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By: Paul Atkinson on 10/14/2011
“Secure our border” is a common refrain from some elected officials discussing immigration reform. But KJZZ Commentator Julie Erfle says it’s time for them to start discussing real solutions.
"Build the danged fence!
This is the rallying cry of the enforcement-only crowd; the ones convinced we don’t need immigration reform, only a desire to enforce the laws already on the books.
They contend a fence will keep us safe from the illegal intruders threatening our way of life."
Julie Erfle is a Phoenix blogger whose website “Politics Uncuffed dot com” focuses on the challenges facing our state and nation.
"And so this country continues to spend billions, yes billions of dollars, constructing and maintaining a wall that has done little to keep out the real intruders: the Mexican cartels.
As we wall ourselves in, the cartels continue to find ways around, under and over the physical barriers we put in place.
And they’ve done something else… they’ve diversified, bringing not just drugs across the border, but humans as well.
A logical and successful outcome of increased border security means it’s more difficult to make the journey through the desert without getting caught.
But violence and economic despair ensure scores of individuals will still try. The cartels have capitalized on this, charging thousands per head for transport across the border.
In other words, we spend billions to keep them out, and migration experts calculate the cartels make millions bringing them in.
Is this really the best way to secure the border?
Wouldn’t we be better served by tackling the true threats to national security as well as the underlying reasons for illegal immigration?
It’s obvious the cartels pose the biggest threat, but the question remains why we focus our resources stopping them at the border versus working closer with the Mexican government to end money laundering and hunt down cartel bosses.
But even the demise of the cartels doesn’t address the second pillar of border security: legal migration.
Without a means to legally address the economic needs of American businesses, we cannot end the lure that convinces thousands of people to risk their lives and drain their savings in an attempt to live and work in the United States.
For too long we have ignored the demands of free market principles and placed too many regulations on businesses, impeding growth and hampering our economy.
We drive undocumented immigrants currently in the country underground, losing out on millions of dollars in payroll tax revenue while continuing to propagate the myth that immigrants can simply “stand in line” and “wait their turn.”
But unless one has a close blood relative, is a genius or a super-star sports athlete, it is virtually impossible to enter and obtain legal status.
So when our politicians declare we must “secure the border,” we should stop and ask, how? By a continuation of the status quo? By pouring of billions of dollars into a fence that fails to tackle the rise of the drug cartels or the temptation of a better life? Or by a proactive approach that identifies the real threats to American society while addressing the problems with legal migration?
Yes, let’s secure our borders, and let’s start by realizing we need something other than a danged fence."