National Debt Missing from Trump’s SOTU

National Debt Missing from Trump’s SOTU
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

I dutifully watched Donald Trump deliver his State of the Union speech on January 30. The president did a fine job expressing his thoughts about what his leadership had accomplished during his first year, and what he would like to accomplish in the immediate future.

Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.

I liked all the introductions of heroes large and small. The female helicopter pilot who rescued many, the Forest Service officer whose bravery saved lives, and Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.) whose successful recovery from being shot at a baseball field last year was very good news. There were more of these special introductions of remarkable individuals, and each was a good break in what can be termed a tedious bit of oratorical excess.

During another departure from governmental matters, Mr. Trump dwelled briefly on the conduct of good Americans when saluting the flag, and when they “stand for the National Anthem.” Without doubt, he used the opportunity to condemn – without naming any – professional football players who have made a habit of kneeling rather than standing during the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner.” What he said was welcomed by supporters but it didn’t address the nation’s biggest problem.

What is that “biggest problem?” I found the speech terribly disappointing in that the President chose to ignore the enormous national debt, now at $20.6 trillion. He avoided the topic while announcing his intention to spend additional billions for infrastructure, the military, the fight against opioids, continued foreign aid, and more. He delighted in noting that his prodding led Congress to approve a new tax measure that would have the government’s receipts shrink by $1.5 trillion. Where the government’s funds will come from to make up this shortfall, and previously accumulated indebtedness, wasn’t mentioned.

Six years ago, Admiral Mike Mullen who had been Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff summarized this very real problem as it existed six years ago. He stated: “A nation with our current levels of unsustainable debt cannot hope to sustain for very long its superiority from a military perspective, or its influence in world affairs.” Correct! But that was six years ago and the problem has only worsened.

It would be easy to produce a list of scary figures about the debt currently endangering our nation’s very existence. I’ll present only one: U.S. debt held by foreign countries totals $6.4 trillion, one trillion of which is held by Comunist China. Does the United States still possess any clout to deal with China’s clear intention to expand its influence worldwide? Our leaders can pontificate all they want about military might, but reckless spending has produced a situation where China holds more cards in the potentially deadly game of international politics.

The Democrats chose Congressman Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) to offer a rebuttal to President Trump’s speech. In effect, Kennedy told his audience, including large numbers of television viewers, that he would spend even more federal dollars. And he, too, never mentioned the threat posed by indebtedness. As for working together with members of the “other party,” he mentioned a sign held up by one of the marchers cheering the Democratic agenda. It said, “Build a wall and my generation will tear it down.” So much for working together with Republicans. Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies remarked, about the Trump speech, “The Democrats are going to be even less disposed to do anything the President suggests, even if it’s in their interest.”

The share of the enormous debt per American is $63,000; per each American family $170,000. Our nation’s partners in crime, the Federal Reserve and the federal government, allow more dollars to be created out of thin air. Those freshly made dollars derive their worth by stealing the value of all existing dollars. That why prices go up for food, rent, fuel, and everything else. Not only is debt robbing our nation’s ability to act in its own interests; it is subjecting all Americans to domination by our central government.

Ignoring the consequences of national indebtedness isn’t good leadership. Refusing to tell the American people they are being victimized by it is unconscionable.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


DACA and DREAMERS Affecting Immigration

DACA and DREAMERS Affecting Immigration 
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Relocating from one country to another is not a right. Any country has inherent power to establish an immigration policy that squares with the interest and culture of its citizens. Without such power, no country can continue to exist.

Rally/Protest in response to the rescission of Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Image from Wikimedia Commons by Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0.

In the United States as far back as 1924, a duly enacted Immigration Act established a “national origins quota” system to deal with immigration into our country. If ten percent of the existing population were Italian, said the Act, then ten percent of the total number of immigrants seeking entry could be from Italy. So, too, would the number of Irish, German, Polish, etc. conform to the percentage of the population already legally resident in America.

This same system of determining who might be eligible for legal entry in the United States then became the basis of the Immigration Act of 1952 written by Senator McCarran (D-Nev.) and Representative Walter (D-Penna.). Passed overwhelmingly by Congress, the Act was immediately vetoed by President Truman. It went back to Congress where the veto was speedily overridden with great support from Democrats. It was replaced in 1966 by an immigration law crafted by Senator Ted Kenned that completely reversed the existing McCarran-Walter policy. Kennedy and other liberal Democrats had discovered that they could swell the rolls of future Democrat voters via immigration.

