June 21, 2007

Senator James Inhofe: Secure Borders Now

I am pleased to welcome Senator James Inhofe, R-OK, for his first guest post at Captain's Quarters. Senator Inhofe introduces his petition drive to get grassroots action on immigration that focuses on securing the nation's borders.

Thank you, Captain Ed for allowing me to submit this guest post. I want to briefly discuss illegal immigration, an issue I know many, if not all, CQ readers care deeply about.

Before long, the U.S. Senate will engage in yet another round of debate and backroom deal making on the comprehensive immigration reform bill. And once again, the overwhelming majority of Americans who are deeply concerned about this bill will stand up in opposition. It’s the American people that have prevented its passage so far, and only the American people can stop it a second time. My fellow Senators, under tremendous pressure from party leaders, need to be reminded now more than ever that American citizens have strong opinions on immigration reform and border security.

The inescapable fact is that this bill guarantees amnesty for 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants with no clear indication that the border will be secured once and for all. Until real progress is made in stepping up border security and preventing the flow of new illegal immigrants, the question of what to do about illegal immigrants already here is irrelevant. As long as the source of illegal immigration, a porous border left irresponsibly neglected, remains unaddressed, it is impossible to have a meaningful discussion about a path to citizenship for those already here.

In preparation for the upcoming debate, I’ve started the Secure Borders Now online petition at www.SecureBordersNow.com. It gives American citizens a direct voice into the Senate debate. Already, just a few days after the site launched, we have received thousands of signatures and touching personal messages in opposition to the bill. They range from a story of personal achievement for a proud Texan who immigrated legally to a story from a gentleman who gave twenty years of military service, but now wonders how his children and grandchildren can remain safe when we don’t even enforce our own border security laws.

Now, more than ever, we need signatures from every part of the country. I’ll be sending each Senator the petition signatures from the citizens of his or her state as well as a summary of the tremendous response nationwide. We must remind them how passionately the American people feel about this issue.

Please take a moment to sign the petition at www.SecureBordersNow.com, and I hope you will share the link with your friends and family who care as much as I do about protecting this country and doing what’s right.

Senator Inhofe will join me today on CQ Radio, 2 pm CT. Be sure to join us!


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Comments (27)

Posted by Nessus | June 21, 2007 8:26 AM

Each day, every day, about 3,000 foreign nationals cross our southern border. What do we get from Wash. DC? Talk, talk, talk, talk....

Just this morning, the president of the Claremont Institute, a think tank, said that massive illegal immigration may pose a serious threat to the continuation of the United States, especially in 15-20 yrs.

The lack of assimilation, English language, the common country/culture where most illegals come from and the sheer numbers do not bode well for the cohesion of this country, he cited.

Yet the Beltway idiots, the whores in the Senate and a President who has some sort of weird emotional attachment to Latinos are all contributing to the breakup of the USA and it's morphing into the greater, North American Union, where the people lose sovereignty and lose representation as such Unions are governed by unelected officials.

Terence Jeffrey (of Human Events online) has made the point that when Bush was governor of Texas, the state had the highest number of mis-matched social security numbers.....hmmm. Strange, eh? I wonder what could account for that....? Maybe those family values that don't stop at the Rio Grande?

But those Americans who own small businesses want their quasi-slave class of worker-bees.......

Posted by BoWowBoy | June 21, 2007 8:28 AM

Thank you for fighting along with us Senator.

Posted by Jay | June 21, 2007 8:29 AM

"If you really want open borders, you’d better be prepared for who and what comes across them, and for whatever reason.

Consider this. If all this Council on Foreign Relations-inspired Security And Prosperity Partnership and North American Union developments continue apace, these border problems will be “solved” by eliminating the border.

The CFR 2005 report Building a North American Community called for the "establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community" that has a common "outer security perimeter". It proposes that the North American Community’s "boundaries will be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter within which the movement of people, products, and capital will be legal, orderly, and safe."

What our elites are moving toward is the elimination of the U.S.-Mexican and U.S.-Canadian borders and their replacement by the "outer security perimeter" around North America.

(And eventually, even that border would no doubt be subsumed into an even larger globalist entity).

So what would happen to the guns, drugs and illegal aliens now crossing the border?

In the case of the illegal aliens, they would be allowed to continue crossing because they wouldn’t be aliens anymore.

In the case of drugs and guns, their legality would be determined on the basis of the new legal system of the globalized entity…not by the old-fashioned U.S. constitution.

We are unmistakably headed for the loss of U.S. sovereignty, and the sovereignty of neighboring countries, to be replaced by rule by a transnational globalized bureaucratic elite.

