Secure Our Borders Against Terrorists

by | Nov 16, 2015 | Immigration

There was a painful irony when France's immediate response to the terrorist attacks in Paris was to close the borders. If they had closed the borders decades ago, they might have avoided this attack.

There was a painful irony when France’s immediate response to the terrorist attacks in Paris was to close the borders. If they had closed the borders decades ago, they might have avoided this attack.

Someone once said that the First World War was the most stupid thing that European nations ever did. Countries on both sides of that war ended up worse off than before, whether they were on the winning side or the losing side.

History may yet record that an even greater stupidity, with even more catastrophic consequences in the long run, was the European nations’ decisions to import millions of people with a culture that was not merely very different, but hostile, to the culture, the values and the people of the Western world.

Even now, people who publicly warn of the dangers can be prosecuted in various European countries under “hate speech” laws.

And what about us? When, if ever, are we going to close our borders? When will we even take control of our borders, so that we can decide who, and how many, will be admitted? Certainly not before a new president takes office in January 2017 — and maybe not even then.

Both Democrats and Republicans are responsible for failing to take control of the borders. In all the years that have been spent talking back and forth about every conceivable immigration policy — and some that are inconceivable — we could have built the biggest fence of all time, backed up by electronics, boots on the ground and whatever else it takes.

Instead, many have been pursuing the will-o’-the-wisp called “comprehensive” immigration reform. In other words, we are supposed to do everything all at once, like Obamacare. How well did that turn out?

There are very serious and complex questions to be confronted before immigration issues are laid to rest by new laws. But none of that stops us from taking control of the borders now.

When someone is brought into a hospital, bleeding profusely, he may also have other medical problems that will need to be addressed at some point. But, first of all, you STOP THE BLEEDING. Nobody is stopping the bleeding across our borders. The fact that the main border that people have been pouring across, at will, is the border with Mexico, does not mean that everyone crossing that border is Mexican.

Middle East terrorists can cross that border just as easily — and probably have crossed it. And will continue to cross it.

There are lots of complicated issues revolving around the open borders — drugs, visas, employers, refugees, crime syndicates, sanctuary cities, amnesty and more. But first we need to stop the bleeding.

There is absolutely nothing to stop us from discussing what kind of immigration policy we need to have, while the border is being secured. And, if the border is not secured, it does not matter what kind of immigration policy we have — or think we have — because people will cross the borders when they want to, regardless of what the policy turns out to be.

Among all the seemingly endless words that are thrown around about immigration issues, there is remarkably little being said about getting hard facts about illegal immigrants. Basic things like crime rates, welfare rates, school performances — all compared to the general population.

It may turn out that none of those things is as bad as some believe. Or it may turn out that they are far worse. But we certainly ought to know which it is before rushing “comprehensive” immigration reform through Congress, the way we rushed Obamacare through.

Such questions cannot be answered with rhetoric or anecdotes. It so happens that my own interactions with Hispanic people have been at least as good as my interactions with black or white people. But a colleague and friend whom I greatly respect tells of wholly different experiences where he lives.

At least a year of multiple Congressional hearings and fact-finding ought to precede any legislation. But none of this should slow down the securing of the borders. If we don’t stop the bleeding at the borders, there are going to be a lot of Americans bleeding — and dying — inside our borders, just like in France.


  1. France closed the border to keep people IN. The solution to the border is simple, capitalism. End the War on Drugs, bring home the troops, respect the human right. Make life better for them and people will stay were they are and not support radicals.

  2. How do you fix immigration?, capitalism.

    How do you end war?, capitalism.

    How do you fix the economy? capitalism.

    How do you lower crime rates?, capitalism.

    How do you save education?, capitalism.

    How do you end bigotry?, capitalism.

    How do you cure disease?, capitalism.

    Solving all the world problems is just that simple, I cant believe no one has thought of this before.

  3. They have. It’s that not enough people have accepted it. Ignorance is bliss you know.

  4. I agree with you both that capitalism is always the best answer to every issue. However, a better life and material comforts are not what motivate most of the enemies of capitalism and certainly not the Arabs. The better people among them will come around to our way of thinking, but most will not.

    After having spent years reading about the history of the Arabs over the centuries, I cannot agree that there is any particular current issue or issues that make so many of them act in the monstrous way they do, and why so many others offer their tacit support. At the end of the day, the oil, the war in Iraq and Libya, Syria and, yes, even Israel, are all just excuses. We need to face the politically incorrect possibility that Arab terrorists act the way they do simply because they like it. Murder and mayhem give them their very reason for being, and they concocted a “religion” that conveniently gives them a moral and divine justification to act upon their worst inclinations.

    I don’t want war with the Arabs, but we will never have peace with them either and they will never embrace capitalism no matter how much good it would do for them. The best we can realistically hope for is a peace *without* the Arabs.

    I subscribe to the law of identity. Do I trust the Arabs? Sure, I do. I trust them to behave like Arabs.

