Rich Tucker

So, are you feeling more secure these days?

After all, it?s been more than three and a half years since September 11, and we haven?t suffered another attack on our soil. To put that in perspective, by this long after Pearl Harbor, the war was almost over. We?d defeated Germany and occupied its territory. The war against Japan was also just about finished.

But the war against terrorism is a very different type of war, one that we seem to be taking less seriously. For example, the Department of Homeland Security recently announced it had arrested 60 illegal immigrants working at 12 critical infrastructure sites.

Frighteningly, our government doesn?t know who these people are or where they came from. ?Not only are their identities in question, but given their illegal status, these individuals are vulnerable to potential exploitation by terrorist and other criminal organizations,? Assistant Homeland Security Secretary Michael J. Garcia announced.

It?s not simply power plants, pipelines, petrochemical facilities and airports (more than 1,000 undocumented workers have been arrested at airports) that are at risk. A congressional report notes that groups of illegal immigrants routinely tramp across Fort Huachuca, a military base in Arizona. More than 3,000 illegals were detained on the base last year. The Washington Times reports that immigrants ?routinely wander through base housing units, drink from hoses and pools, and trample through the yards of military families and other private areas.?

Fort Huachuca is home to the army?s leading intelligence school and several units of the DHS. If we can?t protect that base from illegals, it?s worth wondering exactly what we can protect.

Getting illegal immigration under control is a key mission in the war against terror. After all, a country that doesn?t control its borders won?t be a country for long. Sadly, the government?s plans to protect us don?t inspire much confidence.

In April, DHS announced a plan to require anyone crossing the border from Mexico or Canada to show a passport. That rule could take effect in 2008, but it wouldn?t do much except inconvenience those of us who are already law-abiding citizens. We?ll face longer lines and hassles at border checkpoints, while undocumented immigrants just keep doing what they?re already doing: Slipping across the border at unmanned spots, walking across military bases (if one happens to be in their path) and entering the workforce.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for