- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 18, 2006

The president’s amnesty plan

After hearing the president’s speech and seeing the results of votes in the Senate, it’s obvious that the majority of our elected officeholders in both parties have no desire to protect our southern border against whoever is pouring across by the hundreds of thousands every year (“Senate kills bill to seal border first,” Page 1, Wednesday). Everyone knows that we could shut down that border if our “leaders” really wanted to do it. We also know that an overwhelming number of Americans want them to do just that.

In addition to the security risk it poses, the open border is even now changing our country in ways that inevitably will result in the end of our nation as we know it. The U.S. is feeling a terrible strain on our infrastructure (schools, hospitals, prisons, the welfare system), not to mention the billions of dollars that are pouring annually into Mexico from here as a result. Most of the illegal aliens do not speak English, so in order to accommodate them, we are fast becoming a bilingual nation. All they know is they will be better off here than at home because of the society and laws we have instituted. There even is a “reconquista” movement to reclaim Texas, Arizona and some other states for Mexico. Open-border advocates such as Arizona Sen. John McCain had better take that seriously, too.

Years ago, we made sure immigrants came here legally. They came wanting to assimilate into our society and be real American citizens, and they were required to learn about the United States and give up citizenship in any other country. Many illegals don’t want to assimilate; they keep dual citizenship with Mexico, and they place no special value on citizenship except the eligibility for benefits it provides them.

The president’s answer to this situation is to grant citizenship to these people and call that something other than amnesty to make it sound sensible. He is fooling no one. My question to him is: If you can become a citizen of the United States merely by crashing the border, what’s so special about being a citizen of the United States?

BERNARD MORNINGSTAR

Ijamsville, Md.

There are some troubling aspects of the proposal President Bush outlined Monday night that will have huge implications for New Hampshire and all 49 other states (“Bush calls for Guard on border,” Page 1, Tuesday). The major problem is that this issue has not been thoroughly debated and the long-term effects, particularly the “guest worker” provisions, have not been as carefully thought out as they need to be.

We know that illegal aliens are a problem for state governments. We — the legal citizens and residents of the states — bear the burden of their healthcare, housing and education requirements. The guest-worker program does not address all of these.

We still would be obligated to pay for these items. Whether that is proper should be a state debate. Will the financial benefits of these “guests” outweigh the costs? That has not been addressed.

It is very rare that I disagree with Mr. Bush, but I think he has been misled about this costly package called immigration reform. Close the gaping holes in our borders. Address the problems caused by the current illegal aliens in the country and determine how to deal with them.

Then we can debate how much need there really is for guest workers and how to ensure that they are true guests — that they come on our invitation; that they obey our laws; that they pay for their own costs (either directly with their own taxes or indirectly through the taxes or benefits paid for by their employers) — and that they go home.

There is the problem that although called guest workers, they will not be guests. Guests eventually go home. These guests will stay permanently because they will have children who automatically became citizens simply because they were born here.

How can we ask these guests to go home when they are needed here to care for their citizen children? Whether or not this current reform bill, with the guest-worker and amnesty programs, passes, we must once and for all change this illogical process of granting citizenship based solely upon the physical location of the mother at the time of a child’s birth.

When we were a very young country and travel here was difficult, nearly all immigrants were legal, but that is not the case today.

The eventual cost of this guest-worker program, though difficult to estimate to the last penny, will be huge. Because education, welfare and Medicaid are all largely, if not totally, state and local expenses, we must allow the states, local governments and ultimately the individual taxpayers to be heard on this.

Please, Mr. President and members of Congress, do not pass an immigration-reform bill that will make things worse. Simply closing the borders would suffice for today; the rest can wait.

SEN. ROBERT BOYCE

New Hampshire Senate

District 4

Concord, N.H.

It has taken President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress nearly five years since September 11 to start finally securing our borders — too little, too late. There are more than 12 million illegal Mexican aliens in the United States, and the number grows every day.

Mexican President Vicente Fox stated that he is upset that Mr. Bush plans to use the National Guard to secure the border. Well, America is upset with you, Mr. Fox, for aiding and abetting illegal immigration. The Mexican government, per Mr. Fox, published a guide in December 2004 with safety tips for Mexicans illegally crossing into the United States. (This was met with no protest from the Bush administration.)

Most Mexican aliens state that they need employment to survive. Well, a carjacker may need an automobile to transport his family, but that does not make it right to commit a crime. Nor is it right for a thief to steal groceries to feed his family. There are legal and proper remedies to all situations, but not all want to take the time to achieve the desired results.

The U.S. population is 13 percent Hispanic, of which nearly two-thirds are of Mexican descent. (This does not include the more than 12 million illegal Mexicans.) Crimes by Hispanics are rising, with Hispanics making up 12 percent of the probation population and 19 percent of the prison population.

Numerous foreigners throughout the world would love to live and work in the U.S., but our country could not support such an influx of immigrants. Laws are important to society, for without them, society itself would self-destruct. Consequently, the borders need to be secured immediately.

CHRISTIAN GATSBY

Orlando, Fla.

I’m surprised that Tony Blankley thinks this country of 300 million “can absorb” up to 20 million illegal aliens along with the other millions waiting in line to get in (“The price of secure borders,” Op-Ed, Wednesday). Where is it written that America should be the destination of choice for every malcontent on the planet? Certainly our Founding Fathers would have condemned such a plan. A “welcoming society” can easily become a collapsed society.

If President Bush were serious about illegal immigration, he would challenge Mexican President Vicente Fox’s expansionist ambitions. Unfortunately, millions of Mexicans believe our Southwest was stolen in 1848 by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and that they have a “right” to return. Such sentiments were aggressively displayed during the May 1 rallies across the country, in case no one noticed.

Also, why is no one promoting a repeal of the 14th Amendment, which reads in part: “All persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens”? Even with a guest-worker program and biometrically secure ID cards, offspring of these “guests” will automatically become Americans by right of birth. What a bonanza such “anchor babies” will be.

Finally, to convince Mexico that we mean business, all the money transfers by illegal aliens out of the country should be curtailed. Tragically, because of our slack fiduciary attitude, these funds are mostly untaxed. If we cut off the billions of dollars sent to Mexico, Mr. Fox might finally assist us at the border and end his rhetoric of de facto reconquest.

ROSALIND NESTER ELLIS

Baltimore MD

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