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Protecting Our Borders – Are We At War – Or Not?

A couple of months ago a friend of mine bought a brand new Lexus – with all the bells and whistles. It's very nice, and represented one of his 'dreams coming true.' About three weeks ago he was stopped at a red light and was struck in the rear by a pickup truck traveling at about 20-mph. The force of the impact drove the Lexus forward into the rear of the vehicle (a large, high-riding SUV) in front of it. The pickup truck suffered slight damage. The SUV, the final vehicle in the chain-accident, had almost no damage. The sandwiched Lexus, however, sustained just over $11,000 in damages. My friend was not hurt – except he said the air bag scared him a tad. The truck driver struck his head on the steering wheel and had to be taken to the emergency room in an ambulance for stitches. The passengers of the SUV were all fine, and left before police arrived.

As it turns out, the pickup truck's brakes failed. The truck was being driven by an illegal alien who had purchased a fake driver's license and social security card. He'd been working in the US illegally for almost 18-months. He had an apartment, and worked in construction and landscaping jobs. I'm sure he was a very nice fellow.

My friend had to have his insurance pay for the damage to his pride and joy. His rates, predictably, will go up as a result of that. The city had to have the accident investigated, the truck had to be towed, and an ambulance had to be used, and an emergency room visit paid for. The Mexican gentleman driving the truck, after having his medical needs attended to, was briefly housed and then sent back to Mexico. Mexico">All of this cost the American taxpayers (especially my friend) dearly. Hardly seems like a fair deal, does it?

Every time I watch the news some politician is telling Americans that "we are at war!" "We're at war with terrorism." Well, if we're at war, aren't the "borders" actually "perimeters?" And if they are perimeters, shouldn't we be taking a much harder, military-style position on their defense? Otherwise – what's the difference between living here in the United States, and living in Iraq or Afghanistan? We're in constant danger here from terrorists who can just stroll across the southern border. Have you ever even seen the Terror Alert Level below the yellow "Elevated" mark?

At airports they take nail clippers away from middle-aged women, but every day thousands of people rush across the southern border in vehicles (loaded with whatever they wish) and on foot carrying bags with, again, whatever they wish to put in them. I simply don't get it.

Really now, can the terrorists be so stupid as to not realize that if they want to bring something like 200# of C4 explosives into the US, they should come in from the southern border – not through JFK? You've seen it on the news. The announcer standing in the desert, on the border – and behind him literally dozens of people are scurrying across the dirt roads carrying their sacks of items. And frankly, I'm quite sure that all those folks simply had clothing and other harmless personal items in those bags. But that doesn't mean that the contents of those bags couldn't have more sinister applications. The point is – there are a great many people (and a whole lot of stuff) that are entering this country unchecked for known terrorists, and harmful biological agents, and nuclear device components, and high explosives, or attack plans every day. Again, I simply don't get it.

When I start to tally things up, the results are disheartening. Considering that thousands of uneducated, impoverished, Mexicans successfully come into this country every day carrying their belongings in plastic bags, I must assume that the well educated, well organized, well trained, and EXTREMELY well funded terrorists use the southern borders as their own unfettered entryways into the US.

I'm sorry to say that President Bush's ideas are doomed to fail, though I am sure they will make some positive differences. But he shouldn't take it too hard. I don't think any ideas that will pass the muster of our 'politically correct' society will work.

The government tells us we are at war. That people are aggressively trying to attack us. That makes the borders perimeters, and that means nobody gets through – and that might get a bit unpleasant. We are at war, and the southern border is our perimeter. Every time that someone or something breeches that perimeter, our property, our lives, and the lives of our loved ones come under greater threat.

Fifteen years ago it would have sounded insane to discuss two commercial airliners being intentionally crashed into the World Trade Towers by terrorists, but it happened. Is it insane today to speak of a very large nuclear device being detonated in downtown LA or Chicago? Could not all the necessary parts for such a device be brought into the country from the southern border – easily? Scared yet?

If terrorists exploded a large nuclear device (they come in sizes – and "large" takes out whole cities) in downtown LA, the effects would be utterly devastating. It would make the horrors of Katrina pale in comparison. Merely aiding the wounded would be wholly impossible. Millions would die instantly, millions more would die of radiation-related problems over the following few months. Many more would die of rampant disease, thirst, and starvation. The economic impact to the entire country would be beyond belief. Now what if the terrorists detonated three devices in one day? One on each coast, and one in the Midwest. Basically, that would be the end of our way of life – totally!

