Malkin: Bush Worst President Ever on Homeland Security
Robert Stacy McCain and several other editors and reporters from the Washington Times sat down with Michelle Malkin and Bryan Preston to talk about the state of the blogosphere and several hot topics. They’ve presented the transcript into three parts linked here.
In Part 1, she contends that “every journalist now, in the context of the 21st-century information age, is essentially a public figure. Everything that you say, whether it’s under a byline or offhandedly at a party, is something that could potentially become a public issue.” Whether that’s a good thing, it’s probably a reality. It certainly has been for Malkin. As she’s become more of a lightning rod, she’s had to be more careful.
I won’t get into the details, but it’s sad that I can’t do things on my blog that I used to when I started out. I used to post pictures of my kids. I used to talk about going fishing with them. I would give people heads-up — I used to have this feature called “Where in the World,” and I would talk about where I would be appearing, what book events, signings, if I was going to be in some part of the country and wanted people to stop by or whatever — I don’t do that anymore.
This exchange, in part 3, though, will likely be the focus of most discussion:
Mr. McCain: You just mentioned your being accused of being a cheerleader for the Bush administration. Immigration — you have been harshly critical of President Bush’s immigration policy. Why?
Mrs. Malkin: Because his policy is open borders, and I think it runs exactly contrary to the lip service he pays to homeland security. And I would say that his tenure has been as bad or possibly worse than Clinton’s or anyone’s preceding him. And he is vigorously pushing an amnesty that will make the 1986 amnesty look like nothing. He’s holding hands with Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the libertarian open-borders lobbyists who want to see this happen, and apparently he doesn’t buy his own rhetoric that homeland security starts with border security.
He goes and does these dog-and-pony shows down at the border that tout drones, and then, at the same time looks the other way where his own Treasury Department allows [illegal aliens to send] billions of dollars of remittances back to Mexico. There’s no incentive there for Mexico to improve its economy, for them to improve conditions so people don’t have to risk their lives going through the desert to get here to be able to support their families.
And then we haven’t even started to talk about the national security implications of granting another mass amnesty. We already know for a fact that there have been dozens of al-Qaeda operatives who’ve been able to stay in this country over the last several years, some of whom took advantage of these very kind of amnesty programs — we talked about this when you interviewed me for “Invasion.” Things have only gotten worse now. When was that — 2002? Five years ago?
The conflation of the illegal immigration and terrorism issues is problematic. It’s true that border control is somewhat fungible and that, if no one gets across, no al Qaeda terrorists are, either. Still, there’s no evidence that terrorists are having a particularly difficult time coming across by other means. Certainly, the 9/11 hijackers didn’t wade across the Rio Grande and then ride to Logan Airport in the trunk of a car.
Whatever one thinks of fruit pickers and poultry factory workers sending money home to Mexico, they’re not a terrorist threat. It’s hard to feed yourself, send money to support your family back home, and foment terrorism on $2.50 an hour.
Further, it’s rather odd to say that Bush’s policies are worse than Clinton’s or his predecessors, given that he’s following the same policies. No doubt, some it this is the political calculation of an increasingly large and decisive Hispanic vote. Mostly, though, it’s the intractability of having a 3000 mile border with a much poorer country, little in the way of natural barriers, and an ever-increasing demand for the services those people are willing to provide.
UPDATE: It also occurs to me that, if “homeland security” is one’s chief concern, it would make sense to direct one’s limited resources to rounding up potential terrorists than migrant farmworkers.