That’s what the future looks like—if we don’t stop it now. "

American citizen Allan Wall (email him) resides in Mexico, with a legal permit issued him by the Mexican government. Allan recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here his "Dispatches from Iraq" are archived here his website is here.

Posted by james23 | June 21, 2007 8:39 AM

Thank you Senator. I have signed the Petition and I urge all CQ readers to do likewise, now.

Posted by starfleet_dude | June 21, 2007 8:40 AM

The only reason immigration is a crisis issue is because we're being incessantly told that it is. Sheesh. Anyone like Rep. Tancredo, who in all seriousness suggests building a wall between the U.S. and Canada, isn't saying such things because the make any sense, it's because they're engaged in the politics of fear. It's the same B.S. that has us madly dealing with issuing passports for kids who want to travel from the U.S. to Canada, something that's far more expense and hassle than is necessary to deal with the actual risk.

Posted by Keemo | June 21, 2007 8:47 AM

Thanks for the post Senator; good to have you actually representing the will of the people.

Please be aware good Senator; the American people have lost much of our faith in our politicians; we continue to have faith in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, however, we have watched for far too long now, the disregard you politicians have for upholding our laws and protecting the the American foundation.

When American politicians are guilty of commiting crimes, and they go unpunished; when big media is guilty of commiting crimes and they go unpunished; when American Judges ignore the rules of law and push socialism into our policy...

The list of reasons and causes is quite long....

God Bless you Senator; we need you now more than ever....

Posted by RSG | June 21, 2007 8:56 AM

starfleet dude......say what? I would suggest cutting back on your star trek viewing and invest in some English language courses, so you can better articulate your viewpoint - which sounds like nonsense in any event.

I would remind the starfleet dude that all nations like Canada and Mexico STRICTLY enforce their own borders and immigration laws - which include your vacation passport plans. But whenever Americans insist on enforcement of our laws and rules, we're called bigots, racists and other nonsensical names, which only shows the emptiness of the open borders supporter's arguments.

Posted by Keemo | June 21, 2007 9:11 AM

Fron Dean over at Townhall.....

But on re-reading the bill, what really struck me is the admittedly semi-irrelevant “triggers.” Take a look at them, if you can, manage not to fall asleep:

(1) Staff Enhancements for Border Patrol: The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol has, in its continued effort to increase the number of agents and support staff, hired 18,000 agents;

(2) Strong Border Barriers: Have installed at least 200 miles of vehicle barriers, 370 miles of fencing, and 70 ground-based radar and camera towers along the southern land border of the United States, and have deployed 4 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and supporting systems;

(3) Catch and Return: The Department of Homeland Security is detaining all removable aliens apprehended crossing the southern border, except as specifically mandated by law or humanitarian circumstances, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has the resources to maintain this practice, including resources to detain up to 27,500 aliens per day on an annual basis;

(4) Workplace Enforcement Tools: As required through all the provisions of Title III of this Act, the Department of Homeland Security has established and is using secure and effective identification tools to prevent unauthorized workers from obtaining jobs in the United States…

5) Processing Applications of Aliens: The Department of Homeland Security has received and is processing and adjudicating in a timely manner applications for Z nonimmigrant status under Title VI of this Act, including conducting all necessary background and security checks.

Now, at first blush, I guess it’s conceivable that some might like these triggers. It’s probably more likely that most readers here would respond with something like, “Build more fence before you trigger anything!” That was my first response, anyway.

But note how these triggers carefully steer the conversation away from something that government and politicians reliably hate – accountability. The real triggers should be whether or not the border is secure and illegal crossings have been halted. Whether that takes 200 miles of vehicle barriers, 2,000 miles or 2 miles is essentially irrelevant. If you didn’t know better, you would almost assume that the authors of this bill didn’t actually care about border security.

YESTERDAY IN MY PIECE ON STEROIDS, I wrote how the baseball writer Bill James made me a conservative. James was unique for his time: He applied empirical metrics to something that people usually discussed only romantically – baseball.

Growing up in the 1980’s, people, especially liberal people, used to discuss geopolitical matters romantically and without any intellectual precision. Growing up in a hotbed of liberalism, I had to constantly hear rubbish like, “Why do we need enough nuclear missiles to blow up the world 30 times?” Of course, they only asked the question as a rhetorical set-piece. They certainly didn’t want an answer.

