Borders 101

It seems the Bush Administration has kept itself busy with important duties of state, but the one neglected domestic issue is, in my view, the most important—Border Security.

I am a conservative, non-Republican. So you know where I’m coming from. I admittedly got caught up in the hoopla of flying around the world and saving us all from terrorists beginning long before the first Trade Center bombing. But, as I have gotten older, I realize that some basics have been left out of the equation.


It's time to get back to basics. If your home were broken into and destroyed by people who were dressed like your neighbors, would you drop everything, go to their homes and kick their asses? I suspect the first thing you would do is secure your home to be sure that could never happen again. Your first priority is to guard what is precious to you. Then, once totally secure on the home front, you would take whatever action you needed to be sure they were unable to hurt you or your loved ones or your neighbors in the future.

What did we do? We started cleaning up the mess, started rattling our sabres, and set out after the bad guys. In the meantime, we left the doors open, the windows unlocked, and hired untrained, unprepared security guards to protect us.

This is about as non-political a decision as there can be. America can never be truly safe until we secure, staff, and control our borders and entry points. No one would argue against protecting against the reoccurrance of these events. This has nothing to do with Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, France or Russia. It has everything to do with doing what we should have done years ago--protect and monitor our borders and our visitors, just like what has been done in Europe for decades.

Anyone, with proper motivation, can cross either of our borders illegally. It may take a few attempts, but it can be done. Our border patrols stop in excess of 1.1 million illegal entries annually, and yet it is estimated (how, I don't know) that there are in excess of 11 million illegals living and working in our country. 11 million people, concentrated in the southwest, California, Florida, Texas, and the northeast, drain our society of resources. Now, before you come for my head, I realize these people are motivated by improving their quality of life. I admire that. I realize they do jobs no one else would do to make a living for their families. I admire that also. Here comes the "but." If they are going to be here, let's identify them, investigate them to the extent we can, and make citizens of those who qualify.

A large group of citizens formed the Minutemen to "help" guard the Mexican border. I don't agree with vigilantees, but I can't blame them either. They feared for their lives and property.

The border patrol is in line to increase its ranks by approximately 2000 patrolmen. The problem being that their training system can't handle that many, so the schedule has been slowed to a crawl.

To top it all off, this is to say the least an expensive problem. If left alone, other than the security threat, illegals cost money that we just can't spare. Education, housing, welfare, non-collection of taxes, law enforcement, the list goes on. If we do take appropriate action, it is still expensive. Construction, manning, materials, training, monitoring, and this list goes on.

What do we do? From a moral standpoint, we can't just dump them at the borders. From a practical standpoint, we can't just let them in. As a conservative (fiscally at least), I shudder to think what it will cost to secure the borders with proper walls, fencing, patrols, etc.

I am really interested in the practical suggestions of the readers of this blog. Keeping in mind that there is a balance to be struck here between humanity and practicality, give me your thoughts.

Posted by Chi Chi at May 26, 2005 5:25 PM