Secure the border first

By Monte Gray

DownloadedFileI’m sympathetic to the plight of “illegals” who come to this country looking for a better life. If I were in their place I would probably do the same thing.

I believe there should be eventual passage of this bill on immigration, but FIRST the border has to be made secure.  Otherwise there will be repeat influxes of “illegals”, just as we’ve had in the past when previous administrations have tried to pass immigration reforms.  Secure the border first, then I will support this legislation.

Even though I sympathize with these people, our country needs to take care of its own first. When I travel to my wife’s home country in South America I can stay only a certain amount of time, before I become “illegal”.  To stay beyond without permission will get me into trouble, that I don’t want to experience there.

So to those “illegals” who protest that they are “human beings” and not “illegal” they are only partly right. They are human beings who I sympathize with, but they are illegal in regards to the law of our nation. They have broken our laws and that is illegal.  I DO NOT  want to ship them back, but secure our borders first before any legalization laws are passed.  Until then I do not support the present legislation.

In the past those immigrants who came to our country we’re welcomed due to the vast need for more labor.  But they were processed through Ellis Island, and didn’t sneak through the borders, or overstay their tourist visas.

[Thanks to Monte Gray for permission to run his essay. An excerpt appeared in the Des Moines Register today.]


  1. josephrathjen on July 8, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    There’s approximately 750 more miles of border that need to be “walled”. I read recently that with all the bureaucratic red tape that needs to be addressed, it will be a long time before the wall actually goes up. How many illegals will cross the border by then? This law was nothing more than a “vote bribe” by both political parties. Watch when the next presidential election comes around. The Democrats and Republicans will be having a “credit” war to convince immigrants who can now vote without any I.D., that they and they alone were responsible for the law..

  2. Shawn Pavlik on July 8, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    While I agree that this is the most important issue as it pertains to illegal immigration, I think the “secure the border first” ignores the fact that we are a HUGE country and we can do many things at the same time. We can secure the border at the same time that we are establishing E-verify and new rules for employment in America. It could take a long time to build the necessary fencing etc. and meanwhile the employment problem will continue to be an issue.

    We can, and should, do both and do it as quickly as possible. And I think people are overblowing the whole “path to citizenship” thing. If I am not mistaken, doesn’t it take 13-14 years under Rubio’s bill for those who are here illegally to become citizens? And it denies them benefits up to that time, and also requires employment and a felony free record. This is FAR better than the status quo, and in my humble opinion, represents a fair compromise.

    This bill:
    a. is not an immediate amnesty (13-14 years)
    b. requires immigrants to have a job.
    c. denies taxpayer funded benefits
    d. allows law-abiding hard working immigrants to eventually earn citizenship
    e. secures the border

    etc. Pass it. Republicans are looking like fools for stalling this.

    • Lisa Bourne on July 9, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      “This bill:
      a. is not an immediate amnesty (13-14 years)
      b. requires immigrants to have a job.
      c. denies taxpayer funded benefits
      d. allows law-abiding hard working immigrants to eventually earn citizenship
      e. secures the border”

      A.K.A.: Mythical pristine land for sale in paradise.

      “We can secure the border at the same time that we are establishing E-verify and new rules for employment in America.”

      We were sold the “we will secure” the border bill of goods in 1986, and E-verify has been deemed racist by the illegal immigration apologists.

      It goes on.

      Illegal immigration has not been authentically addressed, nor will it be, because the powers that be like it just the way it is.

      Anyone born before 1986 and/or with a memory of the last proposed reform debacle knows that supporting a repeat of history would not only look foolish but be foolish.

      Thank you Monte for your courage in writing your piece, and thank you Steve K. for your great response.

      Last time I checked, Monte was taking a flogging over in the newspaper’s comment section. He deserves our support.

      I don’t care who you are, illegal immigration is wrong. No twisting of Church doctrine nor any social justice nonsense excuses this.

      I have all the compassion in the world for human suffering. But I also expect people to be accountable for their actions.

      I don’t care who it is crossing the border illegally. Expecting laws to be respected and enforced does not make one a bigot.

      It’s simple, if I have the expectation that my children follow the law, what possible explanation could I have for them that it’s okay for several million other people to flagrantly disregard it, because they have what they feel is a compelling reason? Precisely; there is no explanation.

      This issue has been hijacked, like many, by the left. They use the same tactics with this as abortion and the homosexual agenda – They twist words and manipulate the language to produce propaganda in defiance of what is clearly true.

      And anyone who speaks out on it is termed a hater.


      • quinersdiner on July 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm

        Good exchange of ideas on this issue. Thanks for writing.

      • Shawn Pavlik on July 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm


        I did not call you a hater or a bigot. So please save that for someone else.

        I am saying “Secure the border”. But I think we can do more than one thing at a time, and that was my point.

        Those who are here illegally will not be getting away with it. They will be required to register, pay back taxes and/or fines, show that they have a clean legal record, show that they are gainfully employed, will have to learn English before being offered citizenship, and will have to wait a MINIMUM of 10 years to apply for citizenship. I ask you, what is the alternative? It is not feasible to say we should deport all 10-20 million illegal immigrants in the country. So what is your answer to this debacle?

