Merry Christmas, Illegals

Over the last few years, as the flood of illegal immigrants across our border has spread into states previously unused to them, the issue has steadily risen up the list of voter's concerns.  This awareness has occasionally led to political action, such as the 2006 Secure Fence Act.  The bill commanded the construction of hundreds of miles of "secure fencing" along our southern border, as well as increasing the number of Border Patrol agents, funds for high-tech efforts, and other sundry worthy ideas.

However, this bill - itself only a good start, with its 850 miles of fence for a 2,000-mile border - was clearly only in preparation for the 2006 elections, as it has been all but ignored since then.  Despite a deadline of May 2008, only a fraction of the fencing has been built.  Naturally, the usual environmental and lawsuit opposition has been present in droves - but the law allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to issue waivers overriding all such objections, and using eminent domain laws to possess the required land forthwith, so that's no excuse.

This failure fed the growing public anger, which reached a new peak this past summer, when almost the entire American political class joined together in an attempt to pass a bill that would ultimately grant citizenship, not only to virtually all the illegals currently here, but all their relatives back home as well.  After a record-setting national battle, in which the phone systems of both Congress and, uniquely, the Senate were crashed by the deluge of angry voters calling to protest, the bill was narrowly killed in a procedural vote.

But the current budget bill shows that the issue has not gone away, and the battle lines have not moved one iota.  Nestled snugly deep within a massive half-billion-dollar omnibus budget bill, we find that Congress is yet again the enemy of national security, having removed the requirement to build a double fence, as opposed to a single fence.

As anyone who has watched The Great Escape knows, it is rather easier to jump over a single fence, than it is to make it across two of them properly spaced.  The whole point of a double fence is to trap invaders in between the layers, slowing them down and requiring greater skills and planning.  Is it possible to get through a double fence?  Of course it is - but more slowly.

Consider a situation in which a fence-jumper must bring items to aid his climb.  He drags out a ladder and uses it to scale the first 10 feet quickly.  At the top, he throws a heavy rug over the barb wire and vaults over the other side.  Assuming there are two, properly-spaced fences, he now must scale the second fence with no ladder, having left it behind on the initial climb.

Of course, he could throw a second ladder and rug into the middle before descending, but as the complexity mounts so does the probability of his capture.  With mass breaches, the problem only becomes worse - imagine a line of people queuing to climb the first ladder, jump down, hobble over to the second one, climb it, jump down again, call out for some crutches and an Advil...

Every barrier that's put in the way of trespassers reduces the number of them, and increases the ability for the Border Patrol to get there in time to make arrests.  This is a simple truism.

Is the point of the fence to actually keep people out or to simply ameliorate political pressure?  Apparently not the former.  My father used to say, "If you're aren't going to do the job right, don't do it at all." I guess he should be building the fence - but in fairness, perhaps these politicians did not have fathers.

When will our elected representatives listen to the will of the people?  There is hardly another political issue on which public opinion is so overwhelming.  A poll this week shows that 77% of Americans want to require all police to turn illegal immigrants over to the Feds for deportation; 75% want hiring illegal immigrants to be a crime; and 67% wants the National Guard - that's military, not police - to patrol the border.  These are not just touchy-feely polls asking "do you like illegal immigration or not" - these are specific, concrete policy prescriptions, that voters have considered and decided on.

The longer the elites stonewall, the worse the effect will be when action is finally taken.  Nobody wants violence, vigilantism, or extremism, but that's what inevitably happens when concerns are not addressed through the political process.  Even Congress' own studies show the great burden that illegal immigrants are to taxpayers.

Once again, lawbreakers get a nice fat Christmas present, while the longsuffering voters get "nothing but hooks and some wire."

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Immigration.
Add Your Comment...
4000 characters remaining
Loading question...