Does Tighter Border Security = Fewer Illegal Immigrants?


The Wash Post reports from the U.S.-Mexico border about the effects of tightened security on illegal entries. The current crackdown began in 1993.

Border Patrol statistics show that while the death toll mounts annually, the number of those apprehended while crossing the border has not changed significantly since 1993. But because federal agencies have tightened the border in urban areas, smugglers who move the men, women and children seeking to enter the United States illegally have funneled them onto increasingly perilous trails where temperatures are high, water is scarce and danger is abundant.

Death toll since 1993? "More than 3,500." More here.

I don't doubt that militarizing the border and/or building a massive wall and/or pulling out all the stops would reduce crossings–though I sincerely doubt that such tactics would withstand any sort of serious cost-benefit analysis. Indeed, restrictionists are hard-pressed to point to specific, serious damage caused by illegal immigration other than the pain of hearing Spanish spoken in good old American cities. Who was it that pointed out that illegal Mexicans really aren't the "pox neo-Know Nothings" make them out to be? Oh yeah, it was Tony Snow, late of Fox News and currently of the Bush White House.

As for the security concerns–you know, the fears that Islamist terrorists and wedging themselves into tractor trailers alongside the poor suckers sneaking in from down South rather than flying first-class–well, let's just say Reason's own Jeff Taylor was right: 'Tis northwards toward Canada we should be looking with the night-vision goggles.

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