Open House

Published 2:16 pm Monday, September 5, 2005

By By Tray Smith
The debate over what to do about our illegal immigration crises has made headlines recently. Several lawmakers have made proposals of their own on how to deal with the crises and the governors of New Mexico and Arizona have each declared a state of emergency along their portions of the U.S.-Mexican border. The lawlessness along our border with Mexico has evolved into a crises and the citizens of the Unites States needs to demand that our politicians address this issue.
For those of you who do not think this is a serious situation, then just consider these statistics. There are currently eleven million illegal immigrants in the United States, which is more than the entire population of Alabama and Mississippi combined. Half a million more illegal immigrants will cross the border this year, and they will bring with them one-half of our entire cocaine supply and one-fourth of our entire heroin supply. They take our jobs and they will soak up ten billion federal tax dollars this year alone. Not addressing this problem soon will only lead to a disaster.
The worst part of this crises however, is that our border with Mexico remains open to any terrorist trying to get into our country. If terrorist organizations are ever able to get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction, then our boarder will be an open gateway for them to get that missile inside the United States. It is an outrage that our border has been allowed to reach this point, and thousands of lives are at risk each day that this crises is not solved.
The reason this issue has not been addressed, however, is because neither party wants to loose the Hispanic vote, now the largest minority in America. Every time someone suggest we do something to crack down on the border, they are deemed a racist and called uncompassionate. No one, however, seems to worry about being compassionate to the thousands who could die in a terrorist attack carried out by a terrorist who came through our border. No one seems to be worried about being compassionate to the millions of welfare- dependent and poverty-stricken Americans who could have a job if they were not competing against cheep labor from people who are here illegally. No one seems to worry about being compassionate to the land owners along side our border who have had much of their property wiped out, their fences destroyed, and their property deemed worthless.
We need to act on our border, and we need a long-term solution that will ensure that we never reach this point again. Fortunately, the President and Congress have said that they will deal with the issue of immigration this fall. Whether they will actually solve the problem, however, is a completely different issue.
Putting up a concrete security fence, doubling the size of the boarder control, or calling out the military or National Guard to solve the problem are all good ideas to help plug the flow of illegal immigrants. Allowing people who want to come work here be able to do so through a legal venue is also a much-needed policy, and that is why we need a temporary guest-worker program. But allowing illegal aliens to continue to poor across our border in the thousands is not an option.
It is not that I do not want us to help the people of Mexico. It is not that I do not want legal immigration. I am all for each of those things. But we must make sure people come here legally so we know who they are, where they are, and what they are doing> If we don't, we cannot make sure that they are not terrorist and drug dealers coming here to commit crimes. That's the bottom line.
There has been no vote on the border yet, so I cannot tell you how your elected officials have voted. However, as soon as a vote is held on the border, I will bring that information to you. If you want to let your elected officials know how you feel, you can call, e-mail, or write a letter to your Congressman, your Senator, or the White House.
You can also sign the petition at
Tray Smith is a freshman at Escambia Academy. He can be reached at tsmith_90@ His column appears weekly.

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