A conservative commentator and author who visited Marietta College Thursday said he -- along with 70 percent of respondents in a recent poll -- wants to see the United States have closed borders. But that may never really happen because of political parties, employers and just everyday middle class people benefiting too much from illegal immigrants, Victor Davis Hanson told the audience at the McDonough Auditorium. "We talk tough, but the middle class has become accustomed to a certain standard of living," said Hanson, adding that in his California neighborhood having someone from Mexico cleaning the pool or mowing the lawn is the norm. "In private life, we see too many benefits to keeping the system. We just don't man up to it." Hanson, speaking at the college about immigration as part of the Point of View series, said he expects immigration to become more and more of an issue in areas like the Mid-Ohio Valley. "I know that illegal immigration is not a pressing issue but it will be moreso in Ohio as it is elsewhere now," he said. "It's not new in the world and it's not new in the United States, but what is new in the last 15 years is that we've never had this number come so quickly or through illegal (means). This is new ground we're on." The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. has grown from about 3 million to 5 million in the 1990s, mostly in the border states, to about 10 million in 2000, mostly in the southwestern part of the country, to an estimated 15 million to 17 million today, across the country, Hanson said. The U.S. also takes in more legal immigrants than any other country, including 160,000 a year from Mexico. "You can say you're against the phenomenon of illegal immigration but not immigration," Hanson said. Illegal immigrants end up costing the U.S. millions each year after the age of 30, when the benefits of cheap labor and a good work ethic slow, Hanson said, and can cause the wait for legal Mexican immigrants, many college-educated, to stretch up to seven years. Hanson said there is a way to achieve a "melting pot" of cultures while still following federal law. Hanson, who began researching immigration when writing his book "Mexifornia," said he thinks the solution is to have closed borders as well as the proposed 800-mile wall between Mexico and the U.S. "Walls do work," he said. "If there are 800 miles of wall it will channel traffic into areas where security could control it. Nothing but good would come from it. We could beef up the numbers of legal immigrants coming in from Mexico and restore sanctity to the law." Hanson said he doesn't agree with the argument that Mexico needs to be "nursed along" into creating a more humane nation for its residents and that closed borders would ruin progress. "I think it's analogous to a drug addict," he said. "The more drugs you give him, the more addictive it is. If we shut the border, the Mexican government might have to make real changes." Marietta resident Bill Burton said he had looked forward to hearing Hanson's views. "He's a significant scholar ... and is a good observer of the world scene," he said. Hanson is a nationally-syndicated columnist, has written or edited 16 books and is a professor emeritus at California University, Fresno. He was a full-time farmer before becoming a college professor. http://www.numbersusa.com/news?ID=9128 I can't wait to see these Liberal's here jump all over this. This guy is right on the money, that is why the majority of Congress(Including Democrats) voted for the border fence.