How to Secure the Border

Step one: Let’s examine our own insecurities.

By Comments

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump waves from his vehicle during a tour of the the World Trade International Bridge at the U.S. Mexico border in Laredo, Texas, Thursday, July 23, 2015.
AP Photo/LM Otero

On Friday, I wrote that the national conversation about our southern border has never been more derisible. Statistics show El Paso to be one of the safest cities of its size in the country, and as has consistently been the case in my experiences with the city, it was strikingly pleasant and friendly when I visited there over the weekend. I also strolled over to Juárez and was struck by how much it’s changed since my last visit, a couple of years ago, both in terms of the spiffed-up infrastructure and the number of people out and about in the early evening.

And yet the discourse somehow deteriorated even further over the weekend with the release of Donald Trump’s “policy proposal”, his first, on immigration. Trump’s plan received a rapturous reception from Ann Coulter, who tweeted:

That should tell you everything you need to know about the idea’s merits, but Trump’s announcement also elicited a copycat reaction from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who told Iowans this morning that his own proposal is “very similar” to Trump’s, and that he too dreams of a 2,000-mile-long wall. So does Ohio Governor John Kasich, who said during the first Republican debate that people want to see one built, which seems to be true. Even more ominously, half a dozen candidates have seconded Trump’s call to end birthright citizenship.

For my own part, though, I want these people to stop embarrassing our country. That’s probably a futile request when it comes to Trump (or Coulter), but I’ll try. In addition to being racist, nativist, illogical, and sinisterly dishonest, it would actually be counterproductive to America’s economic interests. Trump is effectively calling for a massive expansion in government spending to create a border security apparatus that would necessarily constrict commerce, trade, and production sharing with Mexico. A Keynesian absolutist might see the appeal, but I think the costs would easily outweigh the benefits.

And since it would have similarly adverse effects on Mexico’s economy, Trump’s plan would potentially make the border less secure than it currently is. That’s assuming, of course, that you think unauthorized immigrants constitute an inherent security risk; I don’t, but Trump obviously does. The United States and Mexico share the world’s longest land border between an industrialized nation and a developing one. The economic disparity between the countries creates an incentive for Mexicans to migrate to the United States and the physical proximity makes it feasible for them to do so. That’s why slightly more than half of the unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States–about 11.3 million, according to the Pew Research Center–are from Mexico, and why migration flows from Mexico has proven more responsive to economic conditions (in either country) than to labor laws or border fences.

This is classical economics, not politics. As most Texans can confirm the same dynamic often emerges in response to economic disjuncts between states.

Incidentally, if we could take the number of unauthorized immigrants in the country as a proxy for the security of the border, the metric would suggest that the border is apparently pretty secure: the undocumented population peaked at around 12m several years ago, and has subsequently stabilized at the current figure. Clearly, people aren’t crossing to and fro as freely or merrily as certain voices on the right would have us believe.

But ultimately the metric is not a good proxy: unauthorized immigration to the United States is best interpreted with reference to labor markets, rather than law enforcement. But good metrics are hard to come by. Some, like the aggregated law enforcement data reported by DPS, are unduly imprecise. Others are unhelpfully ambiguous. At the Texas Lyceum’s meeting, I took note of the point that El Paso’s courts have seen an uptick in prosecutions for illegal re-entry. But does that means that illegal re-entry is on the rise, as opposed to prosecutions for that specific violation?

And all the available metrics suffer from the absence of standards, or even a coherent concept of what “border security” looks like in practice. For some Americans, it would obviously mean an end to human trafficking, drug smuggling, illegal migration, and so on. That’s not an unreasonable instinct: Since the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia brought an end to the Thirty Years’ War with an international redistricting agreement, the world has been generally committed to the Westphalian system of sovereign nation-states. The United States has a legitimate interest in secure borders and rule of law, including immigration law, as does Mexico, which is why unauthorized migrants from Central America apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley aren’t sent back to the other bank of the river.

