Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The US war on blueberry pickers

I missed George W. Bush's speech last night. I was waiting for it and it never came on. It makes me wonder if the Comedy Channel on satellite radio is really worth the cost.

Bush had a chance last night. A slim one, mind you, but he had a chance. He could have poked his Republican congress with a stick and moved US immigration in a positive direction. Instead, he caved.

We must begin by recognizing the problems with our immigration system. For decades, the United States 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.
The Lakota, the Delaware and the Shoshone can probably relate to that.

We're a nation of laws, and we must enforce our laws. We're also a nation of immigrants, and we must uphold that tradition, which has strengthened our country in so many ways. These are not contradictory goals. America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time.
Unless you're the preznit. Then there are no laws. Just stuff for other peeple.

First, the United States must secure its borders. This is a basic responsibility of a sovereign nation. It is also an urgent requirement of our national security. Our objective is straightforward: The border should be open to trade and lawful immigration, and shut to illegal immigrants, as well as criminals, drug dealers, and terrorists.
Whoa there, buckwheat! You're just getting around to that now?! Try to think now, on the day you were engrossed in The Pet Goat a sudden problem arose. For what it's worth, shouldn't border security have been refined then? That was five years ago. Helluva photo op! Kids, goat story, New York city being attacked. But it's good that you're finally addressing the problem and demonstrating how complex it really is. By the way, you left out stray cows. If you're going to do motherhood issues, you should appeal to the animal watchers.

I was a governor of a state that has a 1,200-mile border with Mexico. So I know how difficult it is to enforce the border, and how important it is. Since I became President, we've 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, they have apprehended and sent home about six million people entering America illegally.
How's that working for you?

Despite this progress, we do not yet have full control of the border, and I am determined to change that.
Oh... not good.

By the end of 2008, we'll increase the number of Border Patrol officers by an additional 6,000. When these new agents are deployed, we'll have more than doubled the size of the Border Patrol during my presidency.
Not to mention having started a war, getting 35,000 people you don't even know killed and 2400 of your own citizens slaughtered after you sent them across a border without checking in at customs and immigration. Of course there's the great job of looking after all those citizens on the southern Mississippi river delta. Oh yeah... that part of your speech is where you put in, "Bring 'em on!"

At the same time, we're launching the most technologically advanced border security initiative in American history. We will construct high-tech fences in urban corridors, and build new patrol roads and barriers in rural areas. We'll employ motion sensors, infrared cameras, and unmanned aerial vehicles to prevent illegal crossings. America has the best technology in the world, and we will ensure that the Border Patrol has the technology they need to do their job and secure our border.
You left out the internet cafe and the laundromat. How much of this is going to be "outsourced"? Sounds expensive. Wow! I wrote that and Halliburton immediately popped into my head.

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.
These must be similar to Walmart greeters. When is somebody going to admit that joining the National Guard for that one weekend a month and two weeks training is actually a full-time, life-long period of voluntary penal servitude with less benefits than the person who actually joined for an active duty hitch? I suppose at least the troops going to the Mexican border can be thankful they're not going to Iraq... yet.

Fifth, we must honor the great American tradition of the melting pot, which has made us one nation out of many peoples.
Yeah! Look at you! Start out a New Englander and come out a Texan, complete with the boots, belt buckle and accent.

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 America. English allows newcomers to go from picking crops to opening a grocery, from cleaning offices to running offices, from a life of low-paying jobs to a diploma, a career, and a home of their own. When immigrants assimilate and advance in our society, they realize their dreams, they renew our spirit, and they add to the unity of America.
Is that the part where the National Guard comes in?

On a visit to Bethesda Naval Hospital, Laura and I met a wounded Marine named Guadalupe Denogean. Master Gunnery Sergeant Denogean came to the United States from Mexico when he was a boy. He spent his summers picking crops with his family, and then he volunteered for the United States Marine Corps as soon as he was able. During the liberation of Iraq, Master Gunnery Sergeant Denogean was seriously injured. And when asked if he had any requests, he made two: a promotion for the corporal who helped rescue him, and the chance to become an American citizen. And when this brave Marine raised his right hand, and swore an oath to become a citizen of the country he had defended for more than 26 years, I was honored to stand at his side.
Ah yes. The touching story and the personal involvement. And it has that Bush touch. War, a marine, seriously wounded (injured, George, is what happened when you dabbled in the military. Wounded is what happens when people get involved with bullets and bombs.) Must have been a great photo op.

And then there's this plan (courtesy of BBC).
Seems a bit over the top to me. I don't know why you don't just do this? That way, you can spare the troops and you'll know when people are crossing the border with each explosion.

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