May 24, 2006
Building A Wall To Amnesty
Lee P. Butler
Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. said, “Regardless of what the president says, what he is proposing is amnesty.”
Sensenbrenner was reacting to President Bush’s address to the nation and was disappointed by the proposal passed in
the Senate that designated the building of 370 miles of fence that would ‘wall off’ sections of the American border
with Mexico and it represents the mantra coming from many Conservatives on this issue.
The basic idea behind the building
of the wall is that it, along with border patrol agents and now after the President’s request, National Guardsmen, will
prevent the steady influx of illegal aliens from crossing the border into America.
That concept, when put into place,
might actually stifle the flow of illegal immigration and could eventually stop the problem. Still, it is something tangible
that addresses a situation that is not popular among American citizens who see the government ignoring the law breakers and
the employers that are hiring them.
Others are concerned about the financial drain the illegal aliens who are currently
in this country and number by some estimates as much as 15 million people are putting on municipal budgets through the use
of many different social services.
In many cases they are paid ‘under-the-table’ so they only contribute
to societal entitlements in the form of sales taxes and often send much of their income back to Mexico that totals in the
billions of dollars.
Most Conservatives have a hard time getting past the fact that people coming from Mexico and some
other assorted places crossing the border is an act that breaks existing laws that were put into place to supposedly prevent
that illegal activity.
The problem today is those laws have not been enforced with any seriousness since 1986 when
President Reagan gave the illegal aliens who were in the country at that time amnesty along with the promise that the border
would be secured.
Since that apparently didn’t happen anything that even comes remotely close to allowing those
who’ve entered the country without permission in the interim is labeled ‘amnesty’ no matter what stipulations
are added to the proposal.
Which leads us to the President’s ‘guest worker program’.
addressing an audience recently, President Bush said, “There ought to be a way for somebody to pay a fine or learn English,
or you know, prove that they’ve been here for a long time working and be able to get in line, not the head of the line,
but in the back of the line in order to become a citizen.”
Conservative critics of the president call that plan
As a matter of fact, those critics say that if the illegals are able to stay in this country
after they have broken our laws by simply entering the country illegally, whatever proposal that creates a situation where
those people remain in this country, even with restrictions, is the same as ‘amnesty’.
Except for one.
get to that in moment. Let’s look at the fence first.
Every poll shows that Americans overwhelming want the border
with Mexico closed. It doesn’t really matter how that objective is met; with a wall, the border patrol, the National
Guard, or a combination of all of them, which is the method the President seems to be implementing, along with the inclusion
of his guest worker program.
On that, the critics started barking again. From the Right he was hit by charges that
he was just not being serious about the issue especially since he won’t drop the ‘amnesty’ part of his plan.
The Left is accusing him of ‘kow-towing’ to the ‘right-wing’ of his Party and trying to put a bandage
on his bleeding poll numbers.
In other words, the man can’t win.
Then you look at the proposed 370 mile
addition of fence at the border and you find out that the cost of the fence built on the San Diego border hit $3.8 million
per mile and that doesn’t include the millions of dollars that will be spent to add the National Guard troops to the
region while new border patrol agents are trained to take their place.
But that’s the cost of national security
and many Conservatives pointed out that the cost to secure the border will be far less than the cost of the illegals in the
country using the social services our local government’s provide.
Which takes us back to the one thing many critics
have yet to accept as also being ‘amnesty’.
The true definition of amnesty is the complete forgiveness
or pardoning by a government to a person who has broken a law of that government.
An illegal alien is a person who
has broken our law by entering our country without the proper documentation or having followed the proper channels to be here.
The punishment of that offense is supposed to be extradition, so anything short of that critics of the President attack as
Yet, many of those same critics assert that their main concern with the 15 million illegal aliens
currently in this country is that more of them are crossing the border daily, so closing the border is the only solution that
can be implemented and nothing more to prevent that accusation.
They say then, and only then, can we begin to address
the problem of having those illegal aliens in our country. When they are confronted with the idea that it is an impossibility
to remove those people from America through deportation... they quickly start rambling the mantra that ‘nobody is calling
for a mass deportation’ of illegals.
In one breath they assert that if while we are closing the
border the illegal aliens are allowed to stay in this country through the guest worker program where they have to pay a fine,
back taxes, and then be placed at the back of the legalization line, anything short of that is the same thing as ‘amnesty’.
in the next breath, they say that we’ll deal with the illegals after the border is secure and mass deportation of ‘lawbreakers’
isn’t what they’re calling for, then the end result of their plan is to allow those illegals to stay in this country.
then is what they’re proposing not considered ‘amnesty’?
Republicans are constantly telling Democrats
that they can’t have it both ways, yet it would seem that is exactly what they are calling for. Either we are going
to deport 15 million illegals because they broke our laws or we are not.
Even if you do it one illegal at a time, it
would still be a multi-million one-person-at-a-time mass deportation, otherwise you are proposing amnesty.
is it going to be?
If you are going to point your finger at the President’s ‘guest worker program’
and call it amnesty, then building a mega-million dollar wall without admitting that you’re also going to deport the
15 million lawbreakers... Then you are doing nothing more than building a wall to amnesty.