Editor’s note: Click here to listen to the original radio commentary this transcript is based on.
We are all very well aware of the fact that we have an illegal-immigration problem in this country. As usual, we avoided the problem for as long as we could and when we couldn’t avoid it any longer we were told that, indeed, somewhere between 12 and 20 million people had somehow come into this country unnoticed.
It’s like we went overnight from “no problem” to a problem so big that it now defies a good solution. It’s become one of those “there are no good choices only less bad choices” that Americans are becoming all too familiar with.
We know that the overwhelming majority of illegals come across the Mexican border. Fortunately, we’ve got someone who is all too willing to tell us what we should do about it — the president of Mexico Philipe Calderon. President Calderon doesn’t think much of our border policies. He criticizes our efforts to secure the border with things such as border fencing. He says that bottle necks at U.S. checkpoints hurt Mexican commerce and force his citizens to migrate illegally in order to make a living (and of course send money back to Mexico). He apparently thinks we should do nothing except make American citizens out of his constituents. Calderon also accused U.S. officials of failing to do enough to stop the flow of drugs in to the United States. Mexican politicians gave President Bush an earful of all of this during his recent trip to Mexico.
I think its time for a little plain talk to the leaders of Mexico. Something like:
hey guys, you’re our friends and neighbors and we love you but it’s time you had a little dose of reality. A sovereign nation loses that status if it cannot secure its own borders and we are going to do whatever is necessary to do so, although our policies won’t be as harsh as yours are along your southern border. And criticizing the U.S. for alternately doing too much and too little to stop your illegal activities is not going to set too well with Americans of good will who are trying to figure a way out of the mess that your and our open borders policy has already created.
My friends, it’s also time for a little introspection. Since we all agree that improving Mexico’s economy will help with the illegal-immigration problem, you might want to consider your own left-of -center policies. For example, nationalized industries are not known for enhancing economic growth. Just a thought. But here’s something even more to the point that you might want to think about: What does it say about the leadership of a country when that country’s economy and politics are dependent upon the exportation of its own citizens?
– Fred Thompson is an actor and former United States senator from Tennessee.
© PAUL HARVEY SHOW, ABC RADIO NETWORKS