National Review Online has an immigration essay by Senator Bill Frist, which contains these key paragraphs:
Last year, Judd Gregg and others lead an effort to hire 1,500 new border patrol agents and build 1,800 new detention beds. The proposal we will consider next week provides nearly $2 billion to build a border fence in high-traffic areas, add new border-patrol aircraft to help police lower traffic areas, and support training for additional Customs and Border Protection Agents.
[Our] action now must occur in concert with finishing action on the bigger immigration bill in May. That legislation contains the full multiyear plan to beef up border-security operations dramatically, including a virtual fence that uses a mix of physical and electronic means to secure every inch of our 1,951-mile border with Mexico.
No, no, no. Wrong. Just as a virtual condom is not a condom, a virtual fence is not a fence. We want a physical barrier, not this:
When it comes to scuttling one’s own presidential ambitions, Bill Frist is doing yeoman’s work.
Charles Krauthammer’s latest column makes the same major point as many of us on the center-right side of immigration politics:
My proposition is this: A vast number of Americans who oppose legalization and fear new waves of immigration would change their minds if we could radically reduce new — i.e., future — illegal immigration.
Forget employer sanctions. Build a barrier. It is simply ridiculous to say it cannot be done. If one fence won’t do it, then build a second 100 yards behind it. And then build a road for patrols in between. Put in cameras. Put in sensors. Put out lots of patrols.
Can’t be done? Israel’s border fence has been extraordinarily successful in keeping out potential infiltrators who are far more determined than mere immigrants. Nor have very many North Koreans crossed into South Korea in the past 50 years.
Of course it will be ugly. So are the concrete barriers to keep truck bombs from driving into the White House. But sometimes necessity trumps aesthetics. And don’t tell me that this is our Berlin Wall. When you build a wall to keep people in, that’s a prison. When you build a wall to keep people out, that’s an expression of sovereignty. The fence around your house is a perfectly legitimate expression of your desire to control who comes into your house to eat, sleep and use the facilities. It imprisons no one.
Of course, no barrier will be foolproof. But it doesn’t have to be. It simply has to reduce the river of illegals to a manageable trickle. Once we can do that, everything becomes possible — most especially, humanizing the situation of our 11 million illegals.
Amen. Building a wall sure beats caving in to the open borders crowd, as the Senate Republican leadership just did.
If you build it, they won’t come.
Michelle Malkin’s latest roundup on the Republican Senate’s immigration wuss-a-palooza says it all.
I also like this handy visual retort to the open borders crowd:
As I said yesterday, build a wall first and deal with the rest later. I’ll let Michelle rip the amnesty deal for me. My temper’s too short on this subject to write anything temperate right now.
I’ve been keeping quiet on the illegal immigration debate, because I know I’m likely to get hot under the collar and write something I’ll regret later. Both of my parents are naturalized citizens, as are my uncles and aunts, and as were my grandparents. As a child of legal immigrants, I’m quite anti-illegal-alien in my outlook. That’s why I’ve been biting my tongue. However, I’m also a veteran, and national security is my number one priority. Since the Senate has crafted a disastrous “compromise” on illegal immigration today, there’s one thing I simply must put on the record now: America needs to build a wall along the entire Mexican border, and we need to do it as soon as possible.
I approach the problem as a retired Coast Guardsman. The massive influx of illegals is like seawater flooding a ship through a hole in the hull. The top priority is to stop the flooding. Pumping the water out can wait. Drying out the wet spaces belowdecks can wait. Upgrading to a thicker hull can wait. Plug the hole first. Deal with the results afterward.
This is a national security issue, not a race issue or an economic issue. This wouldn’t be a “Berlin Wall”; our wall would keep enemies out, not oppressed citizens in. Our border with Mexico is our giant back door, and it’s hanging wide open. Locking the front door and putting bars on the windows makes no sense if we leave the back door open. Islamists can slip into our Southwest as easily as anybody else can, and they aren’t looking for jobs. No “virtual wall” will do. We need a long, high physical barrier like the one Israel built. Israel’s wall drastically reduced the number of terrorist attacks from the West Bank and Gaza, and ours would make it much harder for terrorists to perpetrate a new Beslan massacre in Arizona.
I understand that making our border into a barrier will upset the Mexican government, but I care more about our national security than I care about keeping the Mexicans happy. I understand that illegal immigrants will try to find other ways into the country. Fine; we’ll plug those gaps when we find them. We might want to build another wall along some or all of our border with Canada, too, and I’m willing to start near Detroit. But our top priority must be to build a long, high wall between us and Mexico. Every other immigration issue can wait.
There, I said it.
Update: Hugh Hewitt knows what’s most important, too.
The blowback continues. Julie Myers, President Bush’s nominee to head the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency under the Department of Homeland Security, looks like a baldfaced example of a political crony being rewarded with a fat paycheck for having all the right connections.
Michelle Malkin fires a second blog broadside into the Julie Myers nomination, and follows up with a syndicated column. Debbie Schlussel’s latest post lifts the slimy rock concealing ICE’s corruption, mismanagement, and border-enforcement laxity, and asks how Myers can possibly be qualified to clean it all up. RedState.org joins the chorus, and even finds legal support to torpedo the cute 36-year-old lawyer. The Roanoke Times posts a three-paragraph editorial that’s dead on-target.
Bush crony nominated to guard U.S. borders
I’m happy to see that Michelle Malkin is on the warpath against Julie Myers, President Bush’s nominee to head the the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Myers is a woefully underqualified 35 year old Washington lawyer whose resume reveals scant experience with immigration law … or law enforcement of any kind. If confirmed, this youngster will report to Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and she’ll be running the second-largest investigative agency in the federal government. Among other things, she’ll have a multi-billion-dollar budget, 20,000+ subordinates, and she will be responsible for guarding our leaky borders against terrorist infiltrators, illegal aliens and drug smugglers.
Here’s the real outrage. Myers has two family connections to the Bush Administration, says The Washington Post:
Her uncle is Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, the departing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She married Chertoff’s current chief of staff, John F. Wood, on Saturday.
Holy freakin’ cannolis! Rescind that nomination now, Mr. President, and deliver a swift kick in the rump to whoever advised you to choose Julie Myers.
Incidentally, The Washington Times jumped on this four days ago.
Hat tip: Froggy Ruminations (who rips the nomination a new one)
More conservative criticism:
Debbie Schlussel (I love the “Brunette Barbie” line)
Ankle Biting Pundits
How can our Border Patrol agents secure our increasingly violent frontiers with less funding? They sure can’t look to the Army or Marine Corps for help.
Well, at least we can be happy that Congressman Chris Cannon’s no longer on the House Subcommittee on Immigration, so that’s one less open borders fan gumming up the works. And there’s always public support for border enforcement … just ask the University of North Texas students who created “Capture An Illegal Immigrant Day” (are you following all this, Matt?).
Michelle Malkin asks a great question about Social Security and Homeland Security.
Remember when the INS sent visas to two of the dead 9/11 hijackers? Well, the idiots in the federal government have outdone themselves. On January 15th, 2005 the Department of Homeland Security finally got around to issuing a green card to Mr. Eugueni Kniazev. He won’t be coming in to pick up his card … because he died in the 9/11 attacks.
Michelle Malkin has all the details. Unbelievable.