'Vigilantes'

Article excerpt

Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

We've reached a very strange moment in the immigration debate. On Wednesday President Bush condemned a group of good American citizens worried about the breaking of U.S. immigration law. He condemned the organizers of Project Minuteman as "vigilantes" even though they have broken no law and pledge not to do so. An hour or two later, Mr. Bush welcomed to his Texas ranch a man who insults the United States for its immigration policy and leads a government that routinely flouts U.S. immigration law.

Mexican President Vicente Fox hit a trifecta of contempt for the United States and its laws over the past week. First, he accused Americans of taking no pride in their country because the government is building fences in San Diego to keep out those who try to enter the country in defiance of the law. Next, he scoffed at the concern of U.S. authorities that terrorists may be crossing the U.S. border. Then, he vowed to stamp out the work of Project Minuteman and other efforts by Americans to protect their country. When Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona told Mr. Fox to show "a little less disdain for the rule of law north of the border," he was being only too polite. Nevertheless, Mr. Bush welcomed Mr. Fox to his home.

It's worth reviewing how we got here. First, the Bush administration has failed to do all it could do, and should do, to curtail illegal immigration. The most recent analysis, out this week from the Pew Hispanic Center, suggests that 10.3 million undocumented aliens live in the United States, up 23 percent from the estimated 8.4 million who were here only four years ago. Most are Mexicans. This has happened in large part because Mr. Bush seems not to be concerned about the growing tide of illegal immigration. …