Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Illegal Immigration & Government Failure

Senators Cornyn and Kyle:
"The U.S. Senate has begun its debate to improve border security and reform immigration laws — one of the most urgent priorities to be considered this year.

It is critical that any solution restore respect for the law and provide sufficient resources to control the border. And because there can be no amnesty, reform must not reward illegal activity.

Last summer, we introduced the Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Reform Act of 2005, which would dramatically bolster our border enforcement and comprehensively reform our immigration system.

The need for reform is clear. Today, there are approximately 12 million illegal aliens in the United States. Approximately 40 percent have arrived here since 9/11. This is unacceptable. U.S. national security demands that we know who is entering our country, and our sovereignty requires that we have control over our borders . . . ."
I suppose national security is at issue with respect to illegal immigration. However, I wonder if, unfortunately, there is not an even more fundamental concern. The role of government as the protective state involves the enforcement of law that protects individuals and their property from harm by others. It seems true that the number of people in our country illegally is significant, probably even overwhelming. It seems also to be the case that national, state, and local governments have been doing relatively little to enforce the relevant laws. Perhaps the more fundamental question in all this is: Just how far have the governments in our system of political economy moved away from their responsibilities as the protective state? Have governments in our country become so preoccupied with other purposes that they are failing in their most basic responsibilities as the protective state?

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