President George W. Bush, in China attending the Olympic Games, responded promptly to Russia's invasion of Georgia with the caveat that "territorial integrity must be respected." We're still waiting to hear the Bush administration's response to this month's invasion of Arizona's territorial integrity by the Mexican military.
More than 40 times this year, the Mexican military has crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. The Mexicans even held a U.S. border guard at gunpoint.
How long are we going to put up with Mexican impudence and federal neglect of duty? One of the most emphatic duties set forth in the U.S. Constitution is that the federal government "shall protect each of them (every State) against invasion."
Some pretend there is a "misunderstanding" about exactly where the border is. But border guards say there is a barbed-wire fence at the point where the Mexican military entered the United States.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., immediately pointed out that if the Bush administration had built the double fence Congress had ordered, the Mexican vehicles would not have been able to invade U.S. territory. The open-borders crowd claims that a fence is useless because people can easily climb it, but a Mexican army truck can't do that.
Nor can Mexican vans loaded with illegal drugs climb a fence. All the talk we hear about our "war on drugs" is totally hypocritical so long as no fence is built to keep out the drug-laden trucks.
It's not just Mexican military vehicles that are invading our space. Again this month we read about an SUV packed with illegal immigrants that evaded detection by our Border Patrol and then rolled over on a highway southeast of Phoenix, killing nine people and injuring the other 10 on board.
They were crammed into two bucket seats in front and three seats in the back of a speeding Chevrolet Suburban. A border patrol spokesman commented, "The smuggler doesn't care if their cargo lives or dies" because he's already been paid.
But we care about the law, about highway safety, and about the cost. Ten people with critical injuries, who had no right to be here, are now being treated in Arizona hospitals at U.S. taxpayer expense.
These latest Mexican invasions come on the heels of further depressing news about the mistreatment of border guards Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.
When federal prosecutor Johnny Sutton embarked on his national public relations campaign to defend his prosecution of these border guards for allegedly shooting a professional drug smuggler in the rear end, Sutton's most impassioned argument was that Ramos and Compean obstructed justice by failing to report the incident. But on appeal the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal overturned that part of Ramos and Compean's conviction, even though the court upheld the jury verdict and the 11- and 12-year prison sentences.
It's time to question not only President Bush but also the presidential candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama. Will you pardon these two border guards who most Americans and 75 members of Congress believe are the targets of unfair prosecution under a law never intended to be used against border guards, an unfair trial in which the Bush-appointed judge withheld from the jury damaging information about drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, who was the key witness against the defendants, unfairly long sentences (years longer than the same judge gave the professional drug smuggler whom Ramos and Compean intercepted), and unfair prison treatment in which they were beaten by illegal-immigrant prisoners?
In another recent flouting of the law, the Bush administration quietly posted a notice late on Aug. 4 that it is extending from one to two years its plan to allow Mexican trucks to enter the United States and have free access to our highways and roads. Only the week before, the House of Representatives Transportation Committee voted to terminate the program.
There are few issues on which Congress has demonstrated its will so emphatically with a bipartisan vote as the matter of Mexican trucks on our roads. Both houses of Congress have voted overwhelmingly against the invasion by Mexican trucks which do not meet U.S. safety standards, driven by Mexican drivers who do not meet U.S. safety and language standards.
On May 15, 2007, the House of Representatives voted 411-3 against the entry of Mexican trucks, followed by a second voice vote on July 24. The Senate voted likewise, 75-23, Sept. 11, and this law was signed by President Bush on December 26, 2007.
When will the Bush administration stand up for the territorial integrity of the United States against foreign military vehicles, vans with illegal immigrants, truckloads of illegal drugs driven by professional drug dealers, and unsafe trucks and drivers that don't meet U.S. standards?
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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