A tip of the hat to Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, the once and future Senate Majority Leader, who this week endorsed putting U.S. soldiers on the border with Mexico to protect the country against illegal immigrant invasion.
Mr. Lott is the highest ranking public office holder yet to support that position, and precisely because he is, others may follow
This is what leadership means. [Alas, a VDARE.COM reader is more skeptical.]
The senator's remarks were made in an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, on Nov. 7.
"Why not back up the Border Patrol with military, whether it's National Guard or straight troops—why not do it?" Mr. O'Reilly asked.
"Well, I think we should do it," the senator replied.
"Do you really? ... You're the first politician I've heard [say so]," Mr. O'Reilly said.
"Well, look," the senator explained. "Most politicians run around worried about civil libertarians and being sued by the ACLU. This is not only a porous border in terms of illegal aliens. It's also a porous border in terms of crime and drugs."
The senator is entirely correct about that, of course, and there's every good reason to send in the troops for those reasons alone.
But the fact is that a nation penetrated every year by some 300,000 illegal aliens and in which some 11 million illegal aliens live permanently is not a nation experiencing "immigration." It is a nation experiencing invasion and conquest — and that's not counting the legal immigrants.
"More than 1.2 million legal and illegal immigrants combined now settle in the United States each year," the Center for Immigration Studies reported in January, 2001.
"The number of immigrants living in the United States has more than tripled since 1970 .... By historical standards, the number of immigrants living in the United States is unprecedented. Even at the peak of the great wave of early 20th century immigration, the number of immigrants living in the United States was less than half what it is today."
The legal invasion is our own fault—because our own laws and lawmakers allow the aliens to come and stay—but the illegal invasion that Sen. Lott is talking about is only partly our fault, which is what the senator wishes to correct.
Drugs, criminals and even illegal aliens really are law enforcement problems that should not ordinarily be handled by the military. Invasion is another matter entirely—not simply one of law enforcement but of national security. The federal government under the Constitution has the obligation to protect the states against invasion, and the military is the only public agency capable of carrying out that duty.
President Bush says he's opposed to putting troops on the border, though he at least seems to have placed his idiotic idea of amnesty for illegal aliens on the shelf for a while. Prior to Sept. 11, 2001, he and the administration were pushing amnesty, and Mexico's President Vicente Fox is still hot for it, since it would legalize millions of his own citizens inside this country and swell Mexican political power within our own borders immensely.
Even before Mr. Lott called for protecting the border with troops, President Fox was threatening to mobilize his Mexican millions to pressure the U.S. government for amnesty.
"Disappointed by the lack of progress towards a migration accord," the London Financial Times reported the day after last week's election ("migration accord" is the currently favored euphemism for amnesty),
"Mexico is preparing to launch its own campaign to convince U.S. legislators and the public of the benefits of legalizing millions of Mexican workers.
"Mexico's government is watching the results of tomorrow's election closely and will probably begin its efforts in January in key states with large Latino populations: California, Texas, Florida, Illinois and New York. There are 35 million Latinos in the U.S., some two-thirds of whom are of Mexican descent. It is hoping to repeat its success in swaying public opinion in favor of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which took effect in 1994 and has led to an explosion of trade between the countries."
Even without amnesty, then, Mexico is already a major player in American politics, precisely because of its huge population inside our borders. Legalizing the remaining millions who are here illegally would only multiply its power and encourage millions of others to come, legally or not.
Amnesty and protecting our borders are two different issues, but they're not unrelated. By putting troops on the border, the president would not only halt the invasion but also tell the Mexican government that encourages it to stay within its own borders and mind its own business.
With President Fox brazenly threatening to use his own population as a political blackjack to force his wishes on this country, it's well past time for our government to tell him so.
[A selection of Sam Francis' columns, America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available from Americans For Immigration Control.]
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November 14, 2002