I’m certainly no fan of the Bush administration, but it’s time to give some credit where it’s due. Amazingly, the administration actually seems to be serious about cracking down on illegal immigration. Erecting many more miles of fence, adding to the ranks of the border patrol and conducting raids across the country – it’s all evidence of an intensified effort to control the border. Much more could be done of course, but this is all a great start.
The Bush administration is vowing to carry out its unprecedented crackdown on undocumented immigrants for the remainder of the year — without regard to any political fallout during the presidential campaign.
In a sign of its resolve, agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, have detained 1,755 people in raids conducted in May alone.
Nearly 3,700 illegal immigrants have been arrested in dozens of business sweeps since October, immigration officials told the Houston Chronicle, far ahead of the previous year’s pace.
It puzzles me that this administration, who pandered to Latino voters and seemed to wink and nod at illegal immigration, now seems quite serious about putting a stop to it. Is it possible that, now that the corporate lobbyists pulling Bush’s strings have given up any hope of immigration “reform” during his administration, he feels unencumbered and free to do what he really wants? Is Bush, the citizen, now calling the shots on immigration instead of Bush, the corporate puppet? Is it possible that illegal immigration actually ticks him off just as much as any of us?
Or, giving free rein to my cynical side, is there something else going on here? Is this a show to tamp down the fire of anti-illegal sentiment, setting the stage for another push for “reform” (that is, amnesty and “guest workers” ) in the next administration?
Whatever the reason, let’s celebrate the fact that some progress is being made in deporting illegals and, perhaps more importantly, deterring more of them from coming. But let’s not let down our guard. Now it’s time to begin pressuring your representatives to ratchet back legal immigration as well. With all of the challenges this nation faces in attaining energy independence, reducing carbon emissions and removing all of the population growth-driven pressures from our economy, the time has come to stop exacerbating our problems by importing more and more people. Our U.S. population is projected to expand by 100-150 million additional people by 2050, almost all due to our extreme rate of immigration. Let’s not let that happen. Write your congressmen and senators and encourage them to enact reductions in every category of legal immigration.