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The Clinton administration did not act alone. Some members of the very Congress that passed the laws in the first place pressured enforcement agencies not to enforce the law at the behest of business interests that profit from an unchecked flow of tractable labor. The Bush administration completed the process by ending what remained of interior enforcement and by continuing the charade of border controls.
The Livermore Sector of the Border Patrol in the San Francisco Bay Area was, according to one former senior Border Patrol official, “man for man the most productive in the country.” It was shut down in 2004.
The 9/11 Commission recommended an increase in the manpower of the Border Patrol, and in 2005, following those recommendations Congress authorized the hiring of 2,000 more Border Patrol agents. But the president’s budget allocated only enough money for 210 agents, not even enough to cover attrition. When asked about the paltry sum, outgoing Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge said that money for such purposes is “fool’s gold.”
Since June 2004 the Border Patrol has been restricted to the border itself and to stationary points, thus ending one of its traditional missions — sweeping interior regions for illegal aliens. One frustrated agent says this unprecedented policy is the equivalent of putting a ten-yard limit on bank robbery: if the robber gets beyond that point he can keep the money.
Joe Dessaro, a recently retired Border Patrol agent and union chief, wrote in his farewell letter to the union that the Border Patrol is “one of the most inefficient and misleading agencies in the history of government.” Echoing this sentiment another agent hundreds of miles away observes that “the whole thing is the biggest bunco job in history, spending millions not to do the job.”
None of this is lost on those who would cross the border illegally. They know that once across the line they are home free, and that if caught at the border they will be returned to try again until they make it. One agent says he caught the same man three times in one shift at the same place on the fence. Border crossers also know the routine. When they are picked up and put in vans, some ask, “Where are my juice and crackers?”p> CITIZEN RESPONSE br> Special interests and a growing illegal immigration lobby have been able to completely trump majority opinion on immigration, leaving the public little opportunity to express its wishes. One means employed by the public to get around special interest obstruction is the ballot initiative. /p>
In 1992 when the flow of illegal entrants created such havoc on the border and became such an obvious drain on public services, the people of California passed, by a margin of 59 percent, Proposition 187, a ballot measure designed to deny public benefits to anyone in the country illegally. A federal judge and later a Democratic governor, both using questionable means, showed contempt both for the people’s will and the democratic process when they jettisoned the new law.
In 2005 frustrated citizens tried another ballot initiative, Proposition 200 in Arizona, but given the kind of obstruction we know so well it will probably never be enforced.
The Minuteman Project was yet another attempt by frustrated and increasingly angry citizens to express their opposition to a de facto open-border policy. The project worked.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?