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Can We Trust Bush’s New Rhetoric on Immigration?

I was encouraged by the President’s emphasis on securing our borders and enforcing our current immigration laws. The very fact that he appeared on the border with law enforcement sends a message to illegal aliens that porous borders will not be tolerated any longer. However, as with all politicians who change their rhetoric and their policies under political pressure, the public must continue to push the Administration to follow up on its words. I think President Reagan said it best: we must trust but verify.

Ending ‘Catch and Release’

The President’s push to end the dangerous policy of ‘catch and release’ is dead on. ‘Catch and release’ has for years made our attempt to enforce the law a farce because few who are released ever return to a court of law. Ending this policy alone will go a long way towards returning the rule of law to our immigration system.

Increased Border Patrol

While I applaud the President for hiring more Border Patrol agents, I have to ask why he didn’t do it years ago. Congress approved the hiring of 10,000 more border officers in the intelligence reform bill. I am cautiously optimistic that he’ll get it right this time, and provide the necessary resources to gain control of our border.

‘Temporary Guest Worker’ Plan

The President has come a long way on immigration since he proposed blanket amnesty for illegal aliens in January, 2004. He has talked tough on border security, and now he’s even putting pressure on businesses that drive the demand side of the illegal immigration equation. But what the White House still hasn’t grasped is that Americans will not tolerate amnesty, no matter what you call it. When the President proposes allowing illegal aliens in the U.S. to stay for six years—a privilege not granted to the millions who are waiting to come here the right way—he doesn’t punish lawbreakers as our laws provide. By rewarding lawbreaking, the President only encourages more of the same.

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Written By

Mr. Tancredo represented Colorado's 6th Congressional District from 1999 until 2009 where he chaired the 100+ member bipartisan Immigration Reform Caucus. He currently serves as co-chairman of Team America PAC and president of the Rocky Mountain Foundation. He authored In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Security.

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