January 15, 2009

Border Security - Part 2

Part 2 - What to do about the border

Does America need a security fence? Something like this one (a portion of the actual fence)?
Honestly, I don't think one like this will do, if a fence is necessary. To paraphrase Crocodile Dundee, "That's not a fence, this is a fence."

The Berlin Wall, now that's a fence.
The Great Wall of China, that's a fence.

The Spanish wall in Ceuta and Mellila. That's a fence.

Yes, there is illegal immigration in Europe. It comes from Africa, Muslim and non-Muslim Africa alike. Apparently no matter how much they hate your society they still want to come to the industrialized West.

So people with Mexican allegiances moving to the US and still considering themselves Mexican instead of American or even Mexican-American or are anti-American like La Raza are not a unique problem. And a border fence is not a unique solution.

Wanting to control the flow of illegal immigration while offering those attempting to immigrate legally a way to do so, is not inherently wrong. Offering those who have entered illegally amnesty at the expense of excluding those who have tried legal means to enter the country for work or to try to become citizens, is not only wrong it's immoral. It's rewarding illegal activity at the expense of those who follow the law. That's not just immoral it's also promoting the idea that skirting the law is fine because you can get away with it in the end. Any nation is a nation of laws. It's strength, it's rationale, it's raison d'etre, is shown through it's constitution and it's laws. If laws don't matter, what's left? By succumbing to the temptation of legalizing illegals for the sake of political gain, or simplicity or whatever other reason is a tacit endorsement of anarchy. Anarchy and a nation of laws cannot co-exist. They are polar opposites.

This is one of those weird instances where Democrats are beholden to those wanting to offer amnesty and therefore endorse a form of lawlessness but one of their major support groups is the legal profession because they so are in favor of stopping tort reform. It's one of those discrepancies you'd hope would blow up in the face of Democrats as the untenable deceit that it is. But not so. Their solution is to simply legalize the illegals and everyone is happy. Except of course the law abiding people of America, including legal Hispanic immigrants.

What's worse is that many Republicans fall in line with the amnesty crowd. Is it fatigue? Hopefully not. George Bush did reasonably well with Hispanics, so thinking that being inclusive he could turn part of the demographic to the GOP. But McCain supported amnesty initially and then as a second phase rather than immediate amnesty. He still fared poorer than Bush (if he'd maintained the level of Hispanic support Bush received, he could have won). But amnesty isn't THE issue with Hispanic voters. At least not for Republicans. There are far better ways to connect with that constituency and win their trust and support.

What about those who would argue that with globalization The American Dream has become a Global Dream and we are obligated to help our brothers to the south catch up with us? First off, that is no obligation. Other nations are not obligated to deal fairly with the US on trade issues and many blatantly avoid doing so. Why does the United States have some special obligation to bring everyone in the world up to the same bar level? We do not live in the United States of Earth. It's no obligation. Those who favor the international brotherhood approach suggest taking money for the fence and sending it to Mexico to build an infrastructure (better schools, roads, etc.)instead so that illegal immigrants will stay home and take advantage of opportunities there instead. In other words, they don't want illegals either, they'd just rather look more compassionate in their solution. Hypocrites. Besides, the amount of money it would take to bail out Mexico on top of bailing out the US economy would be crushing.
And then there are those who claim a fence is a potential environmental disaster. Where were these people when the Three Gorges Dam in China was built? Or the DMZ in Korea? Or for that matter the Berlin Wall or any office tower in any city in the world. They are either foolish Luddite hippies, or else uninformed or using that argument to mask their true reasons. It's not an environmental disaster. Chernobyl was an environmental disaster. Love Canal was an environmental disaster. The Exxon Valdez oil spill was an environmental disaster. And none were global in scale (though Chernobyl was pretty big). The Great Wall of China - does anyone think of it as an environmental disaster? Or a Wonder of the World? You don't hear about migrating pandas bouncing their heads off the Great Wall of China like lemmings in an inadvertent mass suicide. Is it because it was built thousands of years ago? The bar for avoiding the environmentalist hysteria apparently means that any construction must use stone and be built by hand. We're back to that whole hippie Luddite world view with that.

Democrats know that legalizing legals gives them a huge boost electorally. Republicans MUST NOT play into their hands. Move the fight for Hispanic voters to a smarter ground - education, legal immigration, businesses in the Latino communities, the basic tenets of conservative belief propound the opportunity for self-improvement. Sell the American Dream because it's an easy sell. The same people who want into America, legally or illegally obviously have the drive to improve their situation or they would not come. So they are prime candidates to believe that they can do it for themselves if they come legally.

What would a wall cost? Heck it's an infrastructure project. Maybe Obama and the Democrats could foot the bill. I bet it's not in their trillion dollar infrastructure plan. The cost, once regarded as steep, in light of the current budget numbers being tossed around like bean bags is quite inconsequential. If at the cost overrun price of $7 billion for the 700 miles of fence agreed upon, multiplied by 3 times to cover the entire border, and then doubled again for fun, would amount to $42 billion and more realistically it would probably be half that amount. Think about the job creation and think about the border security it would add. Not solve, but add. That's infrastructure Republicans could get behind.

In Part 3, I will discuss options for dealing with current illegals. It should be interesting because like everyone else, I have no clear and simple solution, so it may take a few posts before you finally see it turn up on this site.

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