        Do you obey every law? Do you drive 55, 65 on the interstate, 25 in residential areas, etc? Do you ever roll a stop sign? Did you drink before you were legally allowed to? Perhaps you have never broken ANY of these laws, but you would be in a very, very small minority.

        It is easy to say “they are breaking the law”, and feeling outraged. Heck, I am outraged, too. But what do we do about it? The status quo is not working. And this bill feels like a meaningful compromise. But yes, the border MUST be secured. This bill provides the money to complete the fence AND provide additional border security. What more do you want?

  3. Steve Kirby on July 9, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    A major part of the problem with the Senate bill and much of the debate about amnesty for illegals is encapsulated in the phrase “law-abiding hard working immigrants.” In the first place, we need to be specific in that we are talking about only illegal immigrants. Once that is acknowledged, we then move to the “law-abiding” part. Every illegal immigrant who is working in the United States has entered, or remained in, the United States illegally and is either committing income tax fraud by being paid cash, or committing identity theft by using someone else’s Social Security number. Both of these crimes are felonies, and there are many United States citizens sitting in prisons after having been convicted of these crimes. Therefore, no illegal immigrant who is working in the United States is “law abiding,” and consequently none would be eligible for citizenship, even after 13-14 years.

    However, what the proponents of amnesty want is for millions of non-citizens to be given the right to ignore laws in our country, the violations of which have sent many United States citizens to prison. If this were to happen, we could give up any pretense of being a nation of laws. And it is naïve to assume that these millions of potential new voters would really face a 13-14 year waiting period before they could vote. Especially when the pundits are in agreement that the majority of them would register as Democrats. The required waiting period would be thrown out at the drop of a hat!

    Having lived in Southern California for many decades and visited the wide-open border with Mexico a number of times, I can say that over the next few decades we need to concentrate on only two things: physically secure our borders where possible, and enforce existing immigration laws. I did not invite the illegal immigrants into this country and I am not responsible for how they will deal with a secure border and the enforcement of our immigration laws.

    We are either a nation of laws, or we can join most of the rest of the world and let leaders and people of influence decide who has to follow the rules.

    • quinersdiner on July 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experiences and insights.

    • Shawn Pavlik on July 9, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      I hear lots of dissent from the right, but I hear very few actual solutions. I used to be in the “deport them all” crowd, but as I grew older, I realized that that is simply not possible. How are we going to get 10-20 million people to leave America, many of whom came to America 15 or 20 years ago as babies with their parents, and have never known another home? We’re asking them to go back…back to where?

      • Steve Kirby on July 10, 2013 at 9:52 am


        You provide support for the argument that this bill is nothing more than a new amnesty. You say we can’t deport them all, so what are we going to do? As I pointed out above, millions of illegal immigrants who are working in the United States are felons and would not be eligible to become citizens, IF the proposed law was enforced. So what happens to those millions? According to your approach, due to their numbers they would receive a de facto amnesty.

        I understand your concern about those who have been here for most of their lives. Where are they to go? But when an American citizen is arrested, convicted of committing a felony and sent to prison, is there a societal cry of concern for the impact this will have on the children of that felon? Not at all!

        It has become a matter of course in Washington, DC to parade individuals who will be impacted one way or another by a proposed bill. This supposedly puts a human face on the bill, tugs at the heartstrings of those undecided, and allows for the demonizing of those who are so hard-hearted as to oppose the bill. However, this can also lead to laws that focus more on benefitting individuals or privileged groups than society at large. Justice wears a blindfold for a reason, and that reason is so that the law will apply to all Americans equally.

        Since 1986, we have seen the results of amnesty for around 3 million illegals, accompanied by the smiles-and-promises of securing our borders and enforcing our laws. We now have 11-20 million illegal aliens. Due to those numbers, we are now at a watershed in terms of dealing with illegal immigration. Either we focus on securing our borders and enforcing our laws, or we surrender our sovereignty and provide amnesty to everyone who is here now, and in reality, to everyone who will be here in the future.

      • Shawn Pavlik on July 10, 2013 at 9:07 pm

        A de facto amnesty would mean immediate citizenship. This bill does not do that. It requires them to register, pay back taxes and fines, allows them to stay only if they have a clean record and are gainfully employed, and, yes, allows them to get a work permit. It denies them governmental aid for the 13 years it takes for them to become a citizen, and in order for them to become citizens, they would have to remain employed and have a clean record all that time.

        You called me naive in an earlier post; I think it is you who are naive if you believe it is at all feasible to round up 11-20 million people and ship them back to wherever they came from. And this president and Senate would never support such a thing anyway.

        Put these people on a registry, make them pay taxes, and if they have broken the law (other than the immigration law…yes, I think we all recognize they are here illegally, hence the term, ILLEGAL immigration), then send them packing or incarcerate them. And when they get out of incarceration, send them packing.

