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Bored with the Border

by Paul Heller Saturday, Jul. 05, 2003 at 5:25 AM

We're too busy protecting the borders of other countries.

If there's one peeve that truly grates against my nervous system, it is a whiner. It's one thing if people are griping about a smorgasbord of topics... then one can indulge in a little bit of whinery, the way one only once in a while indulges in caviar. It is something else entirely when the source of the high-pitched annoyance never varies; such was the motive behind the very first bronze workers when they invented the spear several hundred millennia ago.

So enough with your ceaseless mewling about the U.S.-Mexico border already; is that too much to ask? Even the federal government has heard enough of your bellyaching. They offered Predator drone planes, but that just wasn't enough. No, you want Special Forces stalking the banks of the Rio Grande. You want Apache helicopters with night-vision technology. You want the second coming of the Berlin Wall.

So it must have stung just a little bit when the government decided to re-allocate their human resources. Rather than reinforcing the one thing that justifies the rash some Americans seem to have about "illegal immigrants", Uncle Sam took away 375 Southwestern Border Patrol Agents, transferring them to the Canadian border. Hilarious. That brings the number of Northern Border Patrol Agents to about a thousand. The feds are also deploying a few more aircraft to that side of the equation.

If that upsets you, then you should get after your representatives about it, but since this is all part of a bi-partisan Congressional effort to secure the 5,500-mile border with our neighbors to the north, you're probably not going to get too far. And here you thought you had all this influence as a citizen. You'd probably do better to vent on a bureaucrat, so you might try U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert C. Bonner. He's the one who said, "Given the terrorist threat, we were clearly understaffed on the northern border... This is an important step in increasing security along our northern border and is necessary, given the continuing threat of terrorism."

Now, I completely disagree with that. This is sheer make-work, part of a money-grab by the northern states, a plan cobbled together by U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Patty Murray (D-WA) back in May. It devotes $40 million to reimbursing local and state prosecutors and whatnot for the burdensome costs associated with handling "illegal aliens". The funny thing is that these "illegal aliens" will be a bunch of white folks, eh?

Other Senators who were involved in making this sausage: Lisa Murkowski (R-AK); Patrick Leahy (D-VT); Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Some are familiar tax-and-spend suspects, while others are just along for the ride. Mr. Crapo (I wish I knew how to pronounce that) said, "this legislation simply allows Idaho and thirteen other northern border states to be reimbursed for prosecution-related costs, much in the same manner as southern border-states currently receive offsets for the same type of activities."

Ain't that a hoot? And it couldn't have happened without some serious complicity from the Republican Party. Commissioner Bonner works for the Department of Homeland Security, as it turns out, and we all know who's running that show. The Southwestern border still has about 9,500 agents crawling around out there, 1,900 of which are assigned to Arizona (the entry point for about 40 percent of all border crossers), and we did just receive an infusion of 200 more agents here. So it's not as if the problem is being ignored. Still, that won't please some people.

If you're one of them, then I have something for you to consider. While you may cry and snuffle about the costs of educating and feeding and clothing and housing and medicating all these illegal immigrants, and while you may gnash your teeth and wail to the sky about how "they're taking over our country", and while it may confound your sensibilities with regard to the breaking of the law, you don't know the first thing about how much money has been wasted on the borders of another country entirely. Strap yourself to a chair, and take a look - straight from the national checkbook - at what we have spent... on Israel.

Since 1949, the U.S. has given Israel a total of $84,854,827,200. Not good at math? That's eighty-four billion, eight hundred fifty-four million, eight hundred twenty-seven thousand, and two hundred dollars. Of course, we don't have that kind of cash lying around at any point in time, so we had to borrow the money before we could give it to Israel. So, adding the amount of interest paid by taxpayers ($49,936,680,000), you see that a total of one hundred thirty-four billion, nine hundred thirty-six million, six hundred and eighty thousand dollars has come out of our wallets for the purpose of securing the borders of Israel. And trust me on this, citizen; under the current administration, we're about to start spending a heck of a lot more in that regard.

How much does illegal immigration cost the U.S. again? Well, what's the point of even bringing it up, I suppose. It's like arguing with a two-year old. They've figured out how to talk, but they still don't know quite how to think. Hopefully, they'll grow up before the next election.
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