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Fighting Terrorism Requires Legalizing Immigration
Submitted by James S. Valliant on Tue, 2006-06-06 16:58
Immigration has become a very hot issue in the United States these days. It is estimated that there are something like ten to fifteen million illegal immigrants living in America – and more keep streaming across the border every day.
Of course, immigration is nothing but a boon to any free market economy, as has been repeatedly demonstrated, and there is every reason for a capitalist society to eagerly welcome every last immigrant. And, of course, so long as the immigrant is not a direct threat to the physical safety of the country, such migration to and from a place is a RIGHT.
One cannot hope to convince neanderthals, such as Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, who complain that immigrants steal jobs, hurt the economy, and violate the rights of "us" natives.
Whatever part of this opposition to immigration is actually rooted in misguided but sincere economic fears, less credible cultural fears, or ugly racism, none of these "concerns" has had any reason to 'heat-up' lately, and, I suspect, these emotions would have remained on a slow simmer, as they had for so long – but for 9/11 and the fear of terrorists.
It is the fear of terrorism that has thrust immigration onto the front pages of newspapers – and into debates on the floor of the Senate.
This is just one more example, to be sure, of what happens when you have an American leadership unwilling to do what's needed – the overthrow of terrorism-supporting states – starting with Iran – and which, instead, makes further retreat on personal freedom for the illusion of increased security.
As many others have observed, the enemies of immigration are using the "terrorism issue" as a bootstrap to push their own abiding agenda to "stem the tide." If thousands of undocumented and untraceable aliens are slipping into this country every day, how on earth can we prevent more mass-murderers from getting in?
Unfortunately, this increase in nativist fury at illegal immigration has inflamed recent immigrants themselves – as the recent and sizable demonstrations across the country show – and is working to polarize, not acculturate this community.
In all the give-and-take on the issue, everyone seems to have missed the obvious error in the logic in the anti-immigration argument on terrorism, the error of its fundamental premise – since, in fact, the only way to actually prevent terrorists from slipping in is to legalize as much "illegal immigration" as possible.
If one is looking for a needle in a haystack, as the saying goes, one has a hell of job. Finding that needle on a relatively clean floor, however, presents an achievable goal.
If every person who wanted into America in order to find work was legally permitted into America, I'll bet they'd be happy to stop by the front gate, show some i.d., get checked against a terrorist watch-list, etc. Only those with criminal records, or reasons to flee justice, those with contagious diseases, and, well... terrorists would have any reason to "jump the gate" at all.
This would concentrate our resources on those who actually posed a threat to the country. Thousands of border patrol agents would, then, not be going after thousands – ultimately, accumulated millions – of people everyday, but just a few hundred – ultimately, a few thousands. I, personally, prefer those odds when it comes to catching terrorists and mass-murders.
Besides, we wouldn't be violating anyone's rights – and that might be a good thing, too.
But would somebody tell these yahoos that it would be a whole lot EASIER for the border patrol to stop a terrorist from oozing in if we LEGALIZED as much immigration – and as many illegals – as possible. And the sooner the better, please.
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