Just about five years ago, Glynn Custred wrote Alien Crossings for the Spectator, about the same situation. I remember we rescued it from internet oblivion, and posted it here.
In October, 2000, the US was nearing the end of eight years of Bill Clinton. At the time, Custred wrote:
In 1994, the same year as Proposition 187, the border patrol devised a comprehensive multi-phased plan to retake control of the border. The plan has failed, however, mainly for lack of resources. But the bigger problem is that internal enforcement of immigration laws under the Clinton administration has for all intents ceased. Ron Sanders, former Tucson border patrol section chief, while admitting to staffing problems in a booming economy and high attrition rates among border patrol agents, says that the Immigration and Naturalization Service has no commitment to enforcing border or immigration policy.
Of course, even in 2000, there were signs of Republican nonfeasance, especially in the Republican-dominated Congress.
After five years of George Bush, however....nothing has changed but the name of the agency that's not being allowed to do its job.
What has changed? The Minutemen, for one. Tom Tancredo's immigration reform caucus, for another. And (ahem!) five years of VDARE.com, hammering on the immigration issue, day in and day out.
Here's a brief sample of the 2005 piece, read it and remember that it's being published in a magazine edited by conservative Republicans, which may give you some idea of how much Bush has alienated his base on this issue:
After 9/11 George Bush called for public participation in homeland security. Yet when asked about the Minuteman Project, President Bush bristled, calling the volunteers "vigilantes." Though poll after poll reveals that the public wants the government to bring illegal immigration under control, the President is content to keep things just the way they are since it creates the de facto amnesty he has promised Mexican president Vicente Fox and that he has been unable to pass through Congress.
The "eyes and ears" of citizens on the border is the last thing Bush and the Mexican government want. The Mexican elite regard the massive exodus from Mexico as a safety-valve that protects their own privileged position; as a cash cow for Mexico in the form of remittances to the tune of $14 billion each year, the second largest source of income for Mexico after oil; and as a potential means for manipulating the American political system (as frankly revealed by such Mexican leaders as former President Ernesto Zedillo and former national security advisor and later U.N. ambassador Adolfo Aquilar Zinser).
Oh, and the title of Custred's piece? It comes from this:
[The illegals]know that once across the line they are home free, and that if caught at the border they will be returned to try again until they make it. One agent says he caught the same man three times in one shift at the same place on the fence. Border crossers also know the routine. When they are picked up and put in vans, some ask, "Where are my juice and crackers?"