But perfection is an unreasonable policy goal, because it’s manifestly unrealistic. Again, we’re talking about a 2,000-mile long land border. In El Paso and Juarez the border is actually physically mutable, since the dividing line is the Rio Grande, and rivers sometimes move. The same pesky market dynamics enable a tremendous amount of legal activity that is generally deemed salutary, to say nothing of the noncommercial relations between residents on either side, which are obviously valued, even if they’re not quantified. We can’t shut down the border without shutting down the border, and that’s not in anyone’s interests. Our goal should be finding the appropriate balance between securing the border and strangling it.

At the moment, we’re erring too far in the latter direction. It’s irresponsible to talk about “spillover violence”, for example, without considering the collateral damage of that kind of rhetoric. I saw an example of that Friday afternoon, when I stopped in to see Beto O’Rourke, who represents El Paso in Congress. He has historically been outspoken in his enthusiasm for not just the city but the binational community, and recently responded to Trump’s fundamentally disingenuous and dreary premise–”Make America Great Again”–with a hat-based slogan of his own: “The Border Makes America Great”. On Friday, however, O’Rourke was manifestly preoccupied with veterans’ health care, and specifically the difficulty of accessing high-quality mental health care through the VA system. The problem is not specific to El Paso, nor were most of the obstacles he cited in recounting his efforts thus far. But the problem is especially pronounced in El Paso, and as O’Rourke put it, sensationalism about conditions on the border probably haven’t made his personal efforts to recruit qualified professionals any easier. There’s probably something to that, but regardless, it’s not just veterans in El Paso who are potentially being hurt by the hyperbole; there’s one guy in Congress who has made their access to mental health care his top priority, and he happens to represent a district that’s been dragooned by the Donald.

The next day I ran across this op-ed by Ben Carson which, oddly, points to a potential path forward:

But the major factor in how my life has turned out was — and is — my attitude and ability to choose the object of my concentration.

My views on race in this country start from that perspective. While I advocate for a colorblind society, I am by no means blind to the reality of racism. But again it comes down to a matter of focus. I believe that if we focus on what divides us rather than what unites us, we impede our ability to transcend differences and work together constructively toward a better future for all Americans.

Sharing a border has advantages as well as risks; we can choose which to emphasize without ignoring the other. I think Americans should side with O’Rourke’s sanguine perspective on border security. His views on the subject are far more well-founded than Trump’s, and his attitude is the one that works in our favor. Globalization is disruptive, and has its discontents, but as former Dallas Fed CEO Richard Fisher once told me, this is the world we fought for; this is the world we won. Plus, it’s not like we’re neighbors with Libya. Mexico has its share of struggles, but we have an actual Trump.

Related Content

  • Blue Dogs

    In political news: 2016 Philippine President: Poe signaling she might jump into the campaign for President, also sending a message to the Liberal Party NOT to wait on her to make up her mind.
    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/713725/poe-dont-wait-for-me-lp

  • Carson is right on and I can see how some would prefer a more peaceful path to coexistence with our neighbors to the south. Many in American were fooled by the democrat’s promise of amnesty once in the ’80s then never again.
    We simply cannot and will not allow the dems to continue to use tax dollars to buy votes. We won’t be fooled again.

    • gordo

      A gentle reminder that the biggest amnesty we have had happened at the behest of Saint Ronald Reagan.

      • José

        If Republicans are the party of Lincoln and emancipation then surely one can say that a former Democrat was responsible for said amnesty. (Pssst, he was a union boss too.)

      • Yes President Reagan wrote the law and congress stood idly by and watched….only in a democrat’s mind.

      • WUSRPH

        Proudly signed by Reagan too. But how soon they forget.

        • Reagan had an agreement with the dems to add penalties to the “Immigration Act of 1986”.

          “Why were the employer restrictions so ineffective? During the debate in Congress, the bill’s sponsors ended up watering down the sanctions on employers to attract support from the business community, explains Wayne Cornelius of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at U.C. San Diego. “The end result was that they essentially gutted the employer sanctions,” he says.

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/30/in-1986-congress-tried-to-solve-immigration-why-didnt-it-work/

          Democrats got their voters and lied about sanctions.
          The lesson dems lie about anything and everything and cannot be trusted.
          Tammany Hall flashback.

