(Previously posted at Redstate.com.)
(a) Start bailing water.
(a) Start bailing water.
(b) Accuse the Captain of being insensitive to the needs of the water.
(c) Make plans for using the water when you get back to shore.
(d) Seal the leak.
You sure don't just start bailing; throwing the water into the sea, just to see it return. Impuning the humanity of the Captain, while gratifying, doesn't help at all. And you definitely don't waste time making plans for ways to use the un-bailed water in the event you don't sink.
Clearly, the answer is (d), because until the leak is taken care of, the other 'solutions' won't help, and the boat will sink.
Why is this so easy to see about a boat, but so difficult for our public leaders to see when applied to the illegal immigration problem?
The illegal immigration 'problem' can be solved by breaking it down into its parts, and it will not be solved effectively any other way. Why? Because it really is two problems, and unless the first problem, the 'leak,' is addressed first, the boat will be swamped by the second problem, the growing volume of 'water' on board the boat.
No matter how much we want to be fair to the water, and let it be productive, and be sensitive to its need to fill a vaccuum, we can't do that while the boat is sinking into the sea. So the first thing to do, completely exclusive of worrying about the water that's already on board, is to get control of the flow of new water into the boat. If what is already here hasn't already sunk us, it's the new water coming in that critically exacerbates the danger.
OK. The leak in our country is the border. It's full of holes. The first legislation should take care that only legal ports of entry are left open. That way, the flow of immigrants can be restricted to only the legal ones. But wait! No significant new legislation should be needed, because it's already illegal to enter the country without permission. What we vitally need is to start applying our resources to enforcing those laws. It's really that simple. Until we do that, it doesn't matter what is done about the illegals that are here now.
In fact, trying to do something about them (the second problem) before the border is under control just makes the first problem worse, because it will encourage more illegals to try to get in to take advantage of our largess. The clear implication is that no legislation should be passed right now concerning illegals already inside the country. Although their numbers do make that problem severe, it's not critical.
Once the border is under control, then we can take whatever steps we need to legalize or deport the now stabilized population of illegals residing in the US.
All the hand-wringing about 'what to do about eleven million illegal immigrants' is really pointless at the present time. It's clear that whatever action is taken, whatever legislation is passed, they won't be leaving the country en masse. If they leave at all, they'll go gradually, some replaced by others who enter legally. No hasty new programs are needed right now. Far better to take some time to craft effective policy than to rush into the breach, creating even more incentives for our borders to be invaded.
Why I support a guest worker program by Cicero
I agree- however, to me it appears that simply stopping all of the illegals at the border will require the use of excessive force for the majority who are only ambitious people who want to improve their lives.
It seems to me that a guest worker program would allow us to seperate the sheep from the wolves so to speak. Diverting the non-threatening illegals into legal channels so that we can keep tabs on them and ensure they either assimilate or return to their homeland. Meanwhile we could then seal the border against the remaining drug smugglers and criminals. Using deadly force if necessary to stop them. (We might also be able to get some more co-operation from the Mexican government). Think of it as a more flexible zone defense.
I appreciate your response.. by Flagstaff
However, I must not have expressed myself very well.
"simply stopping all of the illegals at the border will require the use of excessive force for the majority who are only ambitious people who want to improve their lives. It seems to me that a guest worker program would allow us to seperate the sheep from the wolves so to speak."
How do you propose to separate the sheep from the wolves already inside the US if we can't do the same at the border, a known location to find sheep and wolves with a lot fewer sheep and wolves to deal with? How does a 'guest worker' program accomplish that, in any way that current law can't do? Wouldn't it be a lot easier to stop the leak first, stabilize the number of sheep and wolves inside the country, and then worry about what to do with both species? Why do we have to make any promises to, or requirements of, current illegals right now? All the 'guest worker' programs proposed so far would do is encourage more invaders to cross the border. Apply resources where they do the most good.
And what do you mean by 'excessive force?' We should just keep doing what we're doing now, only do it better and more comprehensively by adding more electronic detection devices and more physical barriers and border agents (even the Guard, if possible and necessary). Neither of those changes would harm anybody.
As for the 'ambitious people,' let's just say they recognize that life even as an illegal in the US is better than life at home. But to them, Mexico remains home. Witness the Mexican flags waved over the weekend, and a lot of those may have been waved by US citizens. If they were that ambitious, they could start making changes for the better in Mexico. Don't forget, the supporters of the illegals all but admit that all they can do is menial labor and hope to vote in US elections someday. The fact is that we can deal with the ones who are here now at a later date; we need to keep them from doubling their numbers in the next five years. Stop the leak.
"Meanwhile we could then seal the border against the remaining drug smugglers and criminals."
How is it possible to differentiate the 'drug smugglers and criminals' from the poor campesinos crossing the border if we don't stop and question them all? When that happens, the ones without papers are all criminals, because entry into the country without permission is illegal. Your suggestion is like proposing to keep the contaminated sea water out of the boat, while only admitting the clean sea water. The contamination isn't all that matters--it's the volume of water that's sinking the boat.
And why do it 'meanwhile?' Do it now.
You may also have figured out by Flagstaff
that almost all of the opinions and similes expressed in this diary can also be applied productively to the problem of Iranian and Syrian insurgents in Iraq. We don't know how resources are being deployed there, but I hope a good bit are being used to stop the flow of people and arms into Iraq.
There is more need to deal with the ones already there, however.
Neat by OhSure
You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. There is no seperating the good from the bad from the ugly. It cannot be done once they are here. Born and raised on the border, I know this.
A 2000 mile tube of Dupont silicon sealant 914 should do the trick, otherwise known as "The United States Army".
