2004 October 21 Thursday
Bush Opposes 9/11 Commission Border Control Recommendations

The Bush Administration does not want to see the 9/11 Commissions recommendations on immigration-related matters put into law.

The White House is increasing pressure on Congress to strike from the final intelligence-reform legislation certain immigration-related provisions that House Republicans had tagged onto their version of the bill.

With a conference on the House and Senate versions of the legislation opening today, the Bush administration has written to Congress, expressing opposition to provisions that would broaden the government's ability to deport aliens and limit the rights of asylum-seekers.

What is being struck out? Provisions that the bipartisan National Comission On Terrorist Attacks Upon The United States (a.k.a. the 9/11 Commission) very explicitly recommended immigration, border control, and visa policies in order to reduce the risk that terrorists will be able to get into and stay in the United States of America. Also see my previous post on the 9/11 Commission and immigration and border control policy.

Dain Stein of the Federation for American Immigration Reform points out specific 9/11 Commission report pages that called for the legislative provisions that the Bush White House is now opposing in negotiations with Congress.

While the 9/11 Commission report ranks No. 1 on The New York Times nonfiction bestsellers (for the 11th week in a row), open borders advocates are mounting a massive disinformation campaign aimed at convincing Congress and the American public that the reforms included in H.R. 10 were not called for by the Commission. "The immigration provisions of H.R. 10 correspond precisely to the failures noted by the 9/11 Commission and the recommendations they made to rectify the conditions that contributed directly to the ability of the terrorists to attack us on Sept. 11," said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). "To say that the 9/11 Commission did not call for sweeping reforms to U.S. immigration policy and immigration enforcement is an act of sheer audacity and falsehood."

Among the critical immigration policy reforms specifically called for in the 9/11 Commission Report are:

  • Requiring the use of valid passports for all travel within the Western Hemisphere (p. 388).
  • Detention of unauthorized aliens and enhanced interior enforcement (Staff Report p. 95)
  • Improved document security, including uniform standards for driver's license issuance and barring the acceptance of foreign consular IDs (p. 390).
  • Expedited removal of illegal aliens who have been in the U.S. less than five years (p. 384).
  • Denial of asylum claims of individuals suspected of having ties to terrorist organizations (Staff Report pp. 98-99).
  • Limiting judicial review of orders of deportation (Staff Report, p. 95 and p. 143).

FAIR has prepared a comprehensive analysis of each of the immigration reform provisions included in H.R. 10, citing the precise recommendations as they appeared in the Commission's report.

Audacity and falsehood? That's a polite way of saying Bush and his crew are lying on this issue.

George W. Bush is tough on terrorism? Not if it gets in the way of Hispandering.

Bush says he opposes more vigorous measures to totally stop illegal border crossings on the US-Mexico border. Yet border control is a solvable problem. If we use Israel's barrier fence structure between Israel and the West Bank as a source for cost estimates then the cost range for an almost 2000 mile border is between $3.4 billion at $1.7 million per mile and $7 billion at $3.5 million per mile. Also, the hefty fence barrier at the Mexico-San Diego border area is $1.7 million per mile.

In that last link Edward Rubinstein draws parallels with the interstate highway construction project. How about we compare these costs to highway construction costs? The Interstate Highway System is 44,500 miles long. Average construction costs for the combination of rural, suburban, urban interstate highway is over $20 million per mile.

Rural and even some suburban highway construction costs far less than complex urban highways in major cities, particularly since there is little infrastructure displacement and there are typically fewer traffic lanes. Most interstate highways in the United States cost just over $1 million per mile to build (Grossman, 1996). In 1996 dollars, the Federal Highway Administration has calculated the "weighted rural and urban combined" costs per mile of interstate highway to be $20.6 million.(9) Other highway construction normally ranges from $1 million to $5 million per mile, but in mountainous regions, like West Virginia, the costs can be as high as $15 million per mile (Brogan, 1997). The costs per highway mile in the expanding Los Angeles metropolitan area for four Ventura County projects were $1.7 million, $2.1 million, $2.4 million, and $2.9 million respectively (Green, 1996).

