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RealClearPolitics - Articles - Center for American Common Culture

Last Build Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2006 00:09:32 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2007

First Things First on Immigration

Mon, 19 Jun 2006 00:09:32 -0600

Let us not make this mistake again. We favor what Newt Gingrich has described as "sequencing." First border and interior enforcement must be funded, operational, implemented, and proven successful¾and only then can we debate the status of current illegal immigrants, or the need for new guest worker programs. We are in the middle of a global war on terror. 2006 is not 1986. Today, we need proof that enforcement (both at the border and in the interior) is successful before anything else happens. As Ronald Reagan used to say "trust, but verify." The majority of Republicans in the Senate opposed the recently passed Hagel-Martinez bill. Senator Vitter (R-LA) said that because border enforcement will not be in place, "this [bill] will in fact make the illegal immigration problem much bigger." The No. 3 Republican in the Senate, Senator Rick Santorum (PA) said, "We need a border-security bill first." Senator Vitter, Senator Santorum, the majority of Senate Republicans, and the majority of House Republicans are right¾we need proven enforcement before we do anything else. Adopting cosmetic legislation to appear to be "doing something" about enforcement, but which actually makes the situation worse, is not statesmanship, it is demagogy. We thank the majority of the Senate Republicans (33 in all) and the seven Democrats who supported the Isakson amendment, which insists upon verifiable benchmarks for border security before considering other issues. Moreover, we say "Thank You" to Jim Sensenbrenner, Peter King, and the bi-partisan House majority including 36 Democrats, that passed HR 4437. We may quibble with a clause here and there, but you in the House and the majority of Senate Republicans are right to emphasize that the Congress and the President must deal with enforcement first and other issues later. Stand fast; the American people are overwhelmingly with you. Signed, William B. Allen, Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University William J. Bennett, former Secretary of Education under President Reagan, former Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under former President George H.W. Bush Thomas L. Bock, National Commander of the American Legion Robert H. Bork, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, former Solicitor General, acting Attorney General, Supreme Court nominee, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William F. Buckley, Jr., founder and Editor-at-Large of National Review Peter Collier, founding Publisher of Encounter Books, cofounder of Center for the Study of Popular Culture Ward Connerly, former Regent at the University of California, founder and Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI), winner of the 2005 Bradley Prize for Outstanding Intellectual Achievement T. Kenneth Cribb, former domestic policy advisor for President Ronald Reagan Glynn Custred, Professor of Anthropology at California State University, Hayward, and coauthor of the California Civil Rights Initiative, Proposition 209 John C. Eastman, Professor of Law at Chapman University School of Law, Director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence John Fonte, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center of American Common Culture at the Hudson Institute David Frum, former speechwriter for George W. Bush, Resident Fellow at American Enterprise Institute Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., founder and President of the Center for Security Policy Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chairman of the Gingrich Group, Senior Fellow at American Enterprise Institute Jonah Goldberg, Editor-at-Large of the National Review Online, national syndicated columnist Victor Davis Hanson, Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, recipient of the 1991 American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award David Horowitz, cofounder of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, Editor of Fred C. Iklé, former Undersecretary of Defense under Reagan, former Director of U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency David Keene, Chairman of the [...]