What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

You Can't have it Both Ways

During the run-up to the last election we heard a great deal of talk about immigration reform, problems at the border, murders, drugs... you name it, we heard about it, and how much it was costing this country and the taxpayers.

Now we hear how much it's costing our border towns in lost revenue because people are no longer traveling to these "unsafe" towns. Well, you can't have it both ways... if the towns are so unsafe and the immigrations problems so great, then you can't expect people to come there to spend money. So which is it? Safe or unsafe?

A recent article claims that the border towns are actually safer then they've been in years. El Paso, which is directly across the border from Ciudad Juarez, in Mexico, is one of the safest communities in the US. San Diego posted it's lowest crime rates since 1963. Since 1990, the 24 border counties have seen a reduction in crime of 30 percent. The fact is that illegal immigration is down, deportations are rising and crime rates are dropping.

Border patrol agents have risen from 10,00 in 2004 to more than 20,700 today. This increase has also allowed more seizures of illegal drugs and weapons. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano concludes that "this work will only get stronger with comprehensive immigration reform."

In a recent interview with the Editorial Board of the Sac Bee, our illustrious Congressman, Dan Lungren says the increased Border Patrols have helped, but believes that "if you attach the word 'comprehensive'  it dies." Say what? What the hell does that mean? Isn't that just what Republicans has been yapping about for years now... the need for 'comprehensive' immigration reform? Does Congressman Lungren know what comprehensive means? It means, complete; including all or nearly all elements or aspects of something: wide-ranging. Isn't that exactly what we do want?

What am I missing here? Is Lungren suggesting that we continue to put band aids on the problem? He wants to see more improvement in security at the border. Wouldn't a comprehensive plan toward that goal be just what is needed? Somebody help me out here, what is it that I don't understand?

Eight mayors, including San Diego and Calexico wrote that "border cites are some of the safest in the nation." Really? Thirteen mayors have formed a U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association to persuade people to tone down the rhetoric on border violence. Wow! Who knew? To hear our illustrious pols talk you'd think just the opposite was true.

So which is it? Safe or not safe? Is what Homeland Security says, working or not working? Is crime indeed down or are they just upset because the tourist dollars are dwindling? Do we want 'comprehensive' reform, or do we want the band aid approach?

You tell me... I just know you can't have it both ways.

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