As I mentioned yesterday, the illegal immigration problem is decades old; it’s been kicked down the road for a long time by all parties.
The way I see it, there are four aspects to the problem — it is one problem with four aspects:
1. National security, of which border control is the most salient aspect.
2. The naturalization process for people who are here legally, for new applicants who have been living here for a long time, and for new arrivals.
4. The creation of new Americans.
5. International relations with foreign countries.
I regard last night’s speech by Pres. Bush as a start. At least now there’s a President officially looking into a vital national security issue. Beyond that, I’m not particularly impressed either way.
In a minor issue, I politely disagree with Pres. Bush since he believes Mexico is our friend. Mexico is not our enemy, but I don’t regard Mexico as a friend. I’ve watched too many Mexican newscasts and read too many Mexican newspapers and books to consider Mexico as a friend.
Last year I did a series of posts on one relatively small but not trivial aspect of the borders problem: the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang and its possible connection with al-Qaeda. The gang had targeted the Minutmen, which have continued their vigilance (here’s a link to the Minuteman Project website). Following a nationwide crackdown, agents with the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement using information from state and local law enforcement authorities were able to arrest over a hundred gang members, including ten in NJ.
As the MS-13 story illustrates, illegal immigration is a matter of national security. As we have finally started to realize, without border control there is a huge gap in our national security, not only when it comes to vulnerability to terror attacks, but also violent crime, illegal drugs, human slavery (such as sex trafficking), and other felonies. Curtailing the problem involves not only border security but also local and national law enforcement agencies working together.
The issue remains, will existing laws be enforced?
I’ll continue posting on the immigration issue later on.