Mr. Bush should make clear that a new open-door policy is not in effect. His proposed temporary-worker program — really, a big amnesty plan — recklessly sent the wrong message to would-be immigrants. Observers at the border blame it for the recent upsurge in illegal traffic.
Congress, meanwhile, should refuse to consider Mr. Bush`s proposal until his administration starts seriously punishing employers of illegal immigrants. The president has hinted that he might enforce the law, but only after he gets the temporary-worker program.
No civilian should be monitoring America`s borders. That`s a job for the Border Patrol, which has paramilitary training. And in any case, the immigrants are not the villains; they are mostly poor, and one can`t blame them if they have the wrong impression about their right to be here.
The problem of illegal immigration is not made at the Mexican border. It is made in Washington. Either the federal government starts punishing employers for hiring undocumented workers, or it doesn`t. The American public should not be distracted by the show being put on at the border. Serious about illegal immigration , May 2, 2005