But I remember wanting and going after an answer to their question, because Bill James’ writings taught me to do so. I learned about the necessary redundancies of submarines, bombers and ICBMs. I learned that to keep an adequate deterrence, we needed the forces that we had. (Odd that I had no dates in high school, no?)

I also heard a guy say that the Poles comforted themselves before WWII that they had enough bullets to kill every German ten times. I’ve never found out whether or not that statement was apocryphal, but I always liked the analogy. The Poles may have told themselves such a thing, and Polish academics may have brayed about how they had way too many bullets and should unilaterally dump 90% of them into the Adriatic.

I remember having a debate over why we needed the nuclear arsenal that we had with my 9th grade Social Studies teacher. He had no idea that our ICBMs would be completely wiped out in any kind of Soviet first strike, and that out air deterrent was also extremely vulnerable. He also didn’t care. He took off his glasses and asked again, “Why do we need so many nuclear weapons?” I said, “I just told you.” Guess what? I didn’t change his mind.

THE PROPONENTS OF THIS IMMIGRATION BILL, few that they are, prefer to discuss it in singularly romantic terms. They certainly don’t want to discuss it with any intellectual precision. The reason they prefer to impugn the motives of the bill’s adversaries rather than defend the bill is because the bill is simply indefensible.

The language regarding the triggers is plain – the border does not have to be secure before the rest of the thing kicks into gear. The authors scrupulously avoided attaching any metrics to the bill that would quantify the success or failure of the border control measures that they’re reluctantly imposing. If you were running a business, you would base future decisions on the success or failure of previous decisions, right? Your governing metric wouldn’t be whether or not in the past you gave your policies the old college try.

Yes, I make fun of them, but our Senators are not stupid people. They know all of this. The nature of the triggers is yet another sign of the bad faith that went into preparing this bill. So, you might ask, what exactly is the DC establishment up to? In DC, they love passing huge bills that “solve” a problem. Think no Child Left Behind or McCain/Feingold. The two parties congratulate each other on being so noble that they work together to help their pitiful constituents. Whether the bill actually works is beside the point. Everyone gets to congratulate each other on how they’re tending to the people’s business and so magnanimously reaching across the aisle.

This entire process has given us an unprecedented look inside the bill-producing sausage factory that is our modern federal government. Yes, it’s been ugly, but we can at least be grateful for the insight.

Posted by starfleet_dude | June 21, 2007 9:19 AM

RSG, Canada for decades has allowed visitors from the U.S. to enter without having to have a passport. The Canadian government is not happy with the U.S. imposing a stupidly misguided mandate that has cost more in terms of money and time wasted than the risk was worth. Casual travel between the U.S. and Canada has never been a serious security risk to either nation, and it's only idiots like Tancredo who say it is.

Posted by RSG | June 21, 2007 9:25 AM

"starfleetdude" - I live 20 minutes from the Canadian border so I'm familar with the rules. They never applied to me because I have no great interest in "exploring" Canada. It may never have been a problem in the past because the US and Canada had relatively low amounts of immigrants settling in their countries. Today, it's different. Canada is being flooded with muslims as the US is being flooded with Aztecs. If the new rules inconveniece you, that's just too bad.

Where have you heard Tancredo say he wants a "wall" on the Canadian border? I support a fence first on the Mexican border and if and only if our northern border warrants it, I would then want a fence along it as well. Our northern border has it's problems but it's no way near the chaos that exists on the Mexican border, which is a virtual war zone, thanks to open-borders advocates.

Posted by KauaiBoy | June 21, 2007 9:26 AM

I'm in. Thanks Senator---let's hope your cronies wake up.

Unfortunately though my senators Lautenberg and Mendendez are both union whores pandering to illegals and one is/was under federal investigation---not sure where that stands. Let the Jersey jokes begin---we earned them with these two miscreants, although they do mask the smell of the oil refineries and garbage dumps along the Turnpike.

Posted by Nessus | June 21, 2007 9:38 AM

To the Bushbots, GOP'ers and all "free market uber alles" types..........
from the Wash Times....

Taxpayers end up subsidizing employers who hire low wage workers. While it is sometimes useful to subsidize programs such as scientific research, defense capabilities or public works, it is hard to see how restaurants, janitorial services or landscapers qualify as strategic industries. If people want extra services for their private enjoyment, from blueberries to theme parks, they should be willing to pay the full cost and not dump part of the burden on others.

The country does not advance by substituting "cheap labor" for technological progress. A study at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia by economist Ethan Lewis found "plants in areas experiencing faster less-skilled relative labor supply growth adopted automation technology more slowly, both overall and relative to expectations, and even de-adoption was not uncommon."

