The INS, with Attorney General John Ashcroft looking over its shoulder, is instituting new rules for tourists and student visas.
The interesting part of this is that a person en route to this country on a tourist visa won't know how long he will be able to stay. That will all depend on what he tells the INS officer at his point of entry into the country.
The officer will ask: How long you planning to stay? And the visitor might say: A month. And the INS officer will ask: What are you doing for a month?
If the visitor says he plans on travelling the U.S. with his American Express card, a rental van, and $5,000 in cash... the officer may say: Okay, you get a month.
But if the visitor says he plans on driving around the Grand Canyon for two weeks, the INS officer might well say: Okay, you get two weeks and that's it.
All this seems like an improvement, unless you consider that there are 340,000 eligible deportees — those people who have overstayed, had adjudication, and found to be deportable. That's 340,000 people who nobody working for the INS can find.
Who are these people that we're trying to deport? Many are from Mexico, who are here to make some money to send back home.
Others come from all over the world, knowing they can get away with making a living while remaining anonymous.
Without a doubt, there are some Al Qaeda members here, some followers of the blind cleric Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, some evildoers — as the president would call them.
I must say, while I sympathize with the people in that 340,000 who just want their American dream... things have changed. Dreams are harder to come by these days, and the American people have a right to protect themselves from those who would sneak in, skulk around using our Constitution as a cloak, and then pounce on us when some security guard wasn't looking.
It's not ethnic cleansing, but it is cleansing. I think the country needs a good wash down.
We need to get the number of potential terrorists down to a number closer to the number of people we have looking for them. Right now, our good guys are simply outnumbered.
That's My Word.
What do you think? We'd like to hear from you, so send us your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some of your emails will be featured on the air or on our site.