May 17, 2006
Overtaxed National Guard To Use Illegal Immigrants To Guard Mexican Border
National Guard officials said Tuesday that they were confident that they could handle the complexity of sending thousands of soldiers to the border with Mexico in the fight against illegal immigration. State officials, who will be in control of the troops, said they were awaiting more details from the federal government, which acknowledged Tuesday that it was still working out how to handle such a major domestic deployment.The National Guard, hard-pressed to keep up with its many duties at Iraq and at home, has decided to guard the U.S.-Mexico border with illegal immigrants it enlists as they come across the border. "We see it as a very special guest worker program," explained Guard Commander Sergeant Leon Rocknard.
Rocknard conceived the plan when he learned that President Bush wanted the Guard not to perform any law enforcement operations while "guarding" the border.
"Once I learned that we'd be mostly cooking and cleaning, the idea came naturally," he said. He added that another upside of the program was that the workers could be paid "almost nothing." He further justified his decision by insisting that guarding the border was "one of those jobs Americans want done but don't want to do themselves."
Herminio Vasquez, an illegal immigrant who became part of the program after swimming the Rio Grande at 4:00 a.m. last night, praised the plan. "This is the just the opportunity I came to the U.S. for," he said.
Vasquez hoped that the program would be expanded to other borders. "I like America," he said,"but I'm really hoping for a chance to go to Canada."
Posted by Tom Burka at 12:42 PM