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Bordering on inanity.

ITEM: Mexican President Vicente Fox, reported Pravda for December 19, 2005, "likened a U.S. plan to build 1,100 kilometers (700 miles) offence along its border with Mexico to the Berlin wall, saying it was a hypocritical move coming from a nation of immigrants. Speaking at an event for migrants in his home state of Guanajuato, Fox said on Sunday that barriers between nations belonged in the past and, like the Berlin wall in 1989, were torn down by people striving for liberty and democracy. "This wall is shameful," Fox said. "It's not possible that in the 21st century we're building walls between two nations that are neighbors, between two nations that are brothers, between two nations that are partners."

ITEM: An Associated Press dispatch in the December 19 Miami Herald noted that Fox had "stepped up his attacks against a U.S. plan to build 700 miles offence along its border, saying it was a 'shameful' initiative for a democracy." Fox "said barriers between nations belong to the last century and, like the Berlin Wall in 1989, were torn down by popular uprisings."

ITEM: The Wall Street Journal for December 9 commented that Republican legislators "seem intent not merely on increasing border patrols but also on further harassing law-abiding businesses that happen to hire illegals, as if anyone can tell the difference between real and fake immigration documents. Only Republicans would think it's smart politics to punish their supporters for hiring willing workers."

CORRECTION: The bogus "Berlin Wall" analogy is not only being used by Mexican President Fox, but also by others who must think Americans are particularly ignorant. As even Pravda knows, the wall built by the Communists was designed to keep in their own people, whereas the proposed barrier on the Mexican border is aimed at keeping out aliens trying to get into the U.S. (which already is inundated with 10-20 million illegals).

Mexico has actually been assisting criminals in jumping the border. Moreover, the Mexican government has now begun running radio advertisements instructing workers, including those breaking the law, on how to sue for their presumed "rights" in the United States. As the Associated Press has reported, the ads say, for example, "Had a labor accident in the United States? You have rights"--followed by a telephone number. The ads, notes AP, are "sponsored by Mexico's Foreign Relations Department, which has helped migrants bring compensation suits in the United States."

Congressman J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) hit back not long ago against Fox's anti-American rhetoric. "What's disgraceful is President Fox presuming to lecture the United States on how best to protect itself against an invasion--an invasion that has his wholehearted advocacy," he told Human Events. "He needs to stop his advocacy of an invasion of his countrymen into our nation. What's shameful is that, as the president of the republic of Mexico, he does nothing to stem this invasion. He actively endorses it."

Few Penalties for Hiring Illegals

Equally asinine is the assertion pushed by the Wall Street Journal editors that employers should not try to find out--indeed are incapable of determining--whether their employees are in this country legally. Such claims are largely spurious. That supposed ignorance, as pointed out by John C. Eastland, director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence at Chapman University, "lasts only as long as [the] employers' first quarterly filings of withholding taxes, because they receive a letter from the government notifying them that the Social Security number does not match the employee's name."

Enforcement of laws duly passed by Congress has become an open joke. Even when illegals are apprehended, relatively few are detained. They are given summonses, then released and told to report for deportation hearings. Guess what? Most don't show up.

Nor do employers worry much about being caught breaking the law. Back in 1999, reported the Washington Post on December 18, 2005, "the government issued 417 notices of intent to fine employers for hiring undocumented workers." In 2004, that number dropped to three, according to the Government Accountability Office. Even when employers were caught hiring undocumented workers, the penalties have typically been minor, the GAO found.[??]

Illegal aliens threaten security and budgets--and not just on the borders. The number of illegal immigrants in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., jumped almost 70 percent between 2000 and 2004--to an estimated 500,000, according to the Pew Hispanic Research Center. In California, the price tag for providing services to illegals is estimated to run to some $10 billion each year--including $7.7 billion to educate the children of illegal immigrants; $1.4 billion for uncompensated medical care; and $1.4 billion in law-enforcement and incarceration costs.

These numbers will rise unless legislators take action. As it is, about one in every 10 births in the U.S., and as many as one in five births in California, are to women who have illegally entered the United States, says Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

Handcuffing Border Patrol Agents

The Mexican and U.S. governments have decided to work on their images, rather than to enforce the laws. The Mexican government has just hired a firm (from Texas) to do public-relations work in connection with the immigration issue, and parts of the U.S. executive branch seem intent on sabotaging legitimate law-enforcement efforts.

Some of the fault lies with policies of Customs and Border Protection, which includes the Border Patrol. The agency was created in 2003, after a reorganization effort by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Border Patrol agents have of late found themselves being prevented from patrolling beyond 50 yards of the border. Pressure groups representing illegals complained about raids carried out by Border Patrol personnel, so the Customs and Border Patrol commissioner largely restricted where the Border Patrol could do its job--often requiring written permission from the Department of Homeland Security in Washington if its officers try to stray from the border. (Meanwhile, those who work with the DHS tell this reporter that if it weren't for private contractors, the department would be almost stuck in place with antiterrorism efforts, its alleged primary job.)

The border officers have been in bureaucratic straitjackets for years. As summarized in the San Bernardino County Sun: "Agents recite a litany of causes they perceive as the real reasons border enforcement is so problematic: They have been told to back off from arresting migrants because of pressure from Mexican officials. They release numerous illegal immigrants inside the United States because there's no room for them in detention centers. They've had their powers taken from them by laws that protect illegal migrants and smugglers more than American citizens."

Because they are undermined from the top, Border Patrol enforcement officers are the ones who seem handcuffed--not the illegals.

In California, for example, human smugglers hardly bother to disguise their efforts. As noted in the San Bernardino paper, "They no longer hide. In Arizona, along the Sonoran desert, illegal immigrants pelt Border Patrol agents' vehicles with large rocks. And on occasion, agents have had armed showdowns with Mexican military, who they believe work for drug cartels in border towns along the frontier."

The illegals are certainly aware that the Border Patrol officers are hindered by orders from above, including Washington policies. "The migrants know what Border Patrol agents already know--resources are limited, agents lack sufficient manpower, and once the crossing takes place, 'if you move fast enough ... you can disappear into the streets and into America,'" said one former convict.

It is not just illegal immigrants who pose an elusive target for Border Patrol agents, points out the California paper. "The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) shifting policies about border enforcement have patrol employees perpetually wondering which end is up, said T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents border agents."

If the weather changes, so do policies. After Hurricane Katrina, waivers were granted to "workers" supposedly entering the U.S. to assist with rebuilding efforts--but checks were reportedly rare. Documents were handed to foreigners based on the simple assertion that they would be involved in relief efforts.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:illegal immigrants, Mexico-US border
Author:Hoar, William P.
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1MEX
Date:Jan 23, 2006
Previous Article:Private policy.
Next Article:Abortion's effect on America.

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