Lawlessness is a contagion. It tends to grow worse over time, unless strong efforts are made to restore order. This is easy to demonstrate in almost any environment. Rarely will you find an otherwise orderly setting in which only one important law is treated cavalierly. Military authorities have long understood this principle, making an effort to enforce minor regulations to prevent a unit from growing disorderly and sloppy in more significant ways. An appreciation for the contagious effects of lawlessness was also key to Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s remarkable success at cleaning up crime in New York City – his “broken windows” strategy involved dealing with minor but obvious crimes, such as vandalism and graffiti, which previous administrations had largely ignored while focusing their attention on the “big stuff.” Giuliani understood the continuum that existed between minor offenses and the “big stuff.”
We’re supposed to forget all that when talking about immigration law and border security. Supposedly we can do a half-hearted job of securing the southern border, turning it into a sporting contest between sparse Border Patrol resources and tides of incoming aliens… a game the aliens and their smuggler escorts have a very high chance of winning. We can treat immigration policy as a matter of suggestions and ideals, rather than “law,” suffering endless lectures from “immigration activists” about how it’s cruel or bigoted to describe border violators as criminals.
Well, if the violator of a law is not a “criminal,” then it’s not a law. If violation is not described as “illegal” activity, then what they’re violating is not a law. If people residing in the United States without citizenship or the proper long-term residency papers cannot be identified as “aliens” or “foreign nationals” – if we must, instead, refer to them by euphemisms such as “undocumented American” – then American citizenship has neither value nor meaning. Citizenship is very much a matter of law. The government asserts the legal and moral authority to burden you with an immense volume of regulations, and seize a large percentage of your income, because you have consented to the responsibilities of citizenship. If you are a legal immigrant, you have honorably accepted these responsibilities, following an education in American citizenship that was frankly more thorough than what native-born children generally receive. The native-born can withdraw their consent from our system of government by emigrating. In both cases, immigration and emigration, we are discussing intricate legal proceedings.
In the absence of respect for these laws, a condition of lawlessness exists, by definition. It is not uncommon for people who live or work on the border to use terms like “anarchy” and “chaos” to describe it. It is not possible to resolve a condition of lawlessness without instituting broad and deep respect for all of the pertinent laws, as Mayor Giuliani discovered in New York City. Another way to express this idea is to say that law is meaningless without the power of enforcement behind it. It is very wise to be suspicious of power – law-abiding Americans suffer beneath a fearsome excess of centralized power these days, imposed by a foolish, inefficient, and corrupt government. But power can be righteous. It has to be, because law is meaningless without it. Law without power is a network of pipes without water flowing through them. People notice when some of the pipes become hollow and rotted.
I review all of this because in the matter of immigration and border security, it is vitally necessary to review it. An astonishing percentage of the American political class, reaching into both major parties, does not understand what was said in the preceding four paragraphs. Worse, many of them actively deny those simple truths, for their own political gain. They are courting constituencies that wish them to degrade immigration law, withdraw enforcement power, and cultivate an environment of what they believe is selective lawlessness. To a man and woman, these politicians will swear to you that they take some of their legal responsibilities on the border seriously. They’ll never let any terrorists swim into America with that human tide, pinky swear! They’ll keep hardened criminals out. The crime of violating the border will be indulged – indeed, rewarded – but all the other crimes will be filtered out of the incoming population.
Lawlessness does not work that way, anywhere, ever. It is contagious. Sooner or later, serious crime accompanies those deemed trivial. People grow contemptuous of a governing regime that speaks of having many laws, but refuses to enforce some of them, especially when the laws drained of power are clearly important. They rightly perceive such a government as corrupt. A corrupt government may be your useful friend, if you have the right connections and spend money in the right places, or it may be your enemy, but it will never deserve your allegiance, which comes from respect and love. All of these motivations are all the more pronounced when dealing with people who are fleeing from even more corrupt governments. They’re already inclined to see the law as a racket. It’s not good that their very first encounter with American law reinforces those perceptions.