De-adoption of technology? There is no way to put a positive spin on that. Yet, Mr. Evans argues "Producers may anticipate future flows of less skilled immigrants by adopting less technology." New advances are called "labor-saving devices" for a reason.

Shortsighted decisions can undermine the long-term advancement of economic prosperity and national capabilities. Japan, with a very restrictive immigration policy and a static population, has plentiful capital and leads the world in robotics. In contrast, the most destitute places on the planet are awash in cheap labor. It is not the number of workers, but their productivity that determines living standards. The great achievement of America is to have elevated the working class to the middle class through innovation and investment.

Posted by starfleet_dude | June 21, 2007 9:55 AM

It may never have been a problem in the past because the US and Canada had relatively low amounts of immigrants settling in their countries. Today, it's different. Canada is being flooded with muslims as the US is being flooded with Aztecs. If the new rules inconveniece you, that's just too bad.

RSG, in the past both the U.S. and Canada have allowed millions of immigrants in and there's been no border issues because of it. As for Canada being "flooded with Muslims", the actual number is more like 170,000 persons professing Islam from East Asia and the Middle East entering Canada over the past 10 years. FYI, the number of illegal immigrants in Canada only number something like 200,000 and are hardly represent a threat worth the expense of a fence or a wall either.

As for the new passport rules being an inconvenience, that's putting it mildly. There's huge delays in getting new or renewed passports because of the impostion of the requirement that all persons travelling between the U.S. and Canada have passports (kids too), and if that doesn't bother you it might bother your local economy if it takes in much business from across the border. If just requiring passports for air passengers between the U.S. and Canada causes such a mess, imagine what requiring passports for millions of other travellers will cause.

Posted by NahnCee | June 21, 2007 11:49 AM

I wonder if starfleet-dude is, himself, a Canuck taking it upon himself to demand how we Americans should conduct ourselves. Increasingly that is what Canada does do, and I have absolutely no problem with installing a fence, a wall AND a moat filled with American gators if it will keep Canadians like starfleet-dude on his side and out of our business.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | June 21, 2007 12:34 PM

RE: starfleet_dude (June 21, 2007 8:40 AM)
...it's because they're engaged in the politics of fear. It's the same B.S. that has us madly dealing with issuing passports for kids who want to travel from the U.S. to Canada, something that's far more expense and hassle than is necessary to deal with the actual risk.

Really? Remember the millenium plots?

See PBS - Frontline: trail of a terrorist: links & readings and note Ressam's plans and point of origin.

What has been the cost of 9/11? How do you measure the trillions in dollars required to tabulate the alteration in commerce, the waging of a war, the shift from productivity to required national defense, the scaling up of the armed forces, the changes in law and our society? The assault upon our freedoms? The lost innocence of a nation that tries to help and now must make even more concessions to bribe Third World countries from waging terrorist war upon our interests? The direct loss of irreplaceable lives? I could go on, but you should be able to see where this is headed.

The cost to secure the border and diligently check everyone who crosses is trivial to the cost of more 9/11's. Absolutely trivial. Imagine the inconvenience should we relive another Twin Towers II in freefall... if you can without worrying about the children's VISA wait.

Without secured borders, there is no longer a nation. It's just territory. And those who step forward to defend their own territory are at risk of prosecution from the very government that is supposed to exist to define those borders and whose primary responsibility above all others is to defend its citizens.

A government that will not define its borders or defend its citizens or that border is no longer deserving of that authority or its constituents' allegiance.

Posted by Charles Vaughan | June 21, 2007 12:50 PM

Hi, Senator, I'm one of your consituents: I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I've been following your great work on this and similar issues, Senator.and am delighted by your latest initiatives. I just now went over and signed the Secure Borders petition and urge anyone who hasn't to do so as well. Keep up the great work, Senator Inhofe!

Posted by starfleet_dude | June 21, 2007 1:42 PM

AnonymousDrivel, there's something you're missing about Ressam, which is that he had a passport. It wasn't a legally obtained one, but it still worked well enough. What nailed Ressam in the end had nothing to do with the lack of passports and everything to do with the sort of security that looks at more than whether your papers are in order or not. Unless you think money grows on trees on either side of the border, spending it on things that do little or nothing to enhance security actually makes you less safe.

