Another Perspective

They Shoot Illegals, Don’t They?

A modest proposal to address our border problem.

By 7.17.14

Send to Kindle

There is a way to deal with the children, teenagers, and adults who are crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into the United States.

Shoot them.

It is simple. It is straightforward. It is efficient. It is politically, strategically, legally acceptable. I am not sure about morally, but who is sure about anything morally these days?

There is no law that says the Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona National Guards cannot be mobilized to protect the hundreds of miles on our southern border that are violated daily by illegal immigrants. Reports differ, but recent estimates have close to a hundred thousand entries since the beginning of this year, most of them, we are told, from Central American countries.

There is no law, and no political wisdom, that says that if persons refuse direct orders to halt at a border crossing, you cannot stop them forcibly. It is widely acknowledged the world over that national sovereignty includes the right to defend recognized international borders.

In a majority of countries, the defense of borders is understood to include the right, in fact the duty, to use force. That is why border police worldwide are armed. On many borders they are soldiers. Force may be lethal when the alleged perpetrators of illegal acts — as clandestine border crossings are universally defined — refuse to cooperate with police or any other legitimate authorities.

Strategically, this policy has several advantages.

In the first place, if carried out without qualms, scruples, or Miranda rules, it will work. A few salvos of grapeshot and the invasion — what else is it? — will be turned back. It will stop. Those who are present, who have been housed, fed, and given legal advice in various improvised shelters, should be rounded up, taken to the border, and told to walk or swim, as the case may be, back into Mexico. If they refuse to move, firepower can be used to encourage them.

Of course, there are a great many more illegal immigrants in the U.S. than the estimated hundred thousand who, reportedly, have arrived from Central America and Mexico in the last several months and are the focus of the current policy agonizing. Observe in passing that such agonizing is confined to Washington politicians and their attendants in the yak-yak classes. No one in the real country will object to something as clear and straightforward as shooting criminals, especially when the results are immediate and satisfying. However, while this policy is being deployed and executed, it would be sensible to ask federal and state authorities to organize the most broad sweeps possible of known illegal immigrants and bring them, too, to the border, where they, too, will be told to walk or swim in the direction marked “south” by signs put up for the occasion.

The idea is to send a clear message. Federal and state governments can then announce that anyone who is in the U.S. illegally has 72 hours to turn himself in or risk being caught in the continuing and increasingly popular roundups.

As they turn themselves in, these people can be, indeed should be, told that the choice is theirs now. What choice? The choice to obey the law or face immediate deportation without due process. Obeying the law — we can work out the details as we go along, for after all, has not our government lately been improvising on what the law says on who knows how many matters — means very simply that they must join a federal agency, at no pay but in exchange for room and board. Which agency? The Army. They can join the Army. This can be extended to other security agencies, as the need arises, but we can start with the Army.

If they are fit, they can be trained and shipped overseas — Afghanistan, Iraq, the Gaza strip, the Somali coast, the Saharan desert, the line between the two Koreas, and any other place on earth where American national interests are threatened by savages, political gangsters, or pirates.

Led by the toughest, bravest, wisest officers and noncoms in the U.S. Army, our F-force — the Foreign Force for Freedom, we can call it — will have a mission: put an end to our enemies’ ability to cause harm. This is, note, Clausewitz’s definition of war, and the cornerstone of the thinking of American strategists until 1945.

In return for a given number of years of service — how many can be discussed — either in the F-Legion or, for those who flunk boot camp, jobs in non-combatant support, our foreign legionnaires will be thanked, welcomed into American society, given citizenship, start collecting military pay (they cannot leave the military until and unless they have a solid civilian job offer), and pay their taxes.

We are always being lectured by bien-pensant liberals that we are a nation of immigrants. Of course we are a nation of immigrants. Everyone here is an immigrant or a descendant of immigrants, including the immigrants who preceded the immigrants and whom scientists believe came from Siberia, Polynesia, Melanesia, and, apparently (viz. their name), India. Well, if everyone has immigrant genes, we should be grateful for more. They are us. We be them. But the quid pro quo in these complex modern times is that you are expected to contribute to the growth of freedom and prosperity. This was always taken for granted — the railroads, the restaurants, the harnessing of the atom, breakthroughs in medicine, even the magic of American English — all gifts of immigrants.

In many lands, evidence of immigration came, still does, in the form of scorched earth, rapine, and plunder. In America, evidence of immigration comes in the form of the Empire State Building, the transcontinental railroad, amazing triumphs in every scientific field, and the sacrifices made by recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, who were willing and ready to go to strange and distant and barbaric places to defend the liberties and opportunities which they or their families sought and found here.

We want them. But we expect them to want us. What they want is not always a good idea — organized crime in our country historically and still today is largely the doing of recent immigrants — but in the large sweep of things it has worked out, the net consequences of a welcome at the border have been positive.

Without a serious immigration policy, the welcome has turned into a lottery run by mental cases who come up with different rules depending on the kind of night they had. It is scarcely surprising that the emigrants view el Norte not as a dream but as an entitlement. By restoring order, we will restore the unique greatness of the American Dream, you give and you get, you sacrifice and you earn.

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article
About the Author

Roger Kaplan, a Washington-based writer, covers the Middle East and Africa (and tennis) for The American Spectator.