A third of a century ago, I regularly made the long drive across Rickenbacker Causeway from Miami to Key Biscayne in the company of one Richard M. Nixon, who loved the island and retreated there any weekend he could get away. His closest friend, Bebe Rebozo, had his home on the bay side. Nixon's staff stayed on the ocean side of the island in its one large hotel. It was a little slice of paradise.
This week, there were intruders in paradise. A freighter, loaded with Haitians, nearly rammed into the causeway, disgorging its passengers into the sea. They swam or waded ashore through the chest-high water. Once up on the causeway, some leapt onto trucks or clambered into cars to evade the police. A few made it to Miami and disappeared. Two hundred are in custody. What should done with them?
They should be treated with compassion -- and sent home. For if they are granted asylum, these gatecrashers will have made a mockery of the idea that we are a nation of laws. They will have made fools of the millions who obey U.S. immigration laws and wait patiently in line to come here. And they will have set an example for countless millions who are even now considering emigrating to the United States.
The Third World is a rising sea of Latin, African, Islamic and Asian peoples. One hundred million are added to their numbers every 15 months, the equivalent of another Mexico. Of the nearly 5 billion in the Third World, many suffer under repressive regimes. Their future prospects are far more grim than those of the poorest American child. If the United States cannot control its borders, we will be inundated.
In the 1970s, French author Jean Raspail wrote "Camp of the Saints," a novel about a million destitute Third World people who launch a voyage of the damned in a great flotilla of rickety ships and boats they scuttle on the Riviera. As the West, paralyzed by its guilt, pity and compassion, fails to turn back the first wave of the tidal invasion, the First World is overrun. Though the book was considered a wildly improbable piece of fiction, racist and xenophobic to boot, it became a runaway bestseller. Looking at Europe and America today, it reads like prophecy.
The U.S. immigrant population is now 31 million, but the number of illegal aliens here is somewhere near 10 million. Among that 10 million were some of the Islamic terrorists who rammed those jets into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Also among them was 17-year-old John Lee Malvo, who with his surrogate dad John Allen Muhammad, allegedly shot 13 people in the D.C. area, killing 10, in a 23-day rampage.
How did Malvo get in? According to columnist Michelle Malkin, the Jamaican teen-ager and his mother, Uma James, were stowaways on a cargo ship that arrived in Miami in June 2001, just a few miles from where the Haitians came ashore. James and Malvo soon departed for Tacoma, then Bellingham, Wash., where they were arrested in a custody dispute. Neither had papers proving citizenship. Told by James that she and Malvo had been stowaway "passengers on a cargo ship ... filled with 'illegal asians' (sic)," the Border Patrol recommended that both be deported.
The INS held them a month, then turned them loose. Under U.S. law, writes Malkin, "illegal alien stowaways are to be detained and deported without hearings." Yet James was released on $1,500 bond, and Malvo was set free without bond, to head east with John Muhammad.
It needs to be said. Both 9/11 and the Beltway Sniper were failures of government -- a government that refuses to enforce our laws and keep out of our national home people who do not belong here. To this day, the U.S. government refuses to defend our borders or to enforce our immigration laws and remove expeditiously from our midst those who have broken into this country or have overstayed their visas.
In the Oct. 31 Washington Times is a front-page story, the lead of which says it all: "Sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad is the focus of an ongoing probe into accusations that he financed his nomadic lifestyle and killing spree by smuggling illegal aliens into the United States from the Caribbean."
America is a strong country, but she has a government too morally flabby to take the tough actions needed to remove from our home those who do not belong here. How many must die before the government enforces its own laws? How do we keep Americans secure in a War on Terror when the defense of our frontiers is in the hands of officials too incompetent or politically correct to do their duty?