Many of my friends on the Left believe (rather, they claim to believe) that every single recommendation of the 9/11 Report should have immediately become law and/or official United States policy. Had President Bush, immediately upon entering the White House, presciently knew what those recommendations would be and enacted them in the first months of his presidency, 9/11 would never have happened.
Perhaps. But then, had Bill Clinton not had Jamie Gorelick build that wall between the CIA and the FBI, perhaps something could have been done earlier. Or, as demonstrated by Robert "Buzz" Patterson in his book Dereliction of Duty, if Bill actually took time out from Monica Lewinsky to take Osama bin Ladin down, perhaps this column might not be necessary.
Be that as it may, there are problems looming for the United States, problems that none of the current Big Three candidates for president seem likely to address. These problems all stem from one major issue: illegal immigration.
By way of disclaimer, let it be known that my position on illegal immigration has evolved somewhat. Now, being a radical free market social Conservative with major Libertarian tendencies, and all things being equal, I am generally an open borders kind of guy. Put the government back into its Constitutional bottle (end all social spending, cut taxes as low as possible, radically simplify the tax code, make English the official language, etc.) and no one would really care how many people came from what countries to make a life as an American. Should our economy have a downturn and we aren't able to absorb all those immigrants, well, the market would settle that: news of hard times would get back to the homeland and the flow of immigrants will slow, perhaps even stop.
Nowadays, however, all things are not equal at all. We were attacked on 9/11. Most of the nineteen hijackers were not only in the country illegally, they had multiple drivers' licenses and identities. It has become painfully obvious that open border policies have failed to prevent this act of war.
And what do our leaders, of both political parties, have to offer for solutions? Sadly, only more open borders.
Today's immigration mess didn't just appear out of thin air. The problem goes back at least forty years. Ted Kennedy, back then, decided that our old system of immigration wasn't fair enough. Twenty years later, immigrants from Europe, who by and large share our values, were discouraged in favor of Latin Americans. Not only that, enforcement of our borders was given short shrift.
Of course, twenty years later, there was a public outcry about the burgeoning illegal immigration problem. Ronald Reagan, facing a Democratically controlled Congress, made a deal. The idea was that the border would be closed but, in the meantime, illegal aliens already here were granted a one time amnesty. So what happened?
Well, the Democrats got their amnesty, but blocked all attempts to close our borders, despite their solemn promise. News of the amnesty went South, and still more desperate people went North. Today, we are given estimates of between twelve and twenty-two million illegal immigrants in America.
First of all, there is no way to enforce a serious legal code, not if almost anyone can enter the country at will. And then, how do they get around pesky identifications and taxes and such? No problema! That's what they have identity theft for!
Of course, absent the terrorist threat and absent a government actually following the Constitution, this situation is untenable. Consider how the federal government, either through acts of Congress or the courts, has mandated that these illegal aliens are eligible to all the rights and protections that citizens or legal immigrants are entitled. Consider also, the poor folks whose identities have been stolen for the illegals' benefit. You see, of course, that one broken law begets another, and another...
Now, let's throw in Islamo-fascism and the terrorist threat. The way our borders are currently enforced, does anyone really doubt that terrorists can easily get into the country through Mexico? Does anyone doubt that the "coyotes", those who engage in human smuggling, are taking offers from al Qaeda and the like?
If you doubt me on this, consider the 9/11 Report:
- According to the Report, al Qaeda owns, of all things, a travel agency in Mexico!
- The Report notes that the hijackers committed various irregularities regarding their visas, passports and other documents. Some entered the country illegally, some overstayed their visas, most had fraudulent drivers' licenses. All of this to gain access to American airliners to be used as guided missiles.
- Members of the panel asked many questions about the failures of our Immigration and Naturalization Service, as well as failures on the part of the FBI and the CIA
There is no doubt that, had our border enforcement been better, the 9/11 hijackers would not have had as easy a job to do.
Now, we have several recent stories, which I've culled from World Net Daily:
- Mexico has just arrested two Iraqis with false Bulgarian passports. They suspect that they are being purchased by jihadists for $10,000 from Mexicans in Greece.
- Quoting WND: "In addition, earlier this month, Norwegian authorities reported that Iraqis affiliated with al-Qaeda and former Baath Party members may have slipped into Kuwait after obtaining $15,000 Norwegian passports. Authorities in Kuwait say they are on the lookout for any Iraqi citizen bearing a Norwegian passport."
- Let's not forget that dozens of Iraqis were arrested entering Monterrey, Mexico, illegally, heading for the United States.
- Joseph Farrah, the editor of WND reported in 2003: "While President Bush considers a broad-based amnesty plan for millions of illegal aliens in the U.S., there is growing evidence the Mexican border continues to be used as a covert entry point for the smuggling of Arabs into the country."
President George W. Bush has been strong on the War on Terror (God bless him!) but when it comes to securing the border? Chuck Schumer might as well have been the president, for all the differences (or lack thereof) in their positions regarding "comprehensive immigration reform".John McCain likes to "reach across the aisle" to the Democrats. In this case, we just dodged a bullet with the McCain-Kennedy Bill, also supported by President Bush, which would totally fail to close our borders, while simultaneously granting amnesty to all those illegal aliens who've broken our laws. Been there, done that in 1986. In this time of war, do we need to repeat the mistake of Ronald Reagan?
Yes, McCain has promised on the campaign trail that he "gets it". He's learned his lesson and that he will shut down our borders but good the first thing when he gets to the White House. Yup! And I can sell you a slightly used bridge in Brooklyn for a measly couple of grand. With McCain in the White House and the Democrats in charge of the Congress, we'll have almost all of Mexico, along with whatever al Qaeda operatives there are, in the US and voting Democrat within ten years.
Hillary and Obama aren't any different either. Both want our borders open. Both favor granting illegals drivers' licenses. Neither of them, in last night's debate in Texas, wantto take a stance on making English our official language. In short, both like the influx of unskilled, under educated, illegal immigrants who have no interest in actually becoming Americans. Of course, that would, presumably, not be an obstacle when registering them as Democrats!
Read my opening comments about open borders, all things being equal. The mess we're in today is because my ideas about government and immigration were never implemented. We opened our borders without putting the government back into it's Constitutional bottle.
Then again, when I was an open borders guy, we weren't at war. As many folks have noted, 9/11 changes things. What we found out in the aftermath is that we are far too vulnerable thanks to illegal immigration.
Copyright Feb. 22nd 2008