Immigraton: Thinking outside-the-box
Most Americans want the flooding across our southern border by minors from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador brought to a screeching halt. But even before occupying the White House which, by the way, has a iron fence around it, Candidate Obama railed against the notion of national borders and, according to the union representing U.S. Border Patrol officers, President Obama has been hog-tying their border-enforcement efforts. That, however, is a political issue which voters can decide in the elections of 2014 and 2016.
Meanwhile, there is a human crisis on our southern border. Some say most of the minors are sweet, innocent children fleeing dire circumstances at home. Others say most of the illegal border crossers are 15-17-year-old gang-bangers who have already been recruited by the Mexican drug cartels. The U.S. Border Patrol says 20-percent already have criminal records.
But the first causes of our border crisis are really crises in Central America and Mexico where corruption (theft of aid money, drug-running) and oppression of the masses are endemic. So, if the real crises are outside our borders, maybe we need to think outside-the-box and apply the concepts of, say, the naval blockade.
Naval blockades take two forms: The "close" blockade and the "distant" blockade. In the "close" blockade (a la the Cuban Missile Crisis) you wait until the contraband goods (the missiles) are close to where you do not want them to be (Cuba) and then you intercept them. Obviously, our "close" land blockade of our southern border (repelling illegal immigrants) hasn’t worked very well, even under Republican administrations.
In the "distant" blockade, you intercept the contraband (in this case, people) just as they start their outbound journey. For example, we could drop our airborne and airmobile divisions along the northern borders of Honduras, Guatemala, and San Salvador and nip the illegal immigration of minors in the bud. Nah. That’s way too far outside-the-box.
Historically, we have used a "close" land blockade enforced by armed U.S. Border Patrol officers. Prior to President Obama, it was "catch and deport." Under President Obama, that has shifted to "catch and disappear" into the sub-rosa shadows of American society.
But even if we had a President interested in maintaining the U.S. as a sovereign nation able to control its own borders, the task of enforcing our 1,954-mile border with Mexico is extremely difficult. One-third of our southern border is the easily crossed Rio Grande River. So, how about selling the Rio Grande River to Mexico and redrawing our southern border farther north and building a much shorter fence along more defensible terrain?
Of course, the farmers, ranchers and business owners whose land is sold to Mexico would scream bloody murder. They would have to be richly compensated. But that might be less expensive than trying to enforce the unenforceable along the Rio Grande. Note that the ground around the White House is flat and there are no rivers running through it. Therefore, given defensible terrain, we know that fences do work.
Meanwhile, when we run out of places to warehouse the unaccompanied alien gang-bangers, there’s always the now palatial Club Fed at Gitmo. Nah. That’s even more out-of-the-box than dropping the 82d Airborne on Central America.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2014. William Hamilton.
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