Five Thoughts on Immigration and National Security
Posted by Heather Hurlburt
2. Control of our borders is a national security issue. But, er, it's our northern borders where terrorists have been apprehended -- or not -- in recent years. And nobody has suggested calling out the national guard to cover the long, lightly guarded land borders in Washington State -- where we know people have come across to try to commit acts of terrorism -- or elsewhere. What should be done? Who is going to do it? How much will it cost?
3. The role and mission of the National Guard is a national security issue. CNN found that three-quarters of those who viewed President Bush's Oval Office address on immigration supported the proposal to put 6,000 Guard troops on the border. Unfortunately, he doesn't appear to have consulted with the relevant governors first -- where are those Guard troops going to come from? Is this part of a comprehensive re-orienting of the Guard's role to such missions, and away from expectations of duty in places like Iraq, as CSIS's Michele Fluornoy and others have been advocating? Or is it just one more item on our "you fix it, military" to-do list?
4. World perceptions of the US on this issue are a national security issue. I'll just quote John McCain (no, not at Liberty University):
"Any real solution in the U.S. must start with a view of immigrants as individuals in possession of certain basic human rights, and as an economically and culturally revitalizing force... In such questions of values, it is imperative that we hold ourselves to a standard at least as high, and surely higher, than we hold everyone else."
5. Efficacy is a national security issue. Americans need to recapture the sense that our government -- whether it's Bush and a GOP-dominated Congress this year, Bush and a not-so-GOP-dominated Congress next year, or somebody else and his/her Congress in '09 -- can carry through on certain basic tasks. Who's going to seize the baton on that one?