Go home E.T.

Don Norvell

Nations have borders.

This obvious statement serves as the foundation of international affairs.

Borders establish the jurisdictional limits of domestic policies. Borders confine the geographical reaches of government. Borders distinguish between invasions and security measures; therefore, each nation has an obligation to itself to secure its borders.

According to a Jan. 31, 2003 Executive Summary from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there was an estimated seven million “unauthorized immigrants” residing in the United States in January 2000.

Granted, seven million is not much compared to the total U.S. population of 281 million counted in the 2000 census. Considering that our nation is quite safe, I cannot claim that illegal immigration is the root cause of any other problem facing our country.

However, there is a matter of principle. Border security is not intrinsically xenophobic as some claim. Border security is an assertion of sovereignty.

The only people who have an indisputable right to live in a given country are the citizens of that country. Tourism and immigration are governed by the laws enacted by that nation’s government.

Each government has a duty to enforce its immigration laws just as any other law. This is related to the ability to repel invasions requisite for practical legitimacy.

Common sense dictates that every country has its share of evil people. It is in the best interest of our society to prevent them from entering our country. This is why our laws require documentation. No reasonable person objects to people seeking work, and no reasonable person wants violent criminals entering our country. We have enough of our own.

Securing our borders accomplishes both goals. People who want jobs can get visas and come legally while criminals will be stopped.

Border security is not confined to the border. When issuing visas, the government better be right.

According CNN.com, two of the Sept. 11 hijackers were approved for student visas six months after the attack. The report quotes Russ Bergeron, Immigration and Naturalization Service spokesman, claiming that the INS has been complaining about the “outdated, inaccurate and untimely” system since 1995.

Granted, two out of seven million doesn’t sound like much, but these two were partially responsible for 3,000 deaths.

With better border security, we could have saved those 3,000 and still allowed the seven million hard workers to enter our country.

Step one: Militarize the border.

Criminals are cowards. They won’t face armed guards head on. They will look from afar hoping to find some breach to exploit.

Step two: Better intelligence.

Bad intelligence let hijackers enter our country. Bad intelligence made Bush think Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. I don’t know exactly what’s wrong. Perhaps both the Republican and Democratic parties have outlived their usefulness. What is certain is it must be fixed.

These two measures ought to be sufficient to ensure our safety and embrace those wishing to make our country a better place.

Don Norvell is a physics graduate assistant and a point/counterpoint columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].