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Tuesday, March 28, 2006
By Steven L. Taylor

On balance, I think that the emphasis on border security as it pertains to terrorism in the current debate is over-blown and something of a red herring. Not only has it been demonstrated that getting into the country legally is not difficult for terrorists who as so inclined to do so, I am unconvinced that the Mexican border would be the route of first choice of al Qaeda or like-minded individuals in the first place.

The busy nature of that border makes it appealing in one sense, but because of heightened awareness of drug trafficking and illegal immigrants, it is the more-observed of the borders.

If I was a terrorist seeking a land-crossing into the United States, I would probably choose Canada, as the following from QandO illustrates:Speaking of border security.

We tend to consider the Canadian border to be innocuous and safe–yet it is longer than the border with Mexico and it is essentially unguarded along huge swaths of real estate. If a terror groups was truly interested in infiltrating the US via illegal border crossings, surely the Canadian border would be more appealing.

Of course, given tourist visas and the like, I still would think that legal entry would be the method of choice.

More to the point: the terrorism/security issues is a red herring in the current debate (which is really about illegal workers and what to do with them and future such persons), as the notion that we can “control” our borders is largely a fantasy.

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4 Responses to “The Border Security Red Herring”

  1. QandO Says:

    The Immigration Debate

    The immigration debate in full swing, and I’m not entirely sure where I come down on it. Generally speaking, I accept that immigration is a net economic positive for us in much the same way that technology is a net positive.

  2. LaurenceB Says:

    Amen Dr. Taylor. I couldn’t agree more.

  3. PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » That Darn Canadian Border Says:

    [...] ven better, if there will be calls to militarize the frontier with the Great White North? I noted the other day that the security issue is a red herring in the current debate, so I expect that, on bal [...]

  4. Paula Says:

    At a time when America is besieged by the threat of terrorism it is absolutely insane to leave our borders open and accessible to anybody who wants to come in. The fact is you don’t know who is crawling up under the fence.


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