Friday, May 12, 2006

Bush Making Moves Toward the Borders?

This morning during my drive in to work, I listened to KSEV's Edd Hendee talk with Congressman John Culberson about the president's stand on illegal immigration. Rep. Culberson said that he and the entire Texas Republican delegation have met with a number of White House staff, culminating in a meeting yesterday morning with Carl Rove, to express Texans' outrage over the lack of leadership and involvement by the president on this critical issue. He told Hendee's listeners that "the president has woken up and has heard our message" and is (finally) making moves in the right direction to deal with the influx of illegal aliens across our borders.

One of the things they were told yesterday by Rove, and which was reported this morning by the Associated Press, was that President Bush has asked the Pentagon to find a way to legally use the military to secure the border with Mexico.
In back-to-back moves this week, the Pentagon began exploring ways to lend support at the southern border, while the House on Thursday voted to allow the Homeland Security Department in limited cases to use soldiers in that region.

At the Pentagon, Paul McHale, the assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, asked officials to offer options for the use of military resources and troops — particularly the National Guard — along the border with Mexico, according to defense officials familiar with the discussions.


"The Texas delegation is very concerned about the border and are pushing urgency," said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, who joined other Texas Republicans in a meeting with Rove this week. He said Rove was "very forthright" about border projects that Homeland Security is starting up, its current projects and what the needs are.

Rep. Ken Marchant, R-Texas, who also attended the meeting, said the lawmakers left "very encouraged."
According to a FOX News this morning, Congress is actively pursuing this same goal:
The House voted 252-171 to allow Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to assign military personnel under certain circumstances to help the Homeland Security Department perform border security.
Culberson also mentioned that he asked Rove about the reports of Mexican army incursions and stories of armed Mexican mercenaries entrenched on U.S. hilltops just inside the border, using satellite communications to relay Border Patrol movements to smugglers and coyotes. When Rove initially scoffed at the notions as silly rumors, Culberson said he pulled out the U.S. Border Patrol-issued wallet card he received from a USBP agent detailing what to do when confronting an incursion by armed Mexican military personnel. According to Rep. Culberson, that ended the conversion rather quickly.

When asked about this week's media reports about the Border Patrol tipping off the Mexican government about the locations and activities of Minutemen volunteers, Culberson's mood darkened noticeably. He told Hendee this was one of many questionable Homeland Security practices and issues that were being investigated, and he expected Congressional hearings would be started soon on a whole host of problems. According to Culberson, "The deeper you dig into Homeland Security, the worse it gets."

UPDATE: Media outlets are reporting that President Bush has scheduled an address to the nation for tonight at 9:00 pm (CDT):
Amid a clamor over illegal immigration, President George W. Bush will make his case for a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. immigration law on Monday night in a prime-time Oval Office address, the White House announced on Friday.

UPDATE #2: Okay, so the real day and time of the president's address is Monday at 7:00 pm (CDT). Apparently I need a refresher course in second grade math and reading...


Blogger Adam said...

The address is on Monday, Songbird. Let the tomatoes you had planned on throwing at the tv rot just a little more over the weekend!

5/12/2006 6:27 PM  

Blogger Songbird said...

Apparently my public school education was a little lacking in both the reading and math departments. Thanks for the catch -- I've updated the post with the real day and time.

5/12/2006 6:53 PM  

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