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It’s the Border, Stupid

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

If Bill Clinton could keep, “It’s the Economy, Stupid,” as his mantra to win against George H. W. Bush in 1992, might we not insist that a courageous Republican keep our national and economic security on his lips going into 2016?

Were it not for Donald Trump nailing the issue of immigration to the GOP’s front door, we might guess that can was going to spin down the road one more time. Americans know, however, that more is at stake than immigration itself because border security is what every other nation sees as its first responsibility. What homeowner with a leaky roof would endlessly mop the floor but never fix the sieve in the ceiling?

Whenever the topic of illegal immigration arises, the image of a Hispanic-Latino scurrying across the border in the nighttime comes to mind, and statistically, it snaps an accurate picture. If you were to draw a general conclusion from available information, however, our northern border threatens our national safety and security while our southern border does more to threaten our economic well-being. There are significant exceptions, but consider these gleanings from reputable sources:

  1. In 2011, GAO reported DHS’s conclusion that the US-Canadian border has “the higher terrorist activity risk because Islamist extremist groups are more rampant in Canada than in Mexico.” It points out that only 32 miles of the 4000 mile border (5500, if you include Alaska’s mostly unguarded border) was at an “acceptable” level of security—this despite Canada’s expenditure of $10 billion on border security since 2001. That means a jihadi infiltrator has a 99% chance of NOT running into a northern security checkpoint.
  2. As of 2010, many border jumpers were from Albania, The Czech Republic, China, Pakistan, and India, and they arrived via Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and Ohio waterways. The number of illegal immigrant apprehensions went from 7300 in 2005, to 7400 in 2010, before falling to 3230 in 2013.
  3. As early as 2005, US Attorney John McKay stated that “human trafficking or even terrorism” were the main concerns of illegal Canadian crossings.
  4. A 2010 GAO report, including statements from ICE officials, noted that in the Blaine Sector—that part of the border that includes Oregon and part of Washington State, there is a “known presence of terrorist organizations” near the border. Incidentally, ICE reported, the agency removed about 47,000 illegal aliens from the northern border region, “roughly half of whom are criminal offenders.”

To the south, the story is far better known. According to Table 41 in a report from the Office of Immigration Statistics, 438,421 illegal aliens were removed in 2013, 198,394 of them as “criminals.” Of that number, 192,704 were from “North America,” and another 2700 from “South America.” Just over 2000 were from Europe and Asia.

Think about the 192,704 number, and how each crime committed affected a tax-paying citizen. It does NOT include the murderer of Kate Steinle, a man who had been “removed” from the US several times before returning to his sanctuary home most recently. That between 22-31 states (depending upon whose list you use) plus Washington, DC, have some form of sanctuary status is where politics and greed collude. In any sanctuary city where there are illegal aliens working and using schools, hospitals, and other benefits while there are unemployed American Blacks, Whites, and Hispanic-Latinos, it is both disgraceful and cruel. Cruel, because Americans are needlessly displaced in service and construction jobs. Disgraceful, because Americans pay twice in taxes what they should (a net $100 billion of federal, state, and local taxes each year). That means more millions of people are relegated to poverty because no one has had the courage to act. That also means many more millions will never be able to pull themselves up into the middle class.

That the US attracts 20% of all world immigrants each year though we represent but 5% of the world’s population is flattering to a capitalist way of life, but when Emma Lazarus wrote her famous poem memorialized at the Statue of Liberty, she did not say, “give me your illegal workers, criminals, and jihadis yearning to destroy us living for free.”

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