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The Department of Homeland Security (search) conducted a mock terrorist attack this week in New Jersey and Connecticut.
It wanted to see how quickly law enforcement and emergency medical personnel could respond to another terrorist incident. Hundreds of people who portrayed "casualties" flooded area hospitals. Officials seemed fairly pleased with what they learned. Commenting on the drill, Chris Cox, California Republican congressman and Homeland Security Committee chairman, said a big part of the operation was designed to find our weak spots.
I'll tell you where our weak spots are located. They're not just in New Jersey and Connecticut.
They are along our borders. The Department of Homeland Security says it will soon implement a new policy requiring American citizens crossing the Mexican or Canadian borders to show their passports before re-entering this country. That's going to be as effective as those silly pat-downs and luggage searches at the airports of guys who look like me and little old ladies in wheel chairs.
What is needed along our borders is better control.
The Minuteman Project (search) demonstrated the problem when a group of citizens found 118 illegal aliens their first day on the job and turned them over to border patrol agents. The border patrol doesn't have enough people to do their job. That's because the administration won't pay for enough new agents. Thousands of illegals are entering this country every month. Only the blind would argue terrorists are not among them. Our government leaders acknowledge as much.
An effective war against terrorists begins at our borders and extends to the places where radicals meet and organize for the next attack. If it comes, will government officials be able to honestly say they had done everything they could to prevent it? They won't if they haven't controlled our borders.
And that's Column One for this week.
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Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. He joined Fox News Channel in 1997 as a political contributor. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America" is available in bookstores now. Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.