Immigration and Border Security
"Border Security" is a red herring ("a clue or piece of information that is, or is intended to be, misleading or distracting"). My personal belief is that those who are still referring to this topic this way are worriedly wringing their hands, wailing "Hannibal ad portas! (Hannibal is at the gates!)" using the same animated hyperbole that my once teenage daughter did, crying "we're all going to die" when our internet router shut down during a power outage.
"Just between us, I think it's time for us to recognize the differences we sometimes fear to show."
What we really should be discussing is "comprehensive immigration reform".
What do I mean by that? Quite simply that if Americans want immigrants to enter the United States through legal channels, then the immigration laws (and their reforms) should address making those legal channels fair, reasonable, and more accessible to potential immigrants. One possible method (among the many) that I have heard to accomplish this would be to split the current Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) into two separate agencies; one to focus on service, and the other to focus on enforcement. It is thought that by doing this simple split, both processes would flow more smoothly, and that each agency's focus would get more of the attention that they need as national issues.
Obviously, there are other ideas and I am open to hearing them, but the point that I am trying to make here is that we should be talking to each other about how to accomplish this. Libertarians like me believe that most American families came to the United States from somewhere else, whether long ago or relatively recently, and as long as they have no credible plan for, a history of, or perform acts of violence within our country, they should be welcome to immigrate to the United States.
The Old Parties on Immigration
No doubt that as the political year progresses, you will hear Old Party candidates state two key phrases regarding immigration: that the "immigration system is broken", and their desire for "comprehensive immigration reform". All politicians, regardless of their party affiliation, talk about warmly welcoming those who enter the country through legal means while also (often in the same breath) advocating devoting additional funds and resources toward thwarting those who attempt to enter the country using illegal means. Unfortunately, this last sentiment seems to be the only facet of the topic upon which all candidates seem to agree.
"Quiet in conscience, calm in their right, confident their ways are best."
What those "comprehensive immigration reforms" will be depends largely on the candidate party's platform, but the vast political divide between the Old Parties will continue to prevent any bipartisan legislation proposed to "fix" the system. In highly generalized terms, Democrats view immigration reform as rooted in compassion, in upholding the American values rather than in a Draconian legal view. Conversely, Republicans tend to view immigration reform as an important aspect of our national security, and seek to limit immigration based on an arbitrary priority list of needed skills.
Unfortunately, based on the lack of any substantive results so far, neither of the Old Parties seem to want to "fix" our immigration issues. Instead, they seem to derive more traction on the issue by promoting the fear and anxiety of their "Hannibal is at the gates!" narrative, implying that the howling hordes of Carthage are already on their way to take away your jobs leaving you and your family destitute and on the street, or to invade your house and kill you in your sleep using methods too macabre to relate to a good, Christian audience.
"And the things that we fear are a weapon to be held against us "
Nothing could be farther from the actual truth. To quote an old movie, "most of them are decent enough. They're just trying to make a living." But the Old Parties and their candidates don't want you to understand this because their open-ended narrative of fear and anxiety propels them into the offices that they seek where (statistically speaking) they will afterwards ignore you so that they can (in two or four years) play on those same fears to stay in office.
This concludes today's lesson in "How to Use Fear to Get (and Stay) Elected". Class dismissed.