Saturday, May 13, 2006


In what’s become the worst-kept Bush administration secret, NBC, among others, is reporting

that President Bush might deploy national guard troops to the Mexican border.

As the White House prepared for President Bush to address the nation on immigration, sources told NBC News on Friday that the Pentagon could deploy as many as 5,000 National Guard troops to the country’s southwest borders to stem the flow of illegal immigrants.

It’s about time that the federal government got serious about stopping illegals from entering via the U.S.-Mexican border. If that portion of border security isn’t fixed, the rest is immaterial. Until that’s fixed, forget about normalization of illegals already here. Until that’s fixed, forget about guest worker programs. PERIOD.

Senate passage of the legislation appears assured, but many House Republicans oppose allowing illegal immigrants now in the country a chance at citizenship. The deployment of military troops to stem the flow of more illegal immigrants could be a way to ease that opposition. The legislation includes provisions for additional border security, a new guest worker program and eventual citizenship for many of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.

My bet is that the guest worker program is DOA from the House’s perspective and won’t be part of the legislation that the President will eventually sign. I’m also betting the legislation will phase in the normalization of illegal aliens after the flow of illegal aliens is stopped or dramatically reduced.

Bush and top House Republicans reviewed the issue last week at a private White House meeting, according to several officials, and the president urged the GOP congressional leadership to embrace his call for comprehensive legislation. That means provisions to strengthen border security, coupled with a guest worker program that, while the president doesn’t say so in public, provides a chance at citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.

I’m certain that some Republicans will stay home this November out of stubbornness on this single issue. On the other hand, there are enough level-headed conservatives and Republicans out there to vote for this bill so we can take it off the table before the midterm elections. If this issue is off the table, then I envision a fairly stable environment for Republicans this fall.

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