Illegal immigration is a thorny problem, especially since liberal and libertarian types think that the only offense committed is using the adjective “illegal.” A couple of fellas outlined an idea that is not new but is worthy of consideration. Max Boot, a senior fellow at the council on Foreign Relations, and Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, suggested a military path to citizenship in the Washington Post last week.
“By inviting foreigners to join the U.S. armed forced in exchange for a promise of citizenship after a four-year tour of duty, we could continue to attract some of the world’s most enterprising, selfless and talented individuals,” said Boot and O’Hanlon. There are other reasons to tout this program.
With Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker predicting that our U.S. troops will remain at their current level until 2010 and most soldiers and Marines on their third or even fourth deployment since the attack on the World Trade Center, reinforcements would be welcome.
To those who object on the grounds that it is not right to depend on “mercenaries,” the authors counter with the fact that we already rely on tens of thousands of real mercenaries--- the security contractors from Colombia to Iraq that our government employs to make up for the lack of troops.
I like the idea that these illegals would be under military discipline. In fact, I have long favored mandatory military service for everyone.
It’s good for what ails the youth of America, growing softer and more disenchanted with life as our standard of living in this country continues to improve. (Don’t write to me about isolated examples of how Aunt Murtha can’t afford new false teeth when there are families classified in poverty who have flat screen high definition TVs.) The GI Bill would solve the problem of student loans for college, too.
There could be problems, however, with forcing illegal immigrants who are caught in this country into military service. That’s why this program should be voluntary, not mandatory.
Congress might want to debate it when they are finished with campaigning for re-election, some of whom will rise or fall on their illegal immigration stands.
While we are on the subject of suggestions, how about this one: All voters who oppose Gov. Janet Napolitano should vote for Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Barry Hess. I see no way that Len Munsil can close the gap, especially with moderate Republican women voting for Janet on the basis of their ovaries. That way, if Hess gets five percent of the vote, Libertarians will automatically be qualified for the ballot next cycle and save them lots of labor. Besides, anyone who has seen Hess in the debates would have to say he won the rounds.
Corrections: After my “Republicans for Janet” column ran last week, I heard from Shiree Verdone who took issue with a number of my statements about her. Mea culpa. She is not on the staff of U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, but her company, Capitol Vision, LLC, has been retained by the Committee to Re-Elect Trent Franks for Congress. I should have put quotes around “former understudy of Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly” as my way of referring to her connection with a conservative and religious-leaning organization of women.
She didn’t want to be confused with those Republicans who are supporting Gov. Janet Napolitano. Finally, that should read Arizona – not Phoenix – Chamber of Commerce pinup gal Shiree Foster. And Shiree Verdone should know.
Praise the Lord that citizens who visit Scottsdale’s City Hall won’t have to go through airport-type security cameras and electronic wanding much longer, since the Council voted to dispense with that falderal. Truth be told, there is as much evil intent and criminal activity within the halls and offices of the Kiva as that from lowly citizens entering the rarified air of the pure white building.
Becky Fenger can be reached at email@example.com.