Neocons Pressure for Militarization of U.S. Border

The neoconservatives have issued their own statement on immigration, supporting pending Congressional legislation for militarization of the borders using federal troops for “border enforcement, and interior enforcement (employer sanctions).” The letter is signed by 39 “prominent conservatives and civic leaders,” such as the unapologetically pro-war William Bennett, Frank Gaffney, Newt Gingrich, David Horowitz, Michael Ledeen, Victor Davis Hansen, and Daniel Pipes: link.

The letter states, “Today, we need proof that enforcement (both at the border and in the interior) is successful before anything else happens,” and commends the pro-militarization legislative efforts of “Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and House chairmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Peter King (R-N.Y.) for their leadership role in putting America’s national interests in border and interior enforcement first.”

What makes this letter additionally noteworthy is its “coincidental” appearance just hours before the public release of the Independent Institute’s Open Letter on Immigration, which has been signed by 500+ economists and other scholars, including five Nobel Prize-winners, plus 44 scholars from other countries. Link.

Was the neocon effort thrown together in a last-minute scramble and timed for release prior to the Independent Institute’s far more prestigious, bipartisan and credible Open Letter which debunks the economic and social arguments used by those pushing for border militarization? Well, you fill in the blanks. Circulated for signatures for a month prior to its release, the Independent Institute’s Open Letter was well known of in major academic circles (including neocon ones), and the neocon letter was the work of Hudson Institute John Fonte, who has made no secret of his outrage over Independent Institute stands against the war in Iraq, the national surveillance state and U.S. interventionism around the world.

Reflecting a broad consensus against the arguments used to support border militarization, the signatories to the Independent Institute’s Open Letter include prominent economists involved in both Democratic and Republican administrations such as Gregory Mankiw (Harvard U.), former Chairman of President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, and Bradford DeLong (U. of California, Berkeley), Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton, as well as Alfred Kahn (Cornell U.), Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board under President Jimmy Carter, and Paul McCracken (U. of Michigan), Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Richard Nixon. In addition, the 5 Nobel Laureates include the diverse Thomas Schelling (Maryland), Robert Lucas (Chicago), Daniel McFadden (Berkeley), Vernon Smith (George Mason), and James Heckman (Chicago). Link.

So, who would you trust, 500 economists, including Nobel Prize-winners, and the courageous and impeccably honorable Independent Institute, or the likes of the same people who have relentlessly championed the war in Iraq, the USA PATRIOT Act, and greatest expansion of federal power and pork spending since the New Deal?