- The Washington Times - Friday, February 17, 2006

A Georgia Republican says President Bush needs to immediately order at least 36,000 federal troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to stop a flood of illegal aliens.

“There’s no excuse for this. We know right now how to bring this flood of illegal immigration to a virtual halt within the next two weeks,” Rep. Charlie Norwood said during a House floor speech this week. “We need somewhere between 36,000 and 48,000 troops immediately deployed to the southern border.

“We need the president to order the Department of Defense to fund the mission 100 percent,” Mr. Norwood said. “And we need new legislation forcing the issue if action is not forthcoming.”

Mr. Norwood has submitted legislation to give 600,000 state and local police officers authority to enforce U.S. immigration law, but it has stalled in the House Judiciary Committee.

In the meantime, Mr. Norwood said a million illegal aliens enter this country each year under the nation’s current enforcement policies and by the time U.S. Border Patrol manpower increases approved in this year’s budget are in place and newly authorized technology and fencing is operable, more than 4 million additional illegals will enter the United States.

“We know it will happen because it happens every year under current enforcement policy, and we’re going right ahead with the same old plan,” he said. “We’ll continue crowing about how we’re adding 1,500 new border agents in 2007 that won’t be in the field until 2009, letting another 2 million illegal aliens walk across.

“We’ll rattle on about how we’re adding technology and fencing that won’t be ready until 2010, allowing another million illegals in,” he said. “Right now, with our current budget and reform plans, we are by default agreeing to allow an additional 4 million illegal aliens into our country, the equivalent of the entire population of South Carolina.”

Mr. Norwood said the Minuteman Project in April in Arizona and in October all along the U.S.-Mexico border showed that between 18 and 24 additional enforcement personnel per mile could effectively secure the nation’s border.

“And it wasn’t just the Minuteman Project that revealed these statistics,” he said. “The U.S. Border Patrol conducted similar demonstration projects in 1993 — ‘Operation Blockade’ in El Paso and ‘Operation Gatekeeper’ in San Diego — that produced nearly identical results,” he said.

Mr. Norwood said the deployment of troops to the border would cost $2.5 billion a year, less than 4 percent of the minimum $70 billion a year the nation currently is spending covering the health care, education and incarceration costs of illegal aliens.

He also said it would take a week to get U.S. troops on the line, the same length of time it took the U.S. Northern Command to place 70,000 National Guard and U.S. Army troops on the Gulf Coast in response to Katrina.

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