FYI, here's what I'm talking about:

On December 14, 1999, Ressam boarded the M/V Coho at Vancouver Island and crossed the border at the Port Angeles, Washington ferry landing. Upon noticing that he appeared nervous, customs officers inspected him more closely and asked for further identification. Ressam panicked and attempted to flee. Customs officials then found nitroglycerin and four timing devices concealed in a spare tire well of his rented car. He was arrested by customs, and investigated by the FBI.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | June 21, 2007 2:56 PM

RE: starfleet_dude (June 21, 2007 1:42 PM)
"...which is that he had a passport. It wasn't a legally obtained one, but it still worked well enough."

This is why this particular thread leads to the debate a couple of posts after this one, namely the paper processing fiasco that awaits - one that needs considerable tweaking, testing, and training before the Z-VISA and all are enacted.

Note that it was a secured border, if one could call it that, that stopped him, though. This particular agent was able to process the context of the person's actions to elicit response, perhaps serendipitous and perhaps skilled. For that the agent deserves full credit and unrelenting praise. However, there should exist a default system that can detect these frauds without depending too heavily on serendipity.

The bigger point remains that the check worked before security had the need to scan his passport, apparently. Fleeing persons serve as a pretty decent red flag. I'm not sure this was a particularly effective reflection of the document scanning process considering the criminal ran before that could happen.

Now, you mentioned that the cost is prohibitive. Again, I see nothing of the sort. Each barrier interleaves to provide significant security, and they are necessary expenses to keep a nation safe. No other function of government deserves more attention, so to act like such security is an expensive frill is silly. Of all of the money trees government plants, this one deserves the tending. In trade I'm all for pruning government elsewhere, anywhere. Experienced agents with fraud detection tools and valid databases are vital foundations to an effective barrier and are not expensive, ineffective, inconveniences to be bypassed for the sake of expediency or profit margins.

Perhaps this is something of an indictment, too, that the protocol relies a bit much on behavior and luck than on repeatedly reliable and, well, dumb processing. Who knows how much has escaped the trained eyes just because of volume and job pressure to move traffic.

Posted by mrlynn | June 21, 2007 5:38 PM

Besides securing the border, you have to remove the INCENTIVE for border crossings. You can build a wall, but as long as the incentive remains, you're just giving a boost to the ladder industry in Mexico.

Every American citizen has to have a counterfeit-proof ID card. Without that card, no employer can hire you, no hospital can treat you, and no school can educate you.

Without the prospect of jobs, free medical care, and free schools, the only Mexicans who cross will be the criminals, and those we can deal with aggressively.

Without that card, the illegal aliens now here will turn tail and go home. We could even offer them an incentive to do so, say $500 bucks and a bus ticket.

/Mr Lynn

Posted by Rose | June 22, 2007 1:37 AM

Posted by: starfleet_dude at June 21, 2007 8:40 AM


I live fairly close to the Mexico border, in South West Texas.

You are not very bright, are you, "dude".

Posted by Rose | June 22, 2007 1:46 AM

If you didn’t know better, you would almost assume that the authors of this bill didn’t actually care about border security.

Keemo, SURELY you meant to say: If you didn’t know better, you would almost assume that the authors of this bill actually DO care about border security.

Posted by Rose | June 22, 2007 2:12 AM

Posted by: starfleet_dude at June 21, 2007 9:55 AM


Gee, "dude", when you sleep, you sleep the sleep of the dead, don't you.
Folks have been reporting simply for years that a significant amount of the traffic from Mexico is MIDDLE EASTERN by heritage.

My aunt reports the broad daylight walking around in the middle of town totally unafraid of the Law is changing flavor from jalepeno to curry, and so do the local border patrolmen.

We have no MSM reports for you, however.

This is obviously not possibly of any real interest to the Average American.

Posted by Nate | June 22, 2007 11:16 AM

Thank you Senator. I've added my .02 to the petition and hope everyone reading this will do the same.

(and starfleet_dude, you are still an idiot).

Posted by Talentscout | June 22, 2007 12:51 PM

The source of the illegal immigration problem is not the border insecurity. The source is available work. The source of support for letting the illegals stay here unmolested is campaign contributions from those who PROFIT from the cheap labor those illegals provide.

Someone with the time and resources should closely examine the amnesty supporters contributors list for the names of employers making tons of money from the labor of these "immigrants".

Posted by John Callahan | June 22, 2007 8:05 PM

We should secure the borders asap before America is overrun with people.

Posted by k chin | June 23, 2007 1:40 AM


Posted by gary holcomb | June 25, 2007 2:16 PM

secure the border first -- then talk about immigrant work program -- it's not fair to the people coming to this country the legal way, plus what about the cubans whose feet did not touch ground; our government send them back to be possible killed or jailed. all that going is big business wants cheap labor and they are telling government what to do.