Yes, our borders are critical to our National Security
but political stunts just make matters worse
A couple of days ago, here in San Antonio, I noted that our local Sheriff had made the national news by initiating an investigation into the political stunts of Governor Greg Abbott of Texas and Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida. Specifically, he is investigating their manipulation of immigrants into boarding buses and flights to Martha’s Vineyard, the VP’s residence in DC and elsewhere. I could hardly be prouder of him and not for the reasons that those in the Trump camp will assume. As you may have figured out by now, like Trump’s own former Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, I believe Trump and his devout followers to be a most serious risk to US national security.
Both my Gov, Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis of Florida, are potential presidential candidates in 2024 and are competing to be the most extreme on a variety of issues, including the border. Immigration issues, ignored by both parties for purely political reasons, cannot be solved with illegal, immoral political stunts, like these flights and bus trips. For example, both Obama’s and George W. Bush had very similar comprehensive immigration packages that congress refused to pass. Both addressed root causes as well as the humanity involved. Still, Congressmen, looking for an election advantage mired their feet in cement when it came to addressing the issues at the borders, that impact our national security.
Both parties have their own narratives about our borders, but neither are particularly accurate when it comes to addressing the majority of core issues regarding immigration. Also, although most news focuses on the southern border, immigration issues are far more extensive and include multiple states and threats. China and India for example, are primary elements of the fentanyl trade but much of what they push into the homeland, is trafficked through Canada, not Mexico. Ironically, both Gov. Abbott here in Texas and our DPS (State Troopers) are fixated on the false narrative that it’s Mexico that is our primary importer of this lethal drug. In truth, Mexico is the middleman for primarily China and in the past couple years, India as well.
So long as voters allow either party to get away with false narratives, we allow them to continue failing our nation’s security. Migrants looking for work, security and enough to eat, are by far, the least dangerous threat to our nation, with drugs, transnational crime, like trafficking of people and to some extent, terrorism being the primary threats.
The truth is American industry needs workers and immigrants most often are employed in jobs that Americans and legal residents won’t do. Also, in order to work, most pay taxes but receive far less benefits as American workers. As that the health of the US economy is a key factor of our national security, stable employment and fairly compensated workers are essential to the health of our economy. At the moment, the inability of employers to have enough entry level and mid-level employees, is one of the factors driving our inflation issues. Another critical aspect of our security is that we remain true to our values, and this includes, the safe and legal welcoming of immigrants to our “nation of immigrants.”
As a Texan and also as a national security professional, I cringe at the phrase, “build that wall.” Professionally, a wall is sheer ignorance as it pertains to immigration reform. True, we must do our best to regulate the border but as my former Congressman, Will Hurd has suggested, technology offers a far better barrier than a permanent wall. Considering the fact that he’s a former CIA officer, and technology is his specialty, I recommend listening to him on this issue. Even he acknowledges that a permanent wall, other than in urban areas is a waste of time and resources.
We must also remember and celebrate that we are a nation of immigrants, strengthened at home and abroad by our diversity. We must renew our promise as a place of refuge, and our obligation to protect those who seek shelter on our shores. That is why we ended the previous administration’s family separations policy and discriminatory travel ban. We will not be able to solve all of the challenges we face at the southern border overnight. But we will ensure that we create a process that is safe, fair, and conducted in accordance with our values.
- National Security Strategy, Interim Guidance
NSC/ White House
One of the other key issues that drive migration, have more to do with where folks come from, than where they are going. In 2019, Trump and his administration cut funding to nations whose migration patterns are driven by violence, trafficking and drugs. This increased the migratory numbers approaching the southern border, dramatically. Globally, climate, conflicts and a variety of other catastrophic issues are altering the patterns of traditional migration. In order to address these changes effectively, it requires science, critical thinking and honesty to adjust properly. The simple lunacy of US politics on this issue, habitually oversimplify things to, “build a wall” … or not. Voters with this mindset are contributing to our failure to plan for the future or manage our immigration related, national security challenges.
So, I will try and wrap this article up a bit shorter than yesterday’s article. The bottom line here is that our national security can be enhanced significantly by empowering comprehensive immigration reform. Those who are wasting taxpayer’s money on political stunts, have no plan and only are seeking more power. If that’s what you’re looking for, then Abbott and DeSantis are your guys. If you truly care about our security, candidates with a wider focus are for you. We cannot fix one single thing, with only a wall. Please repeat that last sentence out loud. Our nation needs to solve this problem comprehensively, not elect those who only care about their chances in Nov.
National Security Council, The White House U.S. Department of State Office of the Secretary of Defense Office of the Director of National Intelligence U.S. Department of Homeland Security Homeland Security Today Magazine United States Department of Defense Asia-Pacific Security Innovation Forum and COE NATO NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) UK Ministry of Defence The Associated Press Reuters BBC News The New York Times The Wall Street Journal The Washington Post San Antonio Express-News Houston Chronicle The Dallas Morning News Austin American-Statesman
El Paso Times
Columbus Dispatch The Kansas City Star
Chicago Tribune Media Group
The Denver Post
The Seattle Times
Los Angeles Times
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Information Professionals Association
Doowan Lee USSOCOM Joint Special Operations University Alan Malcher MA The Texas Tribune
Nice write-up and agreed on all - dumb stunts don't make anyone safer. And well-put on migrant issues being more about where they're from; sad we don't do more to really invest in, and shore up, Central American and other countries.