I’ve been keeping quiet on the illegal immigration debate, because I know I’m likely to get hot under the collar and write something I’ll regret later. Both of my parents are naturalized citizens, as are my uncles and aunts, and as were my grandparents. As a child of legal immigrants, I’m quite anti-illegal-alien in my outlook. That’s why I’ve been biting my tongue. However, I’m also a veteran, and national security is my number one priority. Since the Senate has crafted a disastrous “compromise” on illegal immigration today, there’s one thing I simply must put on the record now: America needs to build a wall along the entire Mexican border, and we need to do it as soon as possible.
I approach the problem as a retired Coast Guardsman. The massive influx of illegals is like seawater flooding a ship through a hole in the hull. The top priority is to stop the flooding. Pumping the water out can wait. Drying out the wet spaces belowdecks can wait. Upgrading to a thicker hull can wait. Plug the hole first. Deal with the results afterward.
This is a national security issue, not a race issue or an economic issue. This wouldn’t be a “Berlin Wall”; our wall would keep enemies out, not oppressed citizens in. Our border with Mexico is our giant back door, and it’s hanging wide open. Locking the front door and putting bars on the windows makes no sense if we leave the back door open. Islamists can slip into our Southwest as easily as anybody else can, and they aren’t looking for jobs. No “virtual wall” will do. We need a long, high physical barrier like the one Israel built. Israel’s wall drastically reduced the number of terrorist attacks from the West Bank and Gaza, and ours would make it much harder for terrorists to perpetrate a new Beslan massacre in Arizona.
I understand that making our border into a barrier will upset the Mexican government, but I care more about our national security than I care about keeping the Mexicans happy. I understand that illegal immigrants will try to find other ways into the country. Fine; we’ll plug those gaps when we find them. We might want to build another wall along some or all of our border with Canada, too, and I’m willing to start near Detroit. But our top priority must be to build a long, high wall between us and Mexico. Every other immigration issue can wait.
There, I said it.
Update: Hugh Hewitt knows what’s most important, too.