Finally, an article that is saying what I want to hear, now if they will...."Just Do It"
King: Fence off Mexican border
The Iowa congressman wants immigration talks to be part of the presidential campaign.
By THOMAS BEAUMONT
REGISTER STAFF WRITER
August 23, 2005
U.S. Rep. Steve King said Monday he's not ready to propose building a wall between the United States and Mexico, but a 10-foot-tall chain-link fence topped with razor wire would be a good start.
"It could well find its way into legislation in the next month or two," King said during an immigration control forum in Des Moines.
The Iowa Republican said building a 2,000-mile-long fence would cost about $680 million and slow border crossings. But he and other supporters of dramatic reduction in illegal immigration have more immediate policy proposals - and a national political agenda - they hope will fundamentally slow the illegal flow out of Mexico.
"This is about presidential politics. I make no bones about it," King said. "I want Iowans to understand immigration policy, and I want them to challenge the presidential candidates when they get here and ask them the hard questions."
National polls show most Americans favor a reduction in immigration, legal and illegal. An NBC News and Wall Street Journal poll in May found that 56 percent of Americans thought President Bush was doing too little about immigration.
Even some immigrant-rights groups say the need for wholesale immigration reform is overdue. But they add that King's idea of a fenced border - not to mention proposals to deport all undocumented immigrants and penalize businesses who hire them - is unrealistic.
"The proposals are completely absurd," said Flavia Jimenez, an immigration policy analyst for the National Council of La Raza, a national Hispanic advocacy group.
Estimates of the number of immigrants in the United States illegally range from 11 million to about 14 million.
La Raza and some Democrats in Congress support granting amnesty to workers who are in the country illegally. Bush, a Republican, supports letting millions of workers who are in the United States illegally gain legal status as guest workers.
King and Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado said they want candidates running for president to have clear and aggressive plans for dealing with immigration before they begin their campaigns for Iowa's lead-off nominating caucuses.
"The purpose is trying to make sure that the issue is elevated to the point where nobody can weasel out of it," said Tancredo, who has flirted with mounting a 2008 nomination bid.
"Saying, 'I'm against illegal immigration. Next question,' is not good enough," he said. "We want to change the level of debate."
King and Tancredo were joined Monday by about 50 supporters, representatives of immigration control groups the Minutemen and Numbers USA, and U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, an Arizona Republican. Also participating in the morning sessions at the downtown Des Moines Marriott hotel was Peter Gadiel, whose son James died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack in New York. Gadiel said a more aggressive illegal immigration policy could have prevented the attacks.
But the main argument from King and others was that illegal immigration hurts the U.S. economy by encouraging the use of disproportionately cheap labor.
To that end, King has drafted a bill that would make employers unable to take tax deductions for the wages and benefits they pay to workers who are in the United States illegally.
"What the (bill) is designed to do is change that flow of people from coming north to going south," King said. "I believe it does that. I don't think it completely dries it up. There will be people hiring them off the books, but I think it slows it down dramatically."
It would be impossible to reverse the U.S. economy's reliance on immigrants as a source of labor, La Raza's Jimenez said, and the solution to illegal immigration lies in allowing undocumented workers to gradually become legal residents.
"Employer sanctions and arbitrary enforcement-type measures have never worked, have not worked for the past 20 years, and will not work because we live in a market economy, and that market economy demands jobs," she said. "And there are willing workers to fill those jobs, and that's what we are faced with here."
Absurd = listening to la raza representatives about border policy
We need more than just a really long chain link fence. That will work for hard to cross areas like mountains or canyons but we have a 10' solid steel fence between San Ysidro and TJ and they still get through. I still see them all the time hanging out on the Mexico side when I travel down there. They hang out until sunset, then they just crawl underneath or boost each other over and run.
We really need an Israeli type tall cement block fence in the high traffic areas that goes deep, chain link fences in the least traveled sections and at least 5,000 more Border Patrol agents or a federal mandate to force local police agencies to turn over illegals to Immigration - instant BP agents. There should probably be a buffer zone too, maybe a couple miles deep that is protected from outside car traffic.
I love Tancredo.
Why the hell does anybody even LISTEN to La Raza? They are a DEAD party. Have been since the 70s. They rank even lower than the Communist Party USA on the seriousness-meter.