I’ve been paying attention to what many governors in our United States have been saying about not allowing Syrian refugees into the states they govern. I’ve also heard with interest the plans to build a taller and longer fence along the Mexican border to protect us from the infiltration of illegal immigrants.
While I can admire the desire to protect us, I do think the politicians are failing to realize one of the greater dangers that may exist. So far as I know, despite the fact that Canada has already begun to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees into that country, there are no plans to build a fence along the Canadian border. So, how can we possibly hope to keep them out?
It’s true it would have to be a very long fence, since 12 of the lower 48 states share a border with Canada, stretching from Washington to Maine, and Alaska will need its own fence. But if we are serious about this, we should not shrink from the task. After all, we do know that of the hundreds of thousands of alleged refugees who have entered Europe in recent months, at least three have been proven to be terrorists traveling on forged passports.
There are no doubt others that have not yet been discovered, so that number could be tripled or quadrupled. It stands to reason that at least one or possibly two of the refugees coming into Canada would probably be terrorists, and if they can’t come to the United States because of our stringent vetting process, they can hope to emigrate to Canada and stroll across the border when the opportunity arises.
I realize that we have a lot of infrastructure problems in the United States, with crumbling bridges and highways that we haven’t been able to afford to fix or replace, but when it comes to national security, I think we should spare no expense. We need to begin planning on the Great Canadian Walls immediately.
Yet, there is still another problem we face, one that the 31 state governors may not have considered when they have made it clear that their states will not accept any Syrian refugees. If, despite their warnings, the U.S. government admits some refugees, how can we keep them out of our individual states?
The answer is, the National Guard! Each state governor, so far as I know, has a National Guard at his or her disposal, and these units should be stationed at ports of entry in every state to examine documents to ascertain whether someone claiming to be a tourist or a citizen is in fact a Syrian refugee. Of course, this will be expensive and controversial, but I haven’t heard any other plan to make sure refugees do not come into our states.
It’s time for our political leaders to start facing the realities of this situation and giving us the dynamic, forward-thinking leadership these times require. Granted, this will transform our nation as we have long known it, but we must realize that our leaders—the ones who express their fears and who sound alarms so that we, too, are afraid—are just trying to protect us.
It’s time we got rid of that nonsensical stuff written on the Statue of Liberty. And we might consider changing at least part of our National Anthem, too. Especially that part about this being the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Lorraine Collins has written humor pieces, articles and commentary for magazines and newspapers in the United States and abroad. She is also the author of mystery and detective fiction. She moved to Montana in 2012, having lived in six other states and three foreign countries.