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More On Immigration Policy – Religion and Politics

I supposed it’s absolutely possible, that there are people out there who have no inkling of current events. As such, the folks in question would be entirely unaware of questions of United States border security and immigration policy and law.

That being said, I believe the majority of folks in the U.S. are aware of what’s happening on that front; most particularly since it has been so strongly “thrust into the limelight.”

I wanted to take just a moment to address a couple of concepts surrounding these issues. The thing is, I don’t just want to address the problems. Rather, I want to talk about these concerns in a way that is internally consistent, the hope being that it’s not just me for whom this is the case.

To begin with, it has been said by some folks that, many of the people preaching the ineffectiveness of a “border wall” have surrounded their own properties with walls.

The truth is, even if they had not done so (and most of them have absolutely no argument against the idea that they have), they still have walls on their houses, locks on their doors and windows, and often, expensive security systems in their homes.

I want to make it clear, nobody with the least amount of sense is “blaming” them for securing that  which they have managed to come to be in possession. We all tend to do that—granted, sometimes to our own detriment.

I can’t imagine a more reasonable thing than to apply this to “larger possessions,” like countries. The truth is, I can’t imagine being alone in that either. The “capital of” the Catholic church is surrounded by walls. Whole countries have walled off large portions of their borders. The point being, you’ll get no argument from me, that this is “reasonable policy,” either personally, or for a nation.

Having made that plain, allow me now to discuss a couple of the arguments that have been made against “reinforcing the border.”

Before I do that, let me first say that parts of the border are already secured using methods similar to the ones presently being discussed (walls of varying types being the preeminent among them); And the “problem for” those not supporting such solutions is the pretty strong evidence that they work. San Diego is often cited as an example of just how well they work.

Obviously, no solution is going to deal with every potential problem, and there’s no doubt this is true for the type of border security currently on the table.

This brings us to what I will address as the “first argument against” the currently proposed measures. That being that—essentially—“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Or placed in another more directly applicable phrasing, “People who want to do so badly enough, will find a way into the country, wall be damned.”

On the face of it, this sounds like a pretty reasonable argument. The problem comes when you consider that people still put walls on their houses, locks on their doors and windows, have security systems, and often generally wall off their personal property. It may not be so obvious to some, but the point is, there are people out there who can and will defeat such measures (some being able to easily do so).

The obvious question is, “Does that stop you from putting locks on your door and locking those locks?” The equally obvious answer is, quite simply, “No.” No need for undue emphasis here.

Boiling it down, the fact that people can and will find ways to access that to which they have no right, doesn’t stop people from seeking and working to protect it—nor should it.

At the very least, it will make them less of a target. At the best, it will keep them from ever having to know things like the dread of home invasion.

On to the second (and, I think for this article, last) point.

There are a good many people who seem to fail at an important realization. If you break into someone’s house, and steal things. You will likely be charged with various crimes; most would argue this is rightfully the case. You will stand in a court, in all likelihood, for breaking and entering, theft (potentially felony theft), trespassing, and potentially, for other related crimes.

By the same token, there are laws that say coming into the United States without permission, or staying when it is not proper so to do, are punishable offenses. And I should point out that, pretty much every other nation in the World has similar laws.

Again, such protections are not considered by most to be unreasonable.

The point here, is that those coming into the U.S. using other than sanctioned methods, and those staying in the U.S. past the point at which they are no longer “welcome” (without some strongly extenuating circumstances) are in breach of law. Put another way, the very act of coming or staying here, is illegal—hence the term, “illegal alien.”

That way of saying things was intended to be a descriptor of their state, not some far-out attempt to stigmatize the person or persons in question.

Everyone can recognize that there are times when one is at least tempted to break (and potentially continue to break) the law. This is particularly true when one is desperate. Nonetheless, when one breaks the law, one should expect suitable and prescribed remedies to at least possibly apply to them.

My contention is that the United States is relatively soft on those who break such laws as a rule. We try to be humane, and I think we largely manage so to do.

One more thought to wrap this up. I’ll sum it up in a question, “Would you ask a thief whether or not he or she should be punished for his or her thievery?” I think most will consent to the idea that this is not how things ought to work.

To take this a step further, would you ask a person in favor or support of thievery whether or not thieves should be legally punished for their activities (again, barring extenuating circumstances)? Again, I think the answer would be a solid, “No.” In most folks’ book.

Okay, here we are at the “time and word limit”—and just in time!

May your time be good and as usual, thanks for reading.

