I'm listening to Hugh Hewitt
following the speech. The calls are all negative. It seemed to me that he covered all the points I wanted him to, but not what all the angry people are demanding. The truth is that the President cannot do what these people want, not legally, politically, financially or in any other way.
What Hugh's callers seem to fail to understand is how long this problem has been building and how intractable it is. We don't have the personnel or the facilities to do what they want to happen. The kind of mobilization it would take is more like the effort required to win WWII than anything else I know of. It's a legal problem because what these angry voters demand would probably not be allowed by the courts.
It would require a kind of policing that is unimaginable to most of us, being asked for our national ID 10 times a day, roadblocks everywhere, longer lines at airlines, train and bus stations, deportations without hearings or due process. It is also a problem of scale and the cost of rounding up 11,000,000 people and hauling them to the border is not something we can do, legally, or detaining them pending hearings.
What are the alternatives? Detention camps for eleven to fifteen million people? Do they understand the size and logistics problems with that?
No hearings. Just repeal all the rules that allow refugees, students, temporary work permits, and no due process. If you're not legal, you get dumped at the border. The courts, with their usual efficiency will put a hold on all of this and give us an answer maybe 10 years from now that these people have rights to due process and we can't toss them out without a hearing, representation and right of appeal.
What most of the angry callers don't seem to get is that this is not something Bush can do by executive order. He can't even get terrorists held without giving them a jury trial. We have a major party demagoguing this issue hard as it can, despite the fact that no liberal has ever proposed beefing up our border control. Employers have opposed making them responsible for hiring illegals, and will continue to do so.
Everybody is in favor of grabbing those Mexicans we don't know who are working at the Burger King or Arby's, but when it comes to people we know, like the housekeeper or gardener, we're not quite so willing to just snatch them and put them on a bus.
This situation didn't happen overnight and it won't be corrected that way either. I support a wall and better enforcement. We need to start building this year and keep at it until it's done, if it takes a hundred years. I think we need to have ID cards that are harder to forge and streamlined deportment procedures. But I understand that the logistics of (a) finding all illegals, (b) detaining them humanely, (c) making sure they have no legal right to be here and (d) transporting them to their country of origin are almost unimaginable. It also creates hassles for those who look foreign but are here legally, particularly those who are citizens.
To solve this problem, we have to radically change our whole system, economically, legally, politically, judicially and constitutionally. In the end it will prove divisive, difficult, expensive and futile. We can't even get people to support the measures we must make to prevent terrorists from operating here under cover of our privacy "rights."
In many ways this reminds me of the situation Katrina created for New Orleans. The flood walls when down, then the pumps were only pumping the flood waters into the canals which were breached. We don't even have any physical barriers on our borders, and the illegals are pouring in. We don't have "pumps" adequate to send them back out of the country, if we had the flood walls. The country is awash in illegal aliens who are asserting our own laws and Constitution to prevent or hamper removing them.
In the case of New Orleans, the realistic answer is obvious. Raise the city above sea level or don't rebuild it. The people there don't like those choices, but do we really want to put hundreds of billions into rebuilding an area that could be flooded again before we even get started?
The problem for the nation is even more discouraging. The obvious solution includes a quick, unforgeable means of identification, cracking down on employers who hire these people, including homeowners and farmers, and putting up walls and a tough program to crack down on tunnels, smuggling, etc., and an end to all invitations to foreigners to come here to live, even temporarily.
To sum it all up, the president would have done better, after announcing his proposals, to note what changes all this will require to our way of life, and then tell them what to do to support him. For example, are they willing to overrule the courts on their rules on privacy, due process, etc., by passing new amendments to the Constitution?
I realize that this post is rambling and a little incoherent, but it's a kind of stream of consciousness of my thoughts as I try to imagine what we can do. What I'd like to do is get even more agressive in spreading the principles of our democracy to other countries. The origin of the problem is the difference between even the life of an illegal alien here and what they face at home. We could do as the Democrats would like and raise taxes to the point where our economy won't attract foreigners, or we could get to work bringing the rest of the world to a condition where the love of home will at least balance the hopes driving illegal immigration.
I liked Hugh's reaction to one of his callers who wanted to know what we'd do about the Canadian border: Napalm. In other words, he doesn't know either.
If the problem were easy, we'd have solved it years ago. We are so polarized that half of us will try to block whatever the other half propose just because we oppose them.