by Don Bendell

It is possible to stop an army of one million soldiers, but it is impossible to stop a good idea, and a fantastic new idea is simply an old one with its sleeves rolled up. I hope my idea makes you want to do just that.

I have been writing a sequel to my current military terrorism novel which is out now. The sequel, BROKEN BORDERS (Berkley/Penguin) will be released worldwide in late 2006 and deals with the very controversial issues of the Mexican-American border, and the al-Qaida taking advantage of it. To that end, I have been doing a tremendous amount of research and a lot of thinking about this seemingly impossible-to-solve problem. This is such a heated, passionate, and very complex issue, it has the potential to literally destroy our country as we know it. I suppose you could call this editorial “The Bendell Solution.” It is out there and will make some republicans and some democrats very angry, but my concern in this is America, not our political parties.


  1. Some Americans want us to completely seal our border along Mexico, build a giant fence or wall, and patrol it more thoroughly. I have found estimates for such a fence to range between $ 7.2 and $ 8 billion, but I do not believe, with government involved, we could get away that cheaply. That does not include even greater personnel costs for thousands of border patrol agents, monitoring devices, aircraft, vehicles, and more to totally patrol and safeguard over 2,300 miles of fence.  While you think about that, consider this: Countries like China, Cuba, Vietnam, and more still try to extol the virtues of communism, while we argue about building a fence to keep people OUT of our country, not IN.
  2. Some American businesses want us to allow cheap laborers into the US, so that they can keep employee costs down and profit-margins higher, and with many of these businesses, they simply cannot hire Americans cheaply enough to remain in business. Some American laborers also want the very same goal, as they do not want to do some of the jobs that illegal Mexican laborers have performed for years.
  3. Some Americans think that the real solution is to simply have open borders, while others feel that illegal immigrants should all be rounded up, arrested, and charged with a felony. By the way, what would actually be the cost of prosecution and incarceration or deportation of up to 11,000,000 people?
  4.  We also have the issue of the War on Terrorism and our porous southern and northern borders with thousands of infiltration points where al-Qaida or other terrorists could smuggle, or have smuggled, nuclear weapons, saboteurs, assassins, or spies into our midst.
  5. The average American agricultural worker makes $ 60 per day, and the average Mexican makes  $ 5 per day. 2,000,000 illegals are arrested each year, but then what? Nothing happens to them, so why waste the manpower, money, and energy to make the arrest to begin with?
  6. Mexican President Vincente Fox encourages, even trains, illegal workers to enter the US, because many billions of dollars are returned to Mexican coffers monthly because of such a practice.
  7. Last year, a poll was taken in Mexico and amazingly over four out of five Mexicans would rather live in the United States instead of their own country, 84%!
  8. Alan Greenspan stated that Mexican illegal migrant workers actually provide an anti-inflammatory role for the US economy. In California, for example, they comprise close to half the agricultural labor force, over 40%.
  9. The border contains the largest majority of points of infiltration for the illegal importation of heroin and cocaine, as well as other drugs into the USA. The drug trade lives and breathes in the US, and our southern border is its birth canal.
  10. Many Mexican-born US citizens who have worked hard, earned, saved, and paid taxes for years are very resentful of illegal immigrants from Mexico taking the shortcut when they did not.
  11. Not thousands, but hundreds of thousands of illegals and their supporters marched in each of a number of anti-illegal immigration legislation demonstrations this past month.


            This has become an extremely inflammatory issue with solutions and opinions about possible solutions crossing political boundaries as commonly as migrant workers passing between Mexico and California. No issue in this country can ever cause our youth to tear down the American flag or even think about hanging any flag higher than ours. No foreigner into this country deserves or has earned the right to demand we provide teachers or people who speak their language. On the other hand, we all, including American Indians, came to this land and this country through immigration and when we get frustrated need to also remember this. The issue has been getting more volatile and, because of the nature of man, will soon lead to violence if we do not immediately address it head-on, with no more procrastination or denial. The al-Qaida and our other enemies would love for us to ignore this issue, so that we will self-implode. The time for action is now.


