Reporter's Note: Our President has asked for ideas about how to run the government. No doubt many citizens are writing, and I am nothing if not a slave to fashion; therefore I am sending a letter a day to the White House.
Tom Foreman | Bio
Dear Mr. President,
That’s just great. As if we don’t have enough problems at home, now the neighbors are acting up! Pardon my Spanglish, but que pasa con Mexico?
Here you are trying to get us out of Iraq, more into Afghanistan, and suddenly we’re watching a gun fight in the back yard. Drug cartels running in the streets like old west gunslingers (but with much bigger guns…), trafficking reaching all over the United States (ok, well that’s not new, and certainly if we weren’t buying all this stuff nobody would be bringing it in to sell), and violence threatening to spill over with it. I’m not an expert on international relations, but I suspect this is bad.
No matter how big that pile of problems is on your desk right now, you better clear some space for this one: What are you going to do about the border?
Whether people out there are for, against, or indifferent about more immigration, I think this issue is going to revolve around how you fundamentally “see” the U.S. border; do you think it is something that can and/or should be controlled, in the sense that we can actually decide who gets in or out? (As opposed to now, when we theoretically make that decision, but have in actuality a border than is about as solid as venetian blinds.)
I know you’ve already taken some steps on this matter of the recent drug violence; more money for our efforts to contain it, and for the Mexican government’s too.
I also know there are many theories about how a border can be made more secure, beyond the idea of building a giant wall; which, as the Chinese can attest, doesn’t always work out quite as planned. Some people say we should invest more in other countries so their citizens don’t want to come here. Some say we should slap more fines on people who hire undocumented workers, to stifle the market. On and on it goes. Frankly, I don’t even pretend to know what will work, but I hope you and the rest of the DC crowd can sort something out.
Because while many Americans do not know how to solve the problems along our borders, I suspect most of them will tell you they do know this: if you can’t find a method to reasonably secure your border against illegal trafficking in drugs, violence, people, animals, trade goods, or weapons; you really can’t say you have a border at all.
Good luck with it. I don’t envy you on this one, but call if you just want to spitball ideas. Do you speak Spanish? I do a little: Tengo agua en mis zapatos! That means I have water in my shoes!
For more of the Foreman Letters, go here.
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