Starting in Honduras in Central America in mid-October of ‘18, a migrant caravan of at least 5,000 people is committed to traveling through Guatemala and Mexico to enter the United States. The question swirling about this caravan is, “Is this an organic migration of people intending to gain peaceful entry into the US, or is it an invasion–perhaps influenced or even supported by others?”
Here’s the better, necessary, underlying question, “Do we want open borders, or do we want secure borders?”
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Starting in Honduras in Central America in mid-October of ‘18, a migrant caravan of at least 5,000 people is committed to travelling through Guatemala and Mexico to enter the United States. The question swirling about this caravan is, “Is this an organic migration of people intending to gain peaceful entry into the US, or is it an invasion–perhaps influenced or even supported by others?”
Here’s the better, necessary, underlying question, “Do we want open borders, or do we want secure borders?” Pick one. There is no middle ground. Here’s a parallel; are the water pipes in your home leaking? The answer is pretty much “yes” or “no.” Slow leaks simply take a bit longer to do their damage. An occasional drip can either be ignored or dealt with almost any time.
Here’s why the question about open borders is the underlying and better question. If you support open borders, then this caravan–and the many others that may pop up if this one is successful–is not an issue. People would be legally crossing an open border, in much the same way that people are free to cross from one state in the US to another. There may be some logistical issues, e.g., how do we process, feed, house and give medical aid to this many people at the same time, but the core issue of whether they should be welcomed or not goes away. N. B. (There, I am using that again.) Note well that if you are for open borders, don’t hedge: stand up and declare your position. No waffling. And tell your fellow citizens what you expect the combination of open borders and a welfare state will create.
Conversely, if you want secure borders there is no question about what to do with this or other caravans; you stop them at the border. That’s a necessary part of what it means to have a secure border. The logistical issue here is what’s needed to stop attempted illegal crossings of this size. The first thing that needs to be done to stop illegal crossings is for the US to go on record internationally, stating that it has taken a non-negotiable, bipartisan secure border stance. Once people outside the US get it that we have, and will enforce, this policy, caravans like this will not recur. And, as with the people who want open borders, if you want a secure border then stand up and state your position. Be clear. No waffling.
Perhaps you have noticed that I have been talking about a secure border, not a wall; that’s for two reasons. First, a wall in every place along the border would not be the best solution to effect the desired secure border goal. Second, the word “wall” can have–or be given–a negative connotation, e.g, “He has put up a wall against everything good in his life.” Having a wall is not the desired goal, a secure border is; walls are only a part of getting to that goal. (BTW, have you ever noticed that some of the wealthier folks who are against a border wall have security walls surrounding their homes?)
My strong vote is for a secure border. A nation without secure borders is no longer a nation. The states in the United States have intentionally porous borders, allowing virtually immediate citizenship, complete with voting rights, access to benefits, and all other legal citizenship rights, upon entry. I do not want to become the State of America in the United Nations of the World. Do you?
Once a secure border is in place, we can then address issues like DACA, various paths to legal residency, paths to citizenship, work, welfare and paying taxes–all of that–one last time. And not before. Yes, this can be called amnesty, but I don’t care what we call it a long as it is done one last time. Without a secure border there will be repeat calls for amnesty, and repeat amnesties is simply an open border policy under a different name. Just like the leaky pipes we were talking about before, first you stop the leak, then you start fixing things.
The solution is a secure border, with a generous and humane immigration policy that can be enforced–and changed as circumstances change. Without the secure border no policy, no matter how generous or humane, can be enforced–taking us right back to open borders.
Today’s key point: Any conversation about immigration must start with the open border question. Every other immigration related issue will have answers that fall out from that question. Are you for a secure border, or do you want an open border? Start there, and give an unequivocal answer.
I publish two podcasts each week; mid-day on Tuesday and Friday. Every week. I am also considering doing these as videos on YouTube, and would love to get your thoughts.
Let’s apply the two Results With Reason main tenets to today’s issues. The two main tenets that we believe in at Results With Reason are:
- Personal Responsibility; practice it, teach it and
- Be Your Brother’s Keeper.
Today’s application is again straightforward:
- Personal Responsibility. Engage in the political conversation. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe, for what you know to be true.
- Be your Brother’s Keeper. Be patient with each other; some will understand what you saying immediately, others will not. Teach and encourage; don’t criticize and reject. Love and lead. Remember, we are all in this together.
Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act. And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.
Remember: Knowledge by itself is the booby prize.
Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.