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Your papers, please

February 24, 2007

After reading this article by C.W. Nevius over at sfgate, I am in need of a good vent. The content of that article simply infuriates me. It should be enough to anger any reasonable person.

Ok, it doesn’t actually affect me. By virtue of a squeaky-clean background, I am “eligible” to travel to Canada (and beyond). However, the type of “border security” highlighted by Mr. Nevius’ article irritates me to no end. Some might take a small sadistic pleasure in seeing others in helpless embarrassment over an incident perhaps long forgotten. Refusing entry to legal tourists over a minor legal infraction committed long ago gains nothing.

Mr. Nevius describes some of the “sins” committed by several unsuspecting travelers: a seven-year-old DUI conviction, a marijuana arrest in 1975, shoplifting, etc. Although serious enough to warrant corrective actions via the courts, they do not represent a real threat to the citizens, or the sovereignty of Canada.

In our post-9/11 world, we all want to feel safe. We want to know that our governments are doing everything in their power to prevent another atrocity of that magnitude. International information sharing is a positive development. However, the level described by Nr. Nevius is over the edge.

When governments began sharing information, it was to help identify persons of possible threat, i.e.: suspected terrorists. Denying those persons access to transportation, especially international transportation, is a good thing. Instead of the intended use, that shared information is used to deny entry to people who represent no threat to society.

Contrast that with the southern border of the U.S. where millions of people have entered this country illegally for years.

No passport. No background check. No intention of going home.

Many were criminals prior to entry into the U.S. but this country had no opportunity to turn them away at the border. They did not pass through a legal border entry point.

Many are criminals on this side of the border. A recent study highlights some of the more serious crimes committed by illegal immigrants. The study claims that illegal immigrants commit 15% of all murders committed in the U.S. That does not mean that murder rates would be reduced by 15% if we rounded up all the illegal immigrants and shipped them home.

On the contrary, most illegal immigrants come to the U.S. for a chance at the American Dream. They generally stay beneath the radar and don’t cause trouble, for fear of discovery and deportation.

“Immigration rights activists” on the other hand, incite the anger of this country’s legal residents. They are not trying to promote immigration. They are trying to promote legalization of an illegal activity. I’m sure they’d have a different opinion if someone were to break into their homes and decide to stay. All those so-called “activists” need to sit down and shut up!

On the subject of the southern border, Mexico now requires US residents to present a passport upon entry into its territory. Mexico too, will certainly engage in information sharing with the U.S. and will undoubtedly follow Canada’s lead in denying entry to “undesirable” Americans.

The definition of the word “fairness” varies, depending upon who is demanding it. At some point, a set of standards must be implemented, understood and enforced without regard to which side of any border you stand on. Until that day, “fairness” will remain elusive.

So, before you plan that international vacation, run a background check on everyone in your group. It’s best not to have to worry when a border agent says “your papers, please.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. chosun1 permalink*
    February 24, 2007 10:54 pm

    Yes, I’ve been watching both for quite some time now. I think the ACLU is no longer a useful organization 😦

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