The Campaign Spot

The Border Control Debate Shifts, Again

I realize that it would be supremely difficult for the United States government to have absolute control of its 1,969-mile border with Mexico. Perhaps the ideal of a sovereign nation controlling who enters its territory is impossible.Yet month by month, year by year, we accumulate ever-greater evidence that even if perfect border control is impossible, a more secure border will keep new and emerging threats away from Americans. There were those who said that objections to illegal immigration were xenophobia — I disagree, but let’s put that aside. First there was the illegal drug trade. Then there was the issue of potential entry points for terrorists. (Perhaps much more than potential.) Then there was the violence from drug cartels. Then there was that Joint Forces Command report wondering about the potential for a “rapid and sudden collapse” of the Mexican government. And now there is the swine flu outbreak.

The “Xenophobia! Xenophobia!” cries were tiresome before; now they represent a dodge from those who are blocking action to prevent multiple threats to American lives.