Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Border: Questions and Progress

Senator Judd Gregg charges that funds originally earmarked to provide border security equipment are instead being diverted to pay for the National Guard.

If Gregg is correct, this raises serious questions in my mind about our willingness to move forward on border security on multiple fronts.

In a troubling development, the Senate today, as part of its "comprehensive" package, approved Social Security benefits for the years illegal aliens were here and breaking the law. I find it incomprehensible that Americans are expected to pay out benefits for years when people were working illegally, which typically means they were working under false social security numbers.

Another question has been raised in my mind: part of the path to "earned citizenship" is payment of back taxes. How would this be done when in most cases there will be no offical records of the earnings, Social Security or otherwise?

The President today continued to make the argument that "amnesty" means automatic citizenship and his proposals do not equate with amnesty. Charles Krauthammer, with his usual clear thinking, set the record straight today on Special Report with Brit Hume. Krauthammer said that clearly amnesty -- no punishment -- would be provided for the original offense, entering the country illegally. Citizenship is a separate issue from forgiveness for illegal entry, and it is the citizenship which would be "earned" and not "automatic."

I was pleased to see the President mention to Fox News today that Mexico also has a duty to maintain its own borders securely. Indeed, Mexico defends its Southern border with its military, yet dares to criticize us for doing the same with our Southern border!

In a positive development, the Senate today voted to make English the official language of the United States, requiring that illegal immigrants pass an English proficiency test in order to receive citizenship.


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