Borderpalooza Tour 2011
The chorus of people critical of President Obama's jobs record should know that his policies have managed to spur the entrepreneurial spirit of Gray Line Tours, situated near the bustling Arizona-Mexico border. Gray Line Tours, in the absence of any facts about immigration coming from D.C., has taken it upon itself to offer Americans its own view of the realities of the border. Who needs a jobs bill?
For a mere 89 bucks, you can inspect the results of federal ineptitude firsthand! Take the tour and speak with ranchers on the front lines, witness the Border Patrol in action, and even walk the desert like immigrants from Mexico! It's like the back-lot movie tours of Universal Studios, only with real-life cowboys!
The tragedy of it all is the political football that immigration has become, particularly amongst the elites in Washington. September marked Hispanic Heritage Month, during which President Obama addressed immigration with a duality towards Hispanics that would make Dr. Jekyll blush.
As Mr. Hyde, the president extols his hard-line deportation record, pointing to a 70% increase in shipping illegals home since taking office in 2009. After disappearing into the presidential limousine, he reappears as Dr. Jekyll to tell different, and noticeably more Hispanic, crowds how he wishes he could just "bypass" Congress and grant amnesty to illegal immigrants already here.
This wouldn't be the first time this president or any other tried to -- pardon the pun -- live on both sides of the fence. However, with no clear immigration policy, he appears as cynical as ever, attempting to keep the increasing Hispanic vote solidly behind the Democratic Party while appealing to a Middle America that supports stricter border control.
Since the president's policies amount to very little other than a confusing desire for amnesty for all while deporting as many as the courts can process, it is no surprise that "Border Tours 2011" is traveling the dusty desert roads in search of some kind of truth.
The tourists who go on the bus tour get the chance to see up close and personal the effects of President Obama's schizophrenic immigration policies. Ranchers are awakened in the middle of the night by bands of Mexicans, some of whom are crossing in search of work while many others seek criminal opportunities. Residents situated along the border see all too clearly the president's lack of border enforcement as a dereliction of duty.
Tourists also get to see the dangerous path many illegals take when trying to enter the U.S. Deserts are not any easy obstacle to overcome, and many risk their lives trying to find a better life in the U.S. The problem, however, is that illegal immigration diminishes the security and financial stability of border states tasked with managing this crisis.
California is bankrupt due to a myriad of reasons, but one of them is the high cost incurred from dealing with an out-of-control illegal immigration problem. Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas all face similar problems while the federal government adopts a "nothing to see here" attitude.
For citizens and illegals alike, a solution needs to be found to balance the requirements of border security while fully appreciating the desires of those less fortunate to come to America and seek a better life.
In truth, the answer is that less is better. More government and more laws are not needed to solve the problems. What would be obvious to anyone sitting on a bus passing along the border is that enforcement of current laws would provide the certainty needed by all who reside outside D.C. Certainty would give citizens the confidence that government is on their side in dealing with the financial and criminal costs of illegal immigration.
Enforcing the laws and securing the border would also send a clear message to those contemplating illegally entering the U.S. You will be dealt with in a uniform and rapid manner. Discouraging attempts to cross the dangerous no man's land into the U.S. means that fewer will put their lives in danger. The nonchalance that currently passes as federal border enforcement serves only to encourage the idea that the border and the American system can be taken advantage of.
If President Obama would commit to enforcing the current laws on the books and securing the border, he and the rest of those advocating for amnesty might just be surprised by how many allies he would discover. By doing so, he might be able to work with conservatives to help craft a solution to the illegal immigration problem. But then again, he would lose the wedge issue that could reap him electoral gains next fall.
Plus, already saddled with a zero-job-growth economy, he might be concerned about unemployment rising if "Border Tour 2011" loses its reason for existence.