    • Oh how the conservatives forget. Back in the dark ages of the 80’s Reagan won with a decent margin in 1980 and by a landslide in 1984. Congress was about equally divided between the parties. Democrats had the majority, but it was not anywhere near what the Republicans currently have today. Back then politicians, including Reagan understood that to get anything done compromise was not only needed, it was a requirement of good governing.

      Reagan refused to spend political capital to get more than the amnesty passed, figuring incorrectly, that his trickle down economics would eventually fix the issue since he wouldn’t force the issue legislatively. Reagan worked very, very, well with his congresses, the only president since then to even come close to having such a working relationship was Clinton.

      Lest you also forget, Reagan knew how and when to force the issues he desired – remember how he managed to get the national drinking age raised without legislation? He understood how and when to use the carrot and stick to get his way as well as when to compromise. Unfortunately, his compromise on immigration ended up being a short term fix and not the long term one he envisioned since trickle down economics has been a huge failure for all but the very wealthiest which are less than .5% of the population.

      Amnesty failed in the 80’s not just because the rest of his immigration proposals failed to pass, but also because the economics, that should have in theory fixed the problem naturally, failed over the long term.

      The biggest mistake that people, and most of the blowhards running for office including Trump, make is assuming and or deliberately ignoring the fact that immigration is not a simple problem with a simple solution. Out of the field of 17 republican candidates, there are 4, maybe 5, that truly appreciate and grasp the enormity of the immigration issue.

      • Indiana Pearl

        More than five million MORE votes for House seats were cast for Dems in 2012, yet the House is overwhelmingly GOP. What does that tell us about gerrymandering and voter suppression?

        • Gerrymandering violates everyone’s right to fair representation. It should be illegal.

          House districts, whether federal or state, should be based on geography and population density, not “how can we draw this to make an end run around the voting rights act and consolidate the majority party’s power base?”

          Both parties are guilty of doing this. I am so sick of that lame childish excuse of “but they did it!”

          • WUSRPH

            Great in theory….but it will never work in practice now that Sec. 5 of the VRA has been gutted by the SCOTUS. The lines drawn in 2021 are going to be something to be seen. Travis County will probably be split among 10 State Senate districts and 12 Congressional districts when the State gets finished drawing the lines.

          • Sadly, you are probably right about that. There are still a couple of lawsuits working up the chain towards SCOTUS so there is a sliver of hope that there will be a reversal.

      • Actually it is quite simple, I know because we do it in business all the time. Incentivize the behavior you want. When we quit making it so lucrative to come here illegally the illegal flow will stop. You think some of you would have gotten the message, when Az and Ok cut off entitlements illegals fled in droves.

        • Government is not business. Thinking you can apply all principles of business to governing shows just how gullible those who buy into the far right radical agenda are.

      • TexasRasta

        Taxation and regulation favor the rich, those policies are favored by Keynesians. The tax code is a 70,000 pages of political favors on both sides of the isle. Free market capitalism (or remanence of it) has the single biggest driver of the elimination of poverty in world history. Communist/socialist china has given just a taste of capitalism to its people and 400 million have been lifted out of poverty.

        During Reagan’s tenure as president he was given a disastrous economy, interest rates, inflation, unemployment were all worse than what was given to obama and under his watch, nearly 20 million jobs were created, median income increased $4,000 over his term,per capita disposable income grew 18%, government spending fell from 22.9% of GDP to 22.1% of GDP. Employment increased nearly 20% and unemployment fell to 5.3% with a labor participation rate of 66.5% vs the 7.5% unemployment handed over from carter with a labor participation rate of 63.9%.

        Trickle down economics hasn’t been a failure, just the overtaxed middle class and unfair competitive advantage for people like Warren Buffett, who will spend a billion on lawyers and accountants to save $3B. The Bush tax cuts have been rescinded, more taxes have been raised to include the top rate and capital gains, more money is flowing into the government and income inequality has widened under this president, we are seeing post recession growth rate at a pathetic 2.4%, the percentage of the labor force with only part time work is an astounding 18.3%. We currently have a U3 unemployment rate of 5.6% but that is thanks to a labor participation rate of 62.8% which means the government eliminated 15-18 million people from the equation, so the current U6 is 10.6%. And what do we have to show for it??? By the time this Keynesian (obama) outdoes the former Keynesian (Bush) Obama will have doubled the national debt, doubling that of Bush, while doubling the money supply, which took 100 years to compile and doubled by obama in just 5 years. We will feel the effects of the fiat currency in the short future and let’s not talk about what will happen when the interests rates go back to their historical average @ 20+ trillion dollars, the US will be paying close to $1 trillion in interest alone. The number of people receiving food assistance has doubled and NOT gone down.

