Today’s La Opinion editorial entitled “Border Security” is an elegant repudiation of the sound bite so popular among Senate Republicans— that we can somehow “secure the border first” before tackling any kind of meaningful, comprehensive immigration reform.
The piece begins:
Making U.S. borders absolutely secure is an understandable but unachievable aspiration. Yet this goal has been turned into an insurmountable obstacle facing anyone who dares to initiate a conversation about comprehensive immigration reform.
A study released several days ago by the General Accounting Office (GAO) highlighted the difficulties in securing absolute control over the borders and, in so doing, it made apparent the contradictions resulting from the fact that the entire issue is being framed far more by political pressures than security concerns.
For example, despite the rhetoric, it is the U.S.-Canada border that is the most vulnerable, where control only exists over 32 of 5,000 miles with approximately 900 border agents in 2007. In comparison, the border with Mexico had more than 11,000 agents for less than 2,000 miles. The GAO’s analysis reveals that terrorists could more easily enter the U.S through Canada than Mexico.
Yet, the report doesn’t seem to quiet those who want to politically exploit the supposed national security threats from the border to the south, whether from possible infiltration by Islamic extremists or members of the Mexican drug cartels, as we recently heard from presumed Republican presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee.