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Monday, November 21, 2005

A Border Is ...

... not just something drawn on a map, it's much more. Here's the definition:

  1. A part that forms the outer edge of something.
  2. The line or frontier area separating political divisions or geographic regions; a boundary.
Ok so now we have that out of the way, let's look at those two dictionary definitions for the word.
#1 is clear enough, the outer edges of something. In this case, we're talking about two nations, countries, states, whatever you want to call them, the United States, and Mexico. For the purposes of this discussion it really defines the limits of the legal powers of both entities.

#2 is also very telling, and the important word for me is separating. In particular, you'll note what they separate, political divisions or geographic regions. The border separates The United States from Mexico (and vice versa).

Ok so I think you can tell what I'm trying to get at here. The border is a clear division between two entities, two nations in this case. Although there have been plenty of skirmishes between the two countries, and treaties to specify just where the border runs (the current border runs according to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden Purchase), in recent years it has become more of an issue that it probably should have.

Why, you ask? Am I downplaying the importance of a "border"? Not at all. My take on it is this: something should have been done about the "border" a long time ago. And I don't mean hiring a few hundred more border patrol guards, I mean something serious, something concrete (literally).

Recently however, something interesting was undertaken that has had a profound effect on illegal immigration. San Diego put up a fence. What effect has it had? Illegal immigration (arrests) has dropped to a 1/6th or more of the previous level (from 25,000/yr to around 3,000/yr). Can we say, "it worked", yet? Well duh, ya think?

Despite some people saying fences and walls don't work, clearly they do. The Berlin Wall succeeded in its bold (if somewhat nefarious) intention, to keep the majority of Berliners on the east side. Over the many years it was up, only a few lucky souls managed to get across - many failed. So in that respect it achieved its purpose. So what of the US effort to do the same, and why is it so important?

In these years after 9/11 we seem preoccupied with planes, because of course, two planes slammed into the Two Towers. It has become an icon for the War on Terror (mind you, that's not a bad thing, we SHOULD put effort in securing air travel). But to our detriment, we seem to have forgotten the world's most traversed border, leading right up to the US' most populous state! Stupid stupid stupid. It is estimated that one out of every 10 who cross illegally, are muslims/arabs/kurds/afghanis. In other words, those who don't really like the United States...

Why has the administration seemingly overlooked the effectiveness of the San Diego wall? The Homeland Security department's head, Michael Chertoff, announced on Tuesday that 1000 more border guards would be hired to stem the tide of illegal immigrants. So that's more expense, per year, that could be better spent on constructing a barrier that would only be built once. Cost? Approximately $8 billion. The results? The drain on the US economy from illegal immigrants is more than that, per year. So in one year that money would be recouped.

Maybe something to think about, would be the hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants that would be able to work, and the hundreds of thousands of American citizens that would have work, if we stemmed the tide of illegal immigration? The taxes that would generate, the legal issues that would be negated, the security it would provide (not to mention the peace of mind a good border wall would provide knowing that terrorists wouldn't be slipping across a porous border).

Ok so let's just quickly run through the illegal immigration talkers; like the saying goes, opinions are like a certain body part - everyone has one. I can't cover everyone, but I'll cover the ones that got my attention.

Musing puts it succinctly - it's about breaking the law, how true. As Musing says at the end, the United States is based on immigration, it is vital, it is the living history of this nation, but it MUST be controlled so immigration will be possible for the future.

A Certain Slant of Light has a post regarding the Houston Chronicles laissez-faire attitude regarding illegal immigration, and has some excellent points on this issue. The "melting pot" is boiling over, as he puts it.

Oblogatory Anecdotes, has posted about the al-Qaeda operative arrested near the Mexican border, originally posted at NewsMax. Do we need any more evidence? Does this wake you up to the threat on our doorstep?

Michelle Malkin has also weighed in on this subject, and now has an Immigration Blog to discuss this subject.

And lastly, TMH's Bacon Bits has a post about women immigrants being raped by the very men they pay to get them across the border. Asking a valid question:

What to do? Do you think that U.S. and international human rights organizations would, for example, refrain from condemning the Minutemen (who's only "crime against humanity" is watching for illegals coming into the U.S. and informing our Border Patrol), and instead refocus their efforts on shaming the Mexican government into improving true border security on their side of the line - including protecting immigrants from predators and corrupt Mexican border police? If even to save just one woman or child from rape, sodomy, or even murder?

Do you want to do something about this? Put your name to the TRUE Enforcement Petition.