Bob Barr

Throughout the history of human civilization, wherever there were established cultures and populations, there were borders – the Great Wall of China to protect against invaders; stone walls to protect European cities from the time of the Roman Empire to the Middle Ages; stockades that protected early American settlers from Indian attacks; and barbed wire fences stretching across the plains of Texas to protect roaming herds of cattle from rustlers. Strong borders make good neighbors; also, safe homelands.

Yet, preservation of the homeland does not appear to be the true focus of supporters of the so-called “immigration reform” bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate. Rather than craft a bill that actually modernized our immigration process to reflect today’s economic, fiscal and social conditions, the Senate pieced together a massive slab of legislation, loaded with pork, and aimed more at appeasing special interest groups than fixing serious deficiencies in our immigration system. Worse still, at the core of the legislation’s attempt at reform is a pathway to amnesty for millions of illegal aliens.

There is no denying the number of illegal aliens in the United States must be addressed, but “reform” does not begin by exacerbating problems supposedly being remedied. Granting amnesty to millions of illegals only adds to the long list of incentives for others to sneak into the U.S. While the Senate bill does allocate more resources to the Border Patrol to better secure the border, physical security measures can only go so far to stem the waves of illegal immigrants constantly penetrating our southern border.

Meaningful immigration reform must include more comprehensive steps to address why so many people immigrate to our country illegally. Only by tackling illegal immigration at the foundation can America’s border security be made effective. Once the balance of immigration is shifted back towards legal pathways, Congress can address the question of what to do with the millions of undocumented peoples within our border.

Otherwise, it is simply bailing out a sinking ship.

This approach will force Congress to look at two key problems in our current immigration process. The first is the financial incentives to “cut in line” through the legal immigration process by sneaking into the country. The second is to address the “line” itself.


Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.