The president will speak again Tuesday about the nationwide problem of border security and illegal immigration. It may be one of the few times in recent history where an uproar from the masses has forced politicians in both major parties to tackle a problem many would prefer to ignore. It is now not only about illegal immigrants abusing land, destroying property and menacing families as they sneak into the county.

The bigger issue that cannot be ignored is the issue of national security. Tens of thousands of people have been picked up by border patrol agents who are OTMs or Other Than Mexicans. These are people from terrorism sponsoring counties in many cases. Unlike the Mexicans who are often driven back across the border and dropped off, the OTMs are given what amounts to a desk ticket and told to report back in a couple months to have their case reviewed. Seventy-five percent don’t show up. Wonder why? It is no secret that terrorists are eyeing the open border, setting up sleeper cells in the U.S. and discussing teaming up with criminal gangs from south of the border.

So far, the president is looking at the problem that primarily stems from Mexicans who come here. He’s proposing a three-year work program, with another possible three-year extension. Then, the Mexicans would have to go back home and wait. Some issues arise though: What about the children they have that are born here in the U.S.? They are Americans. Also, what makes anyone think that a person who has already come here illegally once won’t do it again or stay here after their work permit expires.

Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff has acknowledged that it is impossible to round up illegals in the U.S. and deport them. So what is the threat to keep people complying with a new law? How does this program change the basic problem? One benefit would be that we’d know some of the people who are here. So we’d know about people who are here legally, but those who are here with ill intent would still be here. There are not enough agents, infrared devices or choppers to position at the border to secure it. So far, no talk at the highest levels about what many say is the only obvious solution: a fence with entry points. At least discussion has begun, that is a big step forward.

That being said, we are fortunate enough to be in America where every good thing is possible. People who come here from other countries often turn out to be incredible, contributing members of our society. They make us a better nation. In my book, “Going Places,” I highlight several people who do exactly that. They beat the odds, worked hard and made it to the top. I find out what advice they were given that made all the difference in their life. It is the perfect gift for anyone at any age that enjoys being inspired and motivated. “Going Places” is packed with 65 people who make America great and the advice they share can make anyone’s life better. You can order the book at a discount and get an autographed bookplate for yourself or a friend by going to www.hillfriends.com.

Have a wonderful day.

E.D. Hill

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