        So Reaganomics or Obamnomics/Carternomics/FRDnomics (depression for 10 years+) And just to be clear on the crash, which happened as a result of a number of things: Clinton’s removal of Glass-Steagall act, Secretary of HUD under Clinton Andrew Cuomo reducing the requisites for low income buyers, Government sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac (supported overwhelmingly by democrats and vice versa) and their taxpayer backed subprime loans. They gave out loans at 105% loan to value with people with bad credit, that could not afford homes in the first place, banks of course were threatened with lawsuits by government for redlining practices if they didn’t make the loans. Since the loans were backed by the GSEs it didn’t matter if the banks made the loans. None of this is free market and none of it deals with trickle down economics.

        But back to the Amnesty deal with Reagan and the democrats, Reagan agreed to the measure provided certain provisions would be met after, Reagan followed up on his part of the deal, democrats did not, they lied. As they did when they agreed to spending cuts, if taxes were raised; taxes were raised, no spending cuts.

        Nope, income inequality was better under Reagan, the middle class was better under Reagan. I am for immigration, I think anyone willing to work for a wage agreed to voluntarily by both employer/employee should be the business of the individuals and not the government. I am a huge fan of the many productive immigrants that come to this country, both legal and illegal. The benefits of immigration have made the US what it is today, but in order to get back to that style of immigration, we need to destroy the welfare state. If you want income equality month the majority of the masses, there are places you can visit, Cuba,Venezuela, North Korea etc…

  • WUSRPH

    Another excellent analysis. . It is good to see a balanced, well-thought out analysis. Now we will wait to see the reaction. We spent a lot of time on this problem with Part 1 of this series, mostly on the silliness of the PLAN and the misleading data. Let us hope we don’t have to repeat that because it gets presented again.

  • gordo

    A little background for you all. Historically, borders are drawn and put in place to exclude the benefits of one area or nationality from another. Thus, nation-states have not invested in infrastructure or human resources in the border area because the benefits of that investment to some extent benefit the bordering nation at the expense of the interior areas. On the US/Mexico border, that is certainly true. Border regions are outliers in every sense of the word. By investing in infrastructure, moreover, you make it easier for invaders to gain more territory quicker-another disincentive to invest. Today, though, we expect the Border to facilitate the movement of goods across the border, because Mexico is one of our largest trading partners, after Canada and maybe China.

    Until 1964, when the maquiladora program was instituted, cross border manufacturing was largely impossible. Mexico was still pursuing a policy of Import Substitution, an economic program that hoped that by excluding foreign manufactured goods that domestic manufacturers would ramp up production to meet domestic demand. Didn’t work any better for Mexico than it did for the old Soviet Union. Border cities made money by meeting Mexican demand for American products and facilitating smuggling of those goods back into Mexico, and helping to short-circuit Mexican inspections. Sound familiar?

    With the maquiladora program, American manufacturers were incentivized to build so called twin plants, or co-production facilities in border cities, principally in Juarez which was an early adopter. Remember, the maquiladora program is a Mexican program, not an American program. Since it’s adoption, Texas is Mexico’s major American trading partner, accounting for billions of export dollars for Texas, according to the Dallas Fed. So on the whole, we need them more than they need us. Unless you want to go back to the days where the major cross-border economic driver was tourism. Back to the days of Boys Town in Laredo and the Mariscal in Juarez. (Scratch that thought, given the nature of some of the posters to this blog.)

    • WUSRPH

      Another good analysis. You folks are hitting them tonight.

      As you point out, autarky never worked–as much as JJ would like to think it could……but sometimes I wish we were a little less reliant on our traducing partners than we are….

    • José

      So the Texas Miracle is, in large part, el Milagro Mexicano? Very cool!

      • Yes has nothing to do with Texas diversifying into other areas of commerce than energy.