No longer would maintaining the culture of the nation be a prime consideration. Newer legal immigration policy, not tied to the existing national origins of the American people, have opened the gates to people who have little or no knowledge of America’s governmental system. Most don’t even want to know about it. Overwhelmingly, they ignorantly prefer the socialism championed by the Democratic Party – and also by renegade Republicans who should be known as neoconservatives.

After 1966 as a result of the Kennedy immigration measure, amnesty for illegal immigrants became policy. Several million were soon welcomed via amnesty when President Reagan signed a Democrat-favoring measure in the 1980s. Mr. Reagan insisted that his granting residency to several million who came here illegally wouldn’t be duplicated. But it has been more than duplicated by other Democrat/neoconservative legislation. More millions of illegals have been amnestied after the Reagan cave-in.

In 2012, even while acknowledging that he had no power to do so, President Obama created a program providing temporary amnesty for huge numbers of young people who had entered America illegally. Called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama action granted legal status to 800,000 young people. They were converted from illegal to legal for a period lasting two years (and were able to seek an extension after those two years). They also received assurance that they wouldn’t be hunted down for possible deportation, and they were declared eligible for a work permit. In addition, they were permitted to bring family members into our country in what has been termed “chain migration.”

In many ways, DACA replaces the so-called DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors). First introduced in the Senate in 2001, and reintroduced several times in subsequent years, it has never been approved by Congress. DACA has never won congressional approval either. But DACA gained legitimacy via Barack Obama’s totally unconstitutional executive order in June 2012. President Trump has countered with his own executive order rescinding DACA but his order keeps all of DACA in place for six months.

Liberals of both political parties, expecting that most DACA beneficiaries and DREAMERS will vote Democratic, are noisily cheering for keeping DACA alive and for passage of the DREAM Act. Columnist Michelle Malkin, a native-born American whose parents are legal immigrants from the Philippines, disagrees emphatically with demands from the many leftists cheering for congressional approval of what she terms “a self-perpetuating political marketing machine.”

Liberal clergymen and politicians are now crusading for DACA  and the Dream Act to become official law. They insist doing so is the ”compassionate” route to follow. They forget that laws were broken by illegal entrants. If nothing is done to uphold law, more laws will be broken.

“There is no such thing as a deserving DREAMER,” says Malkin. She adds, “They broke our nation’s law to get here and should never be rewarded with a sure path to citizenship.” If that sensible attitude doesn’t prevail, we can expect more, not fewer, illegals entering America.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Rohingya Persecution

Rohingya Persecution
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

A classic example of man’s inhumanity to fellow man has been noted by the mass media over recent months. It involves the persecution of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar (formerly Burma). The international group Doctors Without Borders estimates that, during August 2017 alone, 6,700 of the Rohingya people were killed, 730 of them children, during raids into their villages and homes by Myanmar army and police units. The number of casualties in this obvious example of ethnic cleansing will surely rise as more information is gathered.

Rohingya displaced Muslims. Image from Wikimedia Commons by Seyyed Mahmoud Hosseini (CC BY 4.0).

Myanmar’s population of 54 million is overwhelmingly Buddhist. The Rohingya minority of fewer than 2 million is mostly Muslim. Those 2 million and their ancestors have resided for more than five centuries in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state. Religious differences have existed for centuries. But the smaller Rohingya population has been denied voting rights and full citizenship. In addition, they have long suffered from travel restrictions while being deprived of education, even forced to sign documents limiting their families to a maximum of two children. Able-bodied males are regularly subjected to forced labor for military and government projects. And good farmland has been taken from the Rohingyas and given to Buddhists who have moved into the area with government help.

Estimates place the number of Rohingyas who have fled their homes in recent months at 645,000. Practically all have gone to neighboring Bangladesh where they are gathered in hastily built and hardly livable tent camps. Myanmar authorities claim the raids their military and police have conducted are responses to recent attacks on government installations by Rohingyas. But the nation’s army units have been accused of a variety of human rights abuses including arson, gang rapes, and indiscriminate killings of adults and children.

The de facto leader of Myanmar’s government is world famous Aung San Suu Kyi who has consistently claimed that controlling the military is not within her official power. She rose to political power in recent years while becoming a leader protesting a previous government regime. As a recent Nobel Prize recipient, she has found herself widely criticized for inaction during the current crisis, and has seen her “Freedom of Oxford” award taken away. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has accused the Myanmar military of “ethnic cleansing,” a charge that raised many eyebrows all over the globe. Let’s hope that Tillerson won’t be sending U.S. troops into this mess.

Rohingyas are not only adherents of a minority religion, they have their own language and culture. And they have never indicated a willingness to assimilate. Their very presence within the borders of Myanmar, even after five centuries of living side-by-side with a majority population practicing a different religion, language and culture, has long been a potentially explosive situation. In a high percentage of the countries of the world, people get along relatively well, and new arrivals tend to assimilate. Sadly, many itinerant Muslims refuse to adopt the mores of the country they have recently entered.

