I got a request from a fellow blogger Smack & Cheese to register my opinion on her blog rant today, which is always a dangerous thing, because once I start typing, even I don’t quite know where it’s going to end up. Anyway, my “comment” turned into a rant of its own, so I figured I’d paste it here. Hers was primarily on immigration/illegal immigrant spending, but

Fifty-odd years ago, when newly elected Dwight Eisenhower moved into the White House, America’s southern frontier was as porous as a spaghetti sieve. As many as 3 million illegal migrants had walked and waded northward over a period of several years for jobs in California, Arizona, Texas, and points beyond.

On June 17, 1954, what was called “Operation Wetback” began. Because political resistance was lower in California and Arizona, the roundup of aliens began there. Some 750 agents swept northward through agricultural areas with a goal of 1,000 apprehensions a day. By the end of July, over 50,000 aliens were caught in the two states. Another 488,000, fearing arrest, had fled the country.

By mid-July, the crackdown extended northward into Utah, Nevada, and Idaho, and eastward to Texas.

By September, 80,000 had been taken into custody in Texas, and an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 illegals had left the Lone Star State voluntarily.

Unlike today, Mexicans caught in the roundup were not simply released at the border, where they could easily reenter the US. To discourage their return, Swing arranged for buses and trains to take many aliens deep within Mexico before being set free.

Tens of thousands more were put aboard two hired ships, the Emancipation and the Mercurio. The ships ferried the aliens from Port Isabel, Texas, to Vera Cruz, Mexico, more than 500 miles south.

The sea voyage was “a rough trip, and they did not like it,” says Don Coppock, who worked his way up from Border Patrolman in 1941 to eventually head the Border Patrol from 1960 to 1973.

Mr. Coppock says he “cannot understand why [President] Bush let [today’s] problem get away from him as it has. I guess it was his compassionate conservatism, and trying to please [Mexican President] Vincente Fox.”

There are now said to be 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the US. Of the Mexicans who live here, an estimated 85 percent are here illegally.

Eisenhower got rid of 3 million people with 750 agents. He did so swiftly, efficiently, cleanly and humanely. It CAN be done. In the process, he discouraged further illegal immigration for years to come.

Granting immunity will encourage the world to sneak into the US, because “if you make it in and hide long enough, you get to be an American!”…. and while most Americans don’t appreciate it, for a good majority of the population on the planet becoming an American is right up there with winning the Powerball Lottery. Think about it. They already risk their lives to get here. Imagine if the promise of citizenship papers were waiting at the other end!

1/3 of the 7 million people in the (extremely expensive) American prison system aren’t even Americans. Tell me that paying between $18,000 and $31,000 per prisoner, per year to house them is more efficient than shipping their asses back home. $41,580,000,000 and $71,610,000,000 (yes, that’s 41-to-70 BILLION) per YEAR!

That is JUST the illegal immigrant prison population. Only 2.3 million (or about 10%) of them. Imagine what we pay in total for all the social programs and support for the other 90%.

We can’t afford this.

Imagine how well we could take care of Americans if we ONLY took care of Americans. Add it all up.

Now add in the foreign aid: we give out nearly 40 Billion per year in foreign aid… Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel sucking up nearly 1/3 of that.

We can’t afford this.

Now add in the military. Hell, I won’t even bother giving you the numbers…. but you can bet your ass they’re even more ridiculous.

We can’t afford this.

Right now, today, the US government is paying billions of dollars to countries worldwide, while a good share of those countries turn around and pay for all their students to go through college for free! We’re working harder while they’re getting smarter. How is this helping the students in the US? How is this securing the future success of the US?

We really, really can’t afford this.

Am I being mean? No. Am I being cruel? No.

We just can’t afford this. None of it. The immigrants, the military, the foreign aid, we are WAY overspent and it’s time to tighten the belt a few notches, because I’ll guarantee you one thing: once all these countries we’re helping do pass up the United States up economically, we’re not getting jack shit back from them.