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December 2, 2018

First, Build the Wall. And Then …

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 4:23 pm

The Wire WallWhen he first declared his candidacy, now-President Donald J. Trump strongly advocated building a wall to separate the United States from Mexico.

The wall, regardless of its final design and construction, was to be formidable enough to discourage illegal aliens from entering the United States illegally (that’s why they’re “illegal” aliens).  At the same time, the wall was to preserve the process which allows lawful immigrants or temporary residents (e.g., workers) to make lawful application and then enter the United States lawfully.

“A wall won’t work.  It won’t be effective.  It will never stop everyone,” many opponents scream.

These opponents are only partially correct.   A wall can work, it can be effective, but by itself it is never expected to indefinitely prevent illegal entry.

For these opponents, this post will be a tutorial.  

Along the USA-Mexico border, a wall is a physical security barrier.  I believe its purposes to be:

(1) Visually, physically, and unmistakably identify the legally recognized boundary separating the United States and Mexico, and

(2) Delay illegal aliens from entering the United States until Border Patrol and ICE agents can get to the illegals’ point of entry at the wall and apprehend them if they’ve already entered illegally or discourage illegal entry if they have not, and

(3)  Guide and direct persons who seek entry and are permitted to enter lawfully to controlled points of entry where they can request United States law be applied.

The first purpose, recognition of the boundary, is common sense.   It’s pretty difficult to legally enforce a boundary if no one knows where it is or what it looks like.

The second purpose, delaying unlawful entry to permit timely interdiction, is something that nearly all of us already do daily in our personal lives.  We live inside homes with walls, floors, and roofs to protect us from natural and manmade attacks.   But those protections are not inherently permanent; they can be circumvented by a determined attacker with appropriate skills or tools and a sufficient amount of time until the homeowner returns or the police arrive.

The third purpose, allow residents and permissible guests to enter and leave our nation (or home), is also familiar to all of us.  We tell invited or unexpected visitors to come to the front door.   We don’t tell everyone or anyone to just break a window and crawl in.   In fact, we might hope our neighbors would call the police if they see anyone crashing a door or breaking a window and crawling into our house.   Mindful that the door-kicking and window-breaking are inherently illegal methods of entry, we’d really hope the police show up and apprehend the penetrator before enough time has expired to allow the unlawful intruder to complete additional unlawful tasks inside our home.

The laws of the state allow us to take reasonable measures to defend the sovereignty of our homes.   International law allows us to take reasonable measures to defend the sovereignty of our borders.    A wall is a reasonable measure to defend our sovereignty, whether national or personal.

Federal officials take an oath of office.  Each of the two federal oaths of office I’ve taken included my promise, my oath, to “… support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic …”  [emphasis mine].

Often overlooked is the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America taken by soon-to-be United States citizens.  It contains the promise, their oath, to “… support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” [emphasis mine]  The elements of that oath are found in Section 337 of the Immigration and Nationality Act at 8 USC 1448.

To be perfectly clear, I believe that persons who illegally enter the United States and attempt to evade our law enforcement are an enemy.   There are statutory and administrative methods available for those who wish to come here legally.   Circumventing those methods immediately puts the illegal entrant into the “enemy” category.  That’s how they should be treated:  as an enemy.

Likewise, those  US citizens  who counsel or finance foreign nationals to use force or deception to enter the United States illegally are a “domestic enemy.”  They, too, should be treated as an enemy.

And then …

If the wall is to be built, the federal government must also fund enforcement of the laws for which the wall is being built.   One of the purposes of the wall was clearly stated:  “Delay illegal aliens from entering the United States until Border Patrol and ICE agents can get to the illegals’ point of entry at the wall and apprehend them if they’ve already entered illegally or discourage illegal entry if they have not.”

The federal courts have decreed that enforcement of the immigration laws is solely a federal responsibility.  The wall proposed by President Trump is a lawful, essential, and effective tool that enables federal law enforcement agents to perform their duties.  It is a necessity, not a luxury, in the battle for national security.

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