AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsUltimately, guardsmen are not ideal for securing the borders, as they lack police powers and they are sorely needed elsewhere. But hiring and training some 6,000 new Border Patrol officers – as Bush has promised to do – will take time, and the border needs to be secured now. Using the Guard until more border agents are available is thus a good way to address the immediate crisis while the country develops an adequate force to protect the border in the future. In this age of terror, it is unacceptable to allow millions to enter the country anonymously and invisibly. We must know who is here and why. Securing our border is a simple matter of national security. It’s also a political prerequisite for moving forward with the rest of a comprehensive immigration-reform package. While many of the reform ideas Bush has pushed in the past – such as earned citizenship and a guest-worker program – have some merit, they were nonstarters absent a real plan to secure the border. Critics rightfully wanted to know that the federal government would, for once, be sincere about enforcing its own policies. New laws are no good if they are just as readily ignored as the old ones. Bush’s critics have long insisted that immigration reform must begin with enforcement, and he has wisely bowed to that reality. Equally wisely, however, is Bush’s recognition that enforcement alone is not the answer. Deporting millions of illegal immigrants who are already here – many of whom have American children – is not only impractical, but would have devastating social repercussions. And the only real way to reduce pressure on the border is to create a sane, reasonable way for honest foreign job-seekers to enter the country legally. This is why Congress must follow the president’s lead, and pass comprehensive reform. A plan that works will both secure the border and expand legal immigration, while creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who want to become law-abiding, taxpaying Americans. By securing the borders, Bush has taken the critical first step toward fixing America’s badly broken immigration system. But there is still much work to be done. Congress must step forward and do its part.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! FOR two years, President George W. Bush has been talking about the need for “comprehensive” immigration reform – a plan that not only offers ample opportunity for decent and hard-working newcomers to enter America legally, but is tough and serious about securing our borders. On Monday night, he backed up his words with some much-needed action. With his pledge to put 6,000 National Guard troops on the porous Mexican border, Bush has demonstrated a crucial – albeit overdue – commitment to regaining control over who enters this country and when. The presence of the Guard at the border will have an impact on immigration much like the one that the presence of cops has on neighborhood crime. It sends the message that the authorities are in control. When police are around, crimes are prevented before they even occur; likewise, with stepped-up border enforcement, many who would have crossed into the country illegally now won’t even try.