  5. Assuming the islamic ideal and duty is the conversion of people, and this is conceived as the ultimate value, to which all other values including their own lives and the lives of others are to serve, then, capitalism would be good or bad only to the degree that it served or impeded that end. To be sure, there seem to have been some defectors, as it were, persuaded that either values pertaining to their temporal happiness on this earth are more important, or that, simply, it is untrue that the true conception of god is of one that wants them to convert all and kill those resistant. You seem to suggest that if all muslims were exposed to the advantages of free markets and the sort of blessings that such freedom yields, they would all or mostly or in sufficient numbers realize the error of their ways. Does this not overlook the fact that many very comfortable folk living in relatively free countries with relatively free markets desert their lives and run off to join jihad, or stay put and join jihad?
    Deciding that the ultimate good is served even by destroying freedom is where islam fundamentally differs from Christianity, and certainly from the fundamental idea on which capitalism is based. Material improvement through free trade and right protection may persuade some, but does not really address the root of the ideology.
    Are men means, or are they ends in themselves?

  6. It was intended as sarcasm. Trey thoughtlessly throws out ‘capitalism’ as a cure all for every dilemma. Arabs will never willingly be able to cooperate with a civilized society, in any type of free market. This has been true from time immemorial. If you want to get a true perspective on how to deal with them, look into how the ancients dealt with the Philistines, they totally obliterated them.

  7. There are 1.5 billion Muslims. There are 30,000 ISIS fighters. That’s .00002 percent. Most people, even Muslims, don’t want to kill or be killed. If 99.99998 percent of Muslims have secure, fulfilling and happy lives they won’t stand for the radicals violent actions. The vast majority already don’t. After all ISIS has killed way more Muslims than any other group.

  8. There certainly is a lot of in fighting, similar to that within the development of the communist regimes of history. “True believers” tend to be even harder on those they perceive as luke warm.
    There are both viral and bacterial means to attack a free cell. In other words there are both internal means of using a state’s apparatus toward the goal of Islamic rule, and external physically forcible attacks.
    I would be very very careful in assuming preference for freedom from absence of physical fighting.
    I saw an interesting video some time ago of a female american university student in arab garb standing up to question a speaker as the speaker denounced certain islamic terrorist activities. She indicated that true islam was not really violent. The speaker turned it back on her and asked if she would herself publicly condemn the actions of Hamas. She evaded, repeatedly.
    IceTrey, I don’t think appearances of peacefulness are really persuasive evidence of where basic allegiances lie.
    Again, the fundamental commitment to whether men are ends in themselves or means to some end is critical.
    (Oh, there are about 7.5 or so billion people in the world, of which the bulk of most effective weaponry is in non-muslim hands. An all out attack by every muslim on all non believers would be an obvious failure. The fact that all muslims are not physically attacking with guns and bombs does not really tell us anything for certain.)

  9. Since capitalism is the only system in which maximizing individual negative liberty is the goal it IS the only solution. BTW, Baghdad was the end of the Silk Road. Arabs were traders before the concept of capitalism even existed. Wasn’t it the Hebrews who wiped out the Philistines?

  10. Thanks for invoking Genghis Khan to illustrate the supposed industriousness of the Middle Easterner.

    Anyway, the Philistines had a multitude of societies, and they all ended the same way, with their enemies completely annihilating them…

    When Alexander sacked Tyre, they were Philistines.

    Jericho was a Philistine walled city that Joshua invaded and killed every living thing inside.

    Carthage was Philistine when Rome razed it, and if that wasn’t enough they salted the earth so NOTHING could ever live there.

  11. What percentage of the Nazis were murderers?

  12. What percentage of Germans were Nazis?

  13. As usual, you’ve lost me.

  14. The Silk Road existed for 1500 years. Genghis Khan ruled for 20 and wasn’t an Arab or any kind of middle easterner.

    You’re confusing the Philistines with the Phoenicians. Carthage was a Phoenician city which if you had googled it you wouldn’t look like an idiot now.

  15. Not all Germans were Nazis, not all Muslims are jihadis. Lots of Germans hated the Nazis. Lots of Muslims hate the jihadis.

  16. Not all Nazis were in the SS. Not all the SS were in the Wafen SS. Not all the Waffen SS killed people. Lots of Nazis were against war, a lot of Nazis hated Hitler. The majority of Germans elected Hitler Democratically. Lots of Germans were against the Nazis. And a lot of Muslims are against Islam, it’s just that no one has seen either.

  17. Hitler wasn’t voted in you ignoramus he was appointed chancellor by Von Hindenberg. You must have gone to public school.

  18. He was appointed by Paul von Hindenburg you ignoramus.

  19. Who are you calling an ignoramus?

  20. I responded to Ice Tray for calling you an ignoramus while he did not even know how to spell von Hindenburg correctly.

  21. But you do realize Hitler was elected into office don’t you?

  22. NOVEMBER 6, 1932
    In the Reichstag (German parliament) elections of November 1932, the Nazis lose almost two million votes from the previous elections of July. They win only 33 percent of the vote. It seems clear that the Nazis will not gain a majority in democratic elections, and Adolf Hitler agrees to a coalition with conservatives. After months of negotiations, the president of Germany, Paul von Hindenburg, will appoint Hitler chancellor of Germany in a government seemingly dominated by conservatives on January 30, 1933.

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Thomas Sowell has published a large volume of writing. His dozen books, as well as numerous articles and essays, cover a wide range of topics, from classic economic theory to judicial activism, from civil rights to choosing the right college. Please contact your local newspaper editor if you want to read the THOMAS SOWELL column in your hometown paper.


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