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Letter: Maintaining sovereign borders is not tyranny

In a commentary (PVT 3/1/17), “The immigration enforcement police state is here,” Thomas L. Knapp suggests that maintaining sovereign borders is tantamount to tyranny. He goes on to say: “Where peaceful people move to settle or work is nobody’s business but theirs.” And wouldn’t the world be a far better place if we only made love, not war? Regrettably, the history of nation states is a testament to how little regard there is for that kind of sentiment.

In light of perceived external threats, (Islamic terrorists, Russian provocation, teetering on the brink in North Korea, etc.), much of Europe is now undergoing a reality check.

Some governments have requested the presence of U.S. forces to help maintain integrity of their borders. And Sweden of all places, a country that was steadfastly neutral during World War II, has reinstated a military draft that begins at age 18 – to include women.

Good or ill, life on planet Earth is far more complicated than we might want to believe. One of the ironies we face today is that despite heightened tensions and disputes, modern global commerce has brought about interdependence among nations. We may not treat each other like family, but we just can’t do without each other’s products.

Next time you go shopping, just check the source stamp on many items. You will notice: “Made in”, followed by the country of origin. But try entering any of those countries without appropriate documentation and see how far you get.

No. America has not reached an “Orwellian” level of oversight, and I don’t believe it will. Still, we can’t afford to be naïve. The minor inconvenience of airport security checks, being required to present a passport and visa for foreign travel, and at times the deeper probing by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents (ICE) are essential to our security. In a better world, none of this may be needed.

But until the “Rapture”, we may rest assured that Americans going abroad and foreign travelers coming to the U.S. will be greeted at the port of entry with an expression of “Welcome”, followed by “Your papers, please”.

Ralph Bazan

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