On Friday, Fox News ran with a big exclusive on just how bad the lawless conditions on the southern border have become:
A game warden hit in the head with a rock while trying to seize a raft. Police officers wounded in an hours-long standoff with a gang member wanted for murder. Criminals spewing obscenities and death threats at local cops before asking for ??? and receiving ??? medical treatment.
And that was just last week.
A weekly report distributed by a Texas state agency to senior law enforcement officials paints a grim picture of the Mexican border, where authorities regularly confront illegal immigrant gang members and draw automatic gunfire from across the Rio Grande, and where local, state and federal authorities fight a never-ending battle against drug smugglers.
The most recent Border Operations Sector Assessment report compiled by the Texas Department of Public Safety???s Border Security Operations Center, dated July 25 and obtained by FoxNews.com, details local and federal authorities encountering smugglers carrying millions of dollars??? worth of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine, some of which was found in vehicles filled with biblical passages and religious items; federal agents being assaulted and shot at; gang members brazenly approaching people in their homes; and ranch workers witnessing men crossing into the U.S. wearing camouflage and carrying long guns and automatic weapons.
If this report comes as a shock, it’s probably because America’s Ruling Class has been working to conceal the extent of border anarchy from both American voters and law enforcement agencies working on the border, according to National Border Patrol Union executive Chris Cabrera:
In the week of July 16-23 alone, according to the report, U.S. authorities apprehended 6,028 illegal immigrants, 4,152 of whom were not from Mexico. Most came from Central America. But there also were people from Russia, Morocco, China, Cuba and India, among other nations.
Cabrera, the union rep for the Rio Grande Valley Sector, the most heavily trafficked portion of the border, was shown a copy of the report by FoxNews.com. He contends the increase in attacks against law enforcement and the compilation of such events–including the game warden assault that occurred in Cabrera’s sector — should have been shared with him and his colleagues. But only higher-up officials receive the weekly reports, he said.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety declined to respond on the record; Border Patrol did not return FoxNews.com’s request for comment.
No comment, huh? Imagine that.
A great deal of this anarchy comes from the drug trade, of course; the report speaks of seizing nearly eight million dollars’ worth of pot, cocaine, and methamphetamines in a single week. But the drug trade takes advantage of the same lax border security and outmatched law enforcement agencies that allow illegal immigration and human trafficking to occur. And that security is lax because the American Ruling Class wishes it to be lax. They’ve ignored every single instruction from the American people to get serious on the border, including laws requiring the construction of a border fence, for decades. They don’t want to spend money down there, because it’s offensive to open-borders ideology, it provokes resentment among constituencies American politicians wish to court, and it would take funding away from the vote-buying social plans our elected officials find more politically profitable.
The worst American politicians actively want aliens to cross the border and become their constituents. That can only happen if a condition of lawlessness is maintained at the border. In their arrogance, these politicians believe they can carefully manage that anarchy. They are wrong.
The report also revealed Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens routinely encountered illegal immigrants and gang members, and detained hundreds to be turned over to Border Patrol agents. One reported being hit in the head with a rock while trying to seize a raft used to ferry illegal immigrants across the river. ???A Game Warden attempted to seize a raft and was assaulted on the head with a rock that was thrown from the MX river bank,??? the report reads. ???The subject surrounded himself with children to avoid counter measures. Wardens patrolling the river heard approximately 15 rds of automatic gunfire in MX. A total of 55 IAs were detained,??? the report says.
Game wardens also reported seeing people wearing black uniforms and armed with rifles on the Mexican side of the river, and they said gunshots from automatic weapons were heard throughout the night on at least four different occasions.
Last week FoxNews.com reported that Border Patrol agents patrolling the Rincon Peninsula, south of Mission, Texas, and across the river from Reynosa, Mexico, had been forced to run for cover when rounds of .50 caliber gunfire were shot from the Mexican side to the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. Without any protection from such high-caliber rounds, the agents were forced to hide until the barrage stopped. Federal and state sources who work in the area said they believe the gunfire continued for about 15 minutes.
???This happens all the time. We???re out on the border, often we are alone, and all you hear is gunfire,??? a Border Patrol agent working an overnight shift along the Rio Grande said last week.
???We are sitting ducks, and it???s only getting worse. Every night, it gets worse.???
