Secure the border or immigration law reform first?by Hugh Holub on Jun. 07, 2010, under border issues, politics, SB 1070
Republicans are demanding that we secure the border before any type of immigration law reform is considered.
OK, lets assume for discussion purposes that the focus is on securing the border.
What does that really mean?
Does it mean continuing to add thousands more Border Patrol agents and their vehicles and electronic gadgets? Does that mean building a 2,000 mile fence?
Does it mean adopting a new plan to secure the border that actually has some reasonable prospect of stopping the flow of workers and drugs across the border? What is that plan?
At what point do we declare “the border is secure”? When only 100 people a day sneak past the array of Border Patrol in the Tucson Sector? Is it 1,000 apprehensions per day? What is the measure of a “secure border”?
With no definition of what a “secure border” means, then there is no point at time when immigration law reform will be considered.
Those demanding a secure border before considering immigration law reform actually do not want immigration law reform. They are hiding behind the “secure the border” demand so they will never have to deal with immigration law reform.
Immigration law reform is one of the key elements of securing the border, not something that comes after we hire another 30,000 Border Patrol agents and build an 85 high fence along the border.
There are two distinct border problems…workers and drug smugglers. And these two problems require radically different solutions to “secure” our border.
The worker problem is actually easy. Create a legal path to get a worker visa. This won’t be hard to do as long as people are willing to do this.
The real issue is the anti-immigrant faction does not want a legal path for the workers. They want to deport 12 million people.
Until and when the anti-immigrant faction agrees to a worker visa program, they have a hard time denying their hostility to Mexicans working in the US, even legally.
The second problem is the drug smugglers. That’s where a really different consensus potential exists. It is not a racism issue to want to stop bad guys armed with automatic weapons crossing our border with drugs.
Drug smuglers pose a real security propblem. A bunch of people looking to work is not a security issue. With 12 million illegals in the country already, where is the national security threat from Mexican workers?
If we really want to secure our border, then we need a legal way for workers to come and go through our ports legally.