State of the Union: President's Immigration Policy Disappoints Americans
by Jim Kouri, CPP
Two years ago, Border Patrol agents began to voice what many believed were legitimate concerns about "armed incursions" into the United States from Mexico-based assailants. Now these invasions occur routinely putting federal agents' and law enforcement officers' lives in jeopardy.
They reported that heavily armed Mexican army units and federal police, called federales, had infiltrated US territory and fired upon them, in some cases because – federal agents would later discover – Mexican drug lords had put prices on the heads of American law-enforcement agents strung out along the border. Where was the outrage by our political leaders and the mainstream media over this blatant violation of our national sovereignty?
Many of our political leaders and most in the news media ignore these violent attacks on our national sovereignty while more and more Americans are saying, "This has got to stop!"
While tens of millions of Americans watched and listened to President George Bush's much anticipated State of the Union speech, many were disappointed at the lack of emphasis on the biggest threat to national security today: unmitigated illegal immigration and porous US borders.
President Bush continues to maintain a contradictory and perilous position regarding illegal immigration, claiming his plan does not amount to amnesty. Standard American language usage contravenes the President’s specious explanation in that his plan clearly overlooks the offense of illegal aliens who entered this country in violation of law and would not seek prosecution; a full amnesty within contextual and explicit meaning.
The current position of the Administration on illegal immigration is demonstrative of a flawed public and enforcement policy which undermines national security by encouraging future mass illegal immigration. Additionally, the intention of the President sends contradictory signals to agencies tasked with securing our borders as well as police commanders across the nation.
In a recent The Washington Times article in which the President attempted to justify his position on illegal immigration, the President stated the current immigration situation is a “bureaucratic nightmare” and the Border Patrol is “overstressed” due to “people [illegal immigrants] streaming across [the border].”
Further evidence of the Administration’s contradictory position on illegal immigration are statements made by political appointees charged with protecting the public. In September of 2004, in an effort to build support for the Administration’s Amnesty proposal, Asa Hutchinson, former Homeland Security Undersecretary, publicly stated it is “not realistic” to arrest or deport illegal aliens already in the country.
More recently, budget problems within the Department of Homeland Security further called into question the priorities of the Administration as agents are forced to release illegal aliens and curtail operations due to ongoing financial constraints. These circumstances all contribute to a “bureaucratic nightmare” and “overstressed” Border Patrol.
The position of the Administration on illegal immigration has had a profound and negative effect not only on law enforcement operations, but also border patrol agent morale. The impact on agent morale was measured in a survey conducted by independent Hart Research Associates during the summer of 2004.
The survey found a majority of agents were demoralized and were not getting the full support needed to protect the country, clearly indicating a conflict between the view of professional field agents and the Administration in regard to national domestic security. The Administration’s current immigration plans will exacerbate, not alleviate, that problem.
For those tuning in to hear President Bush address the problems faced as a result of rampant illegal immigration and Mexican military incursions, the speech was a major disappointment.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.