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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Southern Sieve

You know times are rough when you have to agree with Pat Buchanan on something and go public with it. Pat B had it right about fifteen years ago when he called into question the problems with our southern flank as it relates to immigration in a speech I heard him give to a group of college republicans. And then he put those words into text after 9/11 in the Death of the West which is a cracking good read. I thought this is the time, the planets are all aligned, and the country could allow its revulsion of those attacks by 'those people' (and yes I believe in profiling...everyone, all the time!) to help seal off our southern border, run the National Guard out there. But it was not to be. We let a golden opportunity slip through the sieve. Pat B says:

While the awful events of September 11 created a national unity unseen since Pearl Harbor--behind President Bush and his resolve to punish the perpetrators of the massacres of 5,000 Americans--they also exposed a new divide. This chasm in our country is not one of income, ideology, or faith, but of ethnicity and loyalty. Suddenly, we awoke to the realization that among our millions of foreign-born, a third are here illegally, tens of thousands are loyal to regimes with which we could be at war, and some are trained terrorists sent here to murder Americans. For the first time since Andrew Jackson drove the British out of Louisiana in 1815, a foreign enemy is inside the gates, and the American people are at risk in their own country. In those days after September 11, many suddenly saw how the face of America had changed in their own lifetimes.

He adds:

When Richard Nixon took his oath of office in 1969, there were 9 million foreign-born in the United States. When President Bush raised his hand, the number was nearing 30 million. Almost a million immigrants enter every year; half a million illegal aliens come in with them. The adjusted census of 2000 puts the number of illegal in the United States at 9 million. Northeastern University estimates 11 million, as many illegal aliens as there are people in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. There are more foreign-born in California--8.4 million-- than people in New Jersey, more foreign-born in New York State than people in South Carolina. Even the Great Wave of immigration from 1890 to 1920 was nothing like this.

This is not a left and right issue. This is an issue of national security. Every liberal and conservative should be screaming at the President to do something about this. It's time to close the border. It's time to say enough, for now. If you want in, do it legally. We don't need anymore. Call your congressman and ask what is he or she is doing to stop illegals. I did. There was not reply.

First off, while I usually relish a little battle(not to mention mutual button pushing) with you that's not what I'm after here. I agree that our border control and immigration policy is a mess and something must be done. However, it seems to be like border security with Mexico is just one piece of the issue. I believe most of the 9/11 terrorists came here legally. I just think it would be unfortunate to focus soley on Mexico (and therefore on Mexicans) when the problem is much more systemic. What do you think?
Just to clarify, I wasn't trying to minimize the danger of an unguarded border with Mexico. My point was that I think that focus tends to unfairly target Mexicans that are coming here to work. I'm all for improving border security but I don't think that in and of itself will protect us from terrorism.
There is so much wrong with our immigration policies. And even if ours our bad, all we need to do is look at our cousins across the pond and you can see what happens when there are little if any restrictions on immigration. I think profiling is fine. I think student visas should be restricted/frozen. I think we need IDs for voter registration. I agree about the bad guys who were here legally. They followed the letter of the law. No society is totally safe. But we should expect and demand of our gvt the time, money and people to go after issues like the border. Its not an immediate fix, but its a step in a larger scheme which we have not seen come from this administration.
I just came to your weblog, via your comment at this entry of one of my fellow conservative Illinois bloggers. (Are you also from this state?) I don't agree with other posts on your current front page, but this entry is pretty good... It seems that on this issue, you are not, as your blog's title suggests, taking the neocon position, but are actually taking the position shared by traditionalist conservatives, as well as by some of those on the Left, and even by some libertarians. I've written before about how the immigration reform movement should be broad-based, and span ideological and partisan lines (like you just alluded to) - See my comment here on this subject.

Are you a CR alum? I am the Chairman of the CRs at my university.

Like I said, I just came across your weblog. As a traditionalist conservative, I might disagree with some of your viewpoints (like on the war issue), but this site seems fair and principled, more so than many other neoconservative blogs. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for your kind words. There are many times when actions (words) are not tempered with wisdom as you can see from some of the longer rants. Still, Neo Con is conventient for several reasons. First, being a NC or leaning NC it's not an absolute, as you so adroitly picked-up. Second, NCs are villified within conservative circles, so there are folks looking to nail em. Nailing them means looking for them which means, traffic on the internet. Three, not to be too pedantic, I think NCs and Paleos are ahving to redefine what they think as the political landscape has changed dramatically since 9/11. The differences we have with each other on the right should be in shades, not spades! We have to unite in the face of the left - that too me is more important than distinctions of ideology. Thanks again for your comments. Keep The Faith, Brother!
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