A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Friday, June 08, 2007

Let's All Be Illegals!

Apparently the White House has forgotten who the American people are . . . and who the illegal foreign aliens are.

From the AP:

WASHINGTON - Even as it bowed to complaints about vacation-ruining passport delays, the Bush administration insisted Friday it is pressing ahead with restrictions next year that could mean even bigger travel headaches.

Responding to protests, the State Department and the Homeland Security Department said they would temporarily relax a rule requiring passports for air travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.
[. . .]
The application surge is the result of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, in effect since January, which required U.S. citizens to use passports when entering the United States from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean by air.
There are so many applications that the State Department is very, very, very backed up on passports. Even though they knew this was going into effect. Brilliant bunch of people there.

And, worse:

Despite that [. . .], security officials said they would proceed, as of January, with a requirement that passports be presented at all U.S. sea and land border crossings. Homeland Security plans to offer a draft in two weeks that spells out how the new rule would be implemented, said spokesman Russ Knocke.
(emphasis added)

How do you like that? We might as well all become illegal aliens. They obviously can move freely through our borders, through our society, but we Americans can't!

Several members of Congress were incredulous, and pledged to force a change in the January deadline.

"They have got an awful mess that they can't handle and they're going to have to put this whole notion off for another year," said Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., whose district lies along the U.S.-Canadian border. "If there is a mistake to be made, I'm sorry to say DHS will make it."
I couldn't agree more! And the biggest mistake is confusing American citizens with the illegal aliens! We aren't the criminals. We aren't the ones sneaking across the borders. We aren't the ones who should have to deal with all of this.

Maura Harty, the assistant secretary for consular affairs, acknowledged the department did not adequately anticipate "the American citizens' willingness and desire to comply" with the rule "in the timeframe that they did."

Last year, the agency processed 12.1 million passports. This year, officials expect to process about 18 million, she said. The department received 1 million applications in December, 1.8 million January and 1.7 million in February.
And look at that: last year they processed 12.1 million passports. This year, probably 18 million. The number of illegal aliens in this country is as low as 12 million and probably higher than 18 million. Why can't we process that many right out the door?

But the mess only gets bigger (not even considering how big of a mess DHS will have if the Amnesty is revived and passed):

Harty said the department had hired 145 people last month to work on the backlog and would hire 400 more this quarter. Target turnaround times for passports were bumped up from six to 10-12 weeks after the surge, but 500,000 applications have already taken longer, she said.

Those numbers pale in comparison to what lies ahead.

According to government estimates, about 6 million Americans will need formal documents to travel to the Caribbean, Canada or Mexico by air or sea. The estimated need for land crossings is more than four times that: 27 million Americans over the next five years. Those numbers do not include the regular year-to-year demand for passports.

The State Department is still working on creating a cheaper passcard alternative for land crossings.
Isn't this fabulous?

I really just can't get over the fact that DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff and President Bush have been trying to reward illegal aliens with citizenship, not seeming to understand that there are probably terrorists in that group, but want to force more requirements on American citizens. I just want to scream sometimes. I don't want to pay for a passport in case I want to go to Canada (cause I'm never going to Mexico).

I really just can't wrap my mind around it. They are trying to improve border security. To do so, they are requiring American citizens to have passports to cross, but people who came here illegally, basically as invaders, are being rewarded for doing so. Does that mean I should just say "Screw it, I'm going over and back without a passport?" Does that mean they will allow me to get away without paying fines, facing jail time or being deported? Does that mean I don't have to pay taxes?

Sounds like a great deal. Let's all be illegals!

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