though. Do you think the nouveaux riche in the country, those who finance McMansions with 100% mortgages, drive a new car every year or two, and are holding up that 9 credit cards per consumer average have the ability to do what it takes to get things right? They are "consumers", not citizens, and as such, their priority in life is the creature comfort which our good friends at "Big Media" have programmed them into believing they need.
America doing something serious about the immigration problem is the same as a fox guarding the hen house.
Only the problem with this Fox, is that instead of killing our hens, he holds the door open for all his rats instead.
harumph, harumph, harumph. I didn't get a harumph out of that guy. Give the governor a harumph. Harumph. You'd better watch your ass.
We need to change the illegals interest in coming here by taking away their ability to work or gain benefits once they are here.
Texas for examply is one state that awards illegals free schooling once they are here and other benefits that just aren't correct IMHO . . .
Oh yeah, Then there is Maine. . . way to many areas to cross the border without ever being checked or seen.
Land mines & Military presence would be AWESOME!
Who care if its a DUPE, this is a very serious problem@!!!
I don't like dupes because they split the comments on the same subject in different threads
luckily, in this case, no one commented in the other thread