Jan. 25, 2019

TITLE: Build the wall!

Yup. That's really ol' carry-me-out-in-a-box Democrat Charlie lib who's saying that. Build it from sea to shining sea, as the president is fond of saying. Make it out of steel, concrete... the Kevlar material his suits seem to be made of (up til now) for all I care. But, for any person for whom national security is of paramount importance, the correct course of action is as clear as the Gulf of Mexico. Here's my thinking.

According to the U.S. Border Patrol, there are an almost infinite number of places along the border where there is complete porosity; no physical border whatsoever. For many hundred-plus mile stretches the border is literally just a six-inch-deep ditch, without even a fence, much less a "big beautiful wall." Illegal border crossers can simply walk or even drive right into the US.

And there is a growing sense of unease among U.S. law enforcement authorities. "The number of illegal alien apprehensions at the... border has skyrocketed," said United States Attorney Christina Nolan in a piece in USA Today.

Wilson Ring at Time.com writes, "In late 2016 [the government] lifted its requirement that Mexican citizens apply for visas to enter the country as part of broader efforts to strengthen ties with Mexico. A similar requirement for Romanian citizens took effect in late 2017.

"Visa-less entries play a role by making the more attractive for people seeking to enter the U.S. illegally," the USA Today article adds. A plane ticket from many places on the globe can cost $300 or less. From the airport it's a hop skip and a jump to the border and into the U.S.

Splinter News reported that the U.S. Border Patrol has seen increasingly numbers of people with visitor visas from the Middle East trying to cross into the U.S.

And The Economist notes, "Those who see the... border as alarmingly porous worry about terrorists crossing it."

In a recent article, the Associated Press observed that apprehensions have more than doubled since just last year. "They are very well organized. They have scouted the area. They have scouted us," said U.S. Border Patrol agent Richard Ross. "Basically, we are not dealing with the JV team; this is the varsity... It's something I would have seen years ago when I worked in Harlingen, Texas."

As recently as 2017 a U.S. State Department report on terrorism expressed concern about the border as being a home to "violent extremists inspired by terrorist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaida and their affiliates and adherents."

And here's the capper: The FBI's own Terrorist Screening Database -- the federal government's list of known or suspected terrorists -- cited greater than 10 times the number of infractions at the border than were reported at the only other border we share with a foreign nation. For anyone for whom even one successful incursion by a person or group wishing to do our nation harm, that is sobering news necessitating quick, decisive action.

In closing, for anyone for whom the threat of terrorism is the prime motivator -- and I completely understand that -- it's time. To you, no cost or effort is too great to diminish the chances of a terrorist incident. Build the wall. Build it and they won't come. All 3,987 miles of it. From sea to shining sea. From Semiahmoo Bay in the west to the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in the east.

Across the entire northern border with Canada, the nation to which every stat I cited above references.

In fact, if national security really is the issue, consider dropping by the hardware store today and picking up a load of cinderblock and Portland cement and getting to work. Pronto. Then, when THAT wall is all nice and tall and tight, we can we have a serious conversation about building one on the southern border. Unless the current conversation is really about something else. If it is, could we please stop pretending and have THAT discussion?

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Multiple award-winning author Charles Caratti (Carr) writes and edits for many well-known publications. Also a noted playwright and director, Caratti's works have been performed at premiere venues across SoCal. Contact him at charlescarr.com.