Responding to Mr. Oakley’s letter of June 4, you can’t believe everything you read in the papers, especially when Mr. Oakley uses fake news or just plain wrong facts like, “Although there were talks of building a border wall with previous presidential administrations…” May I correct Mr. Oakley? Because it was President Clinton in 1997 who built a wall (“Operation Gatekeeper”) from the southern border of CA at San Diego to Arizona to target smugglers, known as coyotes or polleros, and also established new checkpoints on interior highways.
May I also remind Mr. Oakley that “Illegal immigration” is against the law – that’s why it’s “illegal.” If Mr. Oakley believes in the rule of law – and the US is a nation of laws – then what’s the problem understanding that immigration into the US needs to be done in accordance with the law? Walking “illegally” across the border with no previous vetting or paperwork of any kind is not legal and must be enforced. Has Mr. Oakley ever tried to get a driver’s license without any paperwork like a birth certificate, or a photo ID, and other documents? Driving in the US and citizenship is a privilege and not a right – and every country in the world has the “right” to secure its borders.
Mr. Oakley says the wall is a symbol of “hate.” But how is a country’s desire to protect its border an expression of hate? That is not a real argument because it is based on speculation and biased opinion, not founded in facts or truth of any kind. And I guess promoting “open borders” as he suggests would also condone fake Social Security cards and all other “fake” documentation devoid of legal citizenship, like voting. Should the right to vote also be provided to illegal immigrants who freely walk across the border?
Mr. Oakley goes on to make some highly subjective and judgmental statements backed up by absolutely no facts. When Mr. Oakley throws around language like “hate” and “White Supremacy” it has an effect on people’s attitudes. It’s very irresponsible, because it presumes motives that no one can know. Does Mr. Oakley have facts and data that the people who support the wall hate Mexican immigrants? I doubt it, but if so, please produce it. Many who come across the border are not from Mexico, as we all know, they are Central Americans. Is it not morally legitimate for an American to say I want control of who comes into my country? But we don’t have that, and a wall would reestablish that control. To denounce that as hate seems a far cry from freedom.
The ongoing conversation about how we create a system by which people can come here legally, that will benefit all Americans, and will increase tax revenue, and will increase economic activity, is one in which legal status for immigrants has long been established in Immigration Law. If enforced, there would not be any need for a border wall. But until then, the United States needs to secure its borders.