Among the various justifications that border-control advocates use to justify their support of regulated or sealed borders is that border control, they say, is necessary to protect us from terrorists.
The problem with this position is twofold. One, it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Two, the solution it proposes inexorably reinforces the trend toward omnipotent government in America.
As long foreigners are legally permitted to come into the United States, there will be the possibility that a terrorist will be among them. There are foreigners who come for the purpose of legitimate work and there are those who come as tourists. What would prevent a terrorist with no criminal background from falling within those two groups of people? In fact, correct me if I’m wrong but weren’t some of the 9/11 hijackers here in the United States legally?
Thus, since being kept safe from terrorists is a primary objective of border-control advocates, there is no way that they can simply trust government bureaucrats to let in only non-terrorists when they’re reviewing work applications and tourist applications for foreigners. No, if one wants to be sure that terrorists aren’t going to come here and get us, there is really only one real solution — keep all foreigners out of the United States, including tourists and people who wish to work here legally. In other words, seal the borders, just like they have in North Korea.
Of course, one might still wonder whether it’s really possible to keep out someone who truly wants vengeance — say, the father of a bride whose wedding party in Afghanistan was killed by a U.S. bombing attack. Might not such a person do whatever is necessary to exact revenge?
But another problem arises: the possibility that Americans could become terrorists. In fact, just this week the Washington Post reported that terrorists are actively recruiting Americans to join their cause. Therefore, to keep us safe from terrorists, wouldn’t the next logical step be to stop Americans from going abroad where they could be infected with terrorist propaganda? In other words, seal the border in both directions. As a matter of fact, that would also ensure that Americans couldn’t catch infectious diseases from foreigners, which is another of the fears that induce border-control advocates to want to keep out foreigners or control their entry into the country.
Of course, as the economy continues to worsen, sealing Americans in would also enable federal officials to more easily prevent Americans from taking their savings abroad, especially if exchange, monetary, or capital controls are imposed on the citizenry.
As everyone knows, right now the feds are constructing a fortified fence along the border to keep out illegal aliens. At the same time, there are increasing calls by state officials to send U.S. troops to the border to deal with drug-war violence, which U.S. officials are now saying threatens national security.
Given the fence, the hordes of DEA, Border Patrol, Customs, local drug-enforcement agents, and maybe battalions of battle-tested U.S. troops along the border, Americans might well have the opportunity to witness the spectacle of a 3-way coalition of proponents of the war on drugs, the war on terrorism, and the war on immigrants exhorting Americans to “support the troops” as they kill drug dealers, terrorists, and people who are crossing the border to accept jobs from American employers in an attempt to alleviate the desperate economic situation of their families back home.
All of this reinforces the trend toward the militarization of American society and toward omnipotent government in America. It is not a coincidence that North Korea has a perfectly sealed border and a perfectly controlled, obedient, and submissive citizenry. For those who love big government, this is a perfect recipe for it.
For those who love liberty, however, there is but one solution, one that involves getting to the root of the problems. That root is the federal government. Dismantling the government’s overseas empire and ending its policy of foreign intervention would eliminate the anger and rage that arises from all the people that U.S. officials are killing overseas, which means no more terrorists trying to come to the U.S. to do us harm. Repealing the drug war will mean no more drug cartels and, therefore, no more drug-war violence along the border. Ending border controls will mean no more mistreatment of people who are doing nothing worse than trying to improve their lot in life through contract and labor with fellow human beings as well as a more profound commitment to God’s second-greatest commandment “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”