It’s about the border stupid.

How did we let the debate turn from national security to illegal aliens’ rights?

Twelve million illegal aliens have entered and currently reside in our country. Twelve Million! We have turned our heads from this problem in the name of political correctness for far too long. We have let those who so willingly play the race card dominate this debate for years and allowed them to silence the voices of reasonable concern.

TWELVE MILLION illegal aliens. That is over three times the population of Oregon. The overwhelming majority of those have illegally entered our southern border through Mexico. And while the vast majority of those entering illegally through that border are Mexicans, there are also substantial numbers from Central America and South America including a steady flow of Colombians. Even more troubling is that there are increasing numbers of young men from the Middle East, as well as criminal elements from former Eastern Bloc countries.

TWELVE MILLION illegal aliens. It is not hard to conclude that amongst twelve million illegal aliens there is a substantial criminal and terrorist element. If you assume the most conservative estimate of 1% of that population is engaged in criminal and/or terrorist activities, that means there are at least 120,000 dangerous miscreants unaccounted for and running loose in the most open society in the world. It took only 19 terrorists to bring down the World Trade Center, attack the Pentagon and make a run at the White House had not heroic passengers thwarted that plan. The next 19 terrorist are almost certainly here amongst the twelve million illegal aliens.

And yet we dither. Both political parties are to blame. Both have been so busy courting the Hispanic vote that neither dared raise questions about this terrible problem for fear of alienating a voting bloc, or worse, being labeled a racist by the professional race baiters like Jesse Jackson, Harry Belafonte and Howard Dean. The Democrats have anxiously awaited a Republican move that they can label racist. And the Republicans, knowing that the Democrats are institutionally incapable of solving problems, continue to pound on them as soft on national and economic security.

There is already a great public debate regarding various proposals pending before Congress on what ought to be done to address the problem. Virtually all the proposals involve some method of securing the borders. Quit arguing and get it done. Until the borders are secured permanently the debate over what to do with existing illegals is pointless because the economic incentives to cross a porous border are so great that illegals will keep pouring in.

The rest of the debate seems to center around whether to grant guest worker status to the existing twelve million illegals or deport them all, and whether to penalize employers for hiring illegals. With regard to the first, we couldn’t evacuate New Orleans with four days notice in the face of a hurricane. What makes anyone think we can locate, identify and move twelve million people back across the Mexican border? Even if it is mandated it will not happen in our lifetimes.

But it is the latter question — penalizing businesses that hire illegals — that intrigues me. I am flat out in favor of stiff and graduated punishment for those who hire illegals. Providing the economic incentive to people that encourages them to illegally enter the country is seditious. But I have two problems that must be addressed concurrently with imposing harsh penalties.

First, there needs to be an easily accessible means for an employer, including household employers, to verify the status of a worker. There is a growing movement to require the issuance of national identity cards and just as much resistance from those who find them intrusive and too much like Big Brother. I stopped worrying about Big Brother when computers started tracking our purchasing habits. My guess is that VISA, Mastercharge, Amazon, Yahoo and Google know more about us than would be disclosed on a national identify card. But be that as it may, we don’t need to create a raison d’être for another government bureaucracy. We already have a national data base called Social Security and we simply need to enable it so that there can be readily accessible computer verification of someone’s status.

The second issue is the same thing that drives me nuts about government in general. While government is more than willing to impose penalties and burdens on its citizens, it regularly exempts itself from the same requirements. Better said, the same government that intends to impose penalties for hiring illegals, is more than willing to turn a blind eye to those same illegals when providing government services: welfare, healthcare, education, driver’s licenses. More pointedly, many local governments (Portland for instance) refuse to cooperate in enforcing immigration laws. How can a government which provides unparalleled incentives that encourage illegals to cross the border, punish its citizens for doing the same?

Local, state and federal officials need to stop turning a blind eye to those with whom they come into contact. That means that the police should inquire about the status of persons who enter the justice system for other reasons. Civil authorities should inquire about the status of persons who seek government services. And for those who are here illegally, or in violation of any guest worker requirements, there should be immediate deportation.

In the end, the first task, not the last, should be to secure our borders. President Teddy Roosevelt once said that a nation that cannot secure its borders is no longer a nation.

