May 15, 2006

Bush's Immigration Speech

My new column on Bush's immigration speech this Monday night is up.

It is rumored that the President will announce that National Guard troops will be headed to the border.

My question: Exactly how can the Bush Administration round up enough National Guardsmen when so many are deployed—as VDARE.COM’s own Allan Wall was—in Iraq?

The answer: it can't.

The Washington Post reports:

"One defense official said military leaders believe the number of troops required could range from 3,500 to perhaps 10,000, depending on the final plan. Another administration official cautioned that the 10,000 figure was too high." [Bush Weighs Deploying Guard to U.S. Border, by Lolita C. Baldor, May 13, 2006]

Sounds impressive!

But let's do the math…

  • Our Mexican border is 1952 miles long.

  • There are 168 hours in a week, so each Guardsman would be on duty on the border for, say, one quarter of that or 42 hours per week. Even that is unreasonably optimistic, because many members of a National Guard unit would not perform sentry duties, but would instead be back at the base being commanders, clerks, support personnel and the like. And even the sentries wouldn't be on the border full time, considering how much work time these days is devoted to training, leave, sexual harassment seminars, diversity sensitivity workshops, and the like.

So, if each one of the 3,500 National Guardsmen was on patrol an average of, say, 21 hours per week (which is 1/8th of the 168 hours in a week), that would provide one soldier per 4.5 miles of border.

For some reason, I'm not reassured.

Particularly because this deployment would certainly be withdrawn as soon as Bush feels what might be called a "decent interval" has elapsed.


Indeed, the Los Angeles Times now reports on Monday morning that:

Bush Seeks to Assure Fox Over Border

As the White House prepared to announce deployment of National Guard troops along the nation's southern border to stanch the flood of illegal immigrants, President Bush tried to reassure the president of Mexico on Sunday that the move was temporary and did not amount to militarization of the border.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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