Today I want to tackle a lot of issues, so I’ll try to keep these thoughts very well organized. The trick with Homeland Security is realizing that it also ties into illegal immigration and our own energy production. It’s also a budget issue, with hundreds of billions of dollars being spent overseas for military action. It’s a complex issue, but it’s no different than any of the others. A little common sense, when correctly applied, can really make a difference.
First, let’s look at the foreign aspects of it. We’ve been in Afghanistan for a decade, it’s our longest running war ever. Then there’s Iraq. Now we’re dealing with Libya, although it’s to a much lesser degree.
The war in Afghanistan, as we all know, came about after 9/11. The Taliban was an oppressive regime that harbored and supported Al-Qaeda. The Taliban is no longer in control of Afghanistan, and Al-Qaeda has been heavily disrupted and scattered. We even managed to get bin Laden. Check, check and check.
Iraq was a bit messy, by comparison. We went in looking for WMDs that we never found, and Iraq wasn’t involved with 9/11. However, we know they had WMDs. Saddam was famous for gassing his own people by the thousands, and he considered us a sworn enemy. There were plans to build weapons that could attack us and our allies. I support the action in Iraq. A world court convicted him of crimes against humanity and sentenced him to death. It’s pretty clear we did the right thing when the world can come together and decide we’re just better off without the guy. The Iraqi people have been liberated, and Saddam is out of the picture. Check and check.
I think sometimes we forget just how successful our military has been in addressing these objectives. But that’s just my point. The objectives have been completed. It seems we’re still involved so heavily in the Mid-East, as if we haven’t completed our objectives, because there are still some bad guys out there… but I tend to think like a regular American.
We were like a home owner who awoke one morning to find our home invaded. Damage was done, lives were lost ,and we all demanded justice. We set out to find the perpetrators. We found them. We brought that justice. Question: What should the home owner do now?
The first concern is that there are more bad guys out there, who would love to break in again. It’s a big world, after all. I don’t think that home owner would continue to patrol the streets looking for potential invaders. Rather, I think it would be time to latch the doors, install an alarm system. Now it’s time to protect the home from further invasions.
Our borders and ports go largely ignored. We only inspect a small fraction of the goods that come into this country through our ports. Only 2% of our food imports are inspected. As a matter of fact, an interview with a customs officer indicates “weapons of mass effect” have made it into this country, only specfying it was not a nuclear device. While we continue to patrol foreign soil, our own gets overlooked.
This is where we start looking at immigration. I’m a big supporter of legal immigration into this country. But illegal immigration can sometimes lead to a criminal element, especially with warring cartels south of the border. It can even make us more susceptible to terrorist attacks. Not to mention, at a time when our economy needs some serious help, we’re talking about people using our services and resources without contributing taxes.
When it comes to illegal immigration, and existing illegal immigrants, there is one thing I’ve found inescapable/ They have to be addressed separately. Simply doing more to secure our borders doesn’t solve the situation with existing illegal immigrants, nor does mass deportations do anything to stem the tide of new illegals or prevent the deportees from coming back.
So how best to proceed? As far as border security, it has to be done. We’ve got alot of border, though. It’s an expensive endeavor to adequately protect it. This is precisely why, in order to properly protect our borders and ports, we must pull back on our military involvement in foreign nations. To date, we’ve spent nearly $1.3 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If that doesn’t hit close enough to home, it’s estimated that we, the residents of Oklahoma’s 5th District, have paid $2.4 billion. The cost of better protecting our own Homeland will undoubtedly be met, and even save us money. It’s cheaper to operate here than half-way across the globe.
But that only stems the tide of new illegal immigrants, or repeat offenders. It doesn’t address the large numer of illegal immigrants currently living within our borders. The biggest complaint is the drain on resources and benefits that, ultimately, we tax-payers have to cover. Arguments have been made to root them all out and deport them, but this is a rather inhuman and expensive process to initiate. Arguments have been made from the other side that we should be more compassionate, and also recognize that they are integrated into our economy in many areas. They say we shouldn’t deport everyone because we’re a land of opportunity and we need them, at risk of further damaging the economy by eliminating a work force. Realistically, I think a much more ‘middle ground’ approach is needed.
There have already been stories of communities suddenly finding themselves without a work force they had come to rely on. Our own struggling economy has sent many illegal immigrants back home. Sounds great, right? Well, in some cases, it’s caused some real economic damage. At a time when we’re all struggling, that should be minimized.
Currently, what I propose is a period of open registration for all illegal immigrants. During this period, they’ll be asked to register with the United States government and submit to a background check. Temporary IDs can be issued. This allows us to begin taxing them, increasing our nation’s revenue while saving tax-payer dollars, and getting illegal immigrants on the path of citizenship. It’s far less costly than a mass deportation, and doesn’t keep illegals underground, afraid they’ll turn themselves in only to be shipped back to the poverty they sought to escape.
Deportations will still be needed. There is a criminal element to our illegal immigration problem. They’ll turn up in background checks or, more likely, will not volunteer to register knowing they have a criminal record. Hence the issuing of proper IDs to those who do register and wish to follow the law. Immigrants without proper government ID are still arrested and sent home.
So by documenting and taxing our illegal immigrant population, we lessen burdens during a time of economic stress. By focussing more on Homeland Security instead of Otherland Security, we can better prevent new illegal immigration. Common sense.
That brings us to American energy. People don’t often associate our energy production with a matter of Homeland Security, but it very much is. Currently, we’re dependent on foreign sources for a large percentage of our oil and petroleum. You can see the top 15 countries from which we get our oil listed here.
Why is this a matter of Homeland Security? Because, in many instances, we depend on people who aren’t exactly our best friends. Refusing to sell us their oil, or raising prices, could seriously effect this country. Revolution is capable of stopping the flow of oil on which we’ve become dependent.
There’s been a lot of talk about how best to go about energy production, here in America. I support what I call an “All of the Above” sollution. I’m a big supporter of utilizing our nations resources to our benefit, while recognizing it can be done safely and responsibly.
Here in Oklahoma, we know we can do that. We’ve drilled oil for ages, but we appreciate our beatiful natural enviornment. We love Oklahoma, and so we take care of it. More than eleven thousand well sites in this state have been cleaned up and restored to their former beauty, thousands here in our own 5th District. It can be done.
But we’re also the state where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plains. Consequently, we’ve produced wind energy here, as well. There are stretches of desert with massive solar arrays. We have the tools to produce our own energy, and we’re going to need every one of them to reduce our dependence on foreign nations. Whereas the right tends to avoid “green energy”, and the left tends to demonize oil companies, I feel that all our opions are vital and must be pursued.
A more secure and prosperous nation is possible. But we need common sense from every day Americans, not career-minded decisions or agendas made by one side or another. We need a breath of fresh air in Washington, and that is why I’m running for U.S. House of Representatives, next year. I promise to promote real progress.
Thank you all for your continued support. Please look me up on Facebook, friend me, send me a message, tell me what your concerns are! I’m running for the improvement of our nation, and for the benefit of Oklahomans in the 5th District. Your input in that process is absolutely vital.
Until next time, all the best,