Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Mr. Bush, Build Up This Wall!

With an estimated 5 million under- or unemployed service workers (source: CIA World Factbook), it's little wonder that the Mexican government is worried about the United States' plans to build a wall along the border. Every year rougly 150,000-200,000 illegal Mexican immigrants (source: US-English.org sucessfully evade our unmanned and underprotected border. These illegal immigrants find work that, even at a lower wage than American workers, pays better than what is available in Mexico--it is easy to understand their personal motivation in coming. However much we may feel sympathy for the day to day economic hardship of our friends and neighbors in Mexico, our security as a nation should come first.

National security has many different components, one important component is economic security. When an illegal takes a job in America, it increases the tax burden on Americans. Illegal immigrants don't pay taxes (outside of the small amount of sales taxes on the day-to-day items they purchase), yet they use public services: medical care, education, in some cases even welfare. What's more, in a lot of cases they send a good amount of what they earn back to their families still in Mexico (as well as elsewhere). Capital flight weakens the economy.

More unfortunately, it's not just Mexicans that make the journey. An open border means that enemies of the United States can easily make the journey also. For the advocates of an open border, a simple question: how many terrorists crossing our border is an acceptable number? While it is surely true that other routes exist for terrorists to enter, that's no excuse not to close this route.

The issue of illegal immigration is an important one for our legitimately sovereign government. So when Mexico's President threatens to interfere with our plans to build a wall, what he's really threatening is to interfere in a sovereign country's affairs. Will the same critics that claim alleged American imperialism around the world decry this gross violation of our national rights?

So Mr. Bush, build this wall! However, the policy cannot stop there. We must crack down on American companies that break the law and hire illegals, and we need to reform the immigration system to ease the process for legal applicants. This is not a xenophobic, anti-immigration stance--legal immigration is good for the nation--this is pro-law and pro-security stance.

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