- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Porous borders, alien amnesties undermine Bush's terrorism tough talk

President Bush says "we" can do a better job of making our borders more secure ("The very thin blue line," Editorial, May 26). The president needs to do a better job of providing border security, not us. Mr. Bush continues to allow James Zigler to run the Immigration and Naturalization Service even though it is common knowledge that Mr. Zigler believes it is not practical or reasonable to deport illegal aliens from within our country. Mr. Bush incessantly pushes for a blanket amnesty for millions of illegal aliens despite polls showing overwhelming opposition to such a move. Mr. Bush constantly panders to Hispanic sensitivities; thus, serious efforts to secure our borders are only half measures that take a back seat to economic concerns. The only thin blue line I see is the tightrope President Bush is trying to walk.

A secure border is an all-or-nothing proposition. Regrettably, Mr. Bush, as the history books will show, will not live up to the task.


Mount Airy, Md.

I am a Hispanic; I came to the United States as a legal immigrant, learned English, became a U.S. citizen and am a Republican.

I am furious at President Bush's ambivalent statements and actions toward illegal immigration and securing our borders. He has appointed James Zigler as INS commissioner, knowing the man does not believe in borders. Mr. Bush claims we must make our borders more secure, but at the same time, he insists on rewarding illegal aliens by supporting amnesty for them. He knows another amnesty will be a signal for more to come in defiance of our laws.

From the president on down to local law enforcement, no one wants to implement our laws. Our government continues to ignore our immigration laws, and employers continue to attract illegal aliens.

During the Eisenhower administration, there was an illegal alien sweep (Operation Wetback) that was carried out very efficiently. The INS showed up at the alien's door, watched him pack and then put him on a plane for home. No advance notice, no lawyers and no courts. We are at war with terrorism, and the safety of the American people should come first.


Laguna Woods, Calif.

Your editorial "The very thin blue line" aptly addressed the Bush administration's approach to the war on terrorism and its immigration policy: Do just enough to satisfy appearances. Our airports still are not X-raying baggage; our borders leak like sieves; the bad guys will always get through.

President Bush's attitude toward immigration seems to be summed up in five words: "Will it get me re-elected?" He continues to support amnesty for illegal aliens, though he calls it something else. The administration is still scheming to pass Amendment 245(i), which would allow illegal aliens to gain permanent status without proper criminal background checks, even though it already was shot down when it was slipped into earlier bills. He still supports a guest worker program that is designed to assist his pal Vicente Fox, and he will do nothing about Mexican troops and federal law enforcement forces shooting at the Border Patrol on our side of the border because that might incur the wrath of the Mexicans.


Border Solution Task Force

San Diego

Networks dishonor veterans' sacrifices

Was our National Moment of Remembrance forgotten or merely ignored? By presidential proclamation (and with the support of a bevy of organizational co-sponsors), 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day was designated as a National Moment of Remembrance. In theory, all radio and television stations were to offer a retrospective and feature the playing of "Taps" while Americans paused to remember the sacrifices that helped secure and preserve their freedoms.

So, there we were, veterans of every American conflict since World War II, gathered in Arlington, home of our nation's most sacred shrine, to answer once again our country's call for a moment from our lives to remember the fallen.

So, what did we see at 3 p.m. from the media that arrogantly proclaim from Freedom Park in Rosslyn a stone's throw from Arlington National Cemetery that they preserve our freedoms? NBC: commercials and basketball. CBS: commercials. CNN: "Taps" broken into for an update on the day-old Oklahoma bridge collapse. Is 60 seconds so hard to come by?

"If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow, In Flander's Fields."



John Lyon VFW Post 3150

Arlington, Va.

Don't budge on Burma

In his May 21 Op-Ed column, "Open the Doors to Burma," Ken Adelman writes that the United States should remove sanctions against Burma because 1991 Nobel peace laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been released from house arrest. His suggestion that Burma's illegal military regime will respond more positively toward a policy of appeasement contradicts her views and that of the Congress.

Mr. Adelman also claims that the United States "cut off imports of Burmese textiles that accounted for 40 percent of Burma's exports to the United States."On the contrary, Burma's illegal military regime continues to exploit this major loophole in U.S. sanctions, earning nearly $500 million last year alone.

The Bush administration deserves our praise for standing on principle and maintaining pressure on Burma's thuggish regime while 1,500 political prisoners remain behind bars, democracy is forbidden and the country remains the world's leading producer of illegal opium. Of course, we have always welcomed concrete and consistent progress on these fronts, including the eradication of drugs. However, many of my colleagues and I would agree with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi that the sanctions should be maintained until the National League for Democracy has finished negotiating with the junta. Until such a time, sanctions, rather than appeasement, will bring about the restoration of democracy to Burma.

Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman

Chairman emeritus

House Committee on International Relations


Middle East and South Asia subcommittee

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