The right-wing conservative wing of the Republican party is in full hysteria mode. As the election approaches, they have dusted off the old argument that the Democrats are soft on defense and security. There are two items that have flamed their hysteria. The first was ISIS and the second was Ebola. According to the conservative wing, we are in extreme danger of both of these hideous things. According to Fox News, we are in imminent danger of having our country wiped off the face of the earth by them.
So, how do Fox News and the wing-nuts envision these invaders entering the country? Through Mexico of course. Tom Tillis, the Republican candidate in North Carolina went into full hysteria mode during a debate last night. He said the only way to stop both ISIS and Ebola is by “sealing the border.” Naturally, in true Republican fashion he did not state how we are to “seal the border.” And, of course, his is talking about our southern border with Mexico and not our northern border with Canada.
See, the theory goes that if ISIS wants to attack America, they simply put people ashore in Mexico. Those people then walk however far is necessary and cross the southwest border with the U.S. I can only assume that these people will already be armed since Republicans don’t seem to think they can buy guns in this country. Once they cross the border with Mexico, they will do their worst to kill us all off in our sleep.
They also see that someone from West Africa who is infected with Ebola will fly into Mexico, take a bus to somewhere near the border, and then simply walk across. All the while suffering from the disease symptoms that include organ damage and internal bleeding. They make is sound so easy that GOP congressman Duncan Hunter, Jr. of California, told Fox host Greta van Susteren last night that ”[a]t least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the border in Texas.” Pressed on how he knew this, Hunter replied that he’d “asked the Border Patrol.”
When contacted, the Department of Homeland Security flatly denied the charge and basically said Hunter was patently false in his assertion about ISIS people being caught at the Mexican border in Texas. To be honest, I started laughing that these ISIS terrorists entered in Texas and not in California or Arizona. Is that a subliminal hint that California isn’t a direct target?
So, is there any validity in the Republicans claim that both ISIS and Ebola are going to just walk across our southern border? Well, history proves just the opposite. I know that Republicans aren’t too keen on history and the facts, but let’s look at a few things here.
Before the 9/11 attacks, terrorists crossed our border to carry out their plot. But please note, none of them entered the country through Mexico. In order to be able to walk around without being harassed, they either entered the country via European countries on a legal visa granted under false papers, or they entered through, get this, CANADA. See, if a terrorist wants to commit an act in the U.S. he needs to be able to enter the country without bringing attention to himself. Entering through a European country or Canada is the best way not to bring attention to yourself.
Every case where the FBI and/or Border Police have captured potential terrorists have been at the Canadian border NOT the Mexican border. For one thing, the Canadian border is longer than the Mexican border. There are far more places where people can illegally cross. There is even the Great Lakes where some can get a boat and simply enter the U.S. from Canada without even being noticed. When you dock your boat at a marina in the U.S., there are no border police present to check IDs and “papers”, so it is far easier to enter through Canada than through Mexico. I know, I lived on the Great Lakes most of my life.
So, what about Ebola? The only case, so far, of a person entering the country with Ebola came through a U.S. Airport. He did not cross the Mexican border. He was legally entering the country to visit family living in this country. As a matter of fact, every case of an epidemic problem that has entered the U.S. was through legal means, not sneaking across the border from Mexico.
So, when Republicans like Tom Tillis start talking about “sealing the border” we need to be asking him if he means both the southern and northern borders. Even if we were to build an impenetrable wall along the Mexican border, it will not stop terrorists from entering the country through Canada or even our airports. Besides, where do the Republicans think they are going to get the billions of dollars necessary to build such a border wall? And, how are they going to pay to maintain it?
Finally, if we do build a wall between us and Mexico, won’t that also mean we will need thousands more border police to patrol the wall? What about all of the security equipment necessary to let us know when it is breached? What about the equipment necessary to find tunnels under the wall?
Republicans don’t really care about “sealing the border.” What they care about is letting loose a hysteria that those “other” people are coming to get us and the only way to stop them is to lock off the “other” people from getting in too. That is what brings the wing-nut voters to the polls. We don’t need to worry about our northern border, because they are not those “other” people. They are white Christian souls just like us. Forget that is from where terrorists enter.
Terrorism and infectious diseases, not just Ebola, are real concerns that we face everyday. The problem is that both of these concerns are more likely to enter the country via legal means and through our own airports than “sneaking” across the southern border. But, Republicans know that hysteria can generate votes. It is truly sad that they think they need to hype it up in order to win an election. But then, they don’t have anything else to run on.