Flashback Friday: Virus proves need for Border Control
Gavin's Op-Ed in The Gallup Independent:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns the coronavirus will likely strike America hard in the coming months.
Unfortunately, Washington’s only answer has been to continue partisan quibbling over a “spending package.” Instead of getting ahead of this foreseeable crisis and doing something effective right now, Congress is doing the only thing it knows how to do: spend money we don’t have. Not that there shouldn’t be a swift appropriation of funding, but the Swamp is ignoring the obvious problem here--our open border and broken immigration system.
As we all know, our southern border is largely unsecured. Specifically, New Mexico has 179 miles of international border, with only 34 miles of “primary barrier” and 81 miles of vehicle barrier that is easily surmounted by pedestrians. We have already seen the drugs and violence pouring into our state, thanks to extreme open-border ideologues like the Lujan Oligarchy in Santa Fe. But now a porous border can bring the coronavirus all the way from communist China right into our own communities. Border security is no longer just about national security, it’s also a healthcare issue that will likely cost American civilian lives.
More specifically, Brazil announced this week that the coronavirus has arrived in their country and anticipates that populous Latin American nation could soon have an epidemic on its hands spreading throughout the region. Closer to home, my wife and I personally accepted the surrender of illegal aliens from Brazil at the border in Sunland Park, NM. (CBP was busy with another group of Brazilians at the time).
Many of the migrants who now illegally enter the U.S. come from South America rather than Mexico, so what happens in Brazil and its neighboring countries eventually affects us right here. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham should be held accountable for pulling our National Guard from the border and opposing the wall. Just about anybody can simply walk into our nation whenever they want to and without any hindrance. We have no idea who they are, where they come from, or what possible diseases they may be bringing with them.
Without border security and proper immigration enforcement, dozens, if not hundreds, of virus carriers could easily stroll into our state. We need to build the wall and increase funding for the full panoply of border security technologies without delay, prioritizing high-tech monitoring equipment like motion detectors, infrared lighting, and ground-penetrating radar that can be quickly deployed to the most high-trafficked crossing areas.
We also need to crack down on illegal sanctuary cities that defiantly refuse to comply with federal immigration law and further put our citizens in danger. Albuquerque is one such sanctuary city. City officials are barred from sharing information on illegal immigrants with federal authorities and refuse to hold most immigrants slated for deportation. This system is ripe for disaster if coronavirus strikes our state. The sanctuary city policy requires public officials to do more to protect illegal immigrants than local citizens.
As a U.S. Senator I would support legislation to strip all federal funding from sanctuary cities. We cannot have radical mayors and lawmakers putting our citizens’ lives in danger for the sake of political correctness and fealty to impractical ideologies.
Finally, we should immediately ban all travel from China. President Trump has made a good start by imposing some restrictions on those who return from China, but more must be done. We need a complete and total shutdown on Chinese entry into the country until we figure out what is going on. Several parts of China are currently under quarantine due to the virus outbreak, and countless virus carriers could come to the states without even knowing they’re infected. We should stop them before it’s too late. Our country’s health and security is more important than the feelings of the Chinese government or a few leftwing diversity and inclusion professors. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
This piece was originally published in The Gallup Independent.