Seal the border, enforce the law
I was very disappointed to read that Rep. James Sensenbrenner is open to a temporary guest-worker program as part of a compromise with the Senate on the immigration reform bill (” ‘Amnesty’ jams compromise bill” Page 1, Saturday). It looks as if the House already has begun backing away from its tough border-enforcement-only position.
The guest-worker provision (along with the increase in H1-B visas) is just a legal ploy to continue the massive flood of cheap foreign labor to undercut the American worker.
It makes border enforcement almost meaningless. This big business giveaway goes hand in hand with President Bush’s globalist agenda to outsource much of America’s industry to obtain cheap foreign labor. No wonder Tony Snow zeroed in on Mr. Sensenbrenner’s guest worker comments.
Americans are being betrayed by Mr. Bush and self-serving politicians of both parties as they sell out America’s workers and sovereignty for cheap labor (and votes).
It is critical for conservative pundits to urge patriotic Americans to relentlessly pressure House members to hold firm and accept neither a guest-worker bill nor amnesty. No bill is better than one that promotes stealth open borders.
Besides, Mr. Bush can solve the immigration crisis without new legislation by aggressively enforcing existing immigration law, including immediately adding more border agents and cracking down on lawbreaking employers.
It was front-page news on Monday that Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. will not accept the amnesty provisions of the Senate’s immigration bill (“House chief says ‘no’ to amnesty bill,” Page 1).
However, when I spoke to a congressman at the local Viva Vienna street fair, he said the Republicans might be forced to compromise on the “guest-worker program.” Does that mean, I asked, that the workers go home each year, or do they stay for several years? “It means they can stay for several years,” he replied.
Back in the 1950s, we had a seasonal temporary workers arrangement, the Brazos program, through which the seasonal demand for picking fruit and vegetables was met legally by workers who came, worked and went back home each year.
It worked very well until Congress changed the law, ostensibly to give the resident unemployed a chance to work hard in the hot sun for minimum pay. When the local unemployed refused this wonderful offer and the crops started rotting, the growers sent their trucks into Mexico and brought in the workers regardless of the law.
Soon the workers all found that it was less dangerous and more efficient just to stay here permanently. That was the start of our present crisis.
We have never enforced a repatriation program, and it will be quite impossible to enforce a repatriation program in the future. The law may say the workers have to return after several years’ residence, but it certainly will not be enforced.
By that time, they will have children who are legal U.S. citizens, and we certainly are not going to break up families just to get rid of our overstaying “guests.”
The House Republicans must stick to essentials. Seal the border and re-establish the Brazos seasonal workers program. That’s all, and that’s enough. The illegals who work and stay out of trouble should be left alone. Only criminals should be punished by prison or ejected from the country.
CARL E. OCKERT
In the combat zone
The investigation into the Haditha incident is not even complete, no one has been charged, and no defense has been given to the charges, but politicians such as Rep. John Murtha and liberals in the news media already want to publicly hang some young Marines (“General to teach rules of war” Nation, Friday).
Before you pass judgment on these young men, you must step out of the fantasyland in which most Americans live and understand there is a war in Iraq and, as in any war, nothing is black and white.
There is no way to understand the Al Anbar Province of Iraq until you have lived here in this combat zone. The culture is different, and in this urban guerrilla war, jeopardizing the lives of your family members and neighbors is perfectly acceptable behavior for the terrorist insurgent.
There are many good people in Iraq. I have had the opportunity to work with some very brave Iraqi army soldiers and interpreters who risk not only their lives, but also those of their families for just a chance at freedom, but be aware that there also is an evil here that people in America cannot even imagine, let alone fully understand.
Terrorist insurgents constantly use civilians, their own people, as human shields, especially women and children. They know that American soldiers and Marines will hesitate to return fire in these instances, giving the terrorists time to retreat back into the population.
They will shoot from their own homes, plant bombs (IEDs) in their own markets and are more than willing to perform suicidal attacks for even a chance to kill an American or Iraqi soldier. Those are the facts, I have seen these things in Al Anbar.
If these Marines are guilty, they will have to pay the consequences for their actions, but at least allow them a defense and a fair trial before you pass judgment.
We in the military do not want your pity.
We are not victims, we are volunteers willing to serve in this extremely difficult situation in defense of our nation. If you want to direct your hate at someone, hate the evil terrorist insurgency that puts civilians, soldiers and Marines in these situations every day here in Al Anbar.
SGT. MARK RUSSAK
Al Anbar Province, Iraq
The recent statements, comments and accusations levied by Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat, charging that our troops are murdering and killing innocent civilians, are irresponsible and prejudicial toward our brave armed forces fighting the war on terror in Iraq.
Mr. Murtha’s claims of a coverup of the incidents that took place on Nov. 19 at Haditha come even before a formal investigation by the U.S. military authorities has been completed.
Such irresponsible statements as Mr. Murtha made not only harm the war on terror but insult the brave troops that put their lives on the line daily. The accusation has no merit and smells of political motivations by Mr. Murtha against the administration and the conduct of this war.
As a Vietnam-era combat veteran, I deplore such irresponsible statements made by Mr. Murtha against our armed forces in Iraq.
‘Hideout’ on the Hill
I agree with Wesley Pruden’s columnconcerningRep. William Jefferson, whose congressional office was searched (“Living a good life outside the law,” Pruden on Politics, Friday). The office Mr. Jefferson uses is not his. He has no right, title or interest in it. The office belongs to the federal government and certainly is not his to use as he pleases, such as making it a “hideout” as suggested by Mr. Pruden. Legally I would doubt that a search warrant is needed by the federal government to search its own property. It probably is prudent to get a search warrant, but only to ensure there are no loopholes.
The Constitution bans unreasonable searches and seizures. Mr. Jefferson’s office is his to use during his term in office. The speaker can reassign another office to him at any time. The search was in no way a violation of constitutional law, as Mr. Jefferson claims.
RICHARD R. HAIGHT