Immigration - Opening the Discussion

First, thanks for all the comments good, constructive and otherwise. I'm a big boy, I can take it. Secondly, I have more than just a casual interest based on experience in this area - I'm not talking from a keyboard and google.

Secondly, being an old Army career grunt I call things the way I see it. If that grates you, I can't help that. If you don't agree with it that's cool, but it's still my position and belief, and I'm not afraid of telling people how I feel.

I EARNED that right while I defended this country.

On that fax there is solid evidence that some detractors of the President on Immigration are coming from a position that are isolationist and in some cases, yes racist.

Saying that, I realize that sometimes words can detract from the debate and lead to wars and rumors of wars. Thus I'll dispense with the "shoot mexicans" and "racism/racist" remarks for now, the point was made - I'm not "coining a phrase". I much prefer to find dialog as to find some common ground even with those I disagree with.

Just because you believe in strong borders (walls and whatnot), doesn't mean you're a racist or "evil", but there are some people who are and that is just a simple fact.

So with all that said, here is my position on immigration as my views have been slightly skewed in the all the flames.

As I said, I walked the El Paso/Juarez border in '81-82. The same issues, problems, discussions, etc, were taking place then as they are now. The differnce is 9/11 and I understand that. We need to tighten up the borders. Where I and others disagree is in method and yes in some ways motive. We can build fences and walls, but people who want to get in here will dig under them, climb over them but they will find a way to get through them. Believe me, they will find a way. They are not in themselves going to work UNLESS there are comprehensive reforms in the overall immigration policies of this country.

We have amazing technology out there now, let's use it.

Today, some are upset over the Senate rejecting what they call, "enforcement first". where the Senate supported Bush's plan to first deal with the inner issues illegal immigration has wrought. Yes again, you've got to secure the borders, but we have a hell of a lot of people already here. We need to get them identified - that's the first issue.

John Derbyshire at National Review has a "cool it Joe" point on this debate:

"'I've had a couple of emails from readers who, though obviously thoughtful and intelligent, seem to think that right now there are just two kinds of people legally resident in the USA: Green Card holders, and citizens. They believe the President's "temporary worker" plan will add a third category, and they regard this as an interesting and innovative idea.

Where does one start? Perhaps by pointing out that the number of ways to be legally in the USA, by visa category, is currently 79. That's right, 79. Here they all are.

Notice that at least 20 of them are "temporary worker" visas of one sort or another."

Read it, it provides a little perspective.

In summary no one is advocating "wide open" borders, but a "police state" isn't the anwer either. Again, this ball of hair didn't appear over night and won't disapere in one week, month or year. It's going to take time. But at least we've got something moving.

UPDATE: The folks at NRO on near suicide watch:

"In his Oval Office address, the president squandered what was probably his last chance to reconnect with conservatives on immigration. They will undoubtedly note that the president has waited six years to start talking about enforcement, and will accordingly ask why he can’t postpone his amnesty long enough to give enforcement at try? A speech that had reiterated his support for amnesty in theory, but conceded that enforcement had to come first, would likely have won significant public approval and helped shape events in Congress. The speech he actually gave, on the other hand, is likely further to demoralize conservatives and harden opposition among House Republicans to the Senate amnesty proposal. President Bush’s speech, contrary to its goal, probably ensures that no immigration bill will reach his desk this year. Given the options, that’s probably a good thing."

He squandered nothing of the kind. We're only hearing this from the Paleo/Neo/Conservative Right - the middle Conservatives (the majority) liked what he said, and agree it's a beginning.