        We are a nation of immigrants. You probably would say “Yeah, but my ancestors came legally.” Yeah, when there were little to no regulations on immigration in most cases. Let those who are law-abiding and gainfully employed stay and pay taxes and fines, and if they can learn English and stay clean and employed, they may apply for citizenship after more than a decade. These are the people who mow your lawn, pick your lettuce and oranges, do construction, etc. and often at low wages, keeping prices low. Americans have become a bit spoiled and don’t like to do the menial labor that many immigrants thrive in. And unless this spoiled generation figures things out pretty quickly, we will need an increasing number of medical professionals, engineers, etc from out of the country.

      • Steve Kirby on July 10, 2013 at 10:42 pm


        Actually a de jure amnesty would probably mean immediate citizenship. The de facto amnesty I’m talking about just means that there will be millions of illegals left alone until there is another clamor to legalize them. As I keep saying, millions of these illegals are felons and do not have a clean record, so they cannot (in theory) be legalized. You keep saying it is not realistic to talk about rounding up 11-20 million illegals. OK, I have seen estimates that there are at least 7 million illegals working in the United States; consequently they are felons and would not be able to take advantage of this proposed bill. So is it realistic to expect that we will round up these 7 million or so? I don’t think so, and by your statements you probably don’t think so either. If I am wrong, then please show where there will be the will to round them up if its only 7 million as opposed to the impossible 11-20 million.

        I am very skeptical about the idea that millions would be allowed to remain legally in the United States, on a guaranteed path to citizenship, but not be able to vote or receive governmental aid for 13 years. There is no doubt in my mind that through a combination of executive orders from the White House and rulings by sympathetic federal judges, the chances to vote and receive governmental aid would occur within a very few years after this amnesty bill was signed into law. There has been little will to enforce immigration laws since 1986. Why do you think it is going to start happening with this bill?

        I have never called for the rounding up of the 11-20 million illegals. I simply said I was not responsible for them coming into the United States and I am not responsible for how they respond to secure borders and the enforcement of immigration laws. They can decide what they want to do.

        Up until 1986 we were pretty much a nation of legal immigrants (there have always been exceptions). You are incorrect about the lack of regulations in the earlier days. I suggest you visit Ellis Island and learn about the scrutiny immigrants received when they arrived. We were there in 2001 and it was eye opening to see how rigorously these immigrants were screened. And many of them were put back on the boat and sent home.

        You keep talking about “clean records,” but in your last paragraph you laud those illegals who are doing jobs Americans supposedly don’t like to do. You state that these illegals are picking vegetables and fruit, and doing construction. That means they are either getting paid cash or using some else’s Social Security numbers. You have just mentioned two categories of felons. Are you willing to demand the deportation of the hundreds of thousands in these two categories? And if Obama and the Democrats don’t want to do it, what are you going to do about it?

        • Shawn Pavlik on July 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm

          I give up. Apparently there is no reasoning with you two. Fine, try to enforce the immigration laws we have. We will be no closer to the removal of the likely 15 million illegal immigrants currently in the US. At least my way, we get them on a registry, paying taxes, and enforce E-verify or something similar. You can think that “enforcing what we have” is going to work. But what is in reality going to happen is what has been happening the past 25 years since Reagan gave them amnesty: a continuous trickle, trickle across the border, until eventually it will be 40 or 50 million. You see, I don’t want to kick this can on down the road. I prefer to deal with it NOW, and add some taxpayers to the rolls while we deal with it.

  4. Lisa Bourne on July 10, 2013 at 7:59 am


    And I did not say you called anyone a hater or a bigot.

    That was said both as a general statement of fact and to head off anyone from the left from endeavoring to do so yet again.

    I agree mass deportation is problematic.

    But if they can find one cow with mad cow disease in Canada they can certainly do better than they claim to be able to in this case at finding people, and that went without saying before this latest discovery on just how “under surveillance” all of us really are.

    The argument that because one may have rolled through a stop sign or taken a drink before becoming of age doesn’t hold up either.

    There is no justification for mass allowance, mass coddling, of mass intending to break the law, and break it on an ongoing basis. There is no justification of it in principle or for it being written into policy.

    If the borders were secure and existing law were enforced, for all parties, because let’s be clear, employers and those profiting from human trafficking are often overlooked, we wouldn’t be in the situation we are in.

    But again, the powers that be like it the way it is. Someone is profiting, and others have something to gain from jumping in on the apologetics bandwagon.

    You and I have no say, get to foot the bill and live with the consequences.

    • Shawn Pavlik on July 10, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      “You and I have no say, get to foot the bill and live with the consequences.”

      Which is why I am supporting the Immigration Reform Bill. It will get these people on a registry, charge them taxes and fines for their crime of being here illegally, and deny them governmental aid. And it will hold businesses accountable for employing those who have not properly registered.

      • Lisa Bourne on July 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm

        That’s awful trusting, and some would even say foolish. The promises of previous reform have not come to fruition. And I’ve heard current analysis poke holes in the validity of the things you list. Much easier and feasible to remove the incentive to come.