The ACLU is not happy. Last week and earlier this week I wrote a series of blog posts about my trip to the Tucson sector of the U.S.-Mexico border and the challenges facing the Border Patrol. The “official” ACLU blog took exception to my observations on three points:

  1. Objecting to the fact that border security which disrupts smuggling routes destroying the high desert environment is good idea.
  2. Complaining about border security that is intended to combat human smuggling practices which are becoming more dangerous and deadly putting innocents increasingly at risk.
  3. Opposing the deployment of technologies intended to make operations safer and more effective for the men and women enforcing the law on the border.

I don’t know if the person who wrote the ACLU blog post has ever been to the border, but his or her criticisms read like many of those who have not—looking at border security as a monolithic issue requiring monolithic responses. Truth is, if you have seen a mile of border, you have seen a mile of border. America’s borders include diverse geography, communities and challenges—one-size-fits-all border security will not work. Any “silver bullet” answer whether it is “build a wall” or as apparently the ACLU is proposing—do nothing, won’t work.

The ACLU’s tactic of simply quoting some convenient criticisms of one policy or program hardly rates as real analysis–and pales with talking and walking the ground with the men and women of the Border Patrol who deal with these problems every day.

What I found most disappointing about the ACLU’s response was that it completely omitted my criticism of border policies pushed by the Bush administration and Congress that are clearly wrongheaded. Likewise, the ACLU failed to mention my main point–that in end the border cannot be made safe by border security alone. We also need policies that enforce immigration laws, promote cooperation and reform in Mexico and provide visa reforms that get the U.S. economy the legal workers it needs.

Together these are practical solutions proposed by Heritage to keep the nation safe, free and prosperous. That is our approach. I am not sure what civil liberties the ACLU thinks it is defending