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OPINION

It Didn't Have to End This Way

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Morgan Lee

“This is my son Hung Cao, please take care of him.” My mother meticulously sewed these notes into the hem of our clothes in case we were separated. 

Imagine the desperation of parents trying to protect their children, knowing they may never see them again. How do you handle something like that? My parents had to answer these difficult questions as we tried to escape Vietnam in April 1975. These were also questions the Afghans asked themselves as mothers desperately handed their babies to Marines in the summer of 2021. Parents make these hard decisions every day as they hand their children to Coyotes at our Southern Border. 

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There are currently 85,000 children that we know of who have crossed the Southern Border illegally in the last two years and are unaccounted for by the Department of Health and Human Services. Many fear that these children have been trafficked for labor or sexual exploitation, and our government has been complicit as the middleman. The problem is: the Biden administration has turned the American dream into the American nightmare for so many. Of the many reasons to secure our border, this is the most compelling reason. This was a self-made humanitarian crisis that could have been avoided or significantly reduced if there was a will.

Virtue-signaling leftists will say that we are a country of immigrants and we should have open borders. As a refugee and an immigrant, I share the same hope of freedom and liberty as every person who aspires to come here. My family came here with nothing, and this country gave us everything. I attended the top high school in the country, the United States Naval Academy, I received my Master's in Applied Physics at Naval Postgraduate School and attended fellowships at Harvard and MIT. I paid this country back in full through 25 years of service as a Navy Special Operations Officer. Most importantly, my parents taught me that I couldn’t expect the American dream if I didn’t first embrace American culture and American laws.

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We have all experienced a long queue some time in our lives and have been angry when a person tries to cut in front of us. This is what illegal immigration is, someone who cuts the line in front of thousands of others who have been waiting for years. It took my family seven years to earn our citizenship, and it was the proudest moment of our lives. We were once without a country to call our own and no flag to stand under, and the United States adopted us. Ronald Reagan once said, “You can go to Japan to live, but you cannot become Japanese. You can go to France to live and not become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Turkey, and you won't become a German or a Turk. But anybody from any corner of the world can come to America to live and become an American.”

As Americans, we have an obligation to protect our fellow citizens and ensure the safety of those who want to come here legally. But, at this time, our border is in complete chaos and the Biden administration has no plan to fix the problem caused by their reckless policies. 

Title 42 has been in place for the last three years. As it’s set to expire this week, the Biden administration proposed sending 1,500 U.S. troops, not to protect the border, but to process the immigrants coming across. This solution will not fix the border crisis we are witnessing, nor is this something our troops are trained for. Using our Armed Forces as a temp agency to speed up the crisis at our border shows complete incompetence by the president. We need to secure the border by enacting commonsense policies and utilizing the tools we have available to lessen the burden on our border patrol agents who will face the massive surge of illegal immigrants in the coming days. Let’s not forget: Joe Biden has had plenty of time to prepare for the end of Title 42. It didn’t have to end this way, but we will ensure the American people remember how poorly Biden handled this crisis next year at the ballot box. 

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