According to a Pew Hispanic Center survey conducted back in March 2006, approximately 850,000 illegal immigrants penetrate the U.S.-Mexico border each year. Today, illegal immigrants make up approximately 4% of the U.S. population, 5% of the workforce, 50% of California’s prison population, 20% of the general prison population, and 17% of the federal prison population. In the next 24 hours, an additional 2,400 illegal immigrants will have successfully crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. And that's not even the worst of it.
When it comes to border security, President Bush has not only failed the American people, but he has actually placed us in harm’s way. The U.S.-Mexico border is quite possibly the most easily penetrated border in the entire world. Meanwhile, America remains the loftiest of targets for terrorist activity. President Bush’s negligence is criminal.
When Congress created the Department of Homeland Security back in 2002, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was broken up into two separate departments: Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Aside from creating more bureaucracy, the replacement of the INS with two departments has accomplished little. Indeed, the corruption with which the INS was plagued is equally prevalent in the institution’s replacements.
America’s largely unpatrolled borders poses a significant threat to our national security. While the vast majority of illegal entries into the United States arrive from Mexico, our border with Canada cannot be overlooked. Anybody who crosses either border without detection must be recognized and treated as a security risk. In fact, from the moment a person steps foot on American soil without proper documentation, he or she has already committed a federal offense:
U.S. Code, Title 8, Section 1325: Improper entry by alien
Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
More importantly, the ease with which illegals are crossing our borders on a daily basis sends a clear signal to the entire world that America remains vulnerable to attack.