CNN is reporting that the National Guard will be deployed along the US/Mexico border to assist in interdicting the flow of illegal immigrants. There are a host of thorny legal issues that surround this, but it will probably help the President’s plummeting poll numbers with conservatives (and everyone else) on the immigration issue.
What needs to be done is to take down the networks that facilitate the illegal immigrant trade. We can’t stop everyone from crossing, and we don’t need to. The people we need to stop are the coyotes, the ones who run the smuggling trade across the US/Mexico border. They are not only smuggling immigrants across, but also drugs, weapons, and potentially terrorists. Just like fighting al-Qaeda, you can’t win by trying to fend off the pawns in the game – you have to go for the big fish.
The coyotes are a threat to our national security and sovereignty, and they are the ones who make a profit from the smuggling of immigrants across the border. Start making their lives difficult, and then we’ll see a significant drop in border crossings. I’d wager that a sizable fraction, if not an outright majority of illegals from Mexico use a coyote to get across the border. Even those that don’t might think twice if they see that the coyotes are being arrested and tried for their actions.
The President needs to get serious about enforcing the laws of this country, including the sovereignty of our borders. A show of force will help, but it is ultimately futile unless we also take constructive action as well. The coyotes are the ones who are actively profiting off the smuggling of human and other cargos across the border. Taking down the coyotes would be the most visible and effective way of showing that we will not tolerate our borders being mocked.
President Bush is correct to first protect our borders, then start thinking about a guest-worker program to help mainstream immigrants into American society. Until we can control our borders, anything even resembling an amnesty will quickly turn the tide of immigrants into a torrent – something we simply cannot afford. We’ll see what the President’s plans are tonight, and whether he’s serious about defending the borders or whether this is just a sop to the Bill O’Reilly-style populists.