One of the gaping holes in America’s national security network is unchecked illegal immigration. If this were only a problem of presenting an opportunity for enemy agents to gain entry into the country, that would still be too much. But the inability of the government to eliminate illegal immigration also plays havoc on the economic stability of the states and overwhelms the social infrastructure and services to the detriment of legal citizens. The alarming number of criminal illegal immigrants is enough to start a mini-insurrection on their own, and the agencies that are supposed to protect and serve stand idly by and watch it all happen. And those otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants present a drain on the public systems of health, education, and infrastructure that are paid for and rightly expected by the legal residents of this country. This sense people have of being overrun in their own cities and states would not bode well for the masters in the Capitol should the people lose faith in the governments ability to protect the national integrity and feel the need to take matters into their own hands. The result would be nothing short of chaotic and result in the corrosion of national security.

America, as everyone should know, was founded by immigrants, fueled by immigrants, and culturally formed by immigrants from all over the world. Without immigration, America would not be the country that it is today. Americans recognize these facts, even if they aren’t eager to embrace them. But talk to anyone about their family heritage, and one of the first things you’ll probably hear is some kind of statement regarding familial ancestry that originated in another part of the world. Since its origins, the United States has acted as a beacon to immigrants who sought out a new life for themselves and their families, and this beacon is still shining brightly today. Yet regardless of the individual reasons for immigrating, the American government’s immigration policies through the years have not been based on the ideas of enlarging personal prosperity for the down trodden of the world, but have instead been based on the needs of American business prosperity and expansion. We may pay lip service to the notion that America welcomes all comers with open arms, but the realities of immigration policy increasingly stem from an unhealthy disregard for the security of ordinary Americans in favor of corporate profit.

Any discussion about immigration, both legal and illegal, must first define the purpose for allowing immigration at all. Politically speaking, immigration makes sense for a government seeking to rapidly increase national or regional population growth, usually in response to the acquisition of new territory. But the United States has not expanded her borders in some time now, so this reasoning does not apply. Sociologically speaking, immigration makes sense when a nation is seeking to balance its racial populations, but as the United States has always been a diverse mixture of ethnic and nationalistic people, this has never been a rationale for immigration policy. (True, immigration quotas do reek of racial motivations, but those rules have had ever changing standards and thus can’t be construed as coming from any sort of lasting ideological policies.) From a humanitarian viewpoint, immigration becomes necessary to assist oppressed people achieve freedom, and this is one of the pillars of U.S. immigration policy today. This seems odd though, in light of our newly reinvigorated goal of taking freedom and democracy to the oppressed countries of the world. Given that objective, we should hope that fewer immigrants come to America seeking these qualities when we want them to instill them in their homelands. Surely if all those who ache for freedom abandon their countries to find it, who will be left to spread those ideals when freedom chances to come knocking? That leaves only the economic reasons for encouraging immigration. Unfortunately, money often speaks loudest and always speaks for itself. The economic benefactors of immigration are not those who come from poverty stricken lands in search of prosperity, but instead are the corporations who lure them in with wages that are much greater than they could earn at home but are still poverty wages in this country. As this rationale for immigration is based solely on corporate greed it fails to meet the test for reasoned public policy.

So I have to ask, in today’s world, what does immigration, legal or illegal, have to offer America? And at a time when fanatical enemies are seeking to destroy our way of life, what effect do our immigration policies have on the effectiveness of national security? The answer to both questions, though far from being politically correct, is nothing. Not a thing. And that means that it’s time to revisit our immigration policies and make some adjustments that better reflect realities in America and the world today.

For starters, the U.S. government should announce a temporary moratorium on all immigration. This may seem like a drastic first step, but until the government can establish policy that is cohesive and equitable, and that addresses American needs and goals abroad, America should hang the “Out to Lunch” sign on the door and lock up for a bit. In doing so, our government should make clear that our reason for such an action stems from our own security concerns as well as the necessity to protect the resources of the American taxpayers. In reality, the immigration policies of most nations are very strict in comparison to our own, so any cries of foul play will likely be coming from hypocritical mouths and should be given little attention.

Secondly, our physical borders should be secured much as I wrote about in my essay A Line In The Sand. Such actions would have the effect of reducing the entry of illegal immigrants, which is the most likely path of infiltration for foreign enemies or other people with criminal histories. In addition, any illegal immigrants that do get apprehended should face immediate deportation to their country of origin with the understanding that they will be dealt with by the law in their home country. It is not enough to defend our borders; we must also demand cooperation from any of our allies when repatriating their citizens.

Thirdly, we must work with the poorer nations of the world so that their citizens will not look at immigration to the U.S. as their only chance at freedom and prosperity. We must assist them in developing their infrastructure and upgrading their health and educational systems. We must encourage them to use their countries resources for the benefit of their people and help them to make the right choices. We have to understand that immigration is usually the last best choice for a person to make. Only when the situation at home seems hopeless do people leave all that they know and love behind forever. The best way to curb immigration, especially illegal immigration, is to help establish security abroad.

Finally, we must find all those people who are currently here illegally, ascertain their identities and their purpose for being here, and return them to their home countries or legalize them unless they are enemy agents. We must enforce the laws against companies the employ illegal immigrants and we must strengthen our citizenship identification programs. We must develop an interim plan for foreign tourism and international business travel, and we must create a separate plan to accommodate those seeking political asylum.

Americans generally have no problems with accepting legal immigrants into their communities, because we understand that immigration is a shared cultural phenomenon. Though most of today’s citizens have had the good fortune to be born in America, many millions are just a generation or three from the tales of their grandparents who walked across hostile territory or sailed an angry ocean to reach these shores. But America is also a country based on the rule of law, and when people arrive in this country by circumventing our immigration laws, we become angry, and, I think, rightly so. Unfortunately, our anger is often misplaced as we turn against the people who only want a better life for their families. More appropriately, we should direct our ire at the governmental policies that have created confusing and ideologically bankrupt immigration standards.

As the nations of the world become more and more interdependent, and as governments exchange animosity and deception for the shared principals of human freedom and self-rule, the need or desire for immigration should naturally recede. Reduced immigration has many benefits including decreased social and enforcement costs for inundated nations, the retention of human resources and national dedication for developing nations, and better security for all nations. These should be the goals of immigration policy in America, not cheaper lettuce or bigger corporate profits.