Just out of Curiousity…

…this comes from the State Department’s “Country Reports on Terrorism 2005” (via Dennis the Peasant, who has similar questions),

Canada
[snip]

The Arar case underscores a greater concern for the United States: the presence in Canada of numerous suspected terrorists and terrorist supporters. Algerian-born Ahmed Ressam, the “millennium bomber” caught attempting to bring bomb-making materials into the United States, was denied asylum in Canada, yet remained in Montreal for seven years and used false identification to obtain a Canadian passport. Other known terrorists in Canada include:

  1. Mohammed Mahjoub, member of Vanguards of Conquest, a radical wing of Egyptian Islamic Jihad;
  2. Mahmud Jaballah, senior member of the Egyptian Islamic terrorist organization al-Jihad and al-Qaida;
  3. Hassan Al Merei, suspected al-Qaida member;
  4. Mohammed Harkat, suspected al-Qaida member; and
  5. Adil Charkaoui, suspected al-Qaida member.

Where exactly is Michelle Malkin, the Minute Men and Tom Tancredo?

You can read the shocking entry for Mexico below the fold,

Mexico

The Mexican Government worked closely with the United States on all aspects of
counterterrorism security and prevention. In particular, Mexico was extremely helpful in flagging, monitoring, and controlling flights to or over the United States that may have raised terrorism concerns.

A National Security Law that took effect in January established a National Security Council to improve military, intelligence, immigration, and civilian law enforcement cooperation on security issues, including terrorism. The law also established a National Security Commission in the Congress.

Mexico remained engaged with the United States in efforts to improve border security.
Working with the United States and Canada, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) was launched to keep North American borders closed to terrorism and open to trade.

The Mexican Government deployed federal authorities and military forces along its northern border as part of “Operation Secure Mexico,” in response to deadly attacks against government officials and narcotics-related violence. Mexican officials also worked to implement the Operation Against Smugglers Initiative on Safety and Security (OASISS).

Under Mexico’s own Plan Centinela, Mexican armed forces were deployed along the northern and southern borders to protect vital infrastructure throughout the nation and to enhance airport security. The Mexican military continued to place great emphasis on expanding its counterterrorism capabilities, maritime air surveillance, and security and response measures for all key national strategic facilities, including the oil production infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shocking isn’t it?

Seriously though, suppose we do build the “Berlin Wall South”, what is the likely response? Illegal immigrants will

  1. Climb over the wall,
  2. Take to the seas,
  3. Go to Canada first,
  4. a and B,
  5. b and c?

My guess is b and c. Granted this will make coming to the U.S. much more expensive, but I don’t think it would stop illegals from crossing the border. I know, the response is, “So, just because you can’t stop it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it!” Which is true, my thinking is instead of giving the National Guard a crappy duty, spends billions annually, why not take advantage of these people who want to come here and work? A guest worker program would also make crossing the border illegally relatively more expensive.

Also, it would ensure that these workers are covered by the same laws as U.S. citizens when it comes to wages. Hence the illegal who is being paid a sub-minimum wage job or taking a low paying job out of fear of deportation would be greatly lessened (in short it would remove the low pay advantage for the illegals). On top of this these workers would be more likely to pay taxes, including Medicare and Social Security taxes, which we definitely need.

And finally many of these jobs are jobs American’s don’t want at the going wages. I know, the standard response to this is the faux simpleton outrage of people like Michelle Malkin, “How dare you suggest American’s are lazy!” My response is, “How dare you suggest Americans are stupid!” If an American has a opportunity for a better paying job, why not take it? That is what it means when people say, “Americans wont take that job at the prevailing wage.” It isn’t saying Americans are lazy, but that they have much better options. If an American can work in a job that pays more and allows them to be more productive why should he/she take the lower paying job? To prove they aren’t lazy? Now that is just stupid.

The bottom line is that many of these people want to be here to work, Americans often want them here to work (i.e., they like the benefits of the work they do), and trying to keep them out will just cost more than we can afford.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, General, , , , , ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    You don’t know how much I hate to cite NewsMax (it was the first reference to a recent story I recalled that I could put my hands on) but you probably should take a look at this, Steve. There really are serious security issues with our southern border.

    The bottom line is that many of these people want to be here to work, Americans often want them here to work (i.e., they like the benefits of the work they do), and trying to keep them out will just cost more than we can afford.

    Sadly, all but the last of the clauses in that sentence are completely irrelevant. Nobody ever breaks any law in pursuit of evil–they’re always pursuing something good. And that some people here favor people coming here illegally to work? So what?

    Steve, I really am pretty unconcerned about immigration legal or illegal but things really are different than they were in 1892 or even 1992 and I think you’re going to need to get used to the idea that we’re not going to have open borders here.