At a weighted average of $20 million per mile the total cost works out to almost $900 billion dollars. So the cost of a barrier along the border with Mexico less than one percent of the cost of the interstate highway system and a much much smaller percentage of the cost of all highways, roads, streets, bridges, and tunnels.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 October 21 07:41 PM  Immigration Terrorism

John S Bolton said at October 21, 2004 8:32 PM:

If they can't spend $3 1/2 billion on an effective barrier fortification on the southern border, that proves that our military establishment is essentially a welfare institution. The nation is under repeated attack by terrorists who kill thousands at a stroke, and it was illegal immigrants who did this, and our military still does not have troops defending the border. Mexico, however, does have its military in force on that border, and repeatedly attacking across it. They're only there to protect the drug traffic, some might say; but that doesn't make it any better. The homeland security department is basically a welfare project; they refuse to defend our borders, more than in a perfunctory and ineffectual way. That new welfare program is eating up $47 billion each year without doing the basics.

gaw3 said at October 21, 2004 11:39 PM:

Really fascinating reading. I think this is a big problem, and also a delicate issue- think of the long lines already at airport check-in, and try to scale up to the Tijuana border crossing! You have to do it in a way that sifts out the bad guys without interfering with trade etc. But the commission's recommendations are a good start.

Invisible Scientist said at October 22, 2004 6:19 AM:

The Bush administration's reticence to crack down on illegal Mexican immigration,
almost certainly has a component that is connected with the election politics, because
an important percentage of the US citizens, are already of Hispanic heritage.

But this is not a disease, it is only a symptom: Note that not all cheap labor serves the USA
in the form of working class immigrants, because the modern age of communications and shipping,
reinforces colosal foreign trade deficits every year approximately $500 billion per year),
which is essentially a form of immigration because these foreigners are gaining enough dollars
to buy influence in the US: Let me explain more concretely... What I am saying is that the US
government finances the foreign trade deficit by its own deficit spending, but that money is still
leaking out of the US, in such a way that one side-effect of this asymmetric money creation scheme is that foreign countries are constantly increasing their dollar reserves. For example, China: $471 billion, Japan: $800 billion, Taiwan: $230, India: $114 billion,East Asia: $500 billion. Hence the total from above is $2,015 billion, while the U.S. M2 Money Supply is $6,350 billion. This means that Asian holdings of the US dollars alone, is close to 30 % of the M2. And foreigners own over 40 % of all the Treasury bills and Treasury bonds. At some point, if this asymmetry starts constraining the US government's ability to continue deficit spending, the entire scheme can collapse, but this is a political consideration, we are unable to predict what foreign governments will decide to do with their hoard of cash.

In retrospect, since the foreigners have such an important percentage of the US money supply (and
they will get a lot more in the future at this rate), the US government has no choice to
LEGISLATE in order to SELL the USA to foreigners, by allowing them to buy land, real estate,
political influence, and even US citizenship with all that money the foreigners have. Otherwise,
the foreingers may one day dump these dollars as worhtless. So far, this financing scheme is
working, as the US is able to export newly printed paper money in exchange
for real goods and services made abroad.

As you can see, there is a similarity between our politically motivated loose immigration
controls with Mexico, and our inclination to sell influence to foreigners in exchange for their
accepting our paper money as if it were real. The second threat against the US is even more
pernicious than the illegal immigration, since the illegal Mexicans do want to Americanize
themselves on many occasions, if they could get some decent education, because the Hispanics
do NOT have a foreign ideology or doctrine like some of the new opponents have elsewhere.

Derek Copold said at October 22, 2004 6:38 AM:

If Kerry had any brains, he'd run ads about this in battleground states. It'd certainly depress Dubya's support from "Reagan Democrats."

Invisible Scientist said at October 22, 2004 7:23 AM:

You wrote above: "If Kerry had any brains, he'd run ads about this in battleground states. It'd certainly depress Dubya's support from "Reagan Democrats." "

But if the assesment of Bush that "immigration control is bad for his re-election" , is correct,
then it also follows that Kerry's campaign would also suffer in equal measure if he tried
to run ads about immigration control.

But one way or another, it is a general axiom that "things must get worse before they get better."

Derek Copold said at October 22, 2004 2:05 PM:

As both candidates have endorsed the 9/11 commission, Kerry could get away with this in targeted advertising in MidWest states. The only voters he may lose are a few hotheads in California, but he's up by some 20 points there anyhow.

seelow heights said at October 22, 2004 5:38 PM:

Kerry also has to worry about swing states with Hispanic voters like New Mexico and Nevada. Florida has many Hispanics but few Mexicans;however Central and South Americans might react negatively to a general tightening of border controls. Many Colombians and Venezuelans live in S Florida. How many are citizens? Hard to say, but with noone checking they are free to vote if they want to. In extremely close swing states like Iowa and Wisconsin even a few hundred Hispanic votes may make a difference.

