Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cheap gardeners, now cheap soldiers

On reflection, most thinking Americans will find a provision in revived immigration legislation to be not only cynically hypocritical, but also an abhorrent attempt to create a mercenary Army of illegal aliens to substitute for Americans who may be unwilling to serve in a badly managed war.

Although crammed with qualifying requirements, the provision put simply is this: Illegal aliens who've been in the United States since before their 16th birthday could join the U.S. Army in exchange for citizenship after two years.

If they live that long.

The clear motive of congressmen supporting this proviso is not high-minded. They want to churn up thousands of military enlistments to meet the Pentagon's recruiting goals and provide manpower for the war-gone-bad in Iraq.

But supporters of this new gimmick include the same Republican congressmen who ranted and frothed and turned crimson when President Bush proposed in another version of the bill that illegal aliens, mostly Mexicans, would be given a road to citizenship over time. Fuming demagogues in Congress and on talk TV shows called this "amnesty" and a "reward" for entering the country unlawfully.

And what of young illegals who don't volunteer under this new bill? Would they be considered undesirable and targeted for deportation?

And once young illegals sign up, would immigration authorities be free to use information from paperwork to track down illegal-status parents and deport them?

Men and women who're making policy decisions in Washington—from the president down through all the executive and legislative branches—seem to have lost their moral compass headings since 9/11. The mere mention of "terrorism" seems to be the magic justification for condoning any means to a gossamer end.

Eavesdrop on Americans and search their papers without a warrant? Why not? Seize persons off the streets and spirit them to a foreign prison for torturous interrogations? Of course. Abuse prisoners as a matter of policy but blame "rogue" soldiers? Sure. Lie about circumstances of a former NFL star's battlefield death? Routine. Destroy White House e-mails to protect political chicanery? So what.

Now, the haste to build up a battered military establishment by bribing illegal aliens with citizenship confirms the moral bankruptcy of Washington. Today's illegals, despised and neglected by Congress, could be tomorrow's prized military mercenaries.

And why not? Americans have accustomed themselves to cheap Mexican gardeners. Why not cheap Mexican soldiers for war?


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