2005 October 27 Thursday
Allan Wall Calls For National Guard On US Border

Serving with his Texas Army National Guard in Iraq Allan Wall argues for use of National Guard units to secure the US border with Mexico and stop the illegal alien influx.

I think it's a great idea. An excellent idea. An idea whose time has come. Many of the tasks necessary to secure the U.S. border are the same tasks we are already performing here in Iraq. They could be carried out just as easily (and less expensively) on our own borders. Here in Iraq, National Guardsmen are patrolling 24/7, logging thousands of miles in armored humvees. Why can't they do the same on our own borders?

In Iraq, Guardsmen secure defensive perimeters, they man guard towers, they operate UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). They do surveillance in the dark with night-vision equipment. Why can't they do the same on the borders of their own country?

Currently, Guard units are being called up on 18-month deployments to Iraq and other places. Why can't they be deployed the same length of time to guard the border? When a Guard unit is not deployed, guardsmen train a total of about 40 days a year, one weekend a month and a two-week "annual training" period. Why not rotate National Guard units in and out of border duty for their yearly "training" period?

A unilaterial withdrawal of US troops from Iraq would free up all those soldiers to do border control for the United States. All that equipment deployed in Iraq could then get shifted to the US southern border. While those soldiers were deployed along the Mexican border the US government could fund construction of a border barrier that would gradually reduce the need for troops.

While the National Guard can not (according to Allan) act like police and pick up illegal aliens the Guard could do all the patrolling and spotting so that the Border Patrolmen themselves could just go from place to place using the directions of Guardsmen.

Enforcement of the US southern border would greatly reduce the illegal alien influx and therefore save taxpayers lots of money and improve the quality of life in the United States. Effective border enforcement would reduce the illegal drug flow. One beneficial side effect would be a slowing and possibly even a reversal of the slide of Mexico into a corrupt lawless narco-state. That would provide security and quality of governance benefits for both the United States and Mexico.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 October 27 04:14 PM  Immigration Border Control

Nick said at October 28, 2005 7:59 AM:

The basic problem here is that as a country we really haven't decided to limit immigration. The current system keeps immigrants just marginal enough to keep their wages down, while keeping them available for low skill work. If the US were to really get serious, there would be a serious shortage of cheap landscapers, farm workers, nannies, housekeepers, and restaurant workers (look in the back of almost any restaurant - english is not the primary language). Maybe that would be good, but the country isn't ready to make that commitment.

If we really wanted to reduce illegal immigration, we would make a serious effort to promote democracy, government transparency, universal high quality education and reduced barriers to entry for entrepreneurs in the Mexican economy. Instead, we ignore Mexico, and allow it to be a farm for producing cheap labor in the US.

Bob Badour said at October 28, 2005 9:11 AM:

Shortage? There are no shortages -- only a price at which certain labour gets done. Remove the illegals and some things will automate, some things will be substituted and other things will cost a little more.

Engineer-Poet said at October 28, 2005 9:46 AM:

And some things will cost less:  housing, fuel, the overhead of commuting as congestion decreases.

John S Bolton said at October 31, 2005 3:03 AM:

If there were avoided the cost of having to imprison 200,000 illegals longterm, at 25,000 a year, that would be a savings of 5 billion a year. If we avoided a constant total of only 100,000 such illegals at 25,000, that would be enough to pay for a first class wall. The foreign born are several times their expected share of the prison population. Illegals must be even higher on that comparison, with their male disproportion and younger average age, and criminality in general. It could easily be that 3% of the population, or a group of nine million illegals, has more than three times the imprisonability as the country in general, or around 10%. Currently a good number are deported at the end of their terms. The intervening costs could have been saved, though. If illegals are only twice as imprisonable, like the foreign born in general, there would still be over 100,000 of them in our prisons (over 6% of 2 million). Illegals must be costing at least billions in avoidable imprisonment costs every year, so long as we fail to prevent their coming here.

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