"In the absence of faith, we govern by tenderness. And tenderness leads to the gas chamber." - Flannery O’Connor
A country that can’t control its borders is by definition no longer a country.
As I write these words, 7,000 Hondurans are marching through Mexico determined to force their way into the United States in hopes of welfare and jobs.
Americans are famous for their compassion. In 2016, the Charities Aid Foundation ranked America #1 in the world for its individual donations to charity. Over the last seventy-five years, our government resurrected a war-ravaged Europe with the Marshall Plan, rebuilt Japan, and provided trillions of dollars in aid to countries around the globe.
When Americans see pictures of earthquake and hurricane victims, we send money and supplies. Now come the Hondurans, demanding entrance into our country. Many of us again feel our compassion roused, though we may be confused as to 1) why they are waving Honduran flags on their way to our country, 2) why they are burning tires in front of a US Embassy, 3) why they decided to march at the time of mid-term elections; and 4) why they, or anyone else, believe they have some natural right to enter the United States.
We may pity the poverty of some of these marchers, but the time has come to plug our porous southern border.
Here are some reasons why.
Have you flown overseas lately? Have you visited a courthouse?
Did you just jump right on that aircraft or walk through the courthouse doors as if you owned the place? Or were you subjected to an electronic search, in some cases a body search?
In both instances, the authorities are trying to protect your fellow Americans from terrorists.
Why then do some among us advocate for “open borders”?
In 2005, then Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo reported the following about the border:
“We’ve found copies of the Koran, we have found prayer rugs, we have found a lot of stuff written in Arabic, so it’s not just people from Mexico coming across that border.”
Allowing illegal immigrants—and yes, I know that is not politically correct—into the country should have stopped in 2001 right after 9/11.
Furthermore, illegal immigration harms the livelihood of our citizens, particularly those near the bottom rungs on the ladder. Working-class Hispanics, blacks, whites: all must compete in a labor force in which illegal immigrants are willing to work for sub-standard pay and benefits.
So far this year, border agents have arrested 369,000 illegals, many from Central America. No one knows how many others evaded detection. While these people await detention and deportation, they cost the American taxpayers untold millions of dollars for food, housing, medical care, and other expenses.
Delivered without reason or justice, O’Connor’s tenderness—we would probably substitute the word compassion—does indeed lead to death. In this case, the death of our country.
Let’s end with a hypothetical here.
Let’s say you, your spouse, and three children are just sitting down to a supper of chicken, salad, corn, and rice. Your home is spacious and comfortable, and suits your needs. Your children sleep in individual bedrooms, you’ve remodeled the basement into a play area and guest room, and you have a den as well as a living room.
The doorbell rings. You rise from the table and open the door. On the porch and in your yard are thirty people. “We don’t like where we live,” their leader says, glancing past your shoulder into your house. “Your place looks nice. We want to live here.”
What would you do?
[Image Credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman]
Jeff Minick lives in Front Royal, Virginia, and may be found online at jeffminick.com. He is the author of two novels, Amanda Bell and Dust on Their Wings, and two works of non-fiction, Learning as I Go and Movies Make the Man.