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Column: Washington gets 'F' on border security


BLUE EARTH — The federal government’s primary responsibility is to defend the United States and our nation’s sovereignty. Leaders of both national political parties have failed the American people on the key issue of border security over the past generation.

Instead of sealing the U.S.–Mexico border and protecting our nation, current politicians are making matters dramatically worse. President Obama and congressional proponents of the DREAM Act and amnesty for illegal aliens are encouraging a new flood of illegal immigration and we are already paying a heavy price.

President Obama’s 2012 executive order nullifying deportation of illegal aliens brought into the United States before they turned age 16, and no older than 30, has led to the recent influx of tens of thousands of Central American trespassers on our southern border. This massive illegal entry of minor children, mostly from Honduras and Guatemala, is causing chaos for the Border Patrol, creating a massive taxpayer liability and making it easier for Islamic terrorists, drug smugglers and gang members to slither into the United States.

Obama’s decree to halt the deportation of so-called Dreamers, and the reckless push for amnesty by liberal members of Congress like Tim Walz, effectively served as text message notification for illegal immigrants to gather as a flash mob on the North side of the Rio Grande. The debacle is quickly spiraling out of control.

President Obama, who in my view has failed to uphold the presidential oath to defend the Constitution of the United States and protect our nation from this 21st century style foreign invasion, should be held accountable. The Obama administration is lawlessly maneuvering to overwhelm the immigration system with the intent of blackmailing Congress and an unwilling public to accept the DC establishment’s illegal immigration amnesty scheme, which I squarely oppose.

Incumbent Democratic Congressman Walz is part of the problem. Walz continues to serve as an across-the-board apologist for President Obama’s poor decision-making and failed liberal policies.

In his first campaign for Congress in 2006, Walz pledged stronger border security and chastised then-Congressman Gil Gutknecht for supporting legislation granting 50,000 Haitians amnesty. Yet, during his nearly eight years in office, Walz has done nothing discernible to force the executive branch to defend America’s southern border. Now, Walz supports amnesty and a pathway to citizenship for upwards of 20 million illegal aliens.

On the issue of border security and illegal immigration, Walz is a failure and a fraud. By contrast, I oppose amnesty and support the following approach to promote legal immigration and a more secure America:

* Secure the borders and entry points of the United States.

* Fix U.S. passport and visa systems to identify and remove those who overstay.

* Strictly enforce the employment labor laws of the United States.

* Create a work program to grant foreign laborers temporary access to the U.S. for qualified employment and allow such laborers to build credit towards citizenship.

* Work with states to deny welfare benefits to illegal aliens.

* All illegal aliens seeking green cards or permanent residency must register with the U.S. government and return home within 365 days (after U.S. entry points, including the southern border, are secure). Post-relocation, applications will be processed in order received.

* Any illegal alien caught in the United States or attempting to enter the United States will be immediately incarcerated, processed for deportation and permanently denied entry to the United States.

* Deploy military assets to the southern border to restore order and to deter further migration from Latin America.

Illegal immigration is a serious national problem that is suppressing wages and job opportunities for Americans, straining federal and state government budgets, and moving programs like Medicare and Social Security closer to bankruptcy.

We must enforce the laws on the books and enact common-sense ideas like those I propose to protect our country and reward those who play by the rules and wait patiently to become new citizens.

Jim Hagedorn is a Republican candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s 1st District competing in the Aug. 12 primary election.