Ron Landmann guest column: Building wall isn’t anti-American; it’s essential to security

There’s talk about doing away with our traditional borders here in the United States. The talk is about open borders and how illegal immigrants keep flooding the American landscape. But what is the big deal about a few million illegal immigrants wanting a better life by coming to our country? Plenty.

Our immigration system was set up to vet people wanting to come to the United States to live. They had to have sponsors in the U.S. willing to take care of them. Ellis Island was set up to ensure the people presenting themselves for entry to the U.S. were who they said they were, and more importantly, they were healthy and not carrying communicable diseases. Illegal immigration makes a mockery of our legal immigration system. Because of the complete collapse of our immigration system we don’t know who’s in the country, where they are, the status of their health, or their criminal background. Bringing in refugees without them being vetted is likewise against the interests of U.S. citizens.

But let’s talk about the basics of the issue. In smuggling it isn’t the commodity that’s important, it’s the smuggling route. A smuggler can move 100 kilos of marijuana as easily as moving 100 kilos of human beings, a suit-case-nuclear weapon weighing 100 kilos, or 100 kilos of other terrorist weapons. A human being entering the country illegally is a threat to all of us. Imagine the terrorist organization that flies an African infected with Ebola from Africa to Mexico, then across the border to the United States and then onto a plane in San Diego bound for Atlanta, then a second plane from Atlanta to New York City or Chicago. In a short period of time the Ebola virus could be spread throughout the United States.

Regarding health issues, recent arrivals from Syria have been diagnosed with tuberculosis, a disease that hasn’t been part of the America’s health problems for decades. Who are these people? We don’t know. Why? Because to vet someone you have to have a stable government in the country the immigrant/refugee is coming from. Syria has no stable government — in fact it has no central government at this time other than ISIS. When the president tells us the refugees from Syria are being vetted he’s not telling the truth.

People have been led to believe a wall at our southern border is somehow anti-American. It isn’t. It simply allows us to better control the flow of legal immigrants, visitors and transients so we know who’s in the United States and what their purpose is. What’s wrong with people from Mexico, Central America and South America applying for legal entry into the United States?

Regarding walls, the Pope came out against a wall on our southern border. Isn’t it interesting the Pope lives is a city that’s totally surrounded by high walls — for his protection! President Obama has likewise come out against a wall on the southern border but at the same time the Secret Service is increasing the height of the fence (wall) surrounding the White House for his protection. Am I being picky or are they being hypocrites?

Recently Afghan terrorists have been captured crossing the U.S. border from Mexico. They don’t need to bring in arms or weapons of mass destruction as those things are readily available in the United States. What they do need to bring is a commitment to murder Americans, a hate for our Constitution and our way of life, and a belief if they die in a holy war they go straight to Allah.

When you hear talk of open borders and granting amnesty to people we know nothing about you should be alarmed. Our own politicians are working against our better interests. Countries have borders for a reason and ours needs to be secured. Our borders are porous and allowing disease, terrorists and others into our country that may end our way of life.

Ron Landmann is a Minden resident and retired senior Special Agent with the U.S. Customs Service, a division of the Treasury Department, and a member of the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force. He was a senior advisor on smuggling issues at the Joint Interagency Task Force (West) from 1995 to 2000.


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