Border Security Is Critical To Both National Security and Personal Safety

Republican State Rep. Mike France


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To the Editor:

A country can no more survive without borders than a person can live without skin.  When borders break down, our personal security suffers along with our national integrity.

The political class and media love to label seemingly everything a “crisis”.  This is so pervasive that we’ve lost our grip on the word and are unable to respond adequately to true crises in our midst.  Our nation’s porous southern border has for decades been an important and incredibly contentious issue.  We are a country of immigrants and there are laudable arguments on both sides of this decades-long debate, but the truth is we can no longer afford the luxury of the American left’s position that we must keep our border insecure to facilitate unchecked immigration.  The same can be said of federal inaction and gridlock on the issue because we are now in the midst of a fentanyl and opioid crisis in the truest sense of the word.

This poison unknown a decade ago, is now streaming into our country and takes 70,000 American lives each year and rising.  According to the bipartisan Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, Mexico is the ‘dominant source’ of the deadly drug Fentanyl:  wherever it’s produced and however it travels, most of it enters illegally from Mexico.

This crisis is not confined to the southwest United States, as accidental drug overdoses in Connecticut now take more lives than motor vehicle accidents.

The roots of drug abuse and addiction go deep.  For such problems, no easy solutions will be found in Washington.  But government has the power at one spot to choke off supply of this uniquely fatal drug:  the southern border.

There’s no mystery to maintaining border security.  Since the dawn of civilization, from ancient Rome to nearly every other country on the planet, securing borders has been of paramount importance and is not a complicated.  Order must be established and maintained; law clearly enforced.  Those not legally entitled to enter must know they will not find an open door and welcome mat, with the personnel and infrastructure to enforce that resolve in place.

Over a century ago, a natural “wall” existed – the Atlantic Ocean – with the vast majority of immigrants entering our country through Castle Garden and Ellis Island.  Today, methods of travel are not solely via ship, requiring different approaches to ensuring orderly immigration.  The wall along our southern border serves the same purpose as the Atlantic Ocean a century ago:  ensuring immigrants a controlled and safe entry into our country at an established port of entry.

The liberal dogma that we must accept the torrent of drugs streaming across our border due to humanitarian concerns sadly betrays the very humans they claim to care about.  This lawless zone is home to human suffering the likes of which we see only in the most extreme examples of third world tragedy.  Human trafficking, lethal drugs, gun running, rape, murder these are the currencies that cartels trade in on both sides of the border.  Turning a blind eye does nothing to solve a humanitarian crisis at the border resulting from decades of lax enforcement and a most recently abject surrender by Joe Biden, his border czar, Kamala Harris, and their dutiful Washington Democrats like Joe Courtney.  These Washington insiders, utterly stuck in the failed policies of the 1990s, most not be permitted to force upon us the false premise that we must accept a raging drug crisis in our streets if we are to be humane in the treatment of our neighbors.  The results are in, and we now know that nothing is accomplished leaving governance and power in the hands of the cartels.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  Common sense solutions abound if one truly wants to fix the problem.  Policies adopted in the previous administration, including partnering with Mexico, convinced potential immigrants that the odds of illegal entry no longer justified the risks of the journey.  We need to restart his successful Remain in Mexico policy, end Catch and Release, and recruit additional Border Patrol and ICE agents to seal the border against illegal immigrants and deadly drugs.

Moreover, as a member of Congress, I will draft legislation that takes the successful legal framework achieved by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to root out fentanyl here at home.  MADD-sponsored legislation in certain states provides for notice at sentencing that if a drunk driver kills someone whilst drunk driving again that they may be convicted of murder.  I see no reason why this should not apply to local drug dealers.

To make progress we must make a change in the people we send to Washington.  Recently, House Resolution 2, Secure the Border Act of 2023, was debated with Congressman Joe Courtney voting along with every other Democrat against securing our southern border, against ensuring the legitimacy of our immigration process, and against providing the resources to support Homeland Security programs like Operation Stonegarden, which enhances cooperation and coordination among state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal law enforcement agencies to jointly enhance security along the United States land and water borders.

The failure of the Biden administration has brought the chaos seen across every border community to our New England neighborhoods.  I sympathize with those who wish to come to America to better their lives, but I also believe that national sovereignty depends on maintaining border integrity.  Securing our border is the most effective way to keep dangerous drugs away from our children.  Once we have control over who and what enters our country, we can make informed, rational, and compassionate decisions about immigration.

We must achieve border integrity to curb the flow of drugs, guns and trafficked humans, and we can only achieve this if we cast off the false premise that to do so would be callous disregard for the plight of migrants.  By ceding control to the cartels and providing incentives for increased drug, gun and human trafficking, Washington Democrats are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

A retired career naval officer and state representative, in 2022 France was the Republican candidate for Congress in the 2nd District