The influx of huge numbers of illegal Latin American immigrants into our country poses problems like those currently occurring in Myanmar. If the millions of recent entrants to the U.S. refuse to adopt the English language and culture that are identifiably American, their presence could explode into the kind of violence currently experienced in Myanmar.

Dealing with our own immigration problem, a situation dumped into the lap of the Trump administration, won’t be easy. But it must be addressed. If it isn’t handled capably and humanely, we may suffer some of the hideous problems currently experienced by the Rohingya people. What we don’t want is American forces sent to this faraway land to perform again as the world’s policemen. The principle that should guide our leaders is simple: Creating a military arm should have as its sole goal the protection of the lives and property of our own people – period.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Sanctuary Cities, an Invitation for Criminals

Sanctuary Cities, an Invitation for Criminals
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

On July 1, 2015, 32-year-old Kathryn “Kate” Steinle died from a bullet wound in her back. She had been enjoying a pleasant stroll with her father along one of the piers in San Francisco’s Embarcadero district. The bullet killing her came from a gun used by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez who claimed he was aiming at sea lions. One of the bullets he fired ricocheted off the pavement and struck Steinle. She died two hours later.

Are United States sanctuary cities an invitation for criminals? (Image from Wikimedia Commons by Burzum CC BY-SA 3.0)

An illegal immigrant from Mexico, Lopez-Sanchez had previously been deported from the U.S. five times. Loose control of the Mexico-U.S. border certainly invited his return for a sixth time. But something else figured into the tragedy that claimed a completely innocent victim. Lopez-Sanchez was in San Francisco because the city had declared itself a “sanctuary city,” one where cooperation with federal immigration laws has been declared practically null.

Once a city declares itself a “sanctuary” for immigrants, local policy prohibits police or city employees from questioning detainees about their immigration status, or even cooperating with federal immigration authorities in dealing with illegal entrants. Sanchez-Lopez was a known drug dealer who had been convicted three times in the state of Washington of felony heroin possession. He had amassed seven felony convictions total, but was still free to roam the country after his latest illegal entry. Deported to Mexico time after time, his return had become a certainty. And the gun he fired when Kate Steinle died had been stolen from a federal agent’s parked auto four days earlier. Not what anyone should call a good candidate for citizenship!

The killing of Kate Steinle and the entire matter of sanctuary cities became an issue in the 2016 presidential race. GOP candidate Donald Trump mentioned Lopez-Sanchez as an example of the need to deport foreign nationals living illegally in the U.S. At first, Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton relied on the same term she used when questions were raised about her cavalier use of unsecured computers to conduct sensitive U.S. business. She said San Francisco had made a “mistake” in not deporting someone the federal government strongly felt should be sent back to Mexico. Clinton loves that word. Exactly one day later, the Clinton campaign effectively reversed what she had stated, claiming that Mrs. Clinton “believes sanctuary cities can help further public safety.” Choose which of those two positions you wish.

But what about sanctuary cities themselves? In effect, they constitute a thumbing of the nose at legitimate laws designed to thwart unlawful immigration. If the entire nation adopted sanctuary policy, there would soon be no nation, because, as history has shown, a nation without control of its borders soon ceases to be independent.

Arguments favoring the sanctuary declaration like to point to a seemingly related policy known as nullification, the refusal of a city or state to obey a law they claim has no legal basis. But there is a huge difference in these two ways of dealing with laws one doesn’t like. Sanctuary cities – sometimes even counties – choose to ignore federal mandates while still accepting federal aid of various kinds. Nullifiers are willing to accept the consequence of losing federal aid because of their refusal to abide by a mandate they find onerous, even abusive of higher law.

The death of Kate Steinle raised national awareness about declaring sanctuary city status. Their very existence indicates a breakdown in the essential rule of law that is the hallmark of any free country. But there has been minor reversal regarding their use. There should be consequences wherever sanctuary cities have been proclaimed. Imposing them would be one small way of honoring the memory of Kate Steinle. Doing so would also help keep our nation free and independent.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Do We Live In A Land of Laws?

Do We Live In A Land of Laws?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

When a federal judge blocked President Trump’s ban on entry to America from seven majority-Muslim nations, his decree won praise from the liberals and left-wingers. One of these, the Boston Globe newspaper, defiantly cheered its print issue, “We Are Still A Nation Of Laws.” Read the online version here. The target of that remark was President Trump who was thereby accused of not obeying a law and relying on his will in its place.

