The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

On Arizona’s legislation to crack down on illegal immigration:

The irony here is that states are doing rear enforcement because the feds aren’t doing the frontline enforcement.

So they’re trying to pass laws where you catch somebody already in the U.S., and it’s really hard to discern who is and who is not illegal. Look, if you’re at the border and somebody is climbing over a fence, you have a pretty high certainty it’s an illegal.

If you have somebody standing outside a Home Depot who doesn’t speak English, well — he could be or he could not be, so it could lead to a lot of civil rights abuses.

But the problem is ultimately that the feds haven’t acted. What liberals don’t understand who support the rights of illegals in the country is that if the American people had a sense that the borders are secure, they are shut — if we built a fence all the way, and we can — and they had a sense this is the last cohort of illegals (the ten or so million already here) — the majority of Americans including me would be in favor of amnesty. If that’s the last group who are coming in and the border is shut, that would be OK.

The problem is that in the absence of any seriousness on the part of the feds to do something like that — two-thirds, three-quarters of the border is unsecured, does not have that fence — people see a revolving door, so that there’ll be an endless entry of illegal immigrants who know that after a decade or two, there’s going to be an amnesty – it’ll start all over again. . . .

That I think is the problem. As long as the border remains unsecure, as long as the fence is un-built, you’re going to have states acting . . . in this Draconian way.

There is no excuse for saying oh, well, the feds aren’t going to do anything. They should.

The Israelis have a problem of infiltration and it’s not just somebody who wants a job in Tel Aviv. He wants to go and kill people. And they’ve [the Israelis] stopped it. How? They built a fence. It’s doable.

Napolitano just two months ago canceled the project of a high-tech fence. I think high-tech is absurd. You put up chain link. If that doesn’t work you add a second one, and you put a sand moat in between and you rake it every day as Israel does on the border it has with Jordan. That works. Why can’t it be done? It’s not expensive. It’s a lack of will.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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