Border Wars: Archbishop Chaput speaks truth
One hears a lot of nonsense about the crisis taking place on the border between Arizona and Mexico. For example, Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General, says Arizona’s new immigration law is bad policy; however, under questioning by Congress, Mr. Holder confessed he has not read the Arizona law which, in a brief ten pages, restates the essential elements of U.S. immigration law. Is Mr. Holder fit to hold office? You decide.
Some say the U.S. government is doing nothing to enforce U.S. immigration law. That is not true. If you watch the National Geographic Channel’s series entitled: “Border Wars,” you see the overworked and understaffed men and women of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service heroically combating the Mexican drug cartels, trying to crush the Mexican rings that smuggle in young girls and boys to work in U.S. brothels, and trying to catch the armed and dangerous “Coyotes,” who prey on poor people seeking a better life for their families and themselves.
Speaking truth to power about this crisis is the Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Denver: “Illegal immigration is wrong and dangerous for everyone involved. There is nothing good about people risking their lives to enter the U.S., and there is nothing good about Americans not knowing who crosses their borders, especially in an age of terrorism, drugs and organized violent crime.
“There is also nothing good about people ‘living in the shadows,’ or families being separated or decent people being deported and having to start their lives all over again, sometimes in a country that they no longer -- or never did -- know.”
Our decades-long failure to control our southern border has created a bonanza for the drug cartels, for those who traffic in the sex trade, and for the Coyotes who strip poor Hispanics of their meager savings in return for a promise to lead them safely into the Promised Land.
Anyone with an ounce of human compassion should see the need to stop playing partisan politics with this crisis and join with Arizona in the effort to do what will be, ultimately, the most compassionate thing to do: Gain control of the border and establish an orderly guest worker program for workers who have applied for and received official permission to enter the United States under the terms of a government-certified, guest-worker agreement.
Ours is a failure of will, not resources. Surely, a superpower worthy of the name can figure out how to control its borders. But, in the process, we must also be aware of the geo-political consequences.
The day our southern border is made secure is the day the corrupt and ineffectual Mexican government will fall to revolution. But even a bloody revolution may be preferable to the intolerable current reality of a Mexican government that cannot keep its people safe in their persons and in their property and, due to internal corruption at every level, stands in the way of what should be one of the world’s strongest free-market economies
Unfortunately, Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega are waiting in the wings to install a socialist-communist dictatorship in Mexico. No doubt Russia’s Vladimir Putin would look with favor upon their efforts.
Rather than end up with a socialist dictatorship on our southern border, the United States should help a “new” Mexico establish a representative republic based on the free-market economic principles that would allow the people of Mexico to develop their extraordinary natural resources.
But, by nationalizing two of our major auto makers, by nationalizing our health-care and financial-services industries, the Obama Administration is setting exactly the wrong example for Mexico. That means the crisis on the Arizona-Mexican border and its human misery -- for Arizonans and the poor illegal aliens alike – cannot be resolved until after the U.S. elections of November, 2010, and November, 2012.
Syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, majored in Government and Law at the University of Oklahoma, earned a M.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University, a Ph.D. from Nebraska, and is a graduate of Harvard’s JFK School of Government.
©2010. William Hamilton.