The National Border Patrol Council, which represents all 9,000 of the Border Patrols nonsupervisory agents, has told its members to challenge President Bushs proposed guest-worker program, calling it a “slap in the face to anyone who has ever tried to enforce the immigration laws of the United States.”
The agents are told in a letter from Vice President John Frecker that the proposal offered last week during a White House press conference “implies that the country really wasnt serious about” immigration enforcement in the first place.
“Hey, you know all those illegal aliens you risked ‘life and limb to apprehend? FAH-GED-ABOWD-IT,” said Mr. Frecker, a veteran Border Patrol agent. “President Bush has solved the problem. Dont be confused and call this an ‘amnesty, even though those who are here illegally will suddenly become legal and will be allowed to stay here.
“The president assures us that its not an amnesty,” he said.
On Wednesday, Mr. Bush proposed sweeping immigration changes that would allow the 8 million to 12 million illegal aliens thought to be in the United States to remain in the country if they have a job and apply for a guest-worker card.
The immigrants could stay for renewable three-year periods, after which they could apply for permanent legal residence.
Mr. Frecker told the agents that the Bush proposal, if approved, would result in increased illegal immigration at the nations borders.
“While youre out there trying to do your jobs, which the country isnt too serious about, youll have to deal with the expected increase in attempted (illegal aliens), who are trying to get here to take advantage of the proposed amnesty oops, earned legality,” Mr. Frecker said.
“Those who are waiting to sneak in will be allowed to come as ‘temporary (yeah, right) guest workers,” he said. “Well, first they need to find a willing employer wholl offer them a job at minimum wages after he claims he just cant find a legal worker to take the job. Then the poor employer is just going to have to go outside the U.S. to find his workers. Those darn Americans just dont want to work.”
The letter urges the members to call the White House and let the president know what they think.
“While youre at it, call your senators and congressmen. Or write. Or FAX. Or email. Or all of the above. It only takes a few minutes and it really does matter,” he said. “I think theyll listen a little closer to a Border Patrol employee who says that this is demoralizing or whatever you want to call it.”
Mr. Frecker told The Washington Times that the Bush guest-worker proposal was “insulting,” saying it diminished efforts by agents at the nations borders who risk their lives every day to stop illegal immigration.
“The border is, maybe, 10 percent more secure than it was prior to September 11, but it is still out of control,” he said. “Before we do anything else, we need to make sure the border is secure, that illegal aliens in the country are being apprehended and that employer sanctions are being enforced.”
He also questioned the ability of an overburdened immigration enforcement system to handle the millions of guest-worker and residency applications, noting that only 2,000 immigration inspectors are available to review the applications.