Rich Galen

  • There are about 400,000 members of the National Guard. If the President orders 6,000 of them to aid in patrolling the Mexican-American border that's about 1.5% of the Guard force.

  • According to the one cable network which is known as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bush Administration - CNN - the President scored extremely well with those who watched the speech.

  • According to a poll taken pre- and post-speech:
  • 79% had a positive reaction to the speech
  • 67% had a positive view of the President's policies on immigration (compared to only 42% pre-speech)
  • 75% favored using the National Guard to help patrol the border
  • 68% favor allowing immigrants to enter the US as temporary workers
  • 74% favored the President's policy on allowing some immigrants already here to earn citizenship.
  • Protecting the border with Mexico which is about 1,950 miles long, is tough enough. But there is also that pesky border between Canada and the lower 48 states which is about 4,000 miles long.

  • After we've solved the problem of protecting nearly 6,000 miles of land crossings (which doesn't include Alaska) we can begin to solve the issue of dealing with the 11,323 miles of coastline which doesn't include Alaska or Hawaii.

  • Total? 16,266 miles of places where someone can illegally enter the continental US.

  • The President's proposal on adding border security is a start, but there is a long way to go. More-or-less sealing the Mexican border without dealing with the Canadian border or the coastlines is like locking your front door, but leaving the door to your attached garage wide open.

  • Anyone who presents an easy solution to border protection either doesn't understand the sheer scale of the problem, or is looking to make political points at the risk of increasing our vulnerability.

  • On a the Secret Decoder Ring page today: An explanation of the title and the whole service number thing; links to the CNN poll, a page which shows the length of the coastline by region, a long-ago Mullfoto, and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

  • Rich Galen

    Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at