BORDER FENCES FOR DUMMIES
By Chip McLean
October 28, 2006
What will a 700-mile fence accomplish? Well, among other things, the GOP is hoping it will help improve their chances of hanging onto Congress in the November midterm elections.
It isn’t actually the fence itself of course, but rather the image that Republicans are “tough on immigration” that they’re banking on to make a difference come election day. Thursday, President Bush signed the much ballyhooed “Secure Fence Act of 2006” into law. Bush signed it (reluctantly, as it contains no “guest worker” provision) in a public ceremony designed to fire up disenchanted conservatives.
700 miles amounts only to one third of our 2100 mile southern border – but as Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Co) said of the bill:
“Today marks a great great first step towards protecting Americans from illegal aliens and would be terrorists that look at our wide open southern border as their gateway into this country.
A recent CNN poll demonstrates either the public’s schizophrenia or CNN’s own flawed questioning when it comes to this issue. The poll results indicated that 74% of those questioned supported more border agents but only 45% supported building the fence. The fact is that you can’t have one without the other. As Rep. Tancredo said, the Border Patrol needs the “tools and resources” - and chief among those resources is a fence.
In addition to the fence and more agents, the Border Patrol and ICE should have everything at their disposal in the way of computer technology, surveillance, information and so on. Most of all, it needs the support of the government – and not just its lip service. Even the 700 miles of fence that was approved lacks specific funds with which to build it. $1.2 billion is to come from a homeland security measure signed by the President earlier this month. The rest? Who knows? Given the track record of the current administration, it may be difficult to accomplish the goal of shutting down the border or even completing the fence without Mr. Bush trying to insinuate a “guest worker” provision (read, amnesty) into the mix. Tom Tancredo put it this way:
“Far be it from me to criticize an obsession, but President Bush’s unhelpful fixation in giving amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens has done nothing to help us in this debate.”
Also unhelpful is the characterization of those wanting tougher enforcement of immigration laws as being “racists”. This isn’t about “race” or “Mexicans” – it’s about “illegal” as opposed to “legal” immigrants. The liberals who try to play the race card are missing a very important point – or perhaps they simply ignore it – that while the drain on our resources by illegal immigrants affects us all, it perhaps affects no other group more adversely than black Americans. How so? The cheap labor provided by illegal immigrants has stolen jobs from many in the black community – jobs that could help provide a way out and up. Seems to me that pandering to the Hispanic vote, at the expense of African-Americans, is far more “racist” than building a border fence.
Mexico itself is complicit in all of this and of course is expressing “outrage” at the fence – and why not? It’s far easier for Mexico to “solve” Mexican poverty by simply encouraging its impoverished citizens to break US immigration laws and come here, instead of attempting to internally tackle the corruption and squalor that has existed for years. $20 billion or more a year is being sent back to Mexico by illegal aliens – that’s a lot of pesos – nearly as much as generated by Mexican oil exports.
Much of the money being sent back to Mexico by illegal aliens was never taxed – although many of the illegals have been able to take advantage of our hospitals, social services and so on. Employers who hire illegals are naturally paying cash under the table in many instances. That’s why another part of enforcement must include coming down hard on those who knowingly hire illegals.
Stopping illegal immigration is vital on many levels – it affects everything from our jobs and economy, the environment, our healthcare system, our tax dollars, our national security, the terrorism threat and much more. Indeed, our very culture, and America as we know it, is at stake. Without taking firm action now, our children could be destined for life as a third world nation. Building a 700 mile fence is a start, but only a start. The future demands that we do much more.
© 2006 Chip McLean - All Rights Reserved
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Chip McLean is the editor/publisher for Capitol Hill Coffee House. Chip is a former broadcaster.
His interest in politics began at the age of eight, when his parents took him to a Barry Goldwater rally during the 1964 presidential election. In addition to his work at CHCH, Chip's columns have appeared in a number of online conservative publications.
Stopping illegal immigration is vital on many levels – it affects everything from our jobs and economy, the environment, our healthcare system, our tax dollars, our national security, the terrorism threat and much...