Create Border Sanity

an op-ed by
Ruth McClung
December 2009

Our southern border has complex problems that have been ignored for too long. We need to enforce our border laws and reduce the bureaucracy of legal immigration. Our borders also need resources and enforcement.

Securing our borders is a national security issue. Crime is flooding into the United States from our borders. We are letting in terrorists, drug dealers, murderers, and other criminals. Mexico is fighting a war against drug cartels; we in the United States can do no less. The United States cannot become a haven for these organized criminal elements, as we have seen in other countries in Central and South America.

The first tier of defense is our Border Patrol. We must give them the resources they need to keep us safe. We must ensure that there are no bureaucratic road blocks in the way as they work to keep our borders secure. Running in district 7, which contains 300 miles of our southern border, has provided me the opportunity to talk with many current and retired Border Patrol agents. Many tools provided by Washington are not effective, while other technologies such as long range infrared cameras are highly effective, but go largely unfunded. I would work closely with the Border Patrol to ensure they receive what they need and what works.

The second tier of defense is our law enforcement. Our local law enforcement not only confronts local crime, but they are required to confront highly-dangerous, well-organized and equipped criminals that are flooding across our border. I support federal funding directed to our law enforcement agencies who must confront this threat. They should have the manpower and equipment necessary to effectively deal with this threat for our well being. I would also support federal laws that would enable local law enforcement to aid the Border Patrol in enforcing our border laws.

Though I believe the Border Patrol and law enforcement should be our primary defense for organized crime, I would support temporary help from the National Guard along the Border whenever it is needed.

After securing our border, I would like to improve our immigration system. I support legal immigration, but not amnesty. I would also support a fair and secure guest worker program. Right now our government's guest worker system is a bureaucratic nightmare which is difficult to deal with, and permits workers to enter our country illegally. This system needs to be reformed. We have the technology to track a guest worker program, why don't we use it?



Ruth McClung for US Congress Arizona CD 7



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