When the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776, they already knew their course in regards to the British Crown was set. The momentous vote for independence was unanimous, which then necessitated the drafting of our Declaration of Independence, because the Founders wanted their reasons for independence to be known to the world and to all posterity. It is this reason that I have no doubts that those who support the recent persecution of illegal immigrants have never read the Declaration.
Among the many reasons given for declaring independence is this: “He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.” Consider for a moment who the Founders meant by “Foreigners“, and it will quickly occur that they could not mean those specifically subject to the British Crown, such as English, Scottish, or Irish, rather they meant peoples from other nations: France, Germany, Holland, and others.
Now I must take a moment to make clear that I did not support Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA). I believed that every effort should have been made to return children and their parents to their countries of origin, because to do otherwise would create the national humanitarian dilemma we face today. I believe that a secure national border is a social and national necessity in a post 9/11 world, and the present disarray of our borders is a serious national security threat.
So, please, only a fool would suggest that I’m advocating for “open (unrestricted) borders“, when I very clearly am not.
“You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.”
What I am advocating for is a rational immigration policy that reflects the world as it is, not the world as we want it to be. Before we can even talk about any immigration policy, we must first discuss the world as it is. We share a border with another nation that is 1989 miles long, and that’s not even the coastal regions accessible by boat. For context, the distance between St. Johns, Newfoundland and Portmagee, Ireland is only 1886 miles.
Aside from the obvious costs of dealing with the Atlantic ocean, it would be easier and cheaper to build a hypothetical wall from North America to Europe than to build a wall across our land border with Mexico! So let’s not fool ourselves, building a wall across our southern border is something that only a fool would think possible, not to mention large tracks of “the wall” would actually be a glorified fence because of terrain.
And on top of all of the logistical problems of building a 1989 mile long wall, walls don’t even actually stop people intent on getting to the other side of them. This is a lesson the Chinese learned painfully, over and over again, for thousands of years. The Europeans also learned that walls didn’t work, after trying unsuccessfully to make them work for literally hundreds of years. This is why they stopped building castles.
It turns out that there are ladders, ropes, tunnels and so many other things that are designed to allow people to go over, under, and even through walls. So, from human experience, we know that walls are both expensive and don’t work.
“If they ever get up there, they’re in trouble, ‘cause there’s no way to get down… Maybe a rope.”
We also know that people are going to come across the border almost no matter what we do. If we pass a pile of laws and charge thousands of dollars in fees to legally come across the border, desperate people will simply break the laws and ignore the fees and come across the border anyway. In very simple economic terms, they are redefining the market price and conditions, because the actual market price is closer to zero.
And when we raise the price for legal entry to literally more than the annual income of most of the world’s population, we’ve created a huge market space for illegal “coyotes” and other criminal enterprises devoted to trafficking humans across an immense border and made it extremely profitable, because, as it turns out, the cost of shoving a bunch of desperate people into the back of an unventilated van for hours is incredibly low.
And we’re not even done yet! Then there’s the humanitarian cost of hundreds of people dying every year as they are being ferried across the desert, in addition to being extorted for money, raped, and killed by unscrupulous criminals who have not only the means but the motivation to protect their market. If someone thinks these organized crime syndicates are going to let a government wall stop them, then they clearly do not understand the criminal mind.
“Our plan is commerce, and that, well attended to, will secure us the peace and friendship of all Europe; because it is the interest of all Europe to have America a free port.”
This is the real world that we live in. This is reality. As conservatives, we used to believe that policy is good if it reflects reality, and government is bad when it erects barriers to people pursuing their economic goals. Anyone that looks to government to erect physical, political, and economic barriers to prevent people from wherever they may come from seeking freedom are neither conservative nor patriots, for no man or woman with a patriot’s heart could, in good conscience, put the mailed fist of government tyranny on the throat of men and women whose only real crime is being desperate and hungry.
Again, that is not to suggest that we just throw open our borders to all who want to come without any consideration of health, morality, or intent. Those that come to America must be of benefit to Americans, not criminals seeking to do mischief, layabouts seeking to leech on social systems, or nationalists seeking to spread political strife. Those who wish to come to America of good character, honest in their ambition, and respecting of our national character, culture, and laws should be welcome for the lowest possible cost.
Cut the price of coming to America to the bone, and the source of so much human misery and death, the black market of human traffickers, ends. People dying needless of heat, exposure, and dehydration in our immense deserts ends. The trespass across private property hundreds of miles away from legal points of entry ends. And Americans gain legal access to people who are so invested in doing an honest day’s work that they will risk their lives crossing a desert to find it.
“…a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.”
Honest men and women have nothing to fear from other honest men and women nor do honest men and women resort to the evil of government to tyrannize other honest men and women. If America is still the “free port” that Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and Ronald Reagan imagined her to be, then, as conservatives, we have an obligation, not only from the necessity of reality, but in respect of the Founder’s virtues, to pursue a policy that is grounded in Liberty, humanity, necessity, and reality.
Yes, keep the bad out, but let the good in. Do not erect walls to keep out people who only want to improve their lives.
Liberty is For The Win!