Saturday, May 1, 2010


The chaos on our southern border continues, as does the chaotic thinking in government circles on finding a solution to illegal immigration.
First - lets cut through the politically tilted, special interest driven, nonsensical fog that passes for thinking in Washington. We cannot solve the problem of millions of illegals streaming across from Mexico and other Central American countries until we secure our southern border.
How? Let's look at how Israel dealt with its open borders when suicide bombers were crossing from the Gaza Strip and West Bank almost weekly to kill hundreds of Israelis.
Israel's solution - build a fence - a tall (up to 30 feet high), thick double fence the length of its border with both Palestinian areas. The fence has all kinds of high-end digital detection, check posts manned by soldiers and constant patrols.
Western nations joined the Middle East in denouncing the fence when Israel began construction several years ago. Among the loudest voices of criticism - the United States during both the Clinton and Bush administrations.
Israel tuned out the critics and kept constructing. The result - only two suicide bombings since construction was well under way on the fence.
Like El Paso, Brownsville, San Diego and other cities just across the Rio Grande River from Mexico, Bethlehem is only a few kilometers from the old walled city of Jerusalem. I've seen the fence that divides Jerusalem from the West Bank. It's formidable and it works.
Congress remains stubbornly unconvinced of the need for a real fence. When it finally authorized a fence, it was mostly a virtual fence that has proved a giant half-billion dollar boondoggle. The virtual fence has now been abandoned. So far, no plan to replace it has been put forth by Homeland Security, Congress or the President.
Send government engineers from the Corps of Engineers to consult with their Israeli counterparts and design a similar fence. If this highly trained arm of the military can built giant dams to avert floods, it can design a fence to inhibit a flood of illegals.
Then build it. And use American constructions companies and American workers. And don't hamstring those companies with union requirements and other mandates that bloat the cost of construction.
Americans need jobs, good paying jobs, and this could be a temporary means of putting paychecks back in the hands of financially strapped American workers without plumping the coffers of unions and union bosses.
I read sometime ago that an Israeli-style fence along the 1500 mile border from southeast Texas, across New Mexico and Arizona, to the southwest coast of California could be built in two years at an estimated cost of ten billion dollars. That is about the same amount California alone spends on illegals annually.
Fences make good neighbors. That's common sense - a quality Congress appears chronically in need of, along with both Republican and Democrat Presidents.
Even reluctant politicians like John McCain are beginning to agree that we cannot have meaningful immigration reform until we secure our borders. The southern border is by far the most critical at this time. Let's start there. And get promises from candidates of both parties in the November elections they will support a common sense approach to doing so.
Once construction of the fence begins, then let us look at the problems of illegals in this country. As a nation founded by immigrants and the sons and daughters of immigrants, surely we can find a way to welcome those who embrace our country and its values and make a place for them. For those who bring gangs, drugs and crime to our cities, provide them a prison cell or a deportation order.

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