When President Trump got word of another “caravan” heading for the United States, he told a group of black conservatives, “I called up the military.” Some 5,800 troops arrived to back up the Border Patrol and National Guard units. The troops strung up miles of barbed wire but that did not deter the “migrants,” from mounting what some Mexicans called an “invasion.” The troops will soon be heading home but the military can still offer strategic lessons in border enforcement.
Last year, Mexican Nationals Hugo Mejia and Rodrigo Nuñez showed up at Travis Air Force Base, near Fairfield, California. Travis is home to with a fleet of C-5, KC-10 and C-17 aircraft and more than 25,000 people live and work on the base. As a matter of security and common sense, anyone entering Travis must pass through security screening.
Mejia and Nuñez came with a crew to work on a hospital, but when base security scanned the Mexicans’ identification it came back false. As it turned out, both were deported in 2001 but re-entered the U.S. illegally. Nuñez was also deported in 2003 and again illegally entered the United States. This should confirm that US border policy is a complete bust. The case also proved educational on the default description of illegals as “undocumented.”
Mejia and Nuñez, or whatever their real names, carried false documents, and identity theft is a hardly a victimless crime. When base authorities called in ICE, Mejia conducted his interview in Spanish, after more than a decade in the United States. That should cast doubt on the claim that Mexicans are assimilating to American culture and learning English in the manner of past legal immigrants.
The Travis case also dispels the notion that illegals do not take American jobs. Work on federal projects demands a “prevailing wage,” always interpreted as union scale. So, Mejia and Nuñez were going to be well paid, and the drywall installers were not performing tasks that American workers shun.
In similar style, Mexican national Diana Montelongo is one of 5,000 false-documented educators in California schools. That might surprise legitimate American citizens and legal immigrants who are looking for teaching jobs.
The average salary of California teachers is more than $70,000 and California law, the 1996 Proposition 209, forbids racial and ethnic preferences in state education and employment. So, some educrat violated state law to give a job to a foreign national who is not even supposed to be in the United States, like Mejia and Nuñez.
When Travis officials summoned ICE the usual suspects sprang into action. The Centro Legal de la Raza predictably decried an arrest “for the crime of being undocumented.” Marin County Democrat Mark Levin, co-author of sanctuary legislation, decried “the vindictiveness of the Trump administration.” That administration, and all federal and state government officials, would do well to heed the lessons.
Document fraud and identity theft are serious crimes, so no government official at any level should ever accept fake documents. Had Travis security officials allowed false-documented illegals on the base, they surely would have been punished severely. Acceptance of fake documents should be cause for dismissal.
As Mejia, Nuñez and Montelongo confirm, illegals do take high-paying jobs that Americans want. So, penalties should also apply to those who give preference to illegals over legitimate citizens and legal immigrants. This is particularly important in government.
If Mejia and Nuñez had attempted to jump the fence at Travis Air Force Base they would have received a painful surprise. Last December, five people, including a burglary suspect, attempted to crash the main gate but base police arrested them swiftly. No report shows that those arrested were immediately released.
Any Air Force security official who knowingly allowed unauthorized intruders onto the base would face immediate arrest. Any commander who authorized a breach of the base would be staring down the barrel of a court martial. So would any Pentagon official who authorized false-documented illegals onto any base for any reason.
Any commander who set up a “sanctuary” section of the base for illegals, and arranged for them to get jobs, financial and medical benefits, would also face court martial. Likewise, it would not go well with any military judge who attempted to justify a sanctuary policy. Outside the base, it doesn’t work that way.
Thousands of illegals, including criminals, breach the border every month with little difficulty. Many are caught and released. Many deportees enter illegally again, and many of those are violent criminals like cop-killer Luis Bracamontes. Politicians set up sanctuary cities and states that protect violent criminals and give illegals a host of benefits, including state jobs.
To stem the surging invasion of illegals, the president should expand use of the military and deploy the kind of practices on display at Travis Air Force Base. The only people who get onto that base are the ones officials want to be there. The United States should likewise establish merit-based immigration and only allow entry to those who respect American law.