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Why can't we seal the border?

Just prior to World War II, while working as a U.S. Immigration Border Patrol officer on the U.S./Canadian border at Chateaugay, N.Y., my father stopped and inspected a car as it entered American soil. The man's Germanic accent, dress, behavior/deportment and foreign pronunciation of the letter "Z" (as "zed" in the word zebra) set off a red alert, and my dad informed the driver that he would have to inspect the trunk. "Oh, I forgot to tell you, I have a man back there!" the driver said. The hidden, concealed passenger proved to be a high level Nazi spy. For the apprehension, my dad subsequently received a personal commendation from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

Incidentally in those days, law enforcement officers cooperated with each other — as a boy, I vividly recall Royal Canadian Mounted Police, New York State Troopers, U.S. Immigration and U.S. Customs officers on occasion assembling at our house to launch coordinated border-threat responses. And as a boy, I also recall the daily, ever-present fear of losing my dad, incidental to the dangers associated with securing the border against Canadian "illegals," smugglers, criminals/convicts, gangsters, etc.

By today's current standards, my dad might well be branded a "pig," accused of invasion of privacy, profiling, racism, etc. But let's fast forward to a potential scenario in 2010: Today's surreptitious/illegal cargo might well be a terrorist dirty bomb team with the intent and capability of annihilating our critical East Coast corridor — D.C. to Boston. Alas, the destructive power of wind blown radiation would decimate a sizable portion of our population, while laying barren (like Chernobyl) the nerve center of our nation for the next 50 years. And this type of attack would play no favorites — this Armageddon would indiscriminately hit everything in its path

Ironically, protesters, the ACLU and radicals would also be part of the carnage. By comparison, World War II and 9/11 would pale in comparison! In the final analysis, is a holocaust what our maker intended?

Just when did we abdicate the right of self-preservation? Perhaps sealing the border is worth re-evaluation! Question: In surveillance, when does an individual's possible inconvenience supersede the survival of mass humanity, the nation? Yes, like every other country of the world, safety/security is fundamentally what our immigration laws are all about. Thus, specifically written for the protection of its citizenry, perhaps Immigration law should remain sacrosanct!

Henry A. DuBay

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