Thursday, October 26, 2006

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Don't fence me in!

From "Think Progress": Bowing to anti-immigration hardliners in the House, President Bush today held a White House ceremony celebrating the signing of the “Secure Fence Act.” Bush told reporters, “The bill authorizes the construction of hundreds of miles of additional fencing along our southern border.” Bush is right, the bill does “authorize” the constrution of a new fence. But that doesn’t mean the bill pays for it. Bender's Immigration Daily has several articles on the (not so) Great Wall of Texas... from American Jurist, the Houston Chronicle and elsewhere.
I had hoped that the President’s time in Texas and experience with Mexicans would lead to more meaningful and comprehensive immigration reform, not just the jingoistic resort to this bandaid. When permanent residents have more than a decade-long wait to reunite with their families, as Mexicans, Filipinos, and others do (due to the per-country limitations and the backlogs), and when federal laws have squeezed out virtually all the ways that Mexicans can legally come to the US, it is little wonder that so many enter without inspection. Reinstating the hated bracero “guest-worker” program will hardly scratch the surface, and such initiatives could only work if they were coupled fairly with more nuanced naturalization and legalization efforts.


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