Really? A problem we haven’t had the political will to solve is suddenly going to be wrapped up lickety split in time for a McCain administration? Even though the very first phase of the “virtual fence” that may or may not work has already been delayed by three years? Consider this the missing link in his chain of logic from securing the borders to attending to the more important business of amnestizing illegals and passing the DREAM Act: At some point during his presidency (possibly on Inauguration Day itself, if prior statements are any guide) he’ll point to some benchmark on DHS’s to-do list — X miles of fence constructed, say — and summarily declare the border “secure” or “substantially secure.” No waiting for results to see whether illegal immigration has actually declined; that’d take too long and keep us from that more important business.
Two other things to watch for. First, the data at the end on how Hispanic voters are prioritizing issues, which came as a surprise to me but not as much, I suspect, as it will to Geraldo Rivera. And second, pay attention to what McCain says at around 2:45 about agreeing with American workers that illegal immigrants are taking their jobs. If he agrees, then what was he doing last year pushing amnesty? Presumably the idea is that by amnestizing illegals you bring them under the protection of minimum wage laws and thereby take away their competitive advantage over citizens, but a reporter looking to make him squirm on this issue — particularly as regards the unemployment effect of a sudden amnesty-induced labor glut during an economic downturn — would do well to follow up on it.