  • Mike In PDX


    Mike xxxxxxxxxx
    xxxxxx xxxxx xxx xxx
    Portland, Oregon 97218

    Senator Gordon Smith
    404 Russell Building
    Washington, DC 20510

    21 April, 2006

    Dear Senator Smith;

    The block of styrofoam accompanying this letter is to symbolize a brick that can be used in the construction of a wall, or implementation of other MEANINGFUL ways to secure our borders with Mexico and Canada. I have taken the time to label each side of this brick to assist you in its proper placement. I make no apologies if this symbol seems a bit flippant, because I am quite disturbed with your lack of enthusiasm to enforce the immigration laws that are currently on our books. I am a hard working natural born citizen of this country who always pays his taxes on time. I can hardly be considered an activist. In fact, this is the first time that I have written your office or a US Senator for that matter. I can’t be considered a racist, because most of my household holds a minority status. I can’t be considered anti-immigration, because I have a family member who is a LEGAL resident-alien, and very good friends who are naturalized citizens.

    As a U.S. Senator, you took an oath to uphold the Constitution and Laws of this country. By allowing the estimated 10-15 million ILLEGAL immigrants to stay in this country, you’re sending a very loud and clear message that YOU, and this country no longer respect rule by law. In fact, the message has already been sent. US Border Patrol have told Oregon State representative Jeff Kropf, who is spending time on the US-Mexico border assisting the Minuteman Project, that the word is out in the Latin American countries of the likely upcoming amnesty. Correspondingly, the number of illegal crossings is significantly up from this time last year.

    I am very disturbed about you, and your colleague’s continued disregard for the principle of ‘rule by law’. Let’s be honest. This is about votes just as much as jobs (maybe more). An untapped voter base that you (the Republican Party) ‘PERCEIVE’ you can win over to your side. That is why you (Gordon Smith and the Republican Party) have no interest in addressing the motor-voter registration of illegal aliens here in the State of Oregon. That is why you (Gordon Smith and the Republican Party) have no interest in addressing the State of Oregon and their monthly carousels targeting illegal immigrants to sign up for state social services. Social services (e.g., The Oregon Health Care Plan) that I pay for that my family is not entitled to because of our income, but to people that have NO LEGAL STATUS in our country or our state.

    A milestone of American history has just been made in the past few weeks. Now…for the first time in this country’s history, illegal Latino immigrants have more power, than natural born and naturalized (LEGAL) citizens of the United States. The evidence is in your reluctance to secure our borders, your reluctance to enforce our immigration laws, by allowing these illegal aliens to vote in our elections, and allowing them access to the social services that legal citizens of this country pay for, but in most cases are not entitled to.

    This is why your perception of winning elections with the help of the Latino vote is wrong. I am a conservative, and usually vote Republican. A few other conservative friends and associates of mine have expressed that they are going to vote Democrat. Any vote you make for amnesty, citizenship, etc., for these illegal aliens will force me to vote for your Democratic challenger as well. I am tired of the Republican attitude: “Who else are you going to vote for?” The difference between you two parties is like the difference between Diet Coke, and Diet Pepsi. At least with the Democrat party, I will get the truth. When I vote Republican (especially in Oregon), I get Democrat. So, for every illegal Latino vote you may get, you’re going to loose 2 to 3 legal Republican votes.

    All that I ask is that you enforce our laws. No amnesty, no citizenship, and no legal status (e.g., no eligibility for voting, social services, etc.) for the 10-15 estimated ILLEGAL immigrants. I am not anti-immigration. I am from a family of immigrants. However, my relatives came here LEGALLY! Giving amnesty to the estimated 10-15 million illegal aliens already here sends the message that our laws have no meaning and will not be enforced. In reality, that message has already been sent. I also ask that you DO NOT send me one of your form letters telling me that this is a very complicated issue with a wide diversity of views. You not responding to this letter will: 1) tell me you actually read it, and 2) save some of our tax payer money in sending a worthless form letter.


    Mike xxxxxxxxxx

  • Max

    This is an interesting dilemma, as the question arises in regard to the Asian population of illegal aliens in the USA, which is not an insignificant population. It seems clear that the latino segment is much more willing to spit openly upon Americans and other legal residents of the USA. The Asians try to just get along. Both are problematic, but it seems clear to me that the main problem lies with the huge numbers of largely uneducated and extraordinarily disrespectful latino groups. I believe that the most effective approach to getting a handle on the alien issue involves targeting first the largest population. We should concentrate our efforts upon the most defiant of the invaders, and these efforts should be merciless.

    The less populous group, also by far the most highly educated and least defiant, are also the least likely of illegal aliens to demand taxpayer-funded services. For the most part, these are people who jumped through the hoops and got visas, then (oops) kinda overstayed. And while these individuals have knowingly committed a crime, the fact remains that we have finite resources; it therefore makes sense to devote the majority of those resources toward removal of those who openly defy our laws and our borders, and subsequently demand that we accord them “rights”.

    Quite frankly, I am much more amenable to establishing “pathways to citizenship” for illegal aliens of Asian descent, who have demonstrated a desire to assimilate into our culture.