The Tar Pit

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Border Patrol blows whistle on Bush Amnesty

A press release yesterdat from the U.S. Border Patrol:

Border Patrol Agents Oppose President's Amnesty Plan in All Contexts

Southwest Border (PRWEB) January 28, 2005 -- President Bush continues to maintain a contradictory and perilous position regarding illegal immigration, claiming his plan does not amount to amnesty. Standard American language usage contravenes the President's specious explanation in that his plan clearly overlooks the offense of illegal aliens who entered this country in violation of law and would not seek prosecution; a full amnesty within contextual and explicit meaning. The current position of the Administration on illegal immigration is demonstrative of a flawed public and enforcement policy which undermines national security by encouraging future mass illegal immigration. Additionally, the intention of the President sends contradictory signals to agencies tasked with securing our borders.

In a recent article (The Washington Times, January 12, 2005) in which he attempted to justify his position on illegal immigration, the President stated the current immigration situation is a "bureaucratic nightmare" and the Border Patrol is "overstressed" due to "people [illegal immigrants] streaming across [the border]." While in general agreement with the President, agents place blame squarely on flawed public policies. Following the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the significant and systematic de-emphasis on immigration enforcement surpassed that of legacy agencies. The newly consolidated departments halted highly successful interior enforcement operations and in some instances, prohibited agents from making arrests (Associated Press, August 16, 2003). Further evidence of the Administration's contradictory position on illegal immigration are statements made by political appointees charged with protecting the public. In September of 2004, in an effort to build support for the Administration's Amnesty proposal, Asa Hutchinson, Homeland Security Undersecretary, publicly stated it is "not realistic" to arrest or deport illegal aliens already in the country (The Washington Times, September 10, 2004). More recently, budget problems within the Department of Homeland Security further call into question the priorities of the Administration as agents are forced to release illegal aliens and curtail operations due to ongoing financial constraints (NBC News, July 26, 2004). These circumstances all contribute to a "bureaucratic nightmare" and "overstressed" Border Patrol.

The position of the Administration on illegal immigration has had a profound and negative effect not only on law enforcement operations, but also agent morale. The impact on agent morale was measured in a survey conducted by independent Hart Research Associates during the summer of 2004. The survey found a majority of agents were demoralized and were not getting the full support needed to protect the country (Government Executive Magazine, August 23, 2004), clearly indicating a conflict between the view of professional field agents and the Administration in regard to national domestic security. The Administration's current immigration plans will exacerbate, not alleviate, that problem.

This is the first in a publication series of joint press releases of Local Unions representing Border Patrol Agents in California, Arizona, Michigan, and Texas. For further information, contact public affairs at 1-800-620-1613 Extension 88.

Related Websites:

Local 1613 (San Diego, CA)

Local 2544 (Tucson, AZ)

More whistle blowing yesterday from Terrence Jeffrey at Human Events Online:

Will Bush Budget Stiff Border Patrol?

Republican House members are worried President Bush may present a fiscal 2006 budget that does not request full funding for all the new Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents that were authorized for next year in the bill responding to the 9/11 Commission's recommendations that Bush signed into law in December.

The law authorized doubling the Border Patrol from about 10,000 agents to 20,000 by adding 2,000 per year for five years. It also authorized tripling ICE agents (who enforce immigration laws in the interior) from 2,000 to 6,000 by adding 800 per year for five years. Additionally, it authorized tripling detention beds where illegal aliens can be held to 60,000 over five years.

But USA Today published a story on January 25 based on an interview with outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge that was headlined: "2,000 new border agents aren't part of budget, Ridge says."

"The notion that you're going to have 10,000 is sort of a fool's gold," Ridge said. "It's nice to say you're going to have 10,000 more Border Patrol agents in five years, but what other part of Homeland Security do you want to take money from."

In December, Bush persuaded House Republicans to accept a bill that had been stripped of a provision that would stop federal agencies from accepting driver's licenses issued by states that give licenses to illegal aliens. At the time, he specifically pointed out that the version of the bill he was ready to sign included the increase in Border Patrol agents and detention beds.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin.

At his press conference Wednesday, President Bush reiterated his pro illegal alien position:

Q Mr. President, the Senate Republicans recently listed their priorities, and immigration reform wasn't on it. Do you think this means it's dead for this year? And why are you having so much trouble with your own party on that?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I appreciate that question. It will be one of my priorities. I believe it's necessary to reform the immigration system. I'm against amnesty; I've made that very clear. On the other hand, I do want to recognize a system where a willing worker and a willing employer are able to come together in a way that enables people to find work without jeopardizing a job that an American would otherwise want to do.

I also happen to believe immigration reform is necessary to help make it easier to protect our borders. The system right now spawns coyotes and smugglers and people willing to break the law to get people in our country. There is a vast network of kind of shadowy traffickers. And I believe by making a -- by advancing a program that enables people to come into our country in a legal way to work for a period of time, for jobs that Americans won't do, will help make it easier for us to secure our borders.

Got that? President Bush is "against amnesty" but supports legalizing millions of illegal aliens.

President Bush gets his definition of Amnesty from the same dictionary Bill Clinton got his definitions of "is" and "sex."