Will securing our US-Mexico border solve our country’s entire illegal immigration problem?  Of course not, but neither will turning a blind eye by a providing a pathway to citizenship for everyone who broke the law by immigrating to our country illegally.

Unfortunately at a time when politicians are expected to give a 30 second sound bite to the press, it is easy to fall back on platitudes and generalities.

In fact, it is just this trap that politicians should look to avoid when talking about immigration as my colleague James Jay Carafano cautions in a recent Washington Examiner piece titled, “The Administration’s secure the Border Trap.” According to Carafano, some politicians are running the risk of being put in a corner by being content to agree that all we need to do is to secure the border.  He writes, “For several years, Republicans have chanted a “secure the border first” mantra.  It allowed them to look tough on illegal immigration issue while dodging the issue of “comprehensive” reform.  It’s a bad strategy.  It suggests that, if the Obama Administration overcomes the “border first” problem, it will be clear sailing for a push for amnesty.”

Indeed.  What’s needed is fixing the entire system, least of which include addressing the severe shortage of economic freedom and economic mobility around the world that hamper any meaningful effort to adequately control the immigration flow to our country.

A correct strategy will include the need to secure the border, but will also improve the deficiencies in our current immigration laws helping to streamline the process for legal immigration.  It will ensure that law enforcement official have the right tools to ensure that they can verify the immigration status of employees.  Additionally, a smart strategy also recognizes our country’s need for temporary workers; particularly high-skilled immigrants, that can help grow our economy.

While there is no silver bullet to solve all of our country’s immigration deficiencies, this does not mean we should ignore the real need to secure our border, particularly at a time when our neighbor to the south is struggling to contain well financed and organized criminal enterprises.  As the recent deadly attack on a northern Mexican casino illustrate, these violent Mexican criminals are not sparing the innocent caught in the crossfire.

We secure our border not only to ensure that the violence on the Mexican border does not spill over, but also because it will disrupt the transnational criminal activities that include illegal border crossings.  This latter point is overlooked among some who contend that we should ignore the violence in Mexico and move forward on a plan that will ignore the rule of law and reward those with a pathway to citizenship who immigrated to our country illegally.

As long as our country continues to turn a blind eye to the rule of law and continues to create more incentives for immigrants to immigrate to our country illegally – like entertaining amnesty legislation– we will sadly continue seeing more human tragedies of criminal agents exposing immigrants to inhumane and dangerous conditions at the US-Mexico border.