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Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration, Border Security and the War on Terror by J D Hayworth
Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration, Border Security and the War on Terror

Brian Hull, January 25, 2007

"Seal off and militarize the border and crack down on businesses that hire illegal immigrants!" That is the (misguided) call to action by Congressman J.D. Hayworth, representing the 5th Congressional District of Arizona. In his book, Whatever it Takes, Congressman Hayworth sets to the task of explaining why it is so crucially important to finally get control of the Southern border with respect to the flow of illegal immigrants. Not only is the porousness of the border dangerous to the national security of the United States, but it is dangerous to the security of American workers. Focusing on the social problems which accompany unregulated, illegal immigration, the burdens placed on the education and medical systems, the criminal behavior of immigrants during their illegal entry and the threats caused by a fractious multiculturalism, Hayworth lays out his solution to the problem: immigration reform centered on strong enforcement policies. Not only would the author like to see a security wall built from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, but it must be monitored by a significant increase in Border Patrol agents using modern high-tech surveillance devices to stem the flow of human traffic. Moreover, he stresses that interior enforcement of businesses that hire illegal immigrants is the key to any successful immigration reform policy. It is not enough to try and stop the flow of illegal immigrants at the border alone. Through the penalization of businesses that hire illegal immigrants, the magnetic force which pulls illegal immigrants to cross the border in the first place would be reduced. Not only is it necessary to enforce the current immigration laws that the United States already has, but the author elucidates new laws which should be enacted allowing the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service the ability to communicate freely with the Department of Homeland Security to stem the illegal use of forged documents by illegal immigrants to obtain jobs and collect payroll checks.

Congressman Hayworth is unapologetic in his diatribe as he deems the atmosphere of political correctness and race baiting surrounding the illegal immigration debate as disingenuous. The overly sensitive manner in which illegal immigration is discussed is dangerous to our security, insomuch as it disallows serious discussion of the issues. In his dismissive attitude of political correctness, he affords himself the opportunity to also address even more controversial subjects such as ending birthright citizenship laws for children born to illegal immigrants, ending "sanctuary" laws that forbid local and state police from providing information to federal immigration officers, limiting the issue of Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers so that illegal immigrants cannot obtain home loans or other financial services, establishing English as the national language of the United States, ending all bilingual education and denying social services and in-state tuition to illegal immigrants and their children.

Clearly the immigration debate is something which Congressman Hayworth is distinctly familiar with. The 5th District of Arizona, while not directly on Mexico's border, is in the southern half of the state and experiences the migratory effects of illegal immigration directly. First elected in 1994, Congressman Hayworth is solidly a Republican, with a voting record showing his conservative credentials. However, his arguments opposing illegal immigration are nothing new and his book is, at often times, an inflammatory diatribe against the "liberal elite" and the "left-wing groups" who support "amnesty" for illegal immigrants. With the distinct polarization of supporters and opponents of various immigration reform policies, Hayworth's book fits in nicely with Pat Buchanan's "State of Emergency" and Tom Tancredo's "In Mortal Danger," all three of which share the hard-line, strict enforcement approach towards solving the illegal immigration issue.

Congressman Hayworth falls victim, in a significant way, to just what he disparages in his book; the absolutism of his ideology and brusque manner of communicating his ideas leads to a diminution of articulate debate. As such, the book is more of a duplicitous reactionary rant than it is a well thought-out and researched appeal to tighten the U.S.-Mexico border. Through his use of oversimplified sloganeering, most of his arguments are based on the fact that because an illegal immigrant has broken the law to enter the United States, it does not matter what the immigrant may do for work, or in what ways immigrants may contribute to American society; the fact that they broke the law is tantamount and needs to be punished. As much as I can appreciate his passionate appeal to "do something," Hayworth's approach to the problem, and more importantly, his disdain for liberalism in general, leads me to believe that a serious discussion of the relevant issues involved in the immigration debate would be lost in the rhetoric of his ideology.

Brian Hull
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