May 15, 2006
Just hours ago President Bush took to the airwaves to present the Nation a plan to fix immigration problems. The President's 17-minute address layed out a 5-point plan for immigration reform. That plan would include activating up to 6,000 National Guardsmen to protect our borders.
"The borders should be open to trade and lawful immigration and shut to illegal immigrants as well as criminals, drug dealers and terrorist," said President Bush.
President Bush tonight addressed illegal immigration and problems along the Mexican border. He laid out a plan that includes activating National Guardsmen from four states to aid in patrolling the Mexican border.
"America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time," Mr. Bush said.
The Guard would aid the Border Patrol with surveillance, but not help round up illegal immigrants as they try to pass through the nearly 2,000 mile border. The President's plan also called for a program that would trace immigrants who come to this country to work. A program that he says would benefit both sides.
"A temporary worker program would meet the needs of our economy. It would give honest immigrants a way to provide for their families while respecting the law," said Mr. Bush.
Detractors worry about the extra strain on the Guard. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin says the 6,000 troops rotating every two weeks would mean over 150,000 troops used in the two year deployment.
"Our guard reserves are stretched dangerously thin and we're moving into a dangerous weather season," said Durbin.
The President also called on Congress to take immediate action. Senator Bill Frist said he would like to have an immigration plan in place by Memorial Day. With the Democrats and Republicans divided on this issue, it remains to be seen if that timetable will hold up.
The President's plan is estimated to cost $2 billion for two years.