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Cal Thomas: If you build it, they won’t come

Last Monday, the Supreme Court refused to take up the appeal lodged by environmental groups that focused on a two-mile stretch of border fence in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area near Naco, Ariz. The fence, which has been built since the petition was filed, is a vital part of the Bush administration’s drive to secure the border between the United States and Mexico. The Supreme Court’s decision is a welcome and needed victory in the war against illegal immigration and efforts to preserve the unique character that is America.
The environmentalists based part of their challenge on claims the fence would harm the mating habits of two types of wildcats. To them, it is more important to allow wildcats to procreate than to control our borders and demand that everyone who comes here obey our laws. We must obey their laws. Google “Driving in Mexico” and see all of the paperwork that is required to enter that country. An illegal stopped in America often goes free because too many in law enforcement either can’t or won’t enforce federal law.
Time magazine’s June 30 cover story is titled “The Great Wall of America: A billion-dollar barrier between the U.S. and Mexico. It’s reducing illegal immigration ó but does America really need to wall itself off?”
This isn’t about walling ourselves off. This isn’t a Berlin Wall erected to keep people in. It is a fence designed to keep illegals out. Anyone who doesn’t understand the difference will not be persuaded by facts.
This fence and other inhibitors to illegal immigration should have been built long ago. But politicians ó Republicans and Democrats ó have been reluctant to offend Hispanic voters, so they have dragged their feet. Democrats, especially, wish to import votes and so they welcome illegals and seek to help them become citizens. Their message: vote for Democrats, or your relatives won’t be able to come and mean Republicans will try to throw you out. It’s a twist on their demagoguery about Social Security, which has worked for them over many election cycles.
In a book to be published July 7 titled “The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal,” Mark Krikorian argues that the real problem with all immigrants is not them, but us. Unlike immigrants who have come before and were expected to assimilate, learn English and embrace American history and culture, today’s immigrants come to an America characterized by identity politics, political correctness and Great Society programs. As a result, he writes, too many are encouraged ó through the Internet and cheap international phone service ó to lead “transnational lives,” thus foiling the best efforts to make them part of us, rather than half and hyphenated Americans who remain strongly tied to their countries of origin.
Krikorian wants a lengthy pause in all immigration, legal and illegal, in order to focus on making Americans out of those already here. “As the politicians debate various kinds of amnesty for illegal aliens,” he writes, “they are missing the bigger picture: the harmful impact of large-scale settlement of all kinds of immigrants, whether legal or illegal, skilled or unskilled, European or Latin or Asian or African. Modern America has simply outgrown immigration and we must end it before it cripples us.”
Krikorian is a grandson of Armenian immigrants and he says America is not the country it was when his grandfather arrived. If we don’t change, he says, it won’t be a country worth handing over to future generations.
No nation can preserve itself, its identity and nature, if it refuses to control its borders. The recent Supreme Court decision is a good first step, but it should not be the last. Few politicians have the courage to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done. President Bush waited until his last year in office to begin to get serious about stopping illegals, and Republicans generally seek to avoid controversy so it doesn’t appear the GOP will be much help.
As for Democrats, why should they stop importing their best hope for future electoral victories? The public is going to have to rise up and demand that more be done.
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Contact Cal Thomas in case of : Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, N.Y. 14207. E-mail Cal Thomas at tmseditors@tribune.com.

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