IMMIGRATION AND NATIONAL...

IMMIGRATION AND NATIONAL SECURITY. Heather Hurlburt notes that the American people definitely see immigration as a national security issue and politicians need to deal with that reality. And so they do. But is immigration a national security issue? I don't really see why. No terrorists have ever been apprehended trying to cross the border from Mexico. Several have been caught trying to cross the border from Canada, but none of them were actually breaking any immigration laws -- people are free to come here from Canada as they please. They were breaking laws against driving around with bombs and plotting to blow stuff up.

Besides which, if you aren't Mexican, it's not at all difficult to get into this country in a totally legal way. The perpetrators of the 2005 London tube bombing were citizens of the United Kingdom. We could build a giant wall across Mexico and Canada and all they would need to do to get into the country is . . . buy a plane ticket, fly to America, stand in line, show their passport, walk unmolested through security, and there they are. There's nothing stopping a European who isn't looking for a job from coming to the states and wandering around to do some sightseeing or blow some stuff up. It would be perverse under the circumstances to actually try and sneak through the desert or even our comically unsecured northern border.

--Matthew Yglesias

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