Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fences Keep Illegal Immigrants In, Too

Unless the U.S. radically liberalizes its immigration policy (and I won't hold my breath for that in the current xenophobic atmosphere), building a fence along the southern border is a stupid idea.

I'm in favor of an amendment to NAFTA that states that people are more important than commodities. As such, people who are citizens of the NAFTA countries should be able to move freely across the borders, and legally find work or housing in all three countries.

The border check should be quick and simple. "Got an ID? Great. On a terror watch list? Nope? Let's just check and see if there are any APBs on you... Okay, you're good to go."

Then and only then would a border fence be useful, tho it might not be necessary. If you can speedily allow people who pose no threat to national security to peacefully cross, then the number seeking to cross thru dangerous deserts would be much smaller.

The current danger to life and limb involved in crossing the southern U.S. border only encourages the illegal immigrants who make it here to stay here longer. There are those who just want to come for a short while, make some money and go home till they need to come over again. When each crossing is so dangerous, they decide to come once and stay till they're sure they want to leave for good.

Wouldn't it be easier on all of us to let them come and go as they please?



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