I know, immigration again. Sometimes my mind just will not let go. It occurs to me, of course, that all of these people could not have gotten into our country if we had not let them in. Since this is certainly not a new problem, it is apparent that they have been wanting to come here, and we have been letting them do so, for a long time. Regardless of the other options that we choose, what makes us think that we can secure our borders now? Or that we have the political will to do so?
It is certainly possible to secure a border so that millions of people cannot come across it each year. The Soviets managed it pretty effectively during the Cold War, although they were keeping people in and not out. It would have worked just as effectively the other direction, had anybody wanted to get in. All it takes is a lot of concrete, a lot of barbed wire, electric fences, and a huge military presence. Little George would have to quit playing soldiers in Iraq and come home to play soldiers, of course, but I’m sure that the U.S. military could effectively seal our borders despite him.
The question is not the actual ability to do so, it is the practicality of the matter. All that I have ever seen in the way of effort has been way too puny to have a chance. Ask any border patrol agent. The will to do something like this must come through the people to our leaders, when we have any, and then to fruition. The people have not demanded a Soviet-style effort, which is what it will take to do the job. We probably can’t stop them unless we are willing to shoot them for trying.
I have a hard time seeing the American people, or the United States government (even one with Little George in charge) making our Southern border (and our Northern border, just to be sure) look and act like the Berlin Wall of the sixties. I don’t know how many photographs of dead Mexicans stuck in the barbed wire Americans would be able to take. I don’t think that, personally, I could take many. Make no mistake about it, that is the sort of effort and commitment that it is going to take to close our borders.
So let us say that we screw up our courage (and our indifference) and throw all twenty million illegal immigrants out of the country. Then, because we don’t want to look and act like the Soviets of the sixties, we let them all back in again. What have we actually accomplished, except making a lot of people on both sides of the equation miserable?
People have to think about all this before they open their mouths one way or another. As I started all of this off with, this is not an easy question. The people who are loudest on this issue have not thought it through. All they care about is that the “problem” goes away. Sorry, folks, that’s not enough. You also need to be willing to make the hard decisions that go with your desires. So get up out of your recliners and grab a shovel. You have a Wall to build.