John S Bolton said at October 22, 2004 6:00 PM:

Treacherously jeopardizing the national security in order to truckle under to the drug-bribocracy of Mexico City is not practical politics. It is highly impractical, since it is dozens of times harder for the republican candidate to get a disadvantaged minority vote, than one from the majority.

seelow heights said at October 22, 2004 6:32 PM:

Watching Bush and Kerry scramble for a miniscule number of Hispanic votes is indeed a bizarre spectacle. Apparently Karl Rove does not think Bush can pick up more than a handful of white Democrats and independents with a tough immigration policy. There is also, no doubt, pressure from campaign contributors to keep the borders wide open.

Invisible Scientist said at October 22, 2004 11:15 PM:

To reiterate my point above, the worst type of lack of border control, is no longer the
loose geographic border policy, the worst is yet to come: the lack of restraint in foreign trade
deficit, and the financing of this deficit with paper money, is also like giving away our
sovereign borders, since this allows foreigners to control the USA. This can and will endanger
national security in the future. Note that there were currency trasfer controls in the
past, even under conservative Republican administrations. Right now, more than 30 % of
the US money supply is in foreign countries (mainly Asia) due to the trade deficit, and
40 % of the Treasury bills and Treasury bonds are owned by foreigners. I speculate that in the
future, there will be legislation that regulates foreign currency transfers, just like there
are passport controls. More mistrust and restrictions between nations.

John S Bolton said at October 23, 2004 1:49 AM:

It is like the saying that if you owe a small part of a bank's total loans, the bank owns you; but if you owe a significant part of the bank's capital, you own the bank. It is government paper piling up in the central bank of Japan, which they can't allow to be loaned out, since it would become the basis of inflation. They are giving us $500billion a year in money that will never be paid back, just to keep their export industries from crashing. it can't be paid back or returned as repatriated profits, because that would put their export industries into a slump. The situation is unstable, because eventually it is clear that they have no reason to have such large dollar reserves, and that they are robbing their savers to support the dollar. Taking these free exports is easy; but taking anti-merit immigrants and hordes of foreign criminals is a greater difficulty, since they require net public subsidy. To fence them out could save, at length, hundreds of billions a year; to wall out hundreds of biilion worth of free imports would be a cost.

Invisible Scientist said at October 23, 2004 5:49 AM:

What you are saying above about the fact that the foreign exports into the USA are for free in the
sense that the Japanese are buying the treasury bills in exchange for the cash that they got, is
only partly correct, in the sense that not all the $500 billion annual trade deficit, is converted into
treasury bills, as I mentioned above, in addition to the 40 % of the Treasury Bonds abroad,
some additional $2 trillion also are in dollar form abroad. Please note that the foreigners CAN dump
the treasury bills if they want, since this would force the Federal Reserve to buy all these bonds in
order to make sure that the bond market is not overcrowded, so that the US government can continue
deficit spending. Of course,in case of military tension, the US government can declare BOTH the
foreign-owned bonds and the dollars null and void, and this would indeed work as leverage to threaten
foreign governments, but then after this, Europe might step in and replace the dollars with their euro currency.
Ultimately this unstable financial imbalance will cause international tension greater than the going ons
in Iraq. According to some articles, it is speculated that one of the reasons Bush went to war in Iraq,
was the danger that both Saddam as well as some other Islamic leaders were talking about pricing their
oil in Euros instead of dollas. Contrary to what you said, the only
reason the foreign countries like China and Japan must continue
exporting essentially free goods to the USA is not simply because they need to save their industries
from imploding, they also need to have the currency to purchase the indispensable raw materials, and
the only international currency that raw material producing countries are presently accepting, happens
to be the US dollar. If the foreigners find another method for bartering raw materials in exchange for their
labor, then the US will no longer be able to continue the trade deficit. But as I said
above, this is why the US government LEGISLATED above to allow those foreigners who have dollars,
to purchasenot only American land, real estate, businesses, but also political influence and even
US citizenship. This way the deficit can be financed by selling the USA piece by piece. This was my point.

seelow heights said at October 23, 2004 6:06 AM:

As long as it is taboo to think of European-Americans as a group with legitimate interests nothing serious will be done about immigration. Blacks, "Hispanics", and even the amorphous group called Asians continually use the charge of "racism" to close down debate when their group interests are at stake. Such assertion of group interests is forbidden to those who are, after all, the descendants of the founders of the American nation. When the founding stock is rendered invisible and the anti-Western dogma of "multiculturalism" is defacto state policy the will to take decisive action will always be absent.

Invisible Scientist said at October 23, 2004 6:45 AM:

The way to remedy the immigration situation to protect the European-American majority,
is to legislate to raise the quality of immigrants.

