Apparently the President has decided that the best way to protect the United States is to send the National Guard to the border with Mexico. Because, really, so much of our ills are caused by people he apparently described as those "who want to work in our economy".
Imagine that. People wanting to work. People who want to do jobs that no native born American typically wants to do.
So the administration's idea of immigration reform, since it was unable to convince the rest of the country, is to deploy National Guardsman from the border states of California, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.
Of course, there are some who think this is a good idea. The AP notes, "Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, a Republican, strongly supported the plan. He said, "If we'd done this years ago, we'd have put a stop to illegal immigration." He also is not the govenor of a state that will be responsible for supplying the troops.
The Bush Administration insists that this does not represent a militarization of the border. However, the National Guardsmen who are to be deployed will apparently be armed and allowed to fire under a set of specified rules of engagement. While on the one hand, the plan seems to be that the Guardsman will not take part in patrolling, which leads to the question of what are the Guardsman going to be doing, on the other hand they are being kept under state control. The important thing about state control is that it gets around the problem of Posse Comitatus, which prohibits U.S. military units from participating in law enforcement unless authorized. This begs the question, what are they going to do? The speech asking for the National Guard's deployment is here. In it, he states taht they will be in purely support positions (analyzing intelligence, building roads, training and etc.)
Yet, if the problem is bodies doing the actual patrolling, how is this going to make anything better? To me, this just does not make sense.(Of course, if someone will correct I welcome it).
However, there is something else to think about in this situation. How will this be viewed in Mexico. If we as a nation are serious about dealing with this issue, then we need to be on good terms with our neighbor. A presidential election is in the offing in Mexico and if anti-Americanism puts an antagonist in office, then it will be that much harder to do more to deal with the problem of illegal immigration.
Essentially my problem with this is that this reeks of an election year policy decision. Absent finding Bin Ladin or al-Zarqawi, targeting illegals from Mexico and places south is Willie Horton issue for the Republican Party.