The Constitution states that all powers “not delegated” to the federal government by the Constitution shall remain with the states or with the people (image from PublicDomainPictures.net, CC0 Public Domain).

The particular “law” joyously pointed to by the Globe was the mandate issued by Federal District Judge James Robart. But, if our nation is indeed a land of laws, the primary law should be the U.S. Constitution, not a mandate issued by President Trump or a counter mandate issue by the judge. This is law-making by several methods never envisioned by the Founding Fathers and decidedly not authorized by the U.S. Constitution.

The Constitution, sworn to be obeyed by all federal officials, states in Article I, Section 1, Clause 1, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States….” That means there is no law-making power in the Executive or Judicial branches. But laws are constantly being made by presidential executive order and by judicial decree. The Boston Globe isn’t alone in ignoring this clearly stated constitutional process.

The Constitution grants to Congress alone the power “To declare war.” Sending our forces into combat without a congressional declaration of war is, therefore, unconstitutional. The absence of declarations of war has led to either stalemate or defeat in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Lives have been lost, treasure has been squandered, and good will toward our nation has evaporated. Refusal to obey the war-making clause of the Constitution can be blamed for all of that.

The Constitution says that Congress shall have the power “To coin money.” It does not grant power to issue money. And, following on the absence of power to issue money, there is no authorization for Congress to delegate non-existent power to issue money to the Federal Reserve.

The Constitution tells us that it shall be the task of “the United States” (meaning the federal government), “to protect each of them against invasion.” The reference to “them” is to the states. It doesn’t specify military invasion. If upwards of 20 million have crossed into our states illegally, is that not an invasion? And isn’t the failure of the federal government to meet its assigned responsibility to protect the states from invasion a gross disregarding of the law?

The Constitution states that Congress “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” It does not state that there shall be “separation of church and state.” Nor does it bar religious expressions at public functions. Misuse of the First Amendment has converted our nation from its refusal to elevate any particular faith to a position of dominance and an attitude that can be summed up as “separation of God and state.”

The Constitution states that all powers “not delegated” to the federal government by the Constitution shall remain with the states or with the people. But federal power has grown enormously into areas where no authorization for such intrusions can be found.

The points made above aren’t issued by the Boston Globe, by its leftist readers, nor by like-minded liberals across the nation. America became great not because of what government did, but because of what government was prevented from doing by the Constitution. America will regain its greatness when government at all levels adheres to the Constitution. There’s no other way.

How well do you know the Constitution? Download it today!

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


The Immigration Mess

The Immigration Mess
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

President Trump is receiving plenty of flak for closing down immigration possibilities for refugees from several Muslim-dominated nations. One federal judge has ordered a hold on the president’s executive order, but little has yet to be done about our country’s relatively wide open borders and loose immigration policies.

The United States has had an immigration problem for decades (Image from Wikipedia Commons).

The United States has had an immigration problem for decades (photo by Makaristos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons).

The immigration problem didn’t start last year, or five or ten years ago. It’s been a virtual national suicide pact for decades. Very few Americans today know anything about the McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. Authored by two Democrats, Nevada’s Senator Pat McCarran and Pennsylvania’s Congressman Francis Walter, their measure established quotas based on ethnicity of those seeking to enter the U.S.

The Act stipulated that if ten percent of the U.S. population were of Italian ancestry, then ten percent of legal immigrants could be from Italy. Similar quotas were set for Irish, German, British, and Polish immigrants, as well as other nationalities. The goal was to maintain the culture of our nation, a foundation built by the Europeans who started coming here, even before the 1776 breakaway from England. And McCarran-Walter set the number to be accepted per year at 270,000.

After the Act won easy passage in Congress, President Truman vetoed it. A mere two days later, Congress overrode his veto – with plenty of support from Democratic congressmen – and the Act became law and was immediately targeted by domestic Communists and Leftists. But in 1965, liberals led by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) succeeded in overturning America’s immigration policy. No one seems willing to talk about the underlying motive of Kennedy and his Democrat cronies: Flood the nation with immigrants who will vote Democrats into office.

It didn’t take long for massive numbers to begin flooding into the U.S. By 1986, President Reagan signed a bill granting amnesty to 2.7 million illegal immigrants. He said the problem was now solved, an utterly ridiculous claim. It grew worse. And soon, the arrivals weren’t just poor Mexicans looking for a job. The outmanned Border Patrol created a category of entrants known as OTMs – Other Than Mexicans. And the cost of feeding, housing, educating, and providing medical care for millions became an enormous burden.

