“Al Qaeda is looking to ship a nuke across our Southern border and we’re supposed to be wringing our hands over the price of lettuce? Not this congressman.” (Whatever It Takes, p. 115)
There is no issue in America today on which the opinions of voters and elected officials diverge more sharply than illegal immigration. While firm majorities of Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike strongly oppose illegal immigration as a form of corruption, a national security risk, a source of crime, and an economic threat to America’s working class, their leaders in Washington do nothing to combat the problem and, indeed, do much to encourage it.
That may finally be changing. The issue has risen to a new level of passion in recent months, and open-borders advocates from George Bush to Hillary Clinton are beginning to see political danger in ignoring public opinion, and even potential benefit in paying lip service to it.
There is also a small but growing number of politicians who have taken on the issue in earnest and are leading an increasingly organized fight to restore the rule of law to immigration matters. Among these is J.D. Hayworth, representative from the 5th Congressional District of Arizona.
His new book, Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration, Border Security, and the War on Terror (published by Regnery—a HUMAN EVENTS sister company) would thus be an important contribution to the debate over illegal immigration merely because of the position of its author as a legislative leader on the issue and as a congressman from a state especially hard hit by the problem. But the book is also a worthwhile resource in its own right. It is concise, well written in a colloquial style, and filled with relevant facts and documentation that give lie to the arguments of the immigration criminal lobby.
The book gives a special focus to the national security implications of tolerating an uncontrolled border and the networks of document forgers and human smugglers that have grown up around the underground economy that draws illegal aliens into our country. But Whatever It Takes addresses more than this one consequence of exploding illegal immigration.
Hayworth documents as well the violent crime, the enormous drain on government budgets, the threat to Social Security solvency and the assault on the ideal of assimilation that are all direct results of the unchecked migration of millions of poorly educated immigration criminals across our borders. He also discusses how this immigration and the money these immigrants send back abet corruption and economic ineptitude in Mexico.
Beyond the informational value of the book, it is perhaps most interesting for the political perspective that only a congressman could provide. Hayworth is not merely an observer of recent events surrounding illegal immigration—he is a front-line combatant. So he is able to tell the story of government collusion, incompetence and squabbling from an insider’s perspective.
In one memorable anecdote, Hayworth expressed his concern about the President’s plan to make Mexican workers eligible to collect United States Social Security payments, only to have Karl Rove break free of his leash and blurt out, “You just don’t want to help brown people, do you?”
Karl Rove is, I’m told, a Republican. So you can imagine the venom with which Democratic race baiters attack those who question the wisdom of our current immigration policies, also related in the book.
Finally, Hayworth outlines a series of simple policy reforms that would do much to curtail illegal immigration—none of which would be as costly or clumsy as our current policy of ignoring the problem. This plan of action is especially interesting since its author, being a member of Congress, has actually proposed bills incorporating much of it and will, presumably, continue to do so.
If you’ve ever wished that someone in Congress would take up the immigration cause, your book is here.
Oh, and for those wringing their hands over the potential price of lettuce should America actually police it’s borders, estimates cited in Hayworth’s book indicate that it might cost as much as a $1.90 per head—a full dime more than it costs today. The costs of the September 11 attacks total several hundred billion dollars, thus far. Enjoy that lettuce.