2 replies on “More On Immigration Policy – Religion and Politics”

Hi Kurt !
Is a non problem really.
Nobody is arguing that border security is not necessary.
Also is clear that some walls are useful. The point is that “border security” is MUCH MORE than just a wall !
If you think that “only having a wall” is enough to reduce the illegal entry, you are wrong.
The “wall” works ONLY if there are many other things in place.
Patrols, surveillance, monitoring, inspection, etc.
And the wall is not needed everywhere, in critical places. And guess what, the wall already is there !
So wanting billions to build a wall is plain WRONG. Better increase money for “border security”, totally different thing.
And, side note, using arguments like “Vatican city has a wall so wall is good” is totally deceiving.
The modern world is totally different than the world that produced Vatican city and it’s walls. Beside TODAY that walls are open, thus useless.
There are no army willing to invade Vatican city and any modern army would have no problem with the walls.
Walls is 19th century solution for 19th century problems and capabilities, is at least naive (if not worse) believing is the solution for a 21st century.
And houses have walls mostly to support the roof and protect from the weather, not to keep away bad people. So it is another deceiving argument.
Just my 2 cents.

Firstly Stefano, good to hear from you—even if we happen to substantially disagree on this subject.

Secondly, I appreciate your intent toward civil discourse. I think whether we agree or disagree, we can continue to be civil to one another. I intend to attempt to continue that trend in my response.

Let me begin by saying it should be a “non-issue” but it’s not. The United States government has an annual budget in the trillions of dollars. Anybody believing that we can, should or will build a wall on the entire southern border of the U.S. with something around 6 Billion dollars is—in my view—horribly confused. I can pretty much assure you, this is nobody’s intent. I’m not trying to place you in that “camp,” to be clear, just stating what I believe to be a reasonable understanding.

The thing is, I don’t believe anybody believes that, “A wall is the beginning and end of border security.” It is but one component; one which, interestingly, you agree works. If you’re wondering how I can say this, I would point to this in your reply: “And the wall is not needed everywhere, in critical places. And guess what, the wall already is there !” Our only disagreement is that the “Wall is already everywhere it needs to be.” And that where it is, it is in “good repair” and as it ought to be.

Where I by no means think “only having a wall” is “comprehensive border security policy.” I beg to differ on the idea that walls alone “don’t work.” That’s not to say that I’m suggesting them as a “lone solution,” just that I believe—just like walls around one’s house (and the walls that “support your roof”), walls on a border form some level of protection and enforcement as all but “stand alone entities.” That having been said, as I have indicated, I don’t believe they’re a “be-all-end-all” solution, but they are part of the solution.

As I have said, it’s obvious we disagree on whether “wanting billions to build a wall is just plain wrong.” I don’t by any stretch of the imagination see the “ask” as being too great—and you may be assured that I hate the U.S. Government spending the kind of money it does at present; nor am I saying that other monies ought not be allocated for “border security.” Simply put, they should.

Funny thing about the Vatican Wall, even though it’s not used for the same purposes for which it was built, it still exists (and, I would wager, is regularly and properly maintained). The reason for its existence may have changed, but the wall has not ceased to be. I suggest that there are good reasons this is the case. By the way, walls are by nature “closed,” else they are not walls. There may be openings in the walls, but I would bet they are “manned.”

With regard to the invasion of Vatican City, since I’m not talking about a military invasion of the United States, it should be obvious I’m not considering the wall in place there to be for the purpose of stopping an invasion of a modern military force—even if that’s why it was initially constructed.

Finally, I had anticipated that if anybody responded, one of the potential arguments would be, “The walls of a house are to hold up the roof and keep out various undesirable elements, like storms and critters.” I submit to you, that one such “undesirable element,” is people who have no business being there. I ask you to explain the locks on your doors (the which I’m relatively certain are locked regularly) if this is not the case. And frankly, which is more likely to keep such “invaders out” the doors, the windows, or the walls? I think the answer (considering how most invaders enter a house) to be pretty obvious.

In my mind, a wall (or sections thereof at critical points) on a border is for very similar purposes.

Okay, one more thought. There are copious examples of European nations creating walls recently for the sake—at least in part, if not wholly—of keeping out “undesirable immigrants.” Assuming walls are not a “present day solution,” why have they done this?

Further, how successful or unsuccessful are those walls to their intended purposes? I’m betting they (along with whatever measures were and continue to be taken) do the job pretty well.

I’m certainly more than willing to continue this conversation. I know that it can be hard to tell what people have and have not considered. What they do and don’t understand. I would have hoped that I would not have presented myself to you ever as a person saying what it appears you think me to be saying. Apparently, I was mistaken in that hope. Put another way, I suppose I must have done so.

I have said in response to a prior post (funnily, on immigration as well), I have only so much space and time to create the articles I do. As such, I’ll always be limited in what I say. I have a hope that people won’t make assumptions about my statements that label me “simple.” I don’t think by any means that was your intent. Nonetheless, that is how your response strikes me (that’s probably my fault in some sense).

Even so, I will act in good faith and good will, assuming you had zero intent to make things seem as they do to me.

Okay, enough for now. I hope all is well with you and yours! Don’t be a “stranger.” You can certainly comment on any of my blog entries (or Facebook posts, or whatever) you choose to.

Keep in mind that I’m “moderating” responses. If I don’t, I get “spammed” horribly. So, if you don’t see a reply to a post, give me a bit, and I’ll do my best to approve whatever I get from you.

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