Rich Tucker

It’s almost comical to watch issues come and go in Washington, D.C. Consider Social Security.

Two years ago President Bush was touring the country, promoting his plan for reform. It went nowhere. So now we’re closer to the baby boom retirement surge and we’ve had no reform, no new plans, and nobody seems to care. Illegal immigration’s a similar story.

Almost three years ago, TIME magazine did a special report about the border. The cover showed two hands ripping through an American flag and declared “even after 9/11, it’s outrageously easy to sneak in.”

When a bastion of the liberal media identifies a problem, one would expect lawmakers to race to solve it. However, when it comes to illegal immigration, Washington has provided plenty of talk but very little action.

For example, I have a correspondent in southern California who’s been part of a private effort to catch illegals. I asked him recently how things were going at the border.

What border?” he wrote. “Day after day, we have both in-person sightings, and remotely recorded videos of groups crossing.” It was just a year ago that President Bush ordered 6,000 National Guard troops to help out along the border, but they’re clearly not accomplishing enough. On a recent day, my correspondent reports, “There were no Border Patrol or National Guard at the border in our area the entire day.”

But there were illegal aliens. Just two days later, he writes, “a group of at least four illegal aliens was detected using our RVS (Remote Viewing Site) cameras. This was reported to Border Patrol, but they did not have agents assigned to the border this day and could not respond.”

Our lack of action has real consequences.

Nobody knows exactly how many people are here illegally, but the Pew Hispanic Center estimates there are between 11.5 and 12 million illegals, and it says 40 percent of them have arrived in the last five years -- in other words, since 9/11.

Just this week authorities broke up an alleged plot to attack Fort Dix in New Jersey. At least three of the six men arrested were in the country illegally. And the fact that we can’t enforce our immigration law sends a dangerous signal to those who want to attack Americans. “With 12 million here illegally from Mexico, why would any visitor think we could or should enforce the law?” Victor Davis Hanson asks in National Review Online. He adds it’s now “deemed more illiberal to turn in an illegal alien than to be one.”

Many local laws prove that.


Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for Townhall.com.