Barriers are not ‘immoral’

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said Democrats in her chamber will not provide funds for a physical barrier along the southern border because it is “immoral.”

How so?

Either the United States has controls over immigration or it does not. If Pelosi, D-Calif., thinks we should permit anyone who wants to come into our country to do so, then let us demolish the hundreds of miles of existing barriers. Pelosi voted to pay for some of them, it should be noted.

That would be absurd and unwise, of course. No country’s leaders consider entirely open immigration. The few in Europe — notably Germany — that have liberalized immigration rules now find themselves coping with serious economic, social and public safety problems.

How, then, would more physical barriers along the border be immoral? They harm no one. Their only function is to prevent people from crossing from Mexico into the United States, except at staffed crossing points where existing restrictions can be enforced.

If anything, more barriers could serve to protect some immigrants against abuses by “coyotes” — criminals who, for fees, promise to smuggle illegal immigrants into the United States. Not infrequently, the “coyotes” dump their clients, often including children, in dangerous stretches of desert. More than a few have been saved from death by U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Narrowing areas of accessibility by using barriers gives the “coyotes” fewer opportunities and thus, may protect more potential immigrants.

Border Patrol officials and agents want the additional barriers. They are not impenetrable, but they are a help.

And the barriers are not “immoral.” Pelosi knows that.

By Josh Bovee

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