I hear on the radio this morning that John McCain is to be in town today. He'll have a fund raising luncheon put on in his honor. It's $2300 per ticket so it's not on my calendar for today's activities.
Besides, it's raining here today and it's a mess out there.
Our mayor, Bill White, was presented with the JFK Profile in Courage award in Boston yesterday. It was in recognition of all the Katrina people being brought here. Too bad they didn't see fit to do a co-award with White's partner in the leadership thing, Judge Robert Eckel. He spearheaded the entire county operation. It's a co-leadership office here with the mayor's office. I don't know. Don't ask me how it all shakes out but it's an elected position, too.
Oh yeah, Judge Eckel is a Republican so I guess that explains it. The mayor's race in Houston is suppose to be non-partisan. Yeah, right. And it's no secret the party of White's affiliation as he is the former deputy Secretary of Energy for Bill Clinton's administration. Whatever. He's rumored to be looking at running for governor next time around.
Caroline Kennedy and Teddy "the Swimmer" Kennedy were to present the award. The award is a sterling silver lantern modeled after the lantern on the USS Constitution. The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy. There's a little cocktail party trivia for you.
"Mayor White's quick actions evacuating thousands of families displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita most certainly helped to save lives," Caroline Kennedy said.
The illegal immigration debate going on is interesting. Wonder if anyone will take on McCain today at the luncheon. Here in Houston, a sanctuary city, it is estimated we have 225,000 illegal immigrants living here. So, I would feel fairly secure saying that is a low estimate. It always turns out these estimates are low.
225,000. Here in Houston alone. That number is larger than a lot of communities in this country. It's not a good thing for quality of life. Ours or theirs. We have increased crime, including the gang MS-13 heralded the most violent of gangs. Our education and health care systems are stretched to the breaking point. The vast majority of these people, if they are working, are paid in cash and not paying taxes to the city. Or the country they have illegally entered. Those that say they are just here to work and they pay taxes? Don't kid yourself.
Our police force has been instructed to not ask if someone stopped for a traffic violation has proper documentation to be here in this country. Same with the school system. Same with the hospital emergency rooms. Illegal immigrant college students are given reduced in-state tuition here in Texas.
I think it all has to begin with closing the borders, both north and south. It has nothing to do with xenophobia. That is a red herring thrown into the discussion by those wanting completely open borders. The United States, Canada and Mexico are all sovereign countries. Borders are meant to be respected. We pride ourselves as being a nation of laws. The fact that these immigrants entered our country illegally means the very first act was one of complete disrespect for our way of life. Our compassion has to have limits.
So, build the fences. Use resources to monitor the border areas. Electronic surveillance, a beefed up Border Patrol that is allowed to do its job without fear of imprisonment, and enforcing the laws currently on the books. Deport those caught violating our laws. They've got families here you say? So, it's their choice. They can leave them here or take them with them. They took that risk when they ran through the border. Or drove in hiding under blankets in the back of a truck.
I think postponing a vote on the proposed legislation until June is a good thing. What's the rush? The rush is to seal the borders. The rush isn't to provide a fast track to citizenship for illegal aliens. They are here. They aren't going anywhere. It's all the same old same old. Do you really think they'll pay the fines, go back to their country of origin for the waiting period, only bring a certain amount of family members allowed by the legislation? There are those complaining that not enough family members will be allowed a free pass into the U.S. Please.
Amnesty in the 1980's, by Reagan, was touted as the answer to the border problems. And here we are 20 years later. Projected 12 million illegal immigrants in our country. Times have changed. The world is a different, much more dangerous place. It is past time for us to know who is in our country. The murderers of 9/11 came in from Canada. The nitwits from the Fort Dix interrupted terror plot came in from Mexico.
The most irritating part of the illegal immigration debate? The sense of entitlement by those demanding amnesty. The waving of Mexican and other flags at demonstrations. The fact they take to the streets and demonstrate in the first place. A few well placed INS people movers and roaming agents would curb that nonsense. The arrogance of the illegal immigrant, unwilling to assimilate into American ways, to learn our language, to abide by our laws is unacceptable.
From the beginning of forever, immigrants to our country wanted to be Americans. They wanted the American way of life. All of us, except for Native Americans, are descendants of immigrants to this country. It's what makes America the greatest country on the face of the earth. The illegal immigrants are not here for that. They are here for money and services. Period.
First, seal the borders. Then have a process of citizenship which includes fines for breaking the law in the first place. Only after the fines are paid may they begin the paperwork to citizenship. It is not fair to those doing the right thing and going through the process legally for us to look the other way. There is no other country on this planet that allows illegal immigration.
Any time I see Teddy 'The Swimmer' Kennedy smiling, I grab for my wallet and look for the catch.