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Security on All Fronts

June 30, 2008

The Fourth of July holiday reminds me not only of the freedom we have secured throughout our nation's history, but also the importance of securing our liberties for the future.  We all know that freedom and security are not static.  In fact, we have brave men and women serving on the front lines overseas right now to ensure that America remains free.  Just as they do their duty to guard us against the acts of external forces that wish us harm, we must also do our part at home to preserve America for future generations.  We must do this by ensuring our energy independence, fighting crime in our communities and securing our borders to curb the flow of illegal immigration.

Achieving energy independence is perhaps the single most important challenge facing our nation.  Failure to do so threatens our economic well being as well as our national security.  And so far, the liberals who currently control Congress have failed the American people by refusing to allow us to access the vast domestic reserves that we currently possess.  We need to be drilling in Alaska and off the coasts.  And we need to be building refineries.  But strengthening our infrastructure and boosting our domestic production is only part of the energy equation.  We also need to promote technology that will allow us to expand our use of other clean and reliable energy resources.  With these initiatives in place, our country will have a short-term solution and a long-term strategy to put American on the path to energy independence.

Another component of American security comes from making sure our laws and borders are respected.  It is absolutely unacceptable that we have not done more at the federal level to secure the border, crack down on unscrupulous employers who hire illegal immigrants, and begin to deport the violent illegal immigrants who continue to commit more crimes after they illegally enter the country in the first place.  In order for our nation to be secure, the rule of law must be upheld.  We need a comprehensive overhaul of our border policy that takes into account the scope of the problem and fights illegal immigration all fronts. 

Finally, there is no place where our sense of security can be upset more easily than in our own neighborhoods and communities.  There are two major areas of crime growth that have been felt across the nation: gang-related crime and cyber crime.  In some parts of Oklahoma, gang-related crime has become a major problem.  I believe we need to establish more anti-gang task forces, composed of local and state law enforcement officials, to deal with the spread of gang activity.  Our Oklahoma crime-fighters have been innovative in this area and we need to continue to support their efforts.  Another prevalent crime that occurs in homes across the country is cyber-crime.  Victims of this crime are made up of all-ages, but our children are especially vulnerable to its reach.  It is important for Congress to pass legislation that imposes the toughest penalties on these predators.

As we celebrate our nation's independence this week we should give thanks for the sacrifices that have been made to secure our nation.  Our troops at home and abroad bravely work everyday to protect our nation.  Let's take time this holiday to remember and thank those men and women who sacrifice for the welfare of the United States.  After all, America is the land of the free only because it is the home of the brave.