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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2006
    TEXAS - The Lone Star State

    AZ Editorial: 'Secure the border first' people are wrong

    'Secure the border first' people are wrong

    78 comments by Linda Valdez, Republic columnist -
    May. 1, 2010 10:26 PM
    The Arizona Republic

    TUCSON - U.S. immigration policies created the crisis along Arizona's southern border by focusing on the wrong problem.

    Arizona is endangering its soul and its economic future by focusing on the wrong Mexicans.

    The Clinton administration began an expensive campaign of border enforcement that funneled migrants into Arizona.

    The 650 miles of fence completed along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexican border had an average cost of $4 million a mile, according to the University of California-Davis.

    The virtual fence that was supposed to use sophisticated ground sensors, radar and cameras to detect border crossers was recently scrapped by the Department of Homeland Security because it couldn't tell the difference between wildlife and people. The failed system cost you, the taxpayer, $700 million, which looks like a bargain considering the full build-out was supposed to cost $7 billion.

    The Border Patrol now stands 20,000 agents strong after seeing its budget nearly quadrupled from 1993 to 2009.

    The result?

    "At the same time, the estimated number of unauthorized foreigners in the U.S. tripled from about 4 million to over 12 million in 2007," according to UC-Davis.

    Meanwhile, the border got more dangerous. Migrants used to come across on their own, get work and return home to see the family and celebrate holidays.

    As the border got harder to cross, they began hiring criminal smugglers, who are increasingly tied to drug cartels. The risk and cost of crossing the border made the old circular pattern of migration impractical. Now, migrants send for their families or start families here.

    The border-enforcement strategy didn't work because it did nothing to eliminate the jobs that migrants risk their lives to reach. Illegal immigration peaked at 1.8 million apprehensions borderwide in 2000 despite get-tough measures.

    It declined to 556,000 in fiscal 2009 largely because the recession reduced the demand for migrant labor.

    So, why did we keep pursuing a failed policy?

    The Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, has an explanation: "Policy inaction is a result not only of a partisan divide in Washington but also of the underlying economic reality that, despite its faults, illegal immigration has been hugely beneficial to many U.S. employers."

    Besides the smugglers and U.S. economy, there were other beneficiaries: opportunistic politicians who scapegoat migrants.

    That brings us to Arizona and a dumb law that puts anybody who looks Mexican under special scrutiny by local police. Mexico responded by issuing a travel warning last week to Mexican shoppers, who spent nearly $3 billion in Arizona in a recent year. According to a study by the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management, those legal visitors from Mexico are increasingly prosperous, and they have travel choices. Las Vegas is courting them.

    Now, consider the numbers. The UA study found that roughly 65,000 people a day were crossing the border legally to shop in Arizona. Last fiscal year, the Border Patrol apprehended 241,000 illegal immigrants in the Tucson Sector, which covers most of Arizona's border. That's about 660 people a day.

    By focusing only on the illegal immigrants, Arizona missed the bigger picture and endangered a cash cow the size of the state deficit.

    Our state insulted people whose culture and customs are as much a part of Arizona as the blue skies and endless horizons. That will cause lasting damage to Arizona's commercial relations with Mexico, which is the state's largest trading partner.

    This corrosive law could not have happened without the steady drumbeat of enforcement-only nonsense that has precluded a real solution to the illegal immigration.

    Keep that in mind the next time somebody says we have to secure the border before we pursue comprehensive immigration reform. They are wrong.

    Reach the writer at ... aldez.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member miguelina's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Keep that in mind the next time somebody says we have to secure the border before we pursue comprehensive immigration reform. They are wrong.
    Gotta agree with you there, Linda. We have to secure the border while enforcing the current laws. CIR is not an option. If Mexicans want to shop in Arizona, they can do it the same way Americans shopping in Mexico do it.....SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS!!!

    No papers? Ahh too bad, so sad, do not pass go..stay OUT!

    Now shut up, sit down and start talking to your illegal compadres on how to work for reform in mexico (or guatemala, or honduras, or salvador or eastern europe, or asia or the moon) once they get there!
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Oh My God, she's nothing but a pandering lunatic. It's no wonder the newspapers are all going out of business printing this tired, worn out, drivel.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

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