Ultima: What do you think it would take to secure our border?
Ultima: That doesn’t really answer the question. It’s so easy to give lip service to secure borders because that costs nothing. Talk is cheap; effective action is what counts. You didn’t mention whether you support drones, and staffing and infrastructure improvements at the border.
Dee: I do support the improvements you mentioned. I just don’t believe a fence would be very effective.
Ultima: The fence seems to have worked quite well in the areas where it has been installed. Admittedly, the fence diverts some of the illicit traffic to other areas but if the terrain is more difficult in those areas, then the fence has served its purpose. What else would you propose to secure the borders if you were in charge?
Dee: Well, I have always been in favor of employer sanctions. If the penalties are high enough, employers will find that it is not profitable to hire undocumented workers.
Ultima: That brings up another point. Why do you insist on using the euphemism “undocumented worker” when “illegal alien” is both more descriptive and more accurate whether the border jumper is employed or not.
Dee: Well, I just think it sounds better because while illegal entry is a crime, illegal presence is only a civil offense appropriately dealt with by deportation.
Ultima: So you are a firm believer in political correctness even though it disguises the truth?
Dee: I guess that is one way of looking at it. Euphemisms may weaken the language of discourse but it shows a greater sensitivity to the plight of some people.
Ultima: Getting back to the issue of border security, I note that you focused only on the employers. I take it you would not apply any sanctions to the illegal aliens in their employ. Why is that? Aren’t they both at fault in one way or another? After all the illegal aliens committed a crime when they crossed the border and now are subject to civil action that could result in deportation. The employer, of course, knowingly hired the illegal aliens who are not entitled to work in the U.S.
Dee: I take the view that if there are no jobs, there will be no incentive for border violations. Therefore, if we have an escalating schedule of fines and jail time for employers, they will no longer find it profitable to hire undocumented workers.
Ultima: How would you go about identifying miscreant employers?
Ultima: Okay, if you don’t have an answer to that question, let me supply one. There is a perfectly good way of doing this which is called E-Verification. If all employers, public and private, were required to use E-verify to check the bona fides of all employees, both current and potential new hires, we would soon know who the miscreants are. Those employers with a significant number of employees with social security name and number (ssn) mismatches, duplicate ssns, and fictitious ssns could be subjected to frequent on site audits at their own expense and significant penalties. Of course, the illegals in their employ should be rounded up ad detained pending an expedited immigration hearing and decision.
Dee: I don’t like the idea of roundups or workplace audits. These undocumented workers are just trying to improve the lot of their families. They should not be treated as common criminals or cattle to be rounded up and herded back to their homelands.
Ultima: I understand your position on this but I believe that position is in conflict with your purported position on securing the borders. Most reasonable people would see that the border patrol will never be able to apprehend all of those who violate our borders so if we are serious about border security, we must buttress our efforts at the borders with vigorous internal enforcement to create the necessary disincentive for those who evade the border patrol. If they are quickly apprehended and repatriated, they will soon learn that entering our country illegally is a losing proposition.
Dee: What you say is true. However, I am inclined to ignore all those who are already here and those who are able to evade the border patrol, unless they have committed serious crimes. That appears to be the Administration’s current policy.
Ultima: You are right about the Administration's policy and that is why we have so many illegals in this country and why the hemorrhaging continues at the border. The current policy and what you propose creates an incentive rather than a disincentive for border violations.
The East Germans found to their dismay that even mine fields, machine gun towers, multi-layered fences and walls did not deter those who wished to escape to the West. Why? Because they knew if they made it, they would never be repatriated? We need to take that lesson to heart. If illegal aliens believe if they can escape the immediate environs of the border, they will be home free and that the probability of being apprehended and repatriated will be very low, then they obviously will keep coming. That means border security is seriously undermined by the lack of the threat and the actuality of the expeditious apprehension and repatriation which are an essential part of border security in depth.
Dee: I understand what you are saying but I tend to come down on the side of the illegal aliens, rather than the side of my fellow citizens and the strict enforcement of the law.
Ultima: I believe we have exhausted this topic. In summary, you have indicated that you are in favor of secure borders but would deny us tools like E-Verification, workplace audits, and vigorous internal enforcement necessary to achieve that goal. And moreover, you have admitted that you give precedence to the illegal aliens over the rule of law and the wishes of your fellow citizens.