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October 5, 2006 [LINK / comment]

Illegal immigration crackdown

At a symbolic ceremony in Scottsdale, Arizona today, President Bush signed into law a bill which includes $1.2 billion in funding as the first step toward building a 700-mile long fence along the Mexican border. (That doesn't even cover half the total distance, as Jay Leno observed.) Some details have yet to be worked out, however. See Washington Times. It is sad that such a measure was necessary, but it is probably the only way to get the attention of Mexico, where the prevailing attitude is one of haughty dismissal and/or resentment toward the U.S.A.

It will take a lot more than spending Federal money to repair the breach in our southern frontier, however. In Foreign Policy, Peter Skerry writes "How not to build a fence." He notes that the existing fence is a hodgepodge of different sizes and materials, designed for different purposes. He notes, correctly, that the inconsistent approach to policing the border with Mexico reflects the deep ambivalence most Americans have about immigration. This points to the broader dilemma of how to pursue reform of public policies in both Mexico and United States so that human migration is no longer promoted.

Meanwhile, the Herndon, Virginia Police Department is getting involved with enforcing immigration laws under a special program with the Immigration and Custom Enforcement Agency. This policy change was in reaction to last year's unpopular vote by the city council to pay for a day-labor center. The incumbents lost their reelection bids, and the new city council has adopted a stricter stance toward illegal workers. Many of the illegal immigrants are now afraid of the police, and are looking for work in other parts of Northern Virginia. See Washington Post.

It just so happens that, while driving through Annandale on Saturday morning, I saw for myself for the first time a large contingent of immigrant day laborers standing along Little River Turnpike. There were probably 50 or more of them within a three-block span. A police car with its lights flashing was stopped near some of them, but I don't know what that was about.

Fighting smut on TV

Do you ever get the helpless feeling that nothing can be done to reverse the hideous "slouch toward Gomorrah" that is gradually spreading from MTV to the major TV networks? Well, you can start here: the American Family Association compiles complaints about objectionable broadcast TV material. (via Stacey Morris).

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 05 Oct 2006, 11: 42 PM

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