American flags I could see from my window on the 4th of July reminded me of the Mexican flags I could see during the marches of illegals wanting amnesty.
It made sense that 12 million people in our country illegally would expect our government to welcome them. Government officials, business owners and open-border liberals have kept the borders easy to cross for 20 years. No immigration law has been enforced at the border or within the country since the amnesty program passed in 1986 gave citizenship to three million illegals.
The government, employers, law enforcement, the immigration service and liberal activists have ignored the immigration laws. Why should the illegal immigrants respect our laws when so many Americans act as if the laws do not exist?
Immigration law enforcement is a mess and a disgrace. I recommend a five-step program to turn things around.
Step 2: Do whatever is necessary to close the border to illegal crossers. Use more border patrol agents; use as many National Guard troops as needed; build fences and barriers where needed; use all available technology; use drones with cameras along north and south borders and jail those caught crossing.
This should stop more than 90 percent of the illegal crossings.
Step 3: Enforce the law passed in 1986 that calls for fines and jail for employers that employ illegals. Let Internal Revenue Service records and Social Security information from employers be used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to follow up on employers. More than 200,000 employees use all zeros for a Social Security number, which makes enforcement a joke.
Step 4: Enforce the visa program that allows people to come here legally for a limited time and never checks to see if they ever leave. Nearly half (five million) of the illegals in our country came here with our permission and never left. We have NO method of checking when people leave our country.
Congress passed legislation in 1996 requiring the Immigration and Naturalization Service to develop and operate a system to check on visas. Checking on visa exits was to be up and running by 1998. Money was spent for pilot programs and the one for air travel at Philadelphia worked. In 1998, other airports, the cruise industry, universities, the travel industry, cities along the borders such as Detroit, Buffalo and San Diego raised a fuss with Congress. All objected loudly to checking the visas of individuals leaving the country. Congress surrendered.
The law is still on the books but ignored. The result is five million illegals who overstayed visas and ICE does not know who they are or where they are. The system remains in shambles, just as it was in 1996.
The same arguments are used today to torpedo the new requirement for U.S. citizens and visitors from Canada and Mexico to have passports to cross the border by the end of 2006.
Step 5: States are forced to provide free education, free medical care, free welfare and other benefits to illegals by laws passed by Congress. If the Congress feels these programs should continue, then the total cost should come from the federal budget. Our representatives and senators should be required to collect the taxes for what they demand for illegals. States should not have to raise local taxes to pay for every illegal in prison.
It is my opinion that many illegals would go home if the jobs and freebies were taken away. If the flow of illegals into the country were stopped, the problem of those left here could be handled. The first thing firefighters do with a forest fire is contain it. Then it burns out and the damaged area is limited.
Did you notice that I began with Step 2? The Congress also left out Step 1. Twenty years of laws that were never enforced have cost the government any credibility with me. That is the major issue in this debate over our borders and illegal immigration.
Are you listening President Bush? Are you listening Congress? Are you listening Gov. Napolitano?
The Minuteman on the border was the first thing that got our attention. The congressional election in San Diego woke up a few more politicians.
Step 1 is critical.
Step 1: Do something to convince me and other voters that you are serious about protecting our borders and will actually enforce any legislation you enact. We are shouting as loud as we can.
Are you listening?
Mexico requires a voter ID card to be presented at the polls. A set of digital pictures of all voters for a voting place is sent to the site prior to the election. A Global Positioning Systems map that will pinpoint the address of each voter is also sent. Arizona cannot even keep an accurate list of eligible voters.
What is wrong with this picture?