What if I told you that your neighbor's house was being threatened; what would you do? Would you sit idly by? Would you gawk out the windows and take videos on your smartphone or call 911? Or would you arm yourself and go next door?

Having your home violated is more than disconcerting. It is an invasion of privacy and the stripping away of your sense of security. But what if I told you that a government policy was to blame for encouraging such an invasion of privacy by incentivizing people to go into your neighbor's house and do as they please?

Does this sound far fetched? It is not, because this is exactly what is happening right now on the southern border of the United States and it is heartbreaking.

But this has not always been the way of things. In the not so distant past the national government did not sit idly by. Threats to the southern border were deemed a question of national security and a breach of sovereignty.

And in that time Alabama was truly in the mix.

To know this story you have to first know of the 167th Infantry - a legacy unit with deep tradition and a long history right here in our own Alabama National Guard, and often known by its nom de guerre as the Legendary 4th Alabama. With service dating back to 1836, its members have served in every war our nation has fought for the past 185 years.

There is a statue built in its honor on a battlefield in France near a place called Croix Rouge Farm, with a similar statue located near Union Station in downtown Montgomery. A bridge in Birmingham bears their plaque and Rainbow City received its name because in WWI the 167th Infantry Battalion was attached to the 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division. The actions of the 167th led one US General to say “By God, in a time of war send me all the Alabamians you can find.”

But less well known is that the 167th played a major part in securing our southern border over 100 years ago.

In 1916-17, the Fourth Alabama was called to Federal service for duty along the United States’ southwestern border with Mexico in response to a cross border raid on Columbus, New Mexico, by bandits under the command of Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. Villa’s army of 1,500 guerillas had brutally raided the small American town killing 19 US citizens and leaving the town in flames.

Under orders from the War Department, General John Pershing led 6,000 American troops into Mexico. The American troops had several bloody skirmishes with the rebels which came to an end with the advent of WWI. Alabama’s 167th Infantry went from the defense of the Mexican Border to the battlefields of Europe.

The larger picture here is the understanding that there was a time when the federal government was willing to go to war to protect the southern border of the US.

The deadly breach by Pancho Villa was seen then as an invasion, a destruction of the sense of security and sovereignty that every US citizen has a right to expect their government to ensure. Now seems to be a different time. In what seems to be a blatant and intentional effort to erase our borders, the current administration is failing to provide even a hint of care and concern that all citizens should expect it to provide.

I am pragmatic and I look at facts. I assess those facts with intent to place them all into context. Such an assessment leaves little room for anything less than a conclusion that all of the actions and inactions of the Biden administration relative to the border are intentional.

Facts, such as the new Biden nominee to head Customs & Border Patrol having a history of supporting sanctuary cities. Cartels routinely fire weapons across the Rio Grande unchallenged. States are taking unilateral security measures which are being rebuffed by DC. Border wall construction has stopped. Catch and Release has been reinstated, and illegal cross-border incursions have reached epic levels.

I watched an interview with a Texas ranch family who now carry firearms on their own property just to take out the trash. During the interview the burly rancher was moved to tears as he described what he and his family go through as the never ending stream of drug traffickers and illegal border crossers traverse his property and damage his farm daily.

This should not be.

We must care about what happens at our neighbor's house. We must venture across the property lines to assist our neighbor because if the danger to our neighbor goes unchecked it will eventually come to our own house. The Texas border is the US border. Our border. We’ve been there before. We must again secure our southern border.

Phil Williams is a former State Senator, retired Army Colonel and combat veteran, and a practicing Attorney. He has served with the leadership of the Alabama Policy Institute and currently hosts Rightside Radio M-F 2-5pm on WVNN. His column appears every Monday in 1819 News. To contact Phil or request him for a speaking engagement go to www.rightsideradio.org   The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com