Thursday, March 4, 2010
There is no doubt that Border Security and Illegal Immigration are extremely important issues. I have spoken to a number of experts on this topic, including H. Joaquin Jackson, perhaps the best-known living Texas Ranger whose extremely popular books include ONE RANGER, A MEMOIR and ONE RANGER RETURNS. Here's what I have learned:
1. We can't let "Ivory Tower Politicians" in Austin and Washington dictate policy and procedures. They no more understand the complexity of Border Security or Illegal Immigration than they understand the BCS System. What we need to do is to listen to those on the border, those involved with the existing situation on a daily basis, and pay heed to their first-hand experience and expertise.
2. The much-ballyhooed "Fence" is not the answer. Other than providing some curtailment benefit along the border at large metropolitan areas, the fence has been repeatedly crossed over, under and around. Yes, I said around, because large, permanent gaps exist thanks to the successful legal wrangling of powerful land owners who basically received a "not-in-my-back-yard" exemption.
3. There is no need for new laws or legislation -- the existing immigration laws on the books are more than adequate if, and here's the big "if," they are applied consistently and uniformly.
4. Finally, the so-called "virtual fence" is also a boondoggle. There is simply no substitute for manpower on the ground -- never has been and probably never will be.
Regarding "manpower on the ground," here's an interesting perspective that no one has publicly authored until now. I have posted this point of view more for the sake of discussion than as an official proposal. Then again, there is some merit as you will see...
Let me begin by stating that the United States currently has active military forces in over 135 countries. Among these are Barbados, Fiji, Ireland, Jamaica, Sweden, even Switzerland. This is insane.
Now, for the sake of argument, consider these three countries -- Germany (56,222 American troops), Japan (33,122 American troops) and Italy (9,700 American troops). In the case of Japan, we have served almost exclusively as their primary military force -- Army, Navy and Air Force -- since the end of World War II. This, of course, is at the expense of the American tax payer who, based on most criteria, actually has a lower standard of living than his Japanese counterpart.
Given the above statistics, these three countries, alone, account for 99,044 United States military personnel -- enough to station a guard every 100 yards along the entire US/Mexican border, from the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, one guard every 100 yards deployed for eight hours per shift. What a concept -- American military troops protecting the American Border!
If nothing else, this is interesting food for thought...
...and speaking of food, the only negative to this idea is that our courageous men and women in the military may find it harder to find good schnitzel, sushi or scarafiuni.
(A special "thank you" to Hal Callaway who originated this concept.)