The Corner

Immigration and Border Control Won’t Go Away

Earlier this year, the New York Times op-ed page ran a piece that began this way: “The immigration crisis that has roiled American politics for decades has faded into history,” their point being that because illegal immigration was down, the issue was no longer important. (I addressed this fairy tale in an article in The National Interest.) The NYT op-ed’s policy recommendations started with this:

For starters, the billions of dollars spent on border enforcement should be gradually redirected to replenishing and boosting the education budget, particularly the Pell grant program for low-income students. Some money could be channeled to nonprofits like ImmigrationWorks and Welcoming America, which are at the forefront of helping migrants assimilate.

Well, the murder of yet another Border Patrol agent should give pause to those gullible enough to fall for this malarkey. And today’s Border Patrol shooting could be a foretaste of more to come, given increased violence across the border from Arizona. Stratfor reports today:

Over the past two weeks, several people have been killed throughout northern Sonora state, where drug-related homicides ordinarily are infrequent. On Sept. 20, an unidentified man was shot and killed at a bar in the border city of Sonoyta. Earlier that day, a 17-year-old girl was shot and killed while walking down a street in Agua Prieta. The girl’s slaying was reportedly the third death in Agua Prieta in as many days. On Sept. 24, authorities found three dead bodies in Puerto Penasco and another in Agua Prieta. All four victims died from gunshot wounds.

Illegal crossings will fluctuate based on the state of the economy (both ours and the sending countries’), the level of state and federal enforcement efforts, and political rhetoric (with increased talk of amnesty serving as a magnet). But whatever the level of ordinary illegal immigration, the border remains a dangerous place. Legalizing pot (which I’m for) may help a little, but not much. Providing assistance to Mexico (which I’m also for) may help a little, but not much. The bottom line is, we need to protect ourselves. I’ll bet those calling for reductions in border enforcement make sure to lock their car doors, arm their home security systems, and don’t let their kids walk to school alone. Why would they want our country to leave its back door unlocked?


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