Yesterday, the House passed a measure authorizing the construction of a 700-mile fence along our southern border. And, as expected, the Democrats opposed it. Their major criticisms:
1) It could push illegal aliens to make crossings in more dangerous areas.
2) It does nothing about protecting our northern border.
3) It’s a modern-day “Berlin Wall.”
Let’s take these in turn:
1) A legal action might drive criminals into taking more chances to break our laws. By that logic, we ought to outlaw things like security fences, guards, and the like. They endanger criminals directly, and should not be tolerated, much like these fences.
2) Well, duh. But right now the southern border is the open sieve. If — IF — at some point in the future, the flow of illegal aliens increases from Canada, then we can look at doing something about it. But you don’t skip fixing one imminent problem just because it doesn’t address a potential one.
3) The Berlin Wall was intended to keep people IN. The American southern wall is intended to keep people OUT. If anyone wants out of the United States, they’re pretty much free to go whenever they like, as long as they have someplace willing to take them. East Germany had an illegal EMIGRANT problem — people wanted to get the hell out from under Communist oppression, and their slavemasters didn’t want to let them go. So they went to extraordinary measures to get away, and the tyrants went to even more extreme measures to keep them. It’s like the walls and fences and other barriers Israel is building. Only the most idiotic or partisan twits could possibly conflate the two types.
The real danger with this wall is that some will view it as the panacea for the illegal alien problem. It’s a good first step, but it’s only the first step. Another good one would be to make it easier for employers to verify the legality of job-seekers, and toughen the penalties for hiring illegals. But that ain’t likely to happen any time soon.