The open-borders Washington Post put its Page One last Thursday story right in our face: "Immigrant Paperwork Backs Up At DHS"[By Spencer S. Hsu, November 22, 2007] "Delays May Deny Vote to Hundreds Of Thousands", screams the subhead.
"The Department of Homeland Security failed to prepare for a massive influx of applications for U.S. citizenship and other immigration benefits this summer, prompting complaints from Hispanic leaders and voter-mobilization groups that several hundred thousand people likely will not be granted citizenship in time to cast ballots in the 2008 presidential election.
"Bush administration officials said yesterday that they had anticipated applicants would rush to file their paperwork to beat a widely publicized fee increase that took effect July 30, but did not expect the scale of the response. The backlog comes just months after U.S. officials failed to prepare for tougher border security requirements that triggered months-long delays for millions of Americans seeking passports."
As for real immigration reform, where, for example, has been the Washington Post's coverage of the continuing failure to construct the border fence between the US and Mexico, although the money is available to do so? Not on page one, for sure. And its coverage of voter outrage over the illegal immigration issue mostly finds its back pages.
Yes, Folks, we know that the Department of Homeland Security is a bureaucratic disaster. But it is my view that it is a bureaucratic disaster because those leading our Federal Government want it to be. Not only for being slow on citizenship processing, although careful efforts to check out these entrants should be conducted, but for enforcing existing immigration laws.
As the 66th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor approaches on December 7, the disparity of action now and then becomes acute. When we needed to prepare for WWII after Pearl Harbor, the entire country was mobilized and we got the job done. Even before that Day of Infamy, FDR went out on a political limb to help Britain with his famous Lend-Lease program.
Sadly, our elected elitist doxies in Congress and the Bush Administration continue to pander to their corporate paymasters and the ethno- and ideo-centric entities such as LULAC, La Raza, and the Catholic Church by not enacting, funding, and enforcing real immigration reform.
Instead of doing their jobs to protect and defend us, as the Constitution requires, they doodle and natter. They leave the front line task of dealing with this alien flood to entities lower in the pecking order like Mayor Barletta in Hazleton, Pa, and countless other municipal and state bodies.
With just a tiny fraction effort exhibited on our home front by the Rosie the Riveters, air raid wardens, and other civilian heroes and the mobilization of our industries that our country put together in record time in WWII, this Mexican border fence could be put up in less than a year.
The website www.globalsecurity.org reports that
"Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll indicated the American people favor a proposal to build a 2,000-mile security fence by a 51-to-37 percent margin. The total illegal alien population was estimated by Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge at 8 to 12 million in December 2003, but Lou Dobbs of CNN regularly uses 20 million as a more realistic number of illegal aliens in the US. The sea of illegal aliens provides a cover and an environment in which terrorists can hide, and the tide of in-coming illegal aliens provides terrorists with a reliable means of entry." [US-Mexico Border Fence / Great Wall of Mexico]
Higher estimates of the numbers of illegal aliens are around. The main points: we don't know who is here illegally and the DHS is making no effort to find out and the numbers are accelerating dramatically. We are allowing ourselves to pig out on the new version of the Roman Emperor's nostrum: give them bread and circuses—NFL games and the latest murder and mayhem stories offered by today's media. Serious matters of long-term import seldom reach a mass audience in clear unbiased versions.
Yes, the border fence faces problems with border tunnels, etc, but then in WW II we faced little problems like German U boats sinking vast numbers of our ships bound for Europe.
Furthermore, the fence is only one element in the overall need to take the necessary steps to fix our broken system. One of my readers, also a Democrat, Don Reynolds of Austin, Texas, suggested a stellar list of "to dos" in a November 19, 2007 response to my column on the Hillary/Spitzer fiasco, including:
Yes, Mr. Reynolds, you are dead on correct!
The fence sections now built do reduce alien entry significantly.
Again from the Global Security web site we learn that "Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has said a wall running the length of a border would cost too much. A 2,000 mile state-of-the-art border fence has been estimated to cost between four and eight billion dollars."
Well, the Iraq fiasco will cost $2-plus TRILLION. We could build the fence for a month or less of our expenditures on the war.
Plus estimates of the cost to US taxpayers of allowing the present number of illegal immigrants to partake of our bounty annually far exceeds the cost of building the entire fence!
Global Security continues:
"Costs for a wall that would run the entire length of the border might be as low as $851 million for a standard 10-foot prison chain link fence topped by razor wire. For another $362 million, the fence could be electrified. A larger 12-foot tall, two-foot-thick concrete wall painted on both sides would run about $2 billion. Initially it was estimated that the San Diego fence would cost $14 million—about $1 million a mile. The first 11 miles of the fence eventually cost $42 million—$3.8 million per mile, and the last 3.5 miles may cost even more since they cover more difficult terrain. An additional $35 million to complete the final 3.5 miles was approved in 2005 by the Department of Homeland Security—$10 million per mile."
Since 2005, other steps have been taken to fulfill this promise, but only small amounts of fence have been built. Our leaders have ignored the will of the American people AGAIN—a phenomenon getting so common that it makes clear our growing loss of democratic government.
Hey, this is not rocket science. Our immigration Pearl Harbor has happened. The response of our Federal government to date has been pathetic. Our major media mavens give front page for rights for immigrants, but too little for the rights of us American citizens.
If we could institute the can-do spirit of WW II, results would follow post haste.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.