Suddenly, after years of neglect, Kline and Bu$h are giving speech after speech about the importance of border security – but the question remains: where have they been and what have they done for the past four and a half years?
Typical of what Republicans are now saying about border security is the following statement from Kline:
"I have long called for allowing troops to help secure our borders, and I applaud the president for finally recognizing this need." (Star Tribune, 5/16/2006).
Unfortunately, the Republican rhetoric like Kline's doesn’t match the Republican record of neglect and underfunding.
Under Bu$h & Kline's leadership, from 9/11 through April 2006, only 1,641 new Border Patrol agents had been hired, which is less than a 17 percent increase in four and a half years....
Between 1999 and 2003, worksite [immigration] enforcement operations were scaled back bigtime...a 95 percent decrease! by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which subsequently was merged into the Homeland Security Department.
In 1999, the United States initiated fines against 417 companies. In 2004, it issued fine notices to three (3)!