Don't Fence Us In

Robin had the op-ed spot in Thursday's USA Today:
Since 1994, law enforcement has failed to reduce the average number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border by even one person per year. Universities attest to the migration pattern.

No matter how many agents, no matter how much infrastructure, and no matter how many tools and toys have been given to do the job, nothing has worked. Nothing.

Welcome Aboard Susan

In the same AP report mentioned below, there's this: Susan Wysoki, a spokeswoman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates tighter border security, acknowledged the groups' humanitarian role, saying “there's no overstepping boundaries when saving lives.”

Drawing Attention

The AP's Arthur Rotstein takes note, here in the San Diego Union-Tribune, that all the wrangling over the latest round of immigration legislation has actually been a boon to humanitarian groups, including us.

Let's Remember

Claudine LoMonaco reported this a while back in the Tucson Citizen, but it's worth remembering:
As the fate of illegal immigrants continues to be debated, their children - many of whom are U.S. citizens - are too often an afterthought, according to a group of Tucson leaders who want to change that.

"Most of the debate is framed in terms of us and them," said University of Arizona Sociology professor Don Grant, who organized a forum last night at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 1431 W. Magee Road. "You have some folks on the left saying how they help us. And then you have people on the right saying how they pose a threat to us."

The next generation cannot be categorized so simply, Grant said.

"In the most real and legal sense, they - the children of immigrants - are actually us," he said.

We Walk For Life

Stephanie Innes, in the Arizona Daily Star: The third annual "Migrant Trail: We Walk for Life" is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. Monday in Sasabe, more than 70 miles southwest of Tucson. The walk will end with a memorial ceremony scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Sunday, June 4, at Kennedy Park, on Tucson's Southwest Side.

Some Realist

From the Dallas Morning News:
A day after the Senate adopted an overhaul that both toughens enforcement and liberalizes immigration laws, House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner predicted choppy negotiations ahead.

"I would like to see a bill passed and signed into law. However, I'm a realist," the Wisconsin Republican said.


We All Agree, Then?

A quick roundup of opinion about the Bush National Guard plan from the Arizona Daily Star:
"It's an incredibly dangerous precedent for all of us, not just for those of us who live on the border," said Isabel Garcia of Derechos Humanos.

Jennifer Allen of the Border Action Network said, "Putting military troops on the border, further blurring the line between law enforcement and immigration, the disposable-worker program; these are not proposals that actually support the values of this country and the reason people want to immigrate into it."

Garcia and Allen, and the Rev. Robin Hoover, president of Humane Borders, said the temporary-worker plan will do no good without worker-protection guarantees, an element not mentioned in the speech.

Hoover said the National Guard would be better used interviewing illegal entrants already living inside the country to speed up the legalization process.

Arizona's anti-illegal-immigration activists said the president's plan won't accomplish anything.

"They'll be sitting around doing absolutely nothing," said Minuteman Civil Defense Corps President Chris Simcox. "It's smoke and mirrors, it's a joke. And anybody that buys it is the fool that the president thinks they are."

Simcox said the president was clearly pandering for votes and attempting to appease his voting base.


A Better Way To Guard

Robin figures it this way: 6,000 National Guard troops, each working 8-hour days for 250 days, could interview 12 million immigrants living illegally in the United States. If they did that, the United States woould be a whole lot safer than it would be under the plan outlined by the president tonight. (Official White House transcript here.)

What Bush Said

Text of Bush's speech here. The full Senate has started debate on the bill again. Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship.

A complete phone list of every U.S. Senator is here. The subcommittee page is here. Here are the subcommittee members. Members' names link to their contact pages. Contact them. Remember: The reason this law has progressed this far is because somebody's hollering louder than we are. Speak up!

Republican Members

John Cornyn, TX (Chairman)
Charles E. Grassley, IA
Jon Kyl, AZ
Mike DeWine, OH
Jeff Sessions, AL
Sam Brownback, KS
Tom Coburn, OK

Democratic Members

Edward M. Kennedy, MA (Ranking Democrat)
Joseph R. Biden, Jr., DE
Dianne Feinstein, CA
Russell D. Feingold, WI
Charles E. Schumer, NY
Richard J. Durbin, IL