A bill for catastrophe

Those senators sure are smart. With elections coming closer and closer, the U.S. Senate needed to step it up and give the American public something to hold on to when voting at the polls.

So what is the Senate’s most recent gift, meant to instill our faith and our vote? Is it a plan of attack for health care? Perhaps it’s a means to better support students struggling to pay for college? Oh, maybe it’s even a new strategy for the mess that is Iraq?

We could only be so lucky.

Instead, this new gift from the Senate is wrapped in tricky little red tape and paper with very small print.

Friday, the Senate passed a bill on a vote of 80-19 authorizing 700 miles of fence on the 2,000-mile long Mexican border. The bill will now be sent to President Bush. This southern border wall is meant to deter illegal immigration.

Do you smell that? We do. It’s rancid politics – a ploy to get more votes in the November election by playing up the fact that Congress has done oh-so-much to stop illegal immigration, not to mention a disgusting, egotistical political decision all together.

Weeks before some senators will go stimulate an eager public, they can add this bill to their resume of accomplished initiatives. And, unfortunately, some people will eat it all up.

Its cost? Estimates vary from $2 billion to $ 7 billion. The bill passed last week doesn’t include money to pay for the wall – that will have to come later.

On top of that, money will be another bill completed Friday that requests $380 million to hire 1,500 border patrol agents and “money to build detention facilities to hold 6,700 more illegal immigrants until they can be deported,” CNN reported.

That’s a lot of money for something that is ultimately wrong and unjustified.

Once again, America is the big old bully. There have to be better and cheaper ways to control illegal immigration than setting up a wall. How unwelcoming is that even if immigrants moved here legally? We can only see this creating more anger toward America that will eventually blow up in our faces – perhaps even literally.

Illegal immigration is, well, illegal and essentially wrong, but instead of making it into an even bigger crisis with a wall that will anger many Americans and Mexicans, the government needs to work to make the rate of illegal immigrants a diminishing one so the problem will eventually just be an irritation.

We believe this wall will discourage those Mexicans who come to work here legally for jobs that the regular American finds dirty or degrading – an attitude that itself is sad.

Enough people hate America already, and it is because of the attitude of holier-than-thou actions such as this that we are letting the Senate and President Bush get away with.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.