To Secure the Borders, Liberalize Immigration

Image: David All
Image: David All

Michelle Malkin says, “I reject the premise of ‘secure the border first’ platitudes. It’s secure the border. Period.” But, practically, doing so is impossible without also liberalizing immigration policy.

Yesterday Malkin released an article about the horrific murder of an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent. “The two suspects are Mexican nationals from Matamoros,” in the U.S. illegally and “previously deported after committing other serious crimes,” Malkin writes. Undoubtedly this disturbing case illustrates the problem of insecure borders. The question is, how can the United States government actually secure the borders?

An apt analogy is the drug war. The U.S. government outlaws various drugs, but those laws do not actually stop Americans from buying those drugs. Instead, the laws foster violent black market at home and abroad (which is a major cause of the recent influx of illegal immigrants). Could the U.S. government absolutely stop all illegal drug use? Yes, it could—but at the cost of imposing a fascist police state. Similarly, the U.S. government could totally secure the borders while maintaining rights-violating immigration restrictions, but only by imposing a fascist police state, complete with routine government raids of American businesses and homes.

If we wish to have secure borders, not live in a fascist police state, and also respect the moral rights of peaceable people to immigrate, we have only one option: Liberalize immigration policies—establishing check points for peaceable people seeking to immigrate—and redirect all the manpower and resources now spent rounding up and harassing decent people to the task of securing the borders.