Securing the southern border needs to be a serious priority for our country. But it needs to be addressed in a realistic manner – one that will actually work, and not further bleed already overburdened American taxpayers. Accomplishing this will require the very harshest of consequences for anyone attempting to illegally enter our country. The same type of consequences that face a soldier who is trying to breech an enemy unit's perimeter in a combat zone.

It is already inescapably obvious that, using our current practices, we are unable to stop the flow of illegal aliens into the US. The core problem is pretty simple: those caught coming into, or living in the US illegally have no consequences to face, so they do it – over and over again, and attract others to do it too. And once they are here, catching them, removing them from the US population, and then sending them back to Mexico (or any country) is a costly, time consuming operation – which only really punishes the law abiding, tax paying American citizens. Also bear in mind that if these law breakers are sick or injured, we pay to treat them medically. Why wouldn't people come here?

I wish the system worked that way for me: I put nothing in, but I get everything out. If I get caught, I am treated well and returned to my home of origin – no problems there. Then I simply come back in a week or two, after catching up on local gossip and affairs with all my old hometown buddies.

So how do you stop people form coming into the US illegally from the southern border? The same way you would do it in a combat zone. You put guards on the perimeter, and anyone who attempts to breech that perimeter is shot. I told you that a working solution would not be politically correct. Most Americans do not sit well with the idea of shooting nice folks who are only coming across the border illegally to find work, and feed their families. I don't like that idea either. The problem is, how would you know the difference between that person seeking work, and the one bringing Plutonium into the country? Besides, coming here by violating our laws (Bush said "we are a nation of laws") should be dealt with stringently – very stringently.

I'd like to salute Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County Arizona. The sheriff's trendsetting manner of handling the flow of illegal aliens through his county was indeed brazen, and he still catches flack nationally, but it works better than any alternatives currently on the table! He created a vast posse of trained persons who are helping the regular police to round up the illegal aliens in his county, prosecute them, and send them back home.

I don’t' know that it's even feasible to round up all 12 million illegal aliens and send them back home – even though that's truly what should be done. Look at it purely from a cost standpoint. Figure (conservatively) that all things considered, it would cost at least $2,500 per person to locate, arrest, temporarily house, and finally transport home this group. That comes to $30,000,000,000.00. Who will pay for this? America has already, much to my personal chagrin, started the process of yielding to the DEMANDS of 12 million people who are here in our country illegally.

The United States of America has stood up in front of the world and said "Do not cross our borders illegally!" Yet, no one listens. And when our country's instructions are ignored (such as they have been for all the past years while 12-million illegal aliens populated our country despite Border Patrol, Police, etc.) we don't do anything. It's really no wonder America is losing the respect of the world.

It's time to look at solutions that are not in line with politically correct thinking. It's time to get the job done. It's time to secure the American people. Who knows, if we actually start enforcing our own border laws with military force and a seemingly cavalier attitude about taking necessary combat measures, it might catch on and we would start to deal with Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, etc. in more effective ways.

Lastly, I've heard a lot about how if we lose the illegal work force, things will cost more. I don't get that. One recent TV news special on the subject was all about a large home builder who hired numerous illegals. If that labor force is making a cost difference in building houses, why is it that his houses cost the same as other houses of the identical ilk? Simple – the reduced labor cost savings goes into that company's profits, not lower costs to the American consumer. But I guess that home builder thinks we're too stupid to see that. Besides, nobody is stopping him…

For whatever reason(s), our country has failed us dismally in the matters of protecting the citizens, and sealing our borders during this time of war. The borders have been dreadfully insecure, and yet our best citizens are all but harassed at airports and other legal checkpoints. We've allowed this problem. It's time to stop it – by any and all means we possess – politically correct or not.

We are in a war, and it's time we started to act like it! Or should we wait until the next disaster happens – when that atomic weapon is detonated in downtown Los Angeles, or the water supply for the Midwest is infected with a biological weapon? As basically every expert agrees, it's not a matter of "if" we will be attacked again, it's a matter of "when" and how.

Submitted by:

Eric Scribener

Eric Scribener is an American citizen and Vietnam veteran living in the southern border state of Arizona – a 30-year professional writer contracted by http://www.dotcomtucson.com/.




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