Friday, August 19, 2005

No Border Emergency Here (CA)

That's the heading of an editorial in today's (8/19) Sf Chronicle, implying that we should move right along, there's nothing to see here.
UNLIKE Democratic governors in Arizona and New Mexico, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shouldn't even think about declaring a border emergency in California.

That's because there isn't one.

If there is any section of the 2,200-mile U.S.-Mexico border where the case could be made that our border policies are "working," it is in California.

The number of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border has dropped dramatically since the implementation of Operation Gatekeeper in 1995. A longer border fence, a huge increase in Border Patrol agents, surveillance equipment and border lights have all contributed to a drop in apprehensions from a high of 550,688 in 1996 to 154,826 since Oct. 1 last year.

These numbers are for apprehensions, not for successful border crossers. It has been estimated that only one in three (cite: original ABC article no longer available) to one in five illegals are caught. That means that in all likelihood, somewhere between 310,000 and 620,000 illegals successfully crossed into California in the ten month period since October, 2004. No problem, move right along.

Well, apparently they do detect a slight problem:

[...] One of the biggest challenges for immigration authorities is how to alleviate the boredom of Border Patrol agents.


The Chronicle complains about the mixed message being sent by Gov. Schwarzenegger (CA) when he said that conditions did not warrant a state of emergency at the California/Mexico border, while praising Gov Bill Richardson (NM) and Gov. Janet Napolitano (AZ) for their actions. Typically, they then say that since strong actions on the border will not address the problem of what to do about those already here, that it would be the wrong action to stop more from coming over.
Regardless of what happens on the California border, declaring a state of emergency will do nothing to solve the problem of what to do about the 10.3 million illegal immigrants already here, as well as the estimated 485,000 new ones who settle here each year.
Hmmm, 485,000 new illegals per year. Wonder where they're going to put them? They then proceed to tout the proposed Kennedy-McCain Senate 1033 Bill to improve border security and immigration.

The obvious point of the Chronicle's editorial is not about illegal immigration or border control, it's about Gov. Schwarzenegger. Arnold is wrong, and that's that! Govs. Richardson and Napolitano just may have their priorities right, and we're sure being Democrats has nothing to do with that, right? Sorry, folks... this is not a partisan problem, this is an American problem.

And illegal immigration in California IS a problem, as Gov. Schwarzenegger and sensible people everywhere recognize. If the additional resources and attention focused on the borders in Arizona and New Mexico through the declared states of emergency are successful, the number of attempted border crossings will increase in Texas and California. The pressure to come to the United States is amply demonstrated by the results of the latest pollings. Forty percent or more of the Mexican population wants to come to the United States. Twenty percent or more would do so illegally, if the opportunity arose.

Although I could probably be classified as a partisan Bush hack on many issues, in this case I have to say that the Bush Administration is not doing enough to address this problem. Our borders, especially to the South, are no more than another front in the Global War on Terror, and must be defended as such. We have laws on the books already to address border control. Lets enforce them. NOW!

Then we can deal with the problem of those already here.

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