Brother Stodder on the Border

I am one of five brothers, which to some makes me part of a rather imposing alliance. My youngest brother, Seth, has had an interesting career.  After he finished USC law school (Vince Young’s Longhorns broke his heart last night), he went to work for Gibson, Dunn.

Contacts he made there led to him take a job working for the director of U.S. Customs, Robert Bonner (who used to be U.S. Attorney here). Seth’s start date: The Monday after 9/11. His job description thereupon changed, and he became an expert on border security and container security.

Eventually, U.S. Customs was sucked into the Department of Homeland Security, where he continued to work until about a year and a half ago. During his time in government, he used to regale us with tales of wearing night-goggles on treks through the Sonora Desert, and traveling to ports in Singapore and China to discuss how to keep Al Queda from smuggling weapons–and operatives–into the U.S.

Now Seth’s back in LA, working for Akin, Gump, while maintaining an active professional interest in all the issues he dealt with in Washington. He has an op-ed in today’s San Diego Union Tribune that I proudly recommend. Here’s the thesis of it:

Many observers apparently see tough border enforcement as the opposite of a “welcoming” guest worker program, preferring to characterize the president’s statements as a political “retreat” in the face of right-wing opposition. These observers overlook a crucial point, however. The temporary worker program and stronger enforcement are inextricably interrelated. One cannot succeed without the other.

Indeed, without stronger border enforcement, any temporary worker program will fail and our national security will be jeopardized. And conversely, any “enforcement only” approach – such as that taken in the recent House bill – will similarly be doomed to failure absent an effective temporary worker program.

Read the whole thing. He shreds the rhetoric of both the right and the left in this piece.

Seth has the same family virus as me–he’s a Democrat, but a constantly frustrated one. He did his patriotic duty working in the Bush Administration on issues that concern everyone, not just Republicans. He’d be a great addition to a future Democratic Administration.


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