  2. Steve Verdon says:

    Dave,

    I don’t doubt that there are serious security issues, my point is that from a terrorism stand point it applies to both borders and our coastlines as well. The problem with the closed borders crowd is that they focus only on the southern border. I’m sure it is a coincidence that everybody coming across that border is brown.

    Oh, and I’m not in favor of open borders. Increase enforcement along the border, have a guest worker program with serious background checks and security, and so forth. Right now, a potential terrorists doesn’t need the Mexican border. Terrorists are probably still getting into the U.S. via legal ports of entry.

    The border issue is a side show.

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    Oh, I’m completely in favor of tightened border security at the Canadian border, too. And I’m quite sure that racism is a factor for some people.

    But I’m also pretty sure that concerns about the corruption of the Mexican government top-to-bottom makes people more concerned about putative cooperation from the Mexican government.

    I don’t see any way of letting everybody who wants to be here get in any time they want to come without it being de facto an open borders policy. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’ve written.

    BTW, I’m not as sanguine as you are, Steve, about more people contributing to the Medicare and Social Security system. The way I read these laws the costs (in the future) that result from increased numbers of low wage workers participating in the system exceeds the value of their contributions. A better strategy for saving Medicare and Social Security (if that’s what you want to do) is subjecting more income to the relevant taxes rather than subjecting more workers to the relevant taxes.

    And, of course, right now I’m busy over at my own blog being attacked as a racist and tool of the Bush Administration for believing in any controls whatever at the border.

  4. Steve Verdon says:

    I donâ??t see any way of letting everybody who wants to be here get in any time they want to come without it being de facto an open borders policy. Maybe Iâ??m misunderstanding what youâ??ve written.

    Maybe because letting in only those who are law abiding, who aren’t connected to terrorists, etc. isn’t the same as letting in everybody.

  5. legion says:

    But Iâ??m also pretty sure that concerns about the corruption of the Mexican government top-to-bottom makes people more concerned about putative cooperation from the Mexican government.

    Ah, now _that’s_ a valid concern for prioritizing the southern border over the northern (although the coasts are another topic). The problem is that you can’t (politically) say this and still smile & shake hands with Vincente Fox.

    But this sort of catch-22 has been a hallmark of Bush’s administration – how can you fix a problem if your policy is not to admit the problem exists? How can our border be secured if we have no faith in the gov’t on the other side of it?

  6. Ugh says:

    I love the entry for Canada:

    “Other known terrorists in Canada include:”

    “Hassan Al Merei, suspected al-Qaida member;”

  7. madawaskan says:

    You can add the abysmal prosecution of the Air India case by the Crown. Even the liberal CBC was in shock at the outcome of that case.

    As for the Minutemen they did go up there to try and patrol the border but they got lost in the woods. They also got shouted out by some irrate Canadians and New Englanders-the Minutemen were from out of state.

    Then came their first official patrol two weekends ago, which was dogged by protesters who assembled downtown and shouted slogans such as “Take your hate out of our state.” The Minutemen had to patrol a bike path away from town, and then — as the Boston Globe reported — got lost and had to ask a local for directions.

    Link to WaPo story

    This one reason I oppose the wall. The Minutemen will be able to “find” the border and decide to “man” it wherever the government does not and start shooting.

  8. kenny says:

    Out of the five ‘suspected’ terrorists who are apparently ready to storm the US border, the US state department has failed to note that 4 of them are actually in prison.

    The only one who isn’t, Charkaoui,is currently under police supervision and is wearing a electronic tag at all times.

    Hmm, the US ‘cherrypicking’ facts again, i see.

  9. Bithead says:

    don�t doubt that there are serious security issues, my point is that from a terrorism stand point it applies to both borders and our coastlines as well.

    Infamous bank robber Willie Sutton was once asked why he robbed banks. Said Mr. Sutton “because that’s where the money is.”

    So, would it be out of line to suggest that our biggest problem at the moment is on the southern border?

  10. Steve Verdon says:

    So, would it be out of line to suggest that our biggest problem at the moment is on the southern border?

    Would it be out of line to note that the 9/11 terrorists came in via legal ports of entry. I know the idea of a terrorist cell sneaking across the border is very “24”, but why do that when one can fly into Dulles and then take a cab to a hotel?

  11. floyd says:

    steve; the berlin wall was to keep people “in” not “out” try “the great wall of china”. but maybe you are right and the united states has no right to exist, and our government can [and should] do nothing to defend our borders or enforce our laws. in that case let’s at least stop paying taxes and formally disband our government.would save trillions ,right? maybe this generation doesn’t deserve the country they inherited, especially when they are so spineless as to be beaten by a few “boys with boxcutters” and so gutless as to cave in to every challenge to do what’s right.

  12. Steve Verdon says:

    Floyd,

    Where do you get all that straw?

  13. floyd says:

    steve;straw polls?

  14. Steve Verdon says:

    Naw, not even that could provide all the straw you’ve crammed into the previous comment.