Border Security: Let’s Get Serious
If we can’t control the flow of people across our borders, no “reform”of our immigration laws will really fix anything. Illegal aliens will still come across, terrorists will get in and bring with them all manner of weapons. While congress whiles away its hours talking about complicated amnesty laws and visa regulations that no one will ever understand — much less follow — it’s time for Americans to measure and understand the threat that porous borders pose. I have some experience with that issue, having worked for a CIA paramilitary organization for more than 20 years, trying to prevent drug smugglers from bringing their deadly wares across those same borders.
Our borders are more secure than they were before 9-11, but not enough to prevent smart, talented people from coming across pretty much any time they like, with anything they’d like to smuggle. People — hundreds of them — are out there who have the sort of training and experience I do, only from the other side. They are former KGB, Cuban intelligence and intelligence officers from many nations who now hire themselves out to drug smugglers. They can out maneuver our understaffed, underequipped and underfunded border patrolmen with relative ease. And, for a price, they will smuggle anything into the US: people, drugs, or nuclear weapons. What does it say about our border security that the Fort Dix Six weren’t caught at the border or by good intelligence work, but only by sheer luck and a sharp-minded Circuit City employee who saw the jihad rehearsal video and called in the FBI?
To defeat these smart, well-trained and funded adversaries we have to get serious about border security. The legislation that’s now being considered by Congress isn’t. At the start of each new Congress the U.S. House of Representatives and members of the Senate are required under the U.S. Constitution to take the oath swearing allegiance to America. In modern times there has never been an issue which more clearly defined the Constitutional obligation by members of Congress to protect American citizens against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And, in modern times, there has never been a Congress so willfully ignorant of what needs to be done.
On Tuesday, May 22, the Senate agreed to debate the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007, S-1348, which allows for a significant number, between 12 and 25 million, illegal immigrants to be granted legal status in the United States. With support from President Bush, the man I have taken many political bullets for over the last seven years, a cadre of Senate Republicans have essentially sold out the American people by crafting a bill that allows for the continuing unfettered onslaught of U.S. borders with virtually no meaningful enforcement of security. It is now up to the House of Representatives to kill this measure and pass a real border security bill later this year.
Proponents of the Senate “compromise” legislation claim that this act was crafted by a bipartisan coalition, and it’s the only thing that can pass this year. Though the measure’s title talks about “secure borders,” it doesn’t provide for them. It calls for 370 miles of triple-layer fencing along the Mexican border, combined with a three-tiered system for filtering out those who can stay and who must leave the country as well as more jail cells for those awaiting deportation. Nowhere in the bill is there any specific requirement for real security counter-measures. Measures that will help to deter drug trafficking, international cartels running contraband and human trafficking.
We will never hermetically seal our borders. And a security fence alone — though it is a key element of real security — cannot protect the United States. If our legislators are serious about protecting this country and its citizens the following must be part of any security proposal:
1. The tasking of satellites dedicated to scanning our southern and northern borders.
2. Serious fence and wall barriers along the borders with listening posts throughout the less densely traveled regions of our borders.
3. The development of the United States Border Intelligence Agency. This agency would be a fully budgeted, independent intelligence gathering agency tasked to develop intelligence for the protection of our borders as well as run independent or joint task force operations against our enemies trying to penetrate our borders. They would conduct covert espionage activities worldwide, seeking out, penetrating and thwarting the plans of the black-market intelligence operators who hire themselves out to terrorists, drug smugglers and all others seeking to enter the US illegally.
4. The creation and deployment of Rapid Deployment Response Teams (RDRTs) a new, highly skilled, highly trained paramilitary unit culled from our current Special Forces Units, capable of responding to any part of our borders within 15 minutes, fully armed and whose commander reports only to the chain of command of the newly formed United States Border Intelligence Agency.
Roman Emperor Hadrian, in A.D. 122, recognized that in order to prevent military raids by the enemies of Rome and to improve economic stability and provide peaceful conditions in the Roman Empire, he had to build Hadrian’s Wall to separate British land from Scottish. The first of three walls would be 75 miles long and would be built from quarried stone, standing and protecting the empire for 300 years. The wall would physically declare and mark the territories of the Empire. Over 1600 years later the United States is under siege by her enemies. Terrorists have already attacked and murdered over 3000 people.
Terrorist cells are moving without hesitation, conditions or consequences across our borders. We are facing economic devastation by illegal immigrants who are burdening our healthcare systems by hundreds of billions of dollars per year. They pay no taxes and are about to be given amnesty for tax avoidance and who knows what other criminal acts the may have committed.
President Bush and leaders of Congress have not learned from history. Without the implementation of the types of aggressive actions outlined above, which physically declare the territories of the United States, the enforcement of our borders and the security of our nation will be virtually impossible. It will only be a matter of time when the United States will be nothing more than a footnote, a very brief footnote, in history.