Monday, August 01, 2005

Matthew Dowd's priorities

Matthew Dowd, Bush's chief campaign strategist in 2004, argues that "chances are that there will be a substantial decrease in illegal immigration from Mexico in the next 20 years" because of declining population growth in Mexico. He claims this "suggests that any long-term project to close off the United States-Mexico border may use up money that could be more useful elsewhere." Dowd is right about the demographics, about which I've posted previously.

What about the second part of Dowd's argument? Well, Dowd himself undercuts it: "Does the United States need to continue to worry about border security and terrorism? Absolutely." Alas, Dowd doesn't explain how we can have border security if we don't even know who is crossing our borders. It seems to me that meaningful border security requires either meaningful enforcement of our immigration laws, or making immigration legal for essentially every Mexican with verifiable identification. Dowd doesn't support the first option:
legislators and government agencies should spend more time and resources addressing the problems of immigrants already here and our direct security needs, and much less time on prescriptive laws aimed at stemming illegal immigration from Mexico.
Dowd is also not proposing the second option, leading me to conclude that Dowd cares more about protecting illegal immigration than about protecting our borders. Is Dowd unofficially speaking for Bush?

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