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ESSAY: Wall small price to pay for security at southern border

By Dr. Harold Pease

Dec. 26, 2018
       The federal government desperately needs to diet. Much of our spending is constitutionally dubious and it is immoral to pass down our national debt, now exceeding $21 trillion, to our yet unborn children. We need to return to constitutional limits to govern the distribution of our taxes.
       The one exception to the diet argument is national security. Without a physical barrier that works, we cannot remain a country. History has demonstrated our
Dr. Harold Pease
Courtesy photo
southern border is too porous and that only a physical barrier will work. “Kicking the can down the road” on border national security, as both major political parties have done for decades, only exacerbates the problem. Our national security now demands a wall.
       We've had 20 government “shutdowns” since 1977, according to the Congressional Research Service. Most Americans never knew when we were in one. In fact, “shutdowns” may be a good thing if they reduce the national debt, make expenditures more constitutionally based, or strengthen national security.
       Democratic opposition to a southern border wall (they advocate for open borders) has been the principal reason for the last two “shutdowns.” Open borders is the “real” reason for their opposition but they know this will not sell with most Americans. Their other two reasons are that a wall won't work and that it costs too much.
       But walls do work. Look at any penitentiary. Many of those pushing the ineffective argument, hypocritically, live in gated communities. If walls (gates) did not work, they would not live there. China's Great Wall successfully kept “barbarians” out for centuries, and it was built with human labor - no earth-moving equipment - and over impossible terrain.
       Today's 143-mile steel border fence in southern Israel has stemmed the flow of illegal immigration by 99 percent, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (“The Jerusalem Report,” Herb Keinon, January 2, 2013). It “stopped the flood of African migrants into the country,” ending “Sinai terror,” he wrote. At one time 2,300 people crossed each month, but after the fence the number dropped to 18.
       As for the argument that a wall costs too much, in a federal budget of more than $4 trillion, certainly $5 billion is but a drop in the bucket. Spending beyond our means has never been a deterrent for Democrats. In the 10-year Farm Bill of 2014, they gave $3.3 billion alone for a cotton-income protection plan. Other gift-giving in that nearly trillion-dollar bill included: “$2 million for sheep production and marketing, $10 million for Christmas tree promotion, $170 for catfish oversight, $119 million for peanut crop insurance, $100 million for organic food research, $150 million to promote farmers markets, $12 million for a 'wool research and promotion' program, and $100 million to promote the maple syrup industry.”
       Democrats like open borders because the result is future party affiliates. The non-partisan Center for Immigration Studies recently found that “63 percent of non-citizen households access welfare programs compared to 35 percent of native households,” costing taxpayers an average of $73,000 during each immigrant's lifetime.
       In addition, the center found that “compared to native households, non-citizen households make greater use of food programs (45 percent vs. 21 percent for natives) and Medicaid (50 percent vs. 23 percent).”
       Plus illegals get cash. “Including the EITC [Earned Income Tax Credit], 31 percent of non-citizen-headed households receive cash welfare, compared to 19 percent of native households.” Imagine if such funds were instead used to finance a wall.
       A study released in September 2017 by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) revealed that “at the federal, state and local levels, taxpayers shell our approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens.” This, the report says, is a nearly $3 billion increase since 2013. It is also rather more than the single payment of $25 billion that it would cost to build the entire wall - five and a half times more, and every year.
       Both studies show that funds presently given those who cross our border illegally could easily pay the $25 billion. This, without raising a single penny from any new tax monies from our citizens.
       Looks like we need the wall for both national and domestic security. To get this, apparently we have to endure the Democrat-imposed partial government shutdown. Let us keep the partial shutdown in place until we get a commitment from both parties for the whole $25 billion needed; or legislation to redirect the funding of illegals to the wall.

       Dr. Pease is a specialist on the United States Constitution and its application to current events. He has taught history and political science for more than 25 years at Taft College. This column was edited for publication in the Westside Pioneer. To read more of his articles, go to libertyunderfire.org.

(Opinion: General)

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