This past week, Customs and Border Protection officials reported that two months after Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff approved a $20 million virtual fence along a 28-mile stretch in Arizona (called Project 28), the fence was scrapped as impractical and ineffective.
Is anyone really shocked by this security fence fiasco? Another government solution bites the dust.
While border patrols and homeland security have made some headway, our nation's boundaries, ports and airports remain largely open runways for illegal and terrorist transport. For example, Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico just sent out his "Newsletter Update" (April 21, 2008) reminding us about another type of illegal crossing: those from the United States to Mexico! It appears drug cartels are again using revenue derived from their "free trade" to purchase weapons illegally in the U.S. and smuggle them into Mexico, where they are bolstering murder rates -- up 100 percent in certain towns.
Exacerbating the security crisis is the fact that there continues to be a shortage of both Border Patrol and other government safety officials. The Homeland Security Department still is trying to fill last year's 138 vacancies in high-level jobs -- an employment crisis that it calls "a critical homeland security issue that demands immediate attention."
Our government has failed to produce a suitable resolution to the illegal immigrant crisis. Amnesty is not the answer. And immigration laws aren't effective if we continue to dodge or ignore them. Furthermore, globalization efforts have only confused security matters, further endangering our borders, as well as our national identity -- our sovereignty. How is it that we can overthrow a government such as Iraq militarily, yet we can't keep illegalities from crossing our borders? As Mike Huckabee still says, "If the government can't track illegals, then let's outsource the job to UPS or FedEx."
Now more than ever, we must protect our national borders and sovereignty by providing genuine solutions to the dangers of American boundary fluidity. With estimates showing that by 2060, America will add 167 million people (105 million of them being immigrants), it is imperative for us to do more to solve this crisis. Now is the time to beat the doors of change and save the boundaries of America.
I still agree with leaders such as Newt Gingrich, who I believe has some excellent solutions to the illegal immigration dilemma. Here are a few of his ideas and a few others I think are worthy of implementation.
-- Consider becoming a Border Patrol agent. You can help to protect America's boundaries.
-- Don't just write your representatives; hound them about the issues of illegal immigrants and terrorist importations. To speak against illegal immigration is not racist, but humane and American. Immigration: yes. Illegal immigration: no!
-- We must tighten the loops through which illegals dodge deportation. In some cases, they've been deported multiple times.
-- We need to quit subsidizing the costs for illegal immigrants' residency in America immediately. How long will we allow them to siphon millions upon millions from honest taxpaying Americans by supporting their health care, welfare, education and criminal expenses?
-- Cut off all federal aid to any city, county or state that refuses to investigate whether a criminal is here illegally. Sanctuary stations are merely potential harbors for fugitives.
-- The Internal Revenue Service and law enforcement need to audit and prosecute employers who hire illegal aliens. Illegals often come to this country because they can earn better wages than they can in their own countries. If Americans stop employing them, many simply won't come.
-- To preserve our heritage, distinction and encourage one common language, we must make English the official (though obviously not the exclusive) language of the U.S.
-- And for the remaining illegal immigrants already in this country, I agree again with Newt: Workers who came here illegally but have a good work relationship and community ties (including family), should have first opportunity to get the new temporary worker visas, but instead of paying penalties, they should be required to go home and get the visa at home."
-- At the same time we curb immigration abuses, we need to reward and expedite the processes for those who abide by the law and proper protocol to obtain legal immigrant status. (I recently heard a man on Glenn Beck's show who went through the legal channels to acquire his wife's U.S. citizenship, and it took them seven years!)
If these solutions don't stop the tides of illegal flow in and out of our borders, a friend of mine has a Texas-tough alternative and answer to replace the government's virtual fence failure. In fact, he says, we don't need a security fence at all. All we need to do is post signs and position manned trucks at key points, just like our government does at Area 51, the top secret military airfield in remote central Nevada, around which there are no fences or walls. There is never a breach or unwanted border crossing there -- at least that we hear about! And why? Because the boundary never is questioned. It reads, "Warning: Use of deadly force authorized."