Those Border Patrol agents, dodging rocks and bullets as they work to fulfill an impossible duty with inadequate resources, are your agents. They deserve your wholehearted support, as surely as the local police, first responders, and soldiers do. They are sworn officers of the government you pledge allegiance to, the government you pay a staggering sum of money to sustain, and which claims the right to manage your affairs in countless ways. If the Border Patrol doesn’t have what it needs to get the job done, then our politicians should be forced to pull some cash from their pet programs and give them what they need. Or else we should drop the pretense of patrolling the border, and abandon the laws we are no longer willing to enforce, before more officers are injured and killed fighting a battle our politicians are determined to lose. I know that’s very serious talk. Law is supposed to be a serious business, because power is terrible. The whimsical use of power brings either anarchy or tyranny, or more commonly a combination of both.
The American Ruling Class does not want its citizens to be aware of this situation. All of these sources spoke to Fox News anonymously, because they are under “strict orders not to speak with the media,” enforced by threats of termination for speaking to reporters. Well, what do you know – it looks like some things get rigidly enforced down at the border, after all.
A group of people victimized by illegal aliens is trying to get Washington politicians, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), to visit the border and hear their stories. A copy of their letter to Boehner was given to Breitbart News:
???As you leave Washington, D.C. to vacation with your families, our families invite you and your entire family to spend the weekend in McAllen, Texas,??? the victims’ family members wrote to Boehner and other lawmakers Wednesday. ???We invite you to see firsthand the invasion and lawlessness that is destroying our beloved country, and how you (and others) have given de facto permission and unfettered access to the perpetrators who have killed our loved ones, leaving our families in complete grief and disbelief as to ‘how’ this horrific tragedy was allowed! What about our children, Mr. Boehner? Where is the out-cry for OUR children and American families????
Signers of the letter include three family members of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, who was killed by Mexican drug cartel operatives in late 2010. The cartel members were using weapons that were part of Operation Fast and Furious, which has since burgeoned into a congressional investigation into gun-walking and a scandal in which President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege to hide documents from Congress. Terry???s family members who signed this letter include his mother Josephine, brother Kent, and sister Kelly.
Other signers include Laura and George Wilkerson, whose son Josh was brutally murdered by a DREAMer illegal alien, Jamiel Shaw whose son Jamiel Shaw, Jr., was murdered by illegal alien gang members in Los Angeles, Don Rosenberg, whose son Drew was killed in a car accident by a Honduran man in the U.S. on temporary protective status but driving without a license, and Carrie and Lou Ruiz, whose daughter was stabbed over 39 times by an illegal alien from Venezuela. The illegal alien remains free to this day???a story that True Crime will air later this year.
There’s more at the Breitbart link above. Much more. As I said, the Ruling Class and its pet media do not want the American people to know how bad things are at the border. But the story is escaping their control, and the poll numbers are shifting, because Barack Obama’s manufactured border crisis is reaching into every state in the Union now. Illegal aliens have been distributed coast-to-coast at taxpayer expense. Every state is a border state now. It’s ugly to contemplate that it takes a busload of illegal aliens showing up in a Northern suburb to make the local residents care about a problem that should concern every American citizen, including those born in other lands. But that’s how politicians, bureaucrats, and the media have played it until now. It was Somebody Else’s Problem… until Barack Obama passed out executive orders for amnesty, a hundred thousand people surged across the border looking for theirs, and suddenly it was everyone’s problem.
Citizenship is vital to the character of a nation. The value we place upon it, and the effort we put into guarding it, says a great deal about the legitimacy of government, and legal citizens hear that message as clearly as foreign observers. A vast welfare state places severe financial limits on the amount of immigration the nation can sustain, as does the condition of the national economy and job market. But on top of all that, we must understand the inertia of lawlessness. It tends to get worse, until order is comprehensively restored. If we want to stop violent crime and drug trafficking on the southern border, we must institute the very same measures that would halt illegal immigration, too. We should have done it a long time ago. The failure to do so was another form of lawlessness, on the part of American politicians and the bureaucracy they maintain. That strain of anarchy is contagious, too. Capitol Hill and the White House need order imposed as desperately as the Rio Grande.