National Guard heads to the border

Speaking of empty gestures meant to appease disaffected conservatives, the first 55 Guardsmen of the 6,000 promised by the president have touched down in Arizona. Tancredo marks the occasion by paying appropriate tribute to the Senate amnesty bill in NRO.

But TT’s strong-border approach only solves half the problem — literally. According to the CBS article,

[T]he little-acknowledged reality is that nearly half the estimated 12 million undocumented foreigners in the United States entered on bona fide U.S. visas – and simply never left. Authorities call them “overstays” who have been largely overlooked in the vitriolic debate on immigration… Many borrow the social security numbers of legal residents or use falsified documents to build what appear to be legal identities, making it difficult for employers to know when someone is undocumented. Others work informally, as maids, gardeners or in other jobs where employers rarely require paperwork, despite federal law.

The irony of Bush calling his amnesty plan “comprehensive immigration reform” is that we really do need comprehensive reform, including an effective system of detection and deportation of overstays and other illegals. How many federal agents would it take to run such a system, though, given the massive numbers of illegals who are already here?

Meanwhile, the LA Times reports that Cardinal Mahony isn’t the only local priest who can’t resist politicking from the pulpit. Who would Jesus legalize?

“As Christians, Catholic Christians, we cannot let fear rule us,” Brown said. “Christ commands us to love one another — even our enemies. We cannot let the fear of losing jobs, of educating illegal immigrants, and healthcare costs be major reasons for promulgating laws that violate our Christian heritage.”…

Keith Chilcott, 70, a construction project manager from Santa Ana, said he found the remarks “absolutely outrageous.”

“This was a service for the kids,” he said.

“It was not time to introduce politics. We didn’t need to get into the issue of the laws of the country and those who break the law.”

Finally, at the Nail Yale blog, Clint Taylor puts out an APB.