Fences and ladders.Byline: The Register-Guard
Don't be fooled. The bill that President Bush signed into law Thursday authorizing 700 miles of new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border was designed to help Republicans keep control of Congress, not to do something serious about immigration reform Immigration reform is the common term used in political discussions regarding changes to immigration policy. In a certain sense, reform can be general enough to include promoted, expanded, or open immigration, but in reality discussions of reform often deal with the aspect of .
The bill authorizes construction of 700 miles of double-layer fencing plus electric sensors and other high-tech doodads along sections of the nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico. Simple subtraction subtraction, fundamental operation of arithmetic; the inverse of addition. If a and b are real numbers (see number), then the number a−b is that number (called the difference) which when added to b (the subtractor) equals - 2,000 minus 700 equals 1,300 miles of unfenced border - answers the question of how effective the new fence will be at sealing the border and keeping out illegal immigrants illegal immigrant n. an alien (non-citizen) who has entered the United States without government permission or stayed beyond the termination date of a visa. (See: alien) .
Even if Congress had authorized a fence across the entire length of the border, it wouldn't stop immigrants from crossing. As Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano Janet Napolitano (b. November 29, 1957) is the current governor of the U.S. state of Arizona, originally elected in 2002, and re-elected in 2006. She is Arizona's third female governor, and the first female to win re-election. has said, "Show me a 50-foot wall, and I'll show you a 51-foot ladder." Or, as T.J. Bonner, president of a union representing Border Patrol agents, said after Bush signed the bill, "A fence will slow people down by a minute or two ... we're not talking about some impenetrable im·pen·e·tra·ble
1. Impossible to penetrate or enter: an impenetrable fortress.
2. Impossible to understand; incomprehensible: impenetrable jargon. barrier."
The Secure Fence Act is all about appearance - persuading voters that lawmakers are hard at work securing our borders and protecting national security. But anyone who has gone beyond bumper-sticker slogans about immigration reform understands that enforcement is just one part of the solution. Yes, a fence may make it harder for illegal immigrants to enter this country, but it won't stop them - it may even make it more likely that those already in this country will remain.
Five months ago, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan comprehensive reform bill, supported by President Bush, that addressed all three elements of the immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. equation: law enforcement, the estimated 12 million undocumented workers already in the country, and the visa system. The measure called for tougher border policing and workplace verification of legal residency A duration of stay required by state and local laws that entitles a person to the legal protection and benefits provided by applicable statutes.
States have required state residency for a variety of rights, including the right to vote, the right to run for public office, the , while expanding guest-worker programs matching willing immigrant workers with jobs that might otherwise go unfilled. The bill also would have made it possible for many of those already here illegally to eventually obtain legal residency.
House Republicans refused to have anything to do with this sensible Senate measure, and the GOP leadership even refused to appoint a conference committee to work out the differences between the two reform bills.
After spending the spring and summer conducting scripted public hearings aimed at whipping WHIPPING, punishment. The infliction of stripes.
2. This mode of punishment, which is still practiced in some of the states, is a relict of barbarism; it has yielded in most of the middle and northern states to the penitentiary system. up anti-immigrant hysteria hysteria (hĭstĕr`ēə), in psychology, a disorder commonly known today as conversion disorder, in which a psychological conflict is converted into a bodily disturbance. , Republicans realized they had nothing to show voters. So they hurriedly passed the Secure Fence Act, hoping voters would believe that they'd been hard at work fixing the nation's immigration woes.
President Bush and Republican moderates in the Senate went along with the fence bill in the hope that Congress will next turn to more comprehensive reforms. As Bush noted Thursday, "We must face the reality that millions of illegal immigrants are already here."
It's far from certain that the next Congress will have the courage and resolve needed to face that reality. But sooner or later, lawmakers must treat immigration as the complex and long-term problem that it is.