Flagman is correct, nothing stops, nothing changes, nothing at all happens in any way other than is happening now, and will only get worse unless the "access" through the border region is "SEALED".
Oh my... by jdub19
hey man, why don't you back it down a notch?..as this is being debated at higher, smarter levels than you and I, and there is no agreement yet, why open up with a jab?..looks to be a shi&y weekend on the site if civility gets lost.
Admittedly, you are correct by OhSure
abit too aggressive. My observations and subsequent conclusions bias my opinion. I do not target the poster by his lonesome, but all those who have not, or are not living in the border region. And, when I say border region, I'm not talking Los Angeles, which is close, but no cigar. I'm talking San Diego, Pheonix, Tucson, El Paso, Brownsville, Las Cruces and so on.
Immigrants disperse throughout the country from the border regions, but not the majority. Being on the border is much different than being in North Carolina or up in Dallas, Texas or some other place removed from the region.
To me, this debate is long overdue and general populace is just now learning of a problem that I have seen for 35-40 years. You/They are just learning the in's and out's of what is happening, just beginning a journey on a learning curve that will take a decade or more to truly absorb.
My views could truly be considered biased, and they are, in a accurate way. There is one theme I have seen pop it's head up from time to time in these post regarding this subject, and that is, "The first step that must be taken to secure the border region is to close the hole of access, once and for all.
Whatever means are neccessary to achieve this should be implemented and kept at a humanitarian level. Nonetheless, that does not exclude the right to capture and deport all those who now attempt to cross this border without permission.
The ones taht are here will be dealt with later, with whatever plan is adopted and is best for all parties.
I also believe the military will be the only venue viable enough to accomplish this task.
Yes I was too aggressive, but this isn't a problem that just started a few years ago, it's been a long standing one that I'd like to educate people about, much more than they seem to understand at this point.
Show me your history, understanding and time on sight and what you have learned from those criteria and that will tell me more about what you know or think you know than anything else.
It's good that people are taking notice. Now, at this point it's important people see this thing for what it is, rather than what we'd like to see it be.
I have found by jdub19
myself to be guilty as well. I guess these last couple weeks have really made me realize that hug e divisions do exist with the GOP, and Redstate community. While that will always be true, in the end we are kinda on the same side.
It needs to be comprehensive... by HaroldHutchison
Because if it is not comprehensive, the first side (be it those who want a guest-worker program or those who insist upon securing the border) that gets what it wants will probably sabotage the other bills to satisfy their contributors/base on the issue.
In a case like this, it is far better for everyone to be grumbling about something in the law that is ultimately passed rather than for one side or the other to get all of what they want.
Your poll by Neil Stevens
I can't answer yes to any of your three choices.
I just want to enforce the laws already on the books, especially the laws against hiring illegals, which have been pretty much neglected since the LAST big illegal alien bill.
Why sealing the borders alone won't work by tankertodd
Flagstaff's points are very good - first get the border under control, then address the immigration policies that don't work for our supply/demand situation.
Make no mistake, however, that both really have to be solved together. If we focus first on sealing the borders, we'll find ourselves in a measure/countermeasure loop. That is, we build a fence, they build a tunnel...we wreck the tunnel, they build another tunnel, etc. etc. etc. We can close the holes in the boat but can't seal them 100%.
Any army warrior will tell you about obstacles. Soldiers use trenches, wire, and minefields to block the enemy. But doctrine teaches us that unless the obstacle is covered with observation, it is not an obstacle. The enemy will have unlimited time to defuse your mines and cut your wire. Unless the United States Army defends the thousands of miles in such a manner, it is for naught.
My back of the envelope math tells me that it takes 90 men to cover one mile effectively - 30 per shift, 8 hour shifts. Assume a 2000 mile border, and that's 180,000 men, or roughly 30% of the standing army. That's a huge effort in manpower alone, not to mention equipment and infrastructure. And once you build a superbarrier to your enemy, he starts to find ways around it, and now you have to raise the same barrier along the Canadian border. So now we have to figure out how to increase the standing army by at least 60%.
My approach would take the pressure off the borders by reducing the throughput on those borders. Create guest worker program and you'll reduce border crossings to terrorists and drug dealers because they have no incentive to skulk through the hazardous desert. You can use much less manpower to scan the borders because you no longer have to sort the women/children immigrants from the terrorists and drug dealers.
I don't argue much with your ideas. by Flagstaff
"My approach would take the pressure off the borders by reducing the throughput on those borders. Create guest worker program and you'll reduce border crossings to terrorists and drug dealers because they have no incentive to skulk through the hazardous desert. You can use much less manpower to scan the borders because you no longer have to sort the women/children immigrants from the terrorists and drug dealers."
Makes good sense.
A guest worker program is acceptable right away if it does at least two things: Reduce the pressure from the outside that's pushing otherwise honest people to enter illegally, by providing a legal way to help both them and us; and at the same time not create new incentives to enter illegally soon in order to beat some deadline or gain an advantage over those who follow the law.
I also agree about the necessity of additional infrastructure to support the effectiveness of any physical barrier constructed. I doubt that anybody thinks that a wall alone will work. To argue against a wall on that basis is to attack a straw man. But the right wall can be very effective as a deterrent speedbump, and it might need a lot less support than you estimated. Electronic surveillance in certain, perhaps many, areas, backed up by a roving quick-strike force of border patrollers, might be a lot less expensive than you think. Whatever is true, it will eventually cost even more if we don't do anything.
You're right. by Flagstaff
I didn't put in the "no new laws, enforce the old ones" option.
That's the first time I've tried to create a poll, and I wasn't thinking broadly enough.
Your comment makes a good point, though.