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Joe Guzzardi We continue to ignore 9/11 as immigration wake-up call

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Joe Guzzardi

Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 9:05 am, Sat Sep 10, 2011.

On 9/11 at about 3 a.m., I ended my all-night tour of the Arizona-Mexico border. With a retired Border Patrol agent, I had spent the previous evening driving from Sierra Vista along the San Pedro River to the Naco Border Patrol Station.

For hours, we drove in pitch darkness. Along many stretches, not even a single strand of barbed wire divided Mexico from the U.S. Anyone could — and many did— walk into the country unfettered. In the few places that we saw fencing, my guide said that an Arizona rancher trying to keep his livestock from straying had most likely put it up — not the federal government.

At sporadic intervals, a lone border agent driving a van passed us by. What became clear was that the border is essentially unprotected. And what was equally obvious is that, despite arguments to the contrary, more effective border policing — either with additional agents or the military — could be easily accomplished.

Once back at my hotel (ironically full of safety and intelligence experts studying at Ft. Huachuca, a former U.S. Cavalry post and now the U.S. Army Intelligence Training Center), I slept only a few hours before a call woke me with the message to turn on my television.

As a long-standing advocate for less immigration, I thought 9/11 would usher in stricter border controls and more thoughtful legal immigration oversight. And for the few weeks immediately following the attacks, I was right. President George W. Bush ended his amnesty discussions with Mexico's Vicente Fox. Visa applications were no longer automatically approved.

But the well-funded, politically connected forces that lobby for more immigration pressed on as if 9/11 never happened. Even a Center for Immigration Studies study issued six months after 9/11 didn't slow them. The CIS report revealed that the 48 foreign-born terrorists used almost every conceivable immigration tool to carry out their plot: temporary visas, illegal entry, asylum petitions and, for those in the U.S. since 1993, either lawful permanent residency or citizenship.

Before long, Bush returned to his amnesty advocacy, institutions accepted the worthless matricula consular as a valid form of illegal alien identification, and Congress introduced the DREAM for the first of countless times. In 2007, Bush delivered an impassioned speech advocating for more immigration from Tucson, only miles from the border.

As bad as Bush was, President Barack Obama is worse. With Obama's election and his appointment of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, respect for immigration laws (and the Constitution) has vanished. During her three years, Napolitano has criss-crossed the country to do Obama's immigration bidding. Napolitano, a former Arizona governor who should know better, has promoted the DREAM Act and has laughably insisted that the border has never been more secure.

Two weeks ago, Obama's contempt for immigration law hit a new low with his plan to excuse up to 300,000 non-violent illegal aliens currently in deportation proceedings. Given the low profile that the terrorists maintained in 2001, many of them also would have been excused instead of deported as the law required.

Despite the horrors from 10 years ago, the U.S. still has no sound, safe immigration policy. Anyone who sneaks in will probably stay. Those who come legally on non-immigrant visas often don't go home.

Immigration policy, if you can call it that, is about election strategy, not Americans' best interests. In the decade that has passed since 9/11, the country should have learned its lesson about border security's importance. Alas, the opposite is true. Come one, come all.

Joe Guzzardi retired from the Lodi Unified School District in 2008. Contact him at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

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  • Steve Schmidt posted at 6:57 pm on Thu, Sep 22, 2011.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2677

    I don't know about the piranhas but they do have some big asp rattle snakes down that way.

  • Steve Schmidt posted at 6:55 pm on Thu, Sep 22, 2011.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2677

    Darrell, they already have a moat. It is called The Rio Grande.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 11:26 am on Thu, Sep 22, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Steve stated...No, I don't support a fence on the border...

    I agree with Steve. A fence would do little good and cost too much money. I much better
    idea would to be build a 20 foot deep canal-like-mote filled with millions of Brazilian widemouth piranhas. Much easier to maintain, would help with a water shortage and at the same time provide fresh fish for people who enjoy that kind of thing.

  • Steve Schmidt posted at 12:54 pm on Tue, Sep 20, 2011.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2677

    No, I don't support a fence on the border. The fact is, it's 1,200 miles from Brownsville to El Paso. Two things: How long you think it would take to build that? And then if you build a 30-foot wall from El Paso to Brownsville, the 35-foot ladder business gets real good.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 11:31 pm on Sat, Sep 17, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866

    Good column Joe. You hit the nail right on the head. Except for Joanne and her ilk,
    most people understand we need to secure our borders despite what motivates the people to come here illegally. It's unfortunate those who only want to feed their family
    get caught up in all of this. But, there is no simple solution to deciphering the illegals who aren't a threat and illegals who are. And of course Joanne thinks terrorists organizations aren't paying off the coyotes and other human smugglers to get the Jihadests in here.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 11:21 pm on Sat, Sep 17, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866

    And Joanne almost gives the ANYONE who wishes come here illegally a pass by implying they are more than welcome to use the border south of us to enter this country just to spite the Republicans. And frankly, I don't know how she can interpret Joe's desire to secure our borders as something evil. I suggest she get down on her hands and knees and thank those who are making a concerted effort to protect us from those who wish to do us harm.

  • Bob Marconi posted at 5:21 pm on Wed, Sep 14, 2011.

    Bob Marconi Posts: 38

    My goodness, Ms Bobin's rhetoric certainly borders on libel if not plain nastiness.

  • Mike Adams posted at 6:20 am on Wed, Sep 14, 2011.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1565

    Joanne: I've read the republican playbook. As you know, these are typical responses, deferring blame and accountablity onto knowledgable members of the other side. Expect more of this type of behavior. It wasn't easy, all things considered, to bring the rank and file wrong onto the same page, rebutal-wise.

    I've noticed daniel now corrects the incorrect usage of common words. And he's one of the smart ones (if there is such a thing). Very, very weak and impotent.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:44 pm on Tue, Sep 13, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    I personally would not refer to my comment as "name calling." Just pure fact. And since you did not have any pertinent comments to make other than your stupid remark, I would not be commenting on others' intellect, Mr. Nelson.

  • Charles Nelson posted at 2:27 pm on Sun, Sep 11, 2011.

    Charles Nelson Posts: 259

    Ahhhh yes, name calling. Where liberals go when they have nothing intelligent to retort. You, Ms. Bobin, seem to go there a lot.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:13 pm on Sun, Sep 11, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    As one of the chief bigots in Lodi and a Joe Guzzardi supporter, I can expect nothing less than a stupid comment from you, Mr. Nelson.

  • Charles Nelson posted at 9:54 am on Sun, Sep 11, 2011.

    Charles Nelson Posts: 259

    Freudian slip Ms. Bobin?

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:22 am on Sat, Sep 10, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Joe Guzzardi never ceases to disgust me.

    How dare he equate terrorists with only one purpose - to destroy America and Americans, and who would have used any means within their power to get here to do it - with desperate people whose only desire is to feed their families.

    You are a joke, Joe Guzzardi. You are a disgrace to those who lost their lives on 9/11.


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