The volunteers like Morales might not be necessary if sufficient numbers of new Border Patrol agents are hired. Legislation developed as a result of the 9/11 Commission called for an additional 2,000 Border Patrol agents, but the Bush Administration's 2006 budget asks for just 210 new agents.
The House recently approved a package of measures to control immigration, including easing deportation of illegals, making it more difficult for them to claim political asylum. The bill would also impose new requirements on states to seek proof of applicants' legal residence before drivers licenses are issued and exempt the federal government from environmental laws in building roads and barriers along U.S. borders. The measure, called the REAL ID Act, passed the House 261-161 and awaits action by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Congress can, and should, do more, including approving the necessary funding for the total number of new Border Patrol agents recommended by the 9/11 Commission. It should also require that legal immigrants be fully assimilated into American culture. This means requiring they learn U.S. history and the English language in order to pass a citizenship test. These were among the recommendations made by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at a recent gathering of conservative activists in Washington.
If not enough is done to lessen the flow of illegal immigrants into this country, look for more volunteers to start enlisting in a citizens army and begin paraphrasing Paul Revere, shouting, "The illegals are coming."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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