The Green Card Lottery gives residency to an credible number of 50,000
(if my memory is correct) random applicants per year. Why not require a
minimum IQ of 130 and a Master's degree as a condition for participating in the lottery?

It turns out that those people with the above two qualifications, regardless of race, creed or previous
nationality (including atheist Arabs), are VERY assimilable into the European-American
culture (among the September 11 terrorists, there was a doctor of medicine, but this is a statistical
aberration). The unassimilable ones are the
ones who are uneducable.

And for all immigrants, adopt a very stringent "point system" similar to the one in New Zealand,
where qualifications like education, etc, are given high priority.

seelow heights said at October 23, 2004 12:23 PM:

Invisible Scientist: don't you recall how "racist" IQ tests are? Also, all the non-white and officially recognized racial groups have a collective vested increased in increased immigration, and the vast majority of their relatives and other co-ethnics have IQ's less than 130. I think you have a great concept- but it would be a hard sell.

seelow heights said at October 23, 2004 12:38 PM:

Addendum: the same applies pretty much for the point system proposal: once the immigration system has been taken over by a "non-elitist" family unification process, shifting to a merit based system would be politically very difficult; it would draw howls of protest, especially from the "hispanic" lobby. That is why it would only be feasible if a powerful Euro-American lobby could be mobilized to back it on, of course, meritocratic grounds. Oh yeah, and many East Asians could/would be included in that lobby.

Invisible Scientist said at October 23, 2004 1:40 PM:

Some IQ tests are "racist" in the sense that they favor the European culture in the verbal sense,
and sometimes even in the mathematical sense. But there are current efforts, to create
totally international, culture-free, and language free IQ tests that truly measure
cognitive capabilities.

However, for those who are really serious about immigrating to the USA, there is absolutely no
excuse for not being fluent in English, and for not having some decent familiarity with the
SAT and GRE, since almost all foreign countries, have SAT and GRE test centers, with training
for studying for these exams. So instead of IQ, we can require a high scores in SAT or GRE aptitude sections,
which are highly correlated with the IQ tests.

In any case, a "point system" that gives special weights to various educational and professional
qualifications, such as the immigration system in New Zealand, must be adopted in the USA, in such a way
that even among the family reunification quota, there must be a strict minimum of qualifications for
immigrating to the US.

But in any case, at the current rate of trade deficit (5 % of the GDP per year), and the simultaneous
loss of high paying jobs to foreign outsourcing every year, the US is guaranteed to become a Third World
country in the future, and so immigration to the US will no longer be all that attractive anyway.
And the danger is that there might even be a brain drain AWAY from the US to emerging dynamic countries
in the Far East, and this is a threat to national security. This is why even if we cannot reform the
regular immigration policy, we must at least modify the Green Card Lottery that gives residency
and citizenship each year to randomly chosen 50,000 applicants, by making it obligatory to have
an IQ of 130 and a Master's degree. And for people with IQ over 140 and a PhD in science, the immigration
must be made automatic.

Randall Parker said at October 23, 2004 2:18 PM:

Invisible Scientist,

Actually a lot of work has gone into making IQ tests less influenced by culture. There are a number of tests that correlate highly with "g" that are pretty culture-free. Working memory can be tested. There are tests for reaction times for certain types of stimuli that correlate highly with IQ. Also, there is the Ravens Matrices test. So I do not language barriers or cultural differences as imposing much of an obstacle to IQ testing of all immigration applicants.

I do not see the value of requiring a master's degree. There are too many bogus academic disciplines where people can get masters degrees. I'd rather use cognitive tests and perhaps income earning minimums. Anyone who can not get a job that pays at least, say, $50,000 could be kept out. Anyone smart enough will be able to earn that much. Though not early in careers. So there could be an income scale based on age. A fresh college grad might have a $35k/year min salary requirement to get work permit. To get a green card they'd have to get their income up to $50k or $60k and they'd have until, say, being 28 or 30 years old to get there.

John S Bolton said at October 23, 2004 2:34 PM:

It would be good to have a high wall of tests to prevent plundering of the net taxpayer by the third-world immigration which has been directed our way by the malice of officials. On the current traitorous policies, where the needs of the foreigner are imagined to be a valid claim on the net taxpayer here, someone like Sally Struthers will next be able to charter planes to bring in AIDS cases by the tens of millions. They can just say anyone who doesn't like it is a racist; and the net taxpayer would be stuck with an extra several hundred billion per year to pay. Ten million times $20,000 in medical costs a year =$200 billion per year. Any objection would mention the national interest and the majority interest, but scholars in the pay of bureaucracy have had the caprice that these may be ruled out, since it's one world where diversity and openness to whatever is worst, somehow creates value.

