Friday, April 07, 2006

First, secure the borders.

Charles Krauthammer echoes Tom Friedman's phrase "High Fence and Broad Gate, sort of. I can't read the Friedman piece because the NYTimes wants to force me to buy the whole editorial page. Krauthammer is aware that amnesty is unpopular, but he says it would be harmful and politically impossible to actually round up 11 million people and dump them at the border.

I've always believed in open borders, and if we didn't have minimum wage laws and a welfare state, I don't think this would be a problem. Being LDS, I believe that this land was given to the descendants Joseph, who was sold into slavery in Egypt. I recognize that my views are non-starters politically, however. Therefore, I think that we should build a fence. We built the Interstate Highway system. How can it be harder than that? Give the money to the states along the border and let them build the wall.

I would also pass a requirement of a national ID using smart cards carrying the users identifying information, and make them as hard as possible to forge. All the countries in Europe require you to carry a passport and show it upon request. Why privacy nuts oppose this is beyond me. There is nothing in the Constitution that entitles anyone to be anonymous. We need a quick, easy way to identify ourselves to others.

As for dealing with those who are already here, I'm not sure what to do. 12 to 20 million is a lot of people. I would rather insist on Mexico getting its act together, so that its people don't see America as their only way to get ahead. If you use an electrical metaphor, there are a whole lot of electrons south of the border and many positive ions on the north. The result is a current of electrons, determined by the resistance between them and the North. We need a better insulator to control this short circuit.


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