Friday, April 07, 2006

First a Wall -- Then Amnesty

Charles Krauthammer wrote in WaPo My proposition is this: A vast number of Americans who oppose legalization and fear new waves of immigration would change their minds if we could radically reduce new -- i.e., future -- illegal immigration.

Forget employer sanctions. Build a barrier. It is simply ridiculous to say it cannot be done. If one fence won't do it, then build a second 100 yards behind it. And then build a road for patrols in between. Put in cameras. Put in sensors. Put out lots of patrols.
The only thing I would do to improve on that is to suspend Posse Comitatus in an area 10 miles from the border, and assign the military on training missions to help defend the border, and at the same time learn skills that would be ideal in Iraq and Afganistan, where they want to close borders to prevent terrorists from crossing them.
Can't be done? Israel's border fence has been extraordinarily successful in keeping out potential infiltrators who are far more determined than mere immigrants. Nor have very many North Koreans crossed into South Korea in the past 50 years.

Of course it will be ugly. So are the concrete barriers to keep truck bombs from driving into the White House. But sometimes necessity trumps aesthetics. And don't tell me that this is our Berlin Wall. When you build a wall to keep people in, that's a prison. When you build a wall to keep people out, that's an expression of sovereignty. The fence around your house is a perfectly legitimate expression of your desire to control who comes into your house to eat, sleep and use the facilities. It imprisons no one.
Of course, no barrier will be foolproof. But it doesn't have to be. It simply has to reduce the river of illegals to a manageable trickle. Once we can do that, everything becomes possible -- most especially, humanizing the situation of our 11 million illegals.
And it should reduce a lot of drug traffic and middle east people from getting in to our country.
If the government can demonstrate that it can control future immigration, there will be infinitely less resistance to dealing generously with the residual population of past immigration.

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