John S Bolton said at October 23, 2004 3:01 PM:

In the alternative-welfarized political order of today, almost any restriction of immigration is in the interest of the nation and of the majority. An argument which mentions the national and majority interest, is rationally unanswerable today. It is for this reason that only ad hominem references to xenophobia and racial discrimination can be used by even the most learned and specialized scholars. Puzzle over this a moment; our most knowledgeable professors can only come up with the indefensible ad hominem attempts to diagnose those who invoke the national and the majority interest.

seelow heights said at October 23, 2004 4:32 PM:

The multicult left will consider IQ tests racist no matter how culture-free they are- theses rae people who consider the very concept of "g" fraudulent- witness their reaction to THE BELL CURVE. The neocon right, however, with their lack of concern over budget and trade deficits, is no better.

Proborders said at October 23, 2004 6:44 PM:

SH, non-Hispanics can use race cards of their own.

Mexico has about 2 percent of the world's population. However, about 30 percent of all immigrants in the US are from Mexico. About 14 of every 31 immigrants in the US are from Spanish-speaking countries even though Spanish-speaking countries have less than 1/6 of the world's population. There are more immigrants from Mexico in the US than immigrants from Europe in the US even though Europe has several times the population of Mexico. There are more Mexican immigrants in the US than South Asian and East Asian immigrants in the US even though South and East Asia have more than two billion more people than Mexico has. There are more Mexican immigrants in the USA than black immigrants in the USA even though there are far more black Africans than Mexicans.

White America, Black America, and Asian America can ask that their ancestral regions receive a higher proportion of the immigration visas.

John S Bolton said at October 23, 2004 8:42 PM:

The expense of a border fence could be paid just from the savings in translators' costs, over several years. If all immigrants are required to speak, understand, read and write English; this will save quite a lot of the money which is taken by aggression from the net taxpayer. A balkanized economy is less efficient than it could be; there is a reason why the bilingual cities at the southern extremity tend also to be the least productive. The professoriate has no rational argument against all-merit policies in all kinds of recruitment including, especially, immigration. If they did they could use real arguments, not just insults, or attempted vilifications. All immigrants, including tourists, should be required to be tested for English-language literacy, speech and understanding of verbal instructions. The government should accept from the top down, as many as are equal to the number believed to leave the country in a given year. There is no rational argument for anti-merit immigration into a welfare-society or for low-budget tourism, when many of the tourists turn out to be immigrants.

John S Bolton said at October 24, 2004 11:36 PM:

The avoidance of the cost of building a few dozen large new schools in our more expensive cities would pay for the cost of building such a barrier. The problem is the politicians' fear of failing to appease the representatives of the illegal aliens. In their blind pragmatism, they don't see that each appeasement causes the demands to be redoubled.

John Burns said at November 7, 2004 6:13 PM:

I had been researching on the internet to find the cost of illegal immigration. One of the sites is factfinder.census.gov. One of the items they talked about was legalizing the illegals. This study pointed out that once they become legal that they use twice the amount of government aid. Hispanic and Latino's have the highest disability of any race (%25) in the U.S. Once they become legal then they are entitled to Federal aid which one of these is Supplemental Security Income which is like social security but comes out of different budget for people who have not paid enough in enough to qualify on their own name. Once an adult becomes disabled their children(s) can receive a check also up to %150 of the adult. Why on earth should children be getting a check because one of their parents are disabled. I also seen that if you have a child that is a slow learner then they can be considered disabled and can then get a check. I think all immigrants have our welfare system figured out how best to fleece the government. They also point out that Hispanics have more children then others. They point out that Hispanics also earn a lot less and therefore do not pay much in Federal Taxes thus keeping most of their paycheck. Report also says they suffer more medical problems. Also Hispanics do a lot of physical labor jobs like working in the fields which causes a majority of them to become disabled in their 50's thus being on Social Security a long time. They go on to talk about it costing thousands of dollars more to educate their children compared to others. This study in 2000 reports that 46 million immigrants use a language other than english at home. I had looked at many more reports and it clearly shows that they are a mojor drain on our society. Our congressman do not care because state and federal workers retirement will be there for them. Anybody under 45 years old should plan on not receiving anything because our government will be broke. I have bought gold to protect my future welfare.


Randall Parker said at November 7, 2004 7:12 PM:

John Burns, To get a sense of how the immigrants cost us check out this table about the Recipient Class who pay less in taxes than they receive in benefits.

Also, see my Immigration Economics archive for lots of posts about costs.

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