Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Sievelike border allows invaders to pour into U.S.


The Department of Homeland Security conducted a simulated terrorism drill this week in Connecticut and New Jersey to assess the speed and effectiveness of law enforcement and emergency medical personnel.

Rep. Chris Cox, R-Calif. and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said a major reason for the drill was to find our “weak spots.”

What does it say about our anti-terrorist efforts if we are preparing for disasters in Connecticut and New Jersey instead of directing substantial efforts on our weakest spot: the borders? The Bush administration’s weakest spot is its refusal to stop illegal immigrants from invading our nation.

Numerous officials have said that another terrorist attack is not a matter of if, but when. Among those working for low wages in fields, restaurant kitchens and other venues are radical Islamic terrorists whose sole purpose is to kill Americans and weaken our economy. They have said so and continue to say so on American soil and venues globally.

Last weekend, a group of citizens concerned about our porous borders gathered along Arizona-Mexico’s to assist the understaffed Border Patrol in locating illegal immigrants. The Minuteman Project says 118 were caught because of their efforts.

Instead of praise, President Bush calls them “vigilantes.” They are no such thing. They are citizens who want to preserve what they love about America. Who believe open borders are destructive and illegal immigration is a threat to the nation’s security and character.

Illegal immigration also costs taxpayers a lot of money. The Center for Immigration Studies says welfare payments paid to illegal immigrants in Arizona cost $4.7 million in 2001 alone.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., asked the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association how much illegal immigrants cost state taxpayers; he was told $31 million in just one year. Lawbreakers get free – taxpayer subsidized – medical care, further burdening our health-care system.

Studying from cost data of illegal aliens, the Federation for American Immigration Reform concluded California taxpayers are paying $10.5 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration.

Regarding the position that illegal immigrants who work help subsidize the overburdened Social Security, FAIR says even if their contributions are subtracted from what they cost taxpayers, net outlays still amount to $9 billion a year – about $1,183 per California household headed by a native citizen.

The Minuteman Project is temporary. Though U.S. and Mexican authorities estimate it has halved the flow of illegal immigrants, the citizen groups are expected to be gone in May and their patrol areas will likely return to a virtual superhighway for lawbreakers. Meanwhile, smugglers and individual intruders have shifted to less-protected areas.

The State and Homeland Security departments said Tuesday that by 2008 citizens will be required to show their passports when re-entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, Panama, Bermuda and the Caribbean. Whatever benefits might come from this effort – and ridiculous body searches of fliers – shouldn’t at least as much attention be paid to the flood of illegal immigrants pouring into this country?

Contact Cal Thomas at Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207; or through www.calthomas.com.

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