Friday, December 16, 2005



YAHOO carries the story from AP:

"House Moves to Banish Illegal Immigration"

Passing legislation by a vote of 260 - 159, the House of Representatives took a first step toward the construction of about 700 miles of fence along the border beteen Mexico and the US.

Of course, it's important to remember this is only about one-third of the border's length.

It's about time... "We" should have done this a long time ago.

Now, the onus is on the Senate, and then the President.


VIA FoxNews:

"Senate Blocks Vote to Extend Patriot Act",2933,178898,00.html

It is, admittedly, one of those procedural votes that drive majority-rule purists crazy. The vote was 52 - 47 in favor of ending further discussion and bringing the matter to a vote, not good enough to overcome the inevitable filibuster.

The bill being considered was intended to be a compromise between competing versions of The Patriot Act reauthorization advanced by the House and Senate and had already passed the House.

Good news, I think. The Patriot act was the Legislative equivalent of a screaming tantrum. The fact it is being picked apart by both Houses suggests the tantrum may be subsiding.

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I find it serendipitous these two issues came to a vote so close together. On one hand, we have an invasive, impractical measure of dubious constitutionality - The Patriot Act has not been well received by the courts - which is full of the potential for abuse. On the other hand, we have a basic measure designed to fulfill a basic requirement of this or any Nation: Control if its borders.

Common sense screams it is simpler to stop terrorist infiltration than find infiltrated terrorists - if we first have that border control. And that is just part of the benefits border control will provide.

Seeing who does and who does not support these measures - and hearing their rationales - will be interesting indeed.

I'm of two camps. I believe the border needs to be secured. But I also believe there needs to be a guest worker program.

So many of my conservative brethren scream about sending all the mexicans home. If they think for a second that there are Americans to fill those jobs, Ag in particular, they are nuts. Or just uninformed.
Agree with Hindu on both points. We need Mexican Laborers, they need our jobs.

As the house bill requires, though, we MUST document all of them, and set up a reasonable program. Employers that dont verify eleigible status should be crucified.

As to the patriot act, some portions of it were egregious, and need to be pared down or taken out. Unfortunately, I have a bad feeling that this will lead to the loss of many good parts of the act as well, and I hope it will not have a negative effect (meaing massive loss of life of innocent citizens)...

I agree - document them all. One point I'd like to add is that most of the documentation I hear don't sound tight enough. Right now we require SS card with valid SSN# and proof of legality. All of these are easily forged. Many of the boys pay about $100 in Tijana or San Diego (I'm sure Texas too) for valid SSN's and in many cases, the name that goes with that SSN. From there it's easy to get driver's license and the rest.

There needs to be a more secure, fraud-proof system for documentation.
There is a secure thumb-print technology available today (read the capillary pattern UNDER the print) that can be deplayed for less than $1000 per reader, and takes less than 10 seconds to capture a print.
Non-Invasive retina scan is a little more secure, but more expensive at around $5K per reader...
Right now, many states are moving to a standard thumb print, embedded into a 3D bar code on the Drivers License. Hard to fake, but not impossible to someone with funds.
Until we can do an instant DNA-print, Bio-metrics are our only option...
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