Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says there is merit to President Bush’s plan to put six-thousand National Guard members on the U.S. border with Mexico to help stop the flood of illegal immigrants. Grassley says to ensure we can help those who want to come to this country within the letter of the law, we first must halt the flow of lawbreakers.
Grassley says “Americans have always welcomed millions of legal immigrants every year. New Americans strengthen the fabric of our society. To show respect for all those who emigrate legally, we need to secure the borders against illegal immigration and enforce these laws, so I’m willing to give serious consideration to the president’s suggestions for border security.” Iowa has about 11-hundred Guard members on active duty, most of them in Iraq, with another seven-thousand or so available for duty in the state or elsewhere.
Grassley says he’s not concerned the War on Terror is stretching some states’ guard units too thin, in addition to this new border control mission. Grassley says “Six-thousand at a time, out of 400-thousand people that are in the guard, is not a significant number to detract from any natural disasters or local law enforcement that guards might be needed for elsewhere in the United States.” He says there are other ideas afloat to make the border control mission even more practical.
Grassley suggests guard members make the border duty part of their regular two-week training every summer, so it wouldn’t cost the taxpayers any more than usual. He says “Congress has a duty to pass comprehensive immigration reform, but as we found out in 1986, amnesty is not the answer. When I voted for the 1986 immigration reform bill we had one to two million illegal immigrants. Today we have nearly 12 million illegal immigrants. Obviously, it didn’t work then and I have a hard time believing that it will work now.”