Monday, May 28, 2007

Yeah, these are the guys who'll be running the thing

From The Washington Post:

Last June, U.S. immigration officials were presented a plan that supporters said could help slash waiting times for green cards from nearly three years to three months and save 1 million applicants more than a third of the 45 hours they could expect to spend in government lines.

It would also save about $350 million.

The response? No thanks.

Leaders of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services rejected key changes because ending huge immigration backlogs nationwide would rob the agency of application and renewal fees that cover 20 percent of its $1.8 billion budget, according to the plan's author, agency ombudsman Prakash Khatri.

Current and former immigration officials dispute that, saying Khatri's plan, based on a successful pilot program in Dallas, would be unmanageable if expanded nationwide. Still, they acknowledge financial problems and say that modernization efforts have been delayed since 1999 by money shortages, inertia, increased security demands after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the disruptive launch of the Homeland Security Department.

As the nation debates whether, and how, to legalize as many as 12 million illegal immigrants living here, the agency that would spearhead the effort is confronting its reputation as a broken bureaucracy whose inefficiency encourages more illegal immigration and paradoxical disincentives to change.

How on earth does congress expect an agency which cannot manage its responsabilities now to cope with the dramatic increase in workload which would come with their new immigration "reform" (ready amnesty) legislation?

Before congress worries about any new programs let them get the current immigration and border security services running properly. As things stand now the proposed guest worker program would be nothing more than an open invitation for tens of millions of Mexicans to come in on temporary guest worker visas then dissappear into the underground economy.