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A sticking point in current and past immigration reform proposals has been the misguided belief that a legalization program for unauthorized immigrants cannot proceed until the border is “secure.” The immigration framework developed by the Senate “Group of 8” introduces that same sticky framework by proposing to create certain border-security benchmarks that must be met before a legalization program can begin. Not only has this not worked in the past, given that benchmarks from multiple past proposals have actually already been met, but creating a truly “secure border” actually requires a new understanding of what the problems are at the border.

Former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard provides a new way of thinking about the issue in a series of papers that lay out what true border security means. He suggests focusing less on unauthorized immigrants and more on the dangerous criminal cartels that are smuggling drugs into the country, and money and guns back out. Goddard emphasizes that decoupling immigration from border security is important and he recommends federal action that targets cartel money, closes money-laundering loopholes, pursues cartel leaders, and focuses on border security at ports of entry. For the unauthorized immigrants already in the United States, Goddard argues it makes more sense to bring them out of the shadows and give them some sort of legal status, so they are no longer as easily exploited by the cartels.

No policy decision to increase border security has been effective

David Shirk, Director of the Trans-Border Institute, explains that no specific policy decision to beef up border security in the last 20 to 30 years has significantly reduced the illicit flow of drugs and people into the United States. Today, tougher border security has resulted in an increasing number of unauthorized immigrants who choose to stay in the United States rather than risk multiple, ever more arduous trips. Shirk, like Goddard, points out that tougher border security has been a boon to the sophisticated, heavily armed, trans‐national criminal organizations that specialize in moving drugs, contraband, and people across the heavily fortified border. Therefore, giving immigrants legal channels for entering and exiting the United States is key to making our border safer.

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Comments

  1. I say dig a Mote along the border, make it wide and deep. Go to Florida get some crocks, and fill it full, as many as you can get, put up a fence on both sides. They will have to climb in and climb out if they make it. Now protect our Crocks, maybe that would be easier for the Government to do, they cant seem to want to protect our Country or our Military, so Protect the Crocks.

  2. I have a problem with the whole approach to border control and illegal immigration. Although I am not in favor of ripping apart families I am also first and foremost in favor of doing what is right for my country and it’s citizens,born here or naturalized. Every change made or law ignored should be first examined for the short and long range impact on this country. If we need farmworkers or engineers,we should be able to choose from those who would best fit our needs,not from those who already came illegally.
    Our borders need to be closed and protected from all entry unless entrants are cleared at the checkpoints so we know who is coming and going,in order to be safe on many levels. We need to take the necessary steps to eliminate”anchor babies”.

    We need to determine who is going to pay for the care of temporary workers when they are in this country. Many come here for work and do not want to be citizens,fine ,but if I have to pay for the lettuce and the medical care and education for these families. Perhaps it is more logical to pay citizens a higher wage and have consumers pay the actual cost for the lettuce ,rather than the hidden costs for temporary foreign workers. How about the morality of paying the foreign worker less?
    Then we need to look at the cultural differences of the people coming here. Hispanics in their own and our country have a 53-59% illigitimate birthrate. We know this does not bode well morally or financially in our country. It is one of the causes of poverty in the countries they are leaving. Our cities are already plagued with the costs of care,education and law enforcement of entire communities causing bankruptcy in LA,Chicago,NY,NJ.etc. Do you think waving a piece of paper in DC and allowing 15-20 million more to be here is going to change this for the future? What are we doing to our next generation. How can we possibly afford not to send them home?