Thursday, October 26, 2006

Capturing my biometrics

First off, this is post number 201! Never thought I'd make it to 100, let alone 200...

So Prez Dubya had his anti-illegal alien photo op today. I suppose this is to show that the Republicans are tough on illegal aliens, even though there are Republicans both for and against the fence (should that be Fence?) with Mexicon and there are Democrats for and against it. The law that was signed today didn't really mean anything, either. No money was stipulated for the project. An earlier bill did allow for $1 billion to be spent on the fence, but that bill was watered down so that the money could be used for other things instead. The actual money earmarked for building the fence is about the equivalent to that in our chequing account, which is pushing negative integers...

The Fence is to mollify voters who don't like Dubya's stand on grandfathering illegals into citizens. A lot of people in his own party don't like it either. About the only people who do like it are people in areas with large Mexican immigrant populations, because those folks see it as being easier to bring family into the country.

One voter who is not mollified is Alana. She's very much set against illegal aliens getting a free path to citizenship. We've spent at least $1,500 getting me my green card, not including gas and hotel money. She's not happy about someone sneaking into the country illegally and then lying low long enough to become a citizen. Ironically, given the timing of today's photo op, tomorrow I head over to Jackson, MS to have my biometrics captured. (I didn't know the little buggers had escaped!) This is all part and parcel of getting my Permanent Resident Alien status (I'm currently a Permanent Resident Alien - Conditional).

I'm not sure how I feel about the Fence. It seems to me that the estimated $7 billion could be better spent hunting employers who hire illegals. We have a friend who is a border guard. He is pretty much the border agent for northern Ohio. While he patrols the border with Canada (big border, called Lake Erie), the majority of the cases he deals with are people coming in from Mexico. From what we've seen of his case load, there aren't enough border patrol agents and immigration agents checking out employers. This is why I wonder about the biometrics they are going to capture on my green card. A border or immigration agent could tell a fake green card right now without the biometrics. Employers would be unable to read the biometrics, and wouldn't really try hard anyway.

As others have said, I think the problem is that there's not enough policing of employers. $7 billion would go toward a lot of new agents. Instead, the Feds are building the Fence. The trouble is that a lot of politicians, of both parties, are receiving contributions from folks who would rather that they not have their employment policies scrutinized. The illegal immigration problem is indictative of a growing feeling among Americans that it doesn't matter who is in office, neither side is doing a reasonable job. The failure to deal with illegals is one area where the Democrats and the Republicans are equally inept and handling.

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