Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ebola and Terrorists Aside, Our Border Is Pretty Secure

        
                    Does anyone have a fever?  Photographer: John Moore/Getty Images         
By

The U.S.-Mexican border has had quite a year. In the spring, it offered the spectacle of tens of thousands of Central American children (and some mothers) crossing, hoping to have their tickets punched for the American Dream. Now, with Ebola and Islamic State terrorists dominating our imaginations, the border features in political ads as the unhinged back door through which our nightmares enter.

Despite such earnest warnings from deeply sincere political candidates, the border is not actually so bad. Ebola and Islamic State terrorists do not appear to be crossing in overwhelming quantities. However, more than 2,400 unaccompanied minors did cross the border in September. That's about 8,000 fewer than in June, when traffic peaked. September's pace would put the U.S. on track for almost 30,000 children per year, flooding an immigration court system with a backlog of 400,000 cases. Still, it's worth noting that the greatest challenge along the U.S side of the border right now seems to be migrant children.

The border will never be sealed; if land routes ever become impassable, migrants and traffickers will arrive by sea. It will remain a problem as long as desperation exists in the south and an enormous appetite for illegal drugs (and cheap labor) rumbles up north. For the most part, however, the future is looking up. Violent crime along the U.S. side has been trending down, even if yelling about it has not. Illegal immigration has also declined significantly over the past decade. Meanwhile, more than $1 billion worth of goods and more than one million people legally cross the U.S.-Mexico border daily.

I'm not the only optimist.

Princeton professor, Douglas Massey, a sharp critic of the U.S. border crackdown, envisions a more open, free-flowing border in 25 years. "That would be rational given that Mexico's income is rising relative to that in the U.S., fertility is at parity with the U.S., and Mexico is becoming an aging society," he wrote in an e-mail.

"The boom in undocumented migration is over for good, in my opinion, and at some point the cost of massive border enforcement will exceed its symbolic political value."

Stuart Anderson, a policy advisor at the Immigration and Naturalization Service under President George W. Bush, suggested that U.S. politics will evolve to meet the challenge. “I think 25 years from now illegal entry will be much less of a concern because Congress would have passed measures to allow legal work visas for lower-skilled jobs in the U.S. and economic and demographic changes south of the border will likely mean less interest in coming to the United States to work," he wrote via e-mail. "It then will be easier for technology and border personnel to monitor the border once natural economic forces are directed into legal channels, as opposed to today, when workers from the south often enter the black market in labor and utilize human smuggling cartels because legal avenues are not considered a viable option.”

In other words, improved economies south of the border, and more rational migrant labor policies north of it, will lead the way to more legal border crossings and fewer illegal ones. Simon Rosenberg, a pro-immigration advocate, points out that even with all the border's troubles, that future is already unfolding: Trade is increasing as illegal immigration declines. "It's been a policy success," he said by e-mail.

Of course, it's possible that these people don't get out much, that they live in ivory towers or gated communities or homes for the deluded and blinkered. Or it's possible that they're a little more honest about the realities of the U.S. border than the sleazy politicians trying to scare the rest of us.

12 comments:

  1. Yesterday's LA Times has a story about CDG's top boss being captured.

    La caca

    ReplyDelete
  2. In 25 years there may not be a US as we know it, the chinese owns the US ass, the US economy has had loses of about 17 trillion dollars, and the chinese economy wins of about 17 trillion dollars..
    --the american people has been misled and bamboozled, and the reality of trickle down economics is the only thing trickling down...
    --The mexican wages were about 4 to 5 dollars A DAY 40 years ago, and now it is less, with more competition for each job, and you have to work 6 days before you qualify for over time, now you have to work 12 hour shifts wile you can, because that is your only chance; wages rising is just propaganda...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 10:37am
      Do you rant like this at home too? Pobres de tus familiares que tienen que agantarte lol, JK!!

      Delete
    2. Its true that the u.s.a. owes china money but our economy is stonger than china.

      Delete
    3. 9:31 If the US is so rich and powerful why does it owe money?

      Delete
    4. 7:19pm
      Because it borrowed money duh! US is still rich and powerful tho.

      Delete
  3. The story in LAT was posted by us when it happened on Oct 10th. See on the right in the hot posts. he was not a top cdg boss. exaggeration by media who don't dig deep and accept what the gov/gob says

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was late then. You're right, mainstream media made a big caca out of nothing.
      La caca

      Delete
  4. Is Princeton on the border? The slowdown of the 'unaccompanied minors'surge does not indicate that the border is secure. The countryside is littered with bleached bones of immigrants who died in the U.S. The optimists are not thinking about the possibility of a crisis in Mexico that could potentially overwhelm our scrawney border defences. A political or economic collaps, a war or a fearbola outbreak is all that ir would take. More than one crisis at a time and Mexico could send a human tsunami northward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. if that ever happened it would be an all out civil war. and who do you think would win? not the " immigrants ". lets just hope it never comes to that.

      Delete
  5. Francis, you think the border is secure? Come visit me in Arizona and let's see how secure it really is. Or are you scared of the real truth?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Arizona border is under control, it is all controlledby the mafia that owns it, aith plenty mexicans arrested all the time to keep their prison industries well supplied with slave labor for $0.15 usd a day, = $450.00 in one year, if my calputadora says the truth...
    --Ronnie, you alone can not control a lot of your sacrosanct border, there are millions and millions of latin americans living on the US that prove it, aqui estamos, no nos vamos, y aqui nos quedamos...
    --Then you have arabs, chinese, ukrainians, russian mob, real africans from africa, you have immigrants born somewhere else, in OFFICE! For gosshakes!!! Make me wonder, where were you, ronnie ???
    --also the money china has, most of it has been offshored by the real enemies of the US, amerikkkan vulture capitalistas, working for themselves and their global cabal who decides who lives and who dies in this little world of us, because everybody owes them money somehow or other...

    ReplyDelete

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