The leading challenger to the emergency measures proposed by President Obama to deal with the “crisis” on our southern border is the notion of sending the National Guard down there. Instead of spending three or four billion on housing, transportation, and judges and other staff to execute the laws on the books, the National Guard would move in and...well, that hasn’t been specified yet.
According to a well known online source, the combined forces of the Army and Air National Guards of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and three territories is roughly 462,000 men and women. This number includes the combat-ready, office staff, drivers, cooks -- the whole shootin’ match. I calculate that if all these personnel were stationed at equal intervals along the entire U.S.-Mexico border, each individual would be responsible for about 22 feet of it.
That doesn’t sound very tough at first, but consider the 40-year-old Guardsman who hasn’t done anything more strenuous than file things in triplicate for the last ten years. How is he going to catch one of these lithe and sneaky little 8-year-old Hondurans speeding across the desert like a roadrunner? Wile E. Coyote had it easier, and he had the ACME corporation behind him.
Then recall that something more than a thousand miles of the border runs down the middle of the Rio Grande. It can get deep out there. I assume here that the Guard would be posted on, not behind, the true border, because once over it the little devils are in God’s country and entitled the gentle embrace of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement folks. No, the idea surely is to stop them before they cross, and that’s going to mean SCUBA gear, at least, for about 300,000 of the guards.
How we are going to supply a 1,900-mile-long line of guards, 24/7, absolutely beats me. And who organizes the sleep rota? Do the adjacent guards shuffle back and forth to cover the gap left by a sleeper? Will this leave the other 313 million of us vulnerable to a devastating rush by Salvadoran and Guatemalan junior-high students?
I just don’t know.
P.S. Stay tuned to this blog. I am working on a plan to employ drones to drop the contraceptives not used by employees of Hobby Lobby and other devout corporations over the countries from which this Children’s Crusade originates, thus gradually eliminating the problem at its source.
UPDATE: Andy Borowitz outdoes me in this post at The New Yorker.