Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Bush on immigration

I didn't see President Bush speaking on immigration, but I read the speech. Funny thing is, I think he's got it almost exactly right. The border needs to be defended and illegal immigrants must be treated with dignity and most of them given some chance to get on the right side of the law, BUT they must assimilate. There can be no coddling of any immigrant group, allowing them to set up a mini separate nation inside the borders.

I know many people on the right are appalled that these people will get rewarded for having broken the law. Well, let's face it - the law wasn't really being enforced AND many of them come from places where respect for the rule of law is not part of the culture. Learning to respect the rule of law is often part of the Americanization process. {Even in Ireland when I first came here in the mid-80s I'd say that respect for the law was much less than it was in the US. I think that's changed for the better over the past 20 years.}

Having said all that, I'm skeptical. I see nothing in the speech that says to me that those whose job it is to enforce immigration law are going to be any better at the job than they were when they allowed most of the September 11 hijackers to enter the country despite the fact they should have been denied entry.

Another fine speech, properly balanced. I'll give him some marks for style, but execution counts a lot more and this President and government generally fails in the execution too often.