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Back to the border

By Michelle Malkin  •  November 28, 2005 09:45 AM

So, President Bush is at the border this week paying lip service to new “immigration reform”–even as he pushes his same old, enforcement-undermining amnesty plan.

Back at the Department of Homeland [In]Security, crony nominee Julie Myers has may be given a recess appointment to head up the Immigration & Customs Enforcement agency, reports Debbie Schlussel. And as I noted in a recent column:

[A]s illegal immigration continues unabated, the White House has seen fit to honor the chief of the Border Patrol, David Aguilar, with a presidential “Meritorious Executive” award, which comes with a cash bonus, for his outstanding performance. I kid you not.

It’s not much better over at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which administers all immigration benefits, from citizenship applications to asylum requests to work permits, and is responsible for overseeing all amnesty, student visa and marriage visa applicants. The head of the agency, a nice banker named Eduardo Aguirre whose only experience in immigration law was his own personal background as a Cuban refugee, left in June after two years in office to become ambassador to Spain. Aguirre’s biography says that under his “leadership,” CIS “made significant and measurable progress towards eliminating the immigration benefit application backlog, improving customer service, and enhancing national security.”

Mission accomplished? Don’t make me laugh.

A new report by the DHS inspector general’s office showed that Aguirre’s agency has failed miserably to crack down on the estimated 4 million to 8 million foreigners who have overstayed their visas — a supposed priority in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which highlighted how lax enforcement against visa overstayers has enabled many al Qaeda operatives to stay in the country.

Of the 301,046 leads the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency received in 2004 on possible visa violators, the inspector general found, only 4,164 were formally pursued, resulting in just 671 apprehensions — few of which will actually result in deportation.

In these trying times for conservatives in Washington, you’d think the last thing the Bush administration might do is send up yet another crony/diversity nominee to fill a sensitive post. But Aguirre’s proposed replacement, Emilio T. Gonzalez, is just such an embarrassment. He appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee recently and was endorsed by two Florida Republicans — Sen. Mel Martinez and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who said Gonzalez would “bring an understanding of national security and my own personal immigration experience to bear.”

Gonzalez is a Cuban refugee who arrived in the U.S. at the age of 4, achieved the American dream, and served honorably in the Army for 26 years. This makes him a remarkable success story. It does not make him a good candidate to head the Citizenship and Immigration Services agency in a time of war.

Scouring his resume, one finds no immigration law expertise whatsoever outside his personal experience.

No indication that he has any clue about how to curtail rampant asylum fraud.

No indication that he has any idea how to deal with those massive numbers of visa overstayers and immigration benefit fraudsters, let alone root out terrorist operatives among them.

And no indication that he would have the ability or willingness to ensure that the millions of “guest workers” under Bush’s proposed amnesty plan would be competently screened, registered and deported after their “guest” terms are up.

Zip. Nada. None.

This has been the Bush plan on immigration enforcement and border security:

Recruit the clueless. Reward the failures. Those who abide by the law lose. The con artists, the criminals, the ideological border saboteurs and the terrorists win.

Over at The Immigration Blog, Juan Mann looks at what a true immigration enforcement plan would look like.

Mark Krikorian notes the latest open-borders euphemism for amnesty: “Earned transition.” Wonder if this will become a new White House pet phrase.

Oh, and if President Bush actually wanted to say something new this week about border security, he might try an apology to the law-abiding members of the Minutemen.

Immigration blogging…

La Shawn Barber on employer sanctions.
Jayson at Polipundit on Ronald Reagan’s biggest blunder.
Lonewacko and The Tar Pit fire back at Fred Barnes.

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Categories: Immigration