            Until the rest of my plan is enacted, we must remember that Americans have bravely fought for freedom, but then also remember that our politicians make laws to get rid of freedom. The United States, however, is governed by laws and anybody inside our borders must be adherent to our laws or suffer just consequences. So, for the time being, illegal immigrants into the United States must be arrested and prosecuted. Nobody is above the law. Part and parcel in this is that stiff penalties must be levied for businesses who hire illegal workers.

            But to help the situation for those businesses, as well as migrant workers,  members of Congress in either the House or the Senate, must immediately sponsor a bill which circumvents current minimum wage laws, in that migrant agricultural workers can be paid for piece work without a minimum wage standard. You pick more grapefruits than the guy next to you, you are paid more. Simple as that. Ah, American capitalism.

            Now the real solution: Mexico is comprised of 21 provinces, and some Mexican statesmen who actually do care about their country, working alongside US legislators, need to start a free-election initiative for the Mexican populace to vote for each of the 21 provinces, or new demarcation zones covering the entire country of Mexico, to join and become brand new states in the United States of America, since 84% have already said that is their preference.  This will not be an easy process and Vincente Fox and others will not be enthused about someone killing their Golden Goose, but it is a multi-pronged attack against this complex issue with many blessings as well as many headaches in store for us in its implementation.

Two of the major exports of Mexico are corn and oil, both of which are sorely needed to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil. This will open doors for American capitalists to take advantage of these resources as well as the many other resources Mexico has to offer, including a thriving coastal tourism industry. The southern land border of the United States will no longer be 3,000 miles in length, but will instead be less than one-third of that, bordering Belize and Guatemala and will be easier to monitor, albeit our coastal surveillance requirement will increase many-fold.

Unlike a previous similar proposal for Puerto Rico to become a state this will present plenty of opportunity. The island country of Puerto Rico has many residents who are on public assistance and such a move would be causative for even more and would be a real drain on the US economy. Mexico, however, has so many resources, and American technology and business gurus can turn a problem that is now a mountain of frustration and anger into a virtual giant gold mine benefiting all. Instead of the earnings of Mexican workers going back to Mexico, taxes will be going into our coffers. Our oil industry, in a few years time, could actually end our dependence on Mideast oil, and what is the price tag for that alone? 

This is not an impossible situation if we simply think outside the box. Anything the mind of man can conceive and believe, can be achieved. Instead of fear, hate, and rage, why not a solution that provides a win-win situation for all parties, except the greed-mongers, drug lords, and tyrants?

And, oh by the way, our official language will, of course, be English. Think about this: If only the American Indians had stricter immigration laws, what would America be like now? Point being: If they had such a law would it have stopped the white man’s invasion? Many Mexicans have tasted our freedom. Do you think a fence will stop them from wanting it all? Mexican citizens have become enslaved to a corrupt system, and we are the next door neighbor with Disneyland in our backyard. The freedom of slaves is only measured by the length of their chains, and we own the bolt-cutters. That is why I believe a democracy in Iraq will work more for eventual peace than fighting an all-out war. Freedom has a sweetness when tasted that becomes more addictive than any drug, more treasured than any jewel, and so coveted man will risk life and limb to achieve it. I do not suggest we become Mexico-North with people telling Americans we owe them this or that or that we must learn Spanish. I suggest Mexicans become another group of proud Americans with a rich, storied history, and the wonderful right we each have to succeed or fail based upon our willingness to perform and contribute. Our willingness to work or fight for freedom and our ability to assimilate all into our society has always worked for the greater good. And so it can now. Mexico is three-times the size of Texas, but land is not what makes us great. Freedom granted us by God is what makes us great, and the more we share that freedom, and its incumbent responsibilities, the greater we become.

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