Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What about the Canadian Border?

Although I can't say I'm terribly concerned about the threat of terrorism generally or the threat of would-be terrorists crossing the Mexican border in particular, I have to admit that the need to tighten our borders to guard against the potential from terrorist infiltration at least has some logical merit.

Which is why I'm a little surprised that that angle hasn't been a real common one in the array of anti-immigration complaints I've been hearing, watching, or reading about.

Most of the anti-immigrant apologetics seem either spurriously convenient (illegal immigrants drive down wages) or blatantly racist (illegal immigration from Mexico is why phone services have "if you speak English, press 1" options).

Moreover, if stopping terrorist infiltration was the over-riding concern, as I would think it would be in a post-911 world, where is the call for walling off our Canadian border? Surely terrorist infiltration, if it is to come, is just as likely, if not more so, to come over the Canadian border as over the Mexican one.

No, despite all the frantic demands on the part of the right that we abandon any and all civil liberties to ensure we aren't attacked by terrorists again, the terrorist threat potentially posed by immigration seems almost off the radar. This leads me to think that neither the rabidly anti-civil liberties right nor the rabidly anti-immigration right are sincere (imagine that). Of course, even were terrorism the main fear element of the anti-immigration movement, it wouldn't mean it wasn't based in part or in whole on racist fears and demogoguery.

But the relative absence of terrorism from the anti-immigration debate is suprising nonetheless.

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