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Families First: Our Kids Are the Best Reason to Close the Border

There are many reasons to tighten controls over the border. Public services are strained by the record number of migrants encountered at the southern border in 2023. Even Mayor Eric Adams said the migrant crisis will “destroy New York City” and “every service in the city is going to be impacted.” The state of Texas and the federal government are in an 1830s-style Constitutional standoff over putting up — and taking down — physical barriers. Last year, 169 individuals on the terrorism watch list were encountered between ports of entry along the southern border.

For all the problems with the border, perhaps the best reason to close it is our children and the drug epidemic that is preying on them and their families. Fatal drug overdoses topped 112,000 in 2023, with young people disproportionately impacted. The record number of deaths is driven by fentanyl. This potent synthetic opioid is manufactured in Chinese labs and smuggled into the U.S. by Mexican drug cartels who take advantage of our porous national borders. Drug poisoning is now the fourth leading cause of death among children and has increased 133 percent over a ten-year period.

Drug poisoning is now the fourth leading cause of death among children.

No sensible or moral public policy puts the well-being of adults — immigrants, in this case — ahead of children. A child-first approach is the mark of a healthy civilization. A child-last approach warns of a dying civilization. So it was when we closed playgrounds, parks and schools during the COVID era, forcing children to wear masks and take mRNA shots for a disease to which they were virtually immune — all to put adults’ health ahead of children’s health, to mortgage the future for the present.

A strong family can withstand economic problems, crime, a failing education system and political turmoil. But defending against addiction to readily available drugs thanks to our wide-open border is proving more difficult for young people and even healthy families. The tired counterargument that closing the border is driven by a desire to keep people of a different race out of the country does not hold up to the fact that minorities are disproportionately affected by the drug crisis. Closing the border would be in their best interests as well, not to mention to their economic advantage.

Some may ask if we want to be consistent about doing what’s best for kids, why not just open our borders to all the children of the world? There are a couple of problems with that idealistic notion. One is that migration is perilous. Children, along with women, are more vulnerable to being victimized on the journey — and, almost by necessity, no child would travel without parents or adults anyway.

Second, to let in all children from other countries would overwhelm American schools and medical services and collapse the national economy — harming the American children already here. For centuries, the United States has been a light in a dark world. Snuffing it out permanently for fleeting gain would spell calamity for future generations of all countries.

Indeed, the United States of America is the best thing ever to happen to children or adults. With scarce exceptions, human history has been the province of kings and peasants, lords and serfs, emperors and subjects, demigods and worshipers — until our Founding Fathers created a form of government where the people rule themselves by representatives they elect. Most countries have a constitution, but we have The Constitution, and the constraints it put on our government allowed it to be a unique and global force for good. It is no exaggeration that for more than two hundred years, we have kept the flame of liberty alive. By far, the best thing for the world — and the children of the world — is a healthy United States.

A wide-open border is an invitation to destroy American children, facilitating their drug use.

With open borders, the U.S. is on the verge of “dis-integration” as a self-governing nation. The only moral border policy is one that explicitly benefits children (and adults) — by being sensibly controlled according to immigration laws already on the books. A wide-open border is an invitation to destroy American children, facilitating their drug use (and drug use in their families and communities), further tearing apart the fabric holding our nation together, which would be a disaster of the highest order for the entire world.

Eric Ingemunson is the author of hundreds of articles on Ventura County public policy, and his work has appeared in the Ventura County Star, CNN, and Fox News. He earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks and served as a board member for youth sports and Boy Scouts. He resides in Moorpark with his wife and four children and is active in the homeschooling community.

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