In defense of Ben Carson on the Border

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Dennis Welch, local reporter for KTVK-TV in Arizona, made an outrageously worded report on Twitter about Ben Carson which he clarified right after. This report (I assume by design) sparked a wave of outrage against Ben Carson on Twitter. However I think that he’s probably right on border security, and here’s why.


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According to the report, Carson said he’d be willing to use military drones to patrol the border, making attacks on US soil if need be to secure the border. That’s supposed to sound scary, but it’s not. And it’s probably the right thing to do.

First off, I’m glad that not everyone is following Donald Trump off of the cliff of attacking people born in the United States, trying to strip citizenship from them, in order to get at their parents if they’re illegal aliens. Ben Carson, in talking serious border security, and not “anchor babies,” is at least addressing the real problem here. Our problem is an insecure border. Illegal aliens having babies here is a symptom of that, which would stop being a thing once we had a secure border.

Second, more people need to visit our southern border to understand just what we’re actually facing down there. When we talk about incursions across the border, I think a lot of northerners have this idea that we’re talking about the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The old freeway signs in California show a mother, father, and child trying to cross the freeway.

But the truth of the border is that it’s the front line of a real drug war, with real drug gangs. Think of Al Capone and the Valentine’s Day Massacre, not DREAMers at a State of the Union address. Our southern neighbor has lawless regions controlled by drug cartels. It’s a legitimate thing to want to buffer ourselves from that.

Third, If we see an armed drug gangster crossing the border, we have two options: wait until they’re on our side of the border and stop them, or venture into Mexico and grab them there. Once you consider that, then it’s clear Ben Carson is talking about the right thing. Getting them here is vastly preferable to committing what could be considered acts of war against Mexico.

Fourth, the border is huge. Even when the Clinton administration (yes) signed up to secure just the portion of the border near San Diego, in 1995 after the midterm election warned that the issue might move California back into the GOP column in 1996, it took more than just a physical fencing and manpower to secure it. There’s just too much land there to cover it with the Border Patrol.

Any serious effort to secure the border must include modern technology. Virtual fencing, seismic monitors, and yes, drones are essential. Anyone not talking about these things simply isn’t serious about the matter, because the entire border from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, including the parts drawn by the Rio Grande, and sections of private property on our side, are too vast to just wall and man like the Great Wall of China.

Ben Carson’s had a poll bounce after the first debate. I hope more candidates go this route, unlike Bobby Jindal (whom I’d long admired) and Scott Walker, who decided to shoot their mouths, ape Trump, and miss the real issue on illegal immigration and border security.

Photo by Michael Vadon, Wikimedia Commons