Kerik Pulls Out as Bush Nominee for Homeland Security Job
Bernard Kerik has removed his name for nomination as the new chief of Homeland Security, due to concerns about the immigration status of a former housekeeper. This is perhaps the most ironic story of the year. The man whose new position would have required him to be responsible for securing the borders of the republic has disqualified himself due to his own presumed lack of understanding over the status of the nation's immigrants. If there were ever a one-man microcosm of a specific foreign policy, Kerik is it. Our nation's immigration policy, both the de jure rules about who is supposed to get legal passage, and the de facto results of who comes in illegally, is a shambles. Perhaps Kerik's fall will convince the administration to enact major immigration reform that does not include opening the borders to Mexico completely. Such a move should only be done, if at all, in conjunction with drastic economic, judicial and political reform in Mexico. The deal would be something like this: "Sure, you can continue to let your poorest citizens immigrate to the US and benefit from the remittances they send home; but in exchange, you must reform your system aggressively such that in a decade or so, they will have no reason to leave in the first place. At that point, capital, goods, and labor will all flow across the border as necessary." This is entirely possible with strong leadership. UPDATE: We appreciate the comments of "Mark in Mexico" who has a much more pessimistic view of the future of Mexico. Thanks Mark. We've had limited visits to Mexico, though living in Texas, we plan more. If the situation is as dire as you describe it, then perhaps we must content ourselves with tightening the border and working to assimilate into Western culture those who come across. Random followup thought: We had a professor at Duke who had written much of the Nafta legislation as a congressional staffer. He told us that the true reason for Nafta was no economic, but instead to provide stability to Mexico's government such that things like the currency crisis of 1994 wouldn't happen again -- perhaps presumably to stem immigration, though he was not that explicit. If and when we do make it to Mexico, we'd like to post about it here . . . Another random followup thought: Victor Hanson's "Mexifornia" is an excellent book about the effects of immigration in California's central valley. Adding a linnk in the sidebar . . . Also, we thought this article in City Journal was very interesting, but we're not sure we agree with it. Since we live in San Antonio, and are white, and therefore a minority, we've become very interested in issues of Hispanic assimilation. San Antonio is a great place. Things seem little different here from any other American city of similar size, but we haven't been here long enough yet to tell . . .