Columnist Tom Hexner seems to think that because illegals are willing to break the law and risk life and limb to get here that somehow that excuses their behavior. He thinks that because they are trying to achieve a decent life, that makes it okay. He is wrong. He says rhetoric will always lose out to sincere desire. He may be right about that. We need a lot more than rhetoric. We need action -- vigorous, consistent and unrelenting action. We need enforcement not just rhetoric. These folks are breaking the law. Doesn’t that suggest that the problem is a lack of enforcement rather than the desires of the border violators? The problem with the 1986 law is it was was never enforced. It is not because of people wanted their lawns mowed but because successive administrations catered to the cheap labor and immigration lobbies and were looking ahead to the day when their Party might need Hispanic votes to get reelected.Hexner suggests that even if the congress had passed a new immigration reform bill, it would not have been enforceable. Many felt that it would have been more a question of the lack of will on the part of the administration to enforce the law. Hexner cites prohibition and marijuana as illustrations of unenforceable policies. By extension, one could argue there should be no laws because all are unenforceable to some degree. Does Hexner advocate decriminalizing marijuana? He doesn't say.
Hexner derides the idea of an expensive fence at the border yet just one of the Mexican oligarchs, like Carlos Slim, could easily finance this fence all by himself. No one argues that a fence by itself will stop all border violations. Other infrastructure and surveillance techniques will be needed. But perhaps even more important is the idea of disincentives. If physical barriers are buttressed with significant penalties for the illegals and those who employ them or offer aid or sanctuary, we will begin to see some real results. If failures to enforce the law are considered to be "high crimes and misdemeanors", they become an impeachable offense as they should be. If underlings fail to enforce the law, they should be summarily fired.
If deportation is an expensive process, simplify and expedite it by reducing the levels of and bases for appeal. Put the job of roundup, detention and deportation into the hands of private enterprise with all costs and a profit to be recovered from the illegals, their employers and/or their homeland governments. Tell the Secretary of State to get busy negotiating a treaty to enable cost recovery. Make all deportations involuntary whether or not the illegal agrees to leave at his own expense. Keep illegals in detention only until transportation to the border can be arranged and the limited appeal, if any, quickly completed. Assign immigation judges to detention facilities so that cases can be decided the day they are received with no more than a week for a further appeal. Advise each illegal that if he or she returns they will be felons under current law and subject two years in jail.
Why should we throw up our hands and say it can't be done when we have never tried any of the above measures? Hexner is not a proponent of rational reform; he is a defeatist who is ready to capitulate rather than try harder.