Freedom Folks

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Former agent: Proposed immigration policy flawed

source: temple-telegram
Buck Brandemuehl of Temple, who served 30 years with the U.S. Border Patrol, said proposed national legislation on illegal immigration would repeat mistakes in similar legislation passed in 1986.

He retired that year as the border patrol’s assistant commissioner, with an office in Washington, D.C. He has worked as an agent in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. He moved to the Temple area in 1989.

Most of his comments reflect the consensus of the newly formed National Association of Former Border Patrol Agents.

“We just feel the need to voice our concern about one of the most egregious problems facing this nation,” he said in a recent interview.

“Back in the 1950s, we had our borders under control,” he said. “I call it the creep effect. Down through the years we ignored the problem or felt it wasn’t that bad.”

In 1986 the country had about 3 million illegal immigrants. Twenty years later, the estimate is 12 million. This influx has left the country vulnerable in public safety, public health, jobs and national security, he said.

One part of the previous legislation was an amnesty program that was rife with fraud, he said. And the employer sanctions that were supposed to accompany the amnesty were not enforced, because influential persons put pressure on law officers who were making it hot for employers, he said. Therefore, the magnet that draws illegal immigrants - the job market - remains open to them.

There is a misconception that illegal immigrants are only taking jobs that Americans don’t want, he said.

It’s true that today’s illegal immigration problem dates back to the bracero program of the 1950s, which largely drew low-skilled farm workers, he said. But illegal immigrants now fill positions in construction and other fields. The fact that they will work for a cheaper wage depresses the job market for U.S. citizens.

Another part of immigration is the chain migration effect, he said. This means that for every illegal immigrant, there six relatives or friends who will follow.
Yep, what he said.

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