With today’s flood of refugees fleeing the war-torn nations of the Middle East and parts of Africa, the U.S. is being asked (told?) by the UN to accept more immigrants. Will any be terrorists? Answers to that have never been satisfactorily answered. So Mr. Trump moved: No immigration from countries where terrorists might be among the refugees. And, for that, he has been severely castigated.

Looking back, we recall that the 9/11/01 hijackers came from the Middle East, almost all from Saudi Arabia, a country not on Trump’s list. The brothers who set off their bombs at the Boston Marathon came from the Middle East. It’s true that the killers in San Bernardino, Fort Hood, and Orlando were legal residents of the U.S. But others who have tried to create mayhem came from countries noted by Mr. Trump – the Muslim who tried to set off a shoe bomb on a commercial airliner being a good example.

The Trump order called for a 90-day ban on immigration from Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen plus an indefinite ban on entrants from Syria. Bleeding heart liberals and hardcore leftists have protested vigorously. But there exists a mounting number of Americans whose relatives, friends, co-workers, and others have been killed by radical Islamists in what might be termed “normal” (not terrorist) ways. This number is sure to grow.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright now insists that President Trump’s edict is “a cruel measure that represents a stark departure from America’s core values.” She likely has never heard of the 1952 McCarran-Walter Act. She would be horrified to know that its authors were members of her Democrat Party. Her response to the Trump plan would open America’s borders to anyone. Thank goodness she’s a “former” Secretary of State.

Maintaining the flawed immigration policies that Mr. Trump tried to address in a relatively small way is dead wrong. Some new policy has to be created. We hope Mr. Trump succeeds in protecting our nation and its culture before both are no longer recognizable.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Sneaking in the Tunnels

Sneaking in the Tunnels
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico has excited many Americans. It’s no secret that there are somewhere between 11 and 20 million individuals who have crossed our southern border illegally.

Photo of elaborate cross-border drug smuggling tunnel discovered inside a warehouse near San Diego. (Photo by DVIDSHUB [Otay Mesa Drug Tunnel, Image 4 of 4] [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Among the illegal entrants are many who want to work hard and build a better life for their families. If they entered the U.S. legally and started on a path to assimilation, they would find a welcome mat. But within the millions already here are a sizable number of criminals, agents of drug kings, and even murderers. Many have been deported, some several times, only to return and continue their crime sprees. And the cost of welfare, education, housing, and medical cares for untold numbers of these lawbreakers is another serious problem.

In the face of all of this, along comes an unorthodox candidate for President who wants to put a stop to the invasion by erecting a wall. He wasn’t supposed to win the GOP’s nomination, but he did. Elitists in the media and political world insisted he shouldn’t be taken seriously, but many Americans have ignored those self-important pundits.

Yet, one problem that only very few have ever discussed is that a wall will keep only some wannabe illegals out. But tunnels under the border continue to be a significant problem. In late August 2016, Border Patrol agents found a sophisticated tunnel whose beginning point was found in a cemetery in Nogales, Mexico. Similarly named Nogales, Arizona, sits across the border and a fence separates the two communities. But a fence isn’t enough to keep illegals from entering through the tunnels they built.

Border Patrol tunnel expert Kevin Hecht notes that these underground passageways are used to transport drugs into the United States. He says: “They know we’ll eventually find them. But even if one load [of drugs] gets through before we find it, they consider it a success.”

In the San Diego area, some U.S. citizens alerted the Border Patrol when they noticed suspicious activity in an area 500 yards from the border. Agents then found a tunnel 800 yards long. What they found were 2,200 pounds of cocaine and 14,000 pounds of marijuana. The cost of building that underground passage is easily covered by the sale of those drugs.

More than 70 tunnels were discovered along the border during a five-year period ending in 2013. Some had their own railways, lighting, and ventilation. The notorious Sinaloa cartel finances many of these, even knowing that construction of each will take as much as a year and cost as much as $1 million for labor and materials. Joseph DiMeglio, a 13-year veteran with the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), calls such an expenditure “pocket change.” A small cache of 25 methamphetamine packages has a street value of $700,000. Deadly cocaine brings even more monetary reward.

Isn’t there any way to detect these tunnels while they’re being built or after they’re being used?  The answer is a resounding no. Using a ground-radar machine doesn’t work because it isn’t capable of reporting anything deeper than ten feet. Homeland Security investigator David Shaw admits, “We’ve never found a tunnel using them.”

This problem won’t be solved easily. It will become less worrisome if the federal government quits winking at illegal immigration and forcing states and local communities to care for the invaders. A complete turnaround in the way illegals have been treated by the federal government and its courts is needed. If it ever comes, however, the digging of tunnels will still be a problem.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.