Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Whittling Away Border Security

The much ballyhooed border fence that Congressional republicans managed to approve late last year is being eviscerated by - who else? - President Bush. The man who swore to protect American territorial integrity and sovereignty is very busy gutting any actual immigration enforcement, reducing the size of fence, and working to see that as many illegal immigrants as possible get to stay here.

Six months after approving a bill promising to build some 850 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Bush administration and Senate Republicans are now saying 370 miles is enough.

In his negotiations with Republican senators, Mr. Bush also appears to have rejected the key compromise in the Senate bill passed last year: allowing only longtime illegal aliens with "roots" to have a path to citizenship. He instead favors a more circuitous path that is open to almost all illegal aliens.

The same President who waxes incoherent on the wonders of democracy as a panacea for all ills adamantly refuses to listen to the very people who elected him when it comes to the border.

The administration's zeal to erase the laws passed by the Republican-controlled Congress left some House members dumbfounded and angry.

Some Republicans are annoyed that Mr. Bush appears ready to ignore mandates of the Secure Fence Act.

"I drafted that bill. It says 'shall.' That's the same language we put in the border fence in San Diego," said Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican. "Doggone it, this is the law. Follow the law."

Mr. Hunter shouldn't be surprised. The Bush administration only heeds the law in cases when it expands the President's power. In situations, like the border, where the law conflicts with the administration's aims, it ignores the law, sidesteps the law, or breaks it outright.

Lies and evasion come as naturally to President Bush and his acolytes as does breath-taking incompetence (see Iraq).


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