        • Kozmo

          Or cannibalizing jobs from other states.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Thanks for this info. I didn’t realize it was a Mexican program.

      Someone I knew in IN worked for Baxter Scientific in rural southern IN as an executive. He had been offered a position at Baxter’s Juarez plant and was told he and his family could live in El Paso. They were midwesterners and opted to stay in the midwest.

  • WUSRPH

    For those who want to talk about a WALL or FENCE along the border, a little background on what we already have and where we have it…plus some information on the terrain involved, etc. may be found at:

    http://www.usborderpatrol.com/Border_Patrol1301.htm

    It presents information on each section of the border from the waves of the Pacific Ocean (where the existing Wall actually begins) to the Gulf of Mexico. It is a little out of date…but is still useful in learning something about what exists and the problems involved in building more. It its too bad The Donald’s staff did not read it before they produced their several pages of sound bites masquerading as a Plan.

    For those who would like to read an excellent refutation of the Trump Plan, take a look at this article on the Federalist’s web page.

    http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/17/donald-trump-on-immigration-same-anti-immigration-ideas-new-salesman/

    (A semi-humorous side light to this is that the Troll originally posted this linkage in order to give access to the Trump Plan, but today that “plan” has been shifted down the page and replaced with this article refuting it. So, if you go where the Troll sent you, you will find something he would not want you to see.)

    And, if you are concerned about what you have heard (those anecdotes again) about the crimes committed by illegal aliens, you will find this review of the various studies on the subject of interest. It refutes those anecdotal accounts and the misleading figure some have produced.)

    http://www.cato.org/blog/immigration-crime-what-research-says

    One point of “fairness”…The article is by the Cato Institute, the leading source of information with a Libertarian slant. I have no reason to question its validity, but it is only fair to note that Libertarians tend not to support controls on immigration and the restriction of free movement.

    That should be enough reading to keep you out of trouble for some time….Of course, if your mind is already made up—whether it be pro or con the issue—you won’t take the time to inform yourself.

    • Why don’t the democrat admin just enforce the immigration laws…..Bozo?

    • Indiana Pearl

      Neither the Federalist Society nor the Cato Institute would be considered “Democrat.”

      Do we have a free market or not?

      • WUSRPH

        We certainly have a “free market” in ideas and thoughts.. Whether we have an economic free market (or ever did) is another question.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Can one sell/buy labor?

          • WUSRPH

            One can sell one’s labor…and another can buy another’s labor…..But beyond that we get embroiled in the Labor Theory of Value and we would not like to bring Marx into our discussions.

            Of course, some people claim that Nixon “bought” the Teamsters…or at least their support in his election by promising to release Jimmy Hoffa from prison…So, I guess in some circumstances you can buy labor itself.

          • Indiana Pearl

            We can’t have that old glum soul in our considerations, can we?

    • José

      You don’t have to read too far into that first website to figure out that it is NOT an official publication of the U.S. Border Patrol. The site is personally owned and operated and the feller who runs it has a bit of an attitude. He needs a good editor, too. The photos are interesting but one would be well advised to confirm anything stated by him as fact.

      • WUSRPH

        In fact, the site specifically points out that it IS NOT a BP site but is operated by those who support the agency and its functions. None-the-less, I have found the technical information it provides on where there is a wall or fence, what it consists of and he terrain and other problems to be helpful in thinking about what would be required to building one for the entire border. But your point is well made.

        P.S. All of us could use a good editor. I know I could…I think Jefferson once said: “Why use three words when two will do”…but then Jefferson said something about everything…There was that great story about JFK hosting a dinner of Nobel Laureates at which he commented that there had never been so much genius at a dinner table in the White House at any time in the past—except when Jefferson ate alone.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Tijuana residents claim that its underground is so riddled with tunnels that they expect it to collapse into a sinkhole at any time.

    • Kozmo

      Tom Russell’s song, “Who’s Gonna Build Your Wall?” says it all.

  • WUSRPH

    ‘In addition to being racist, nativist, illogical, and sinisterly dishonest, it would actually be counterproductive to America’s economic interests.”

    I do not think anyone could call Erica wishy-washy on this subject.. –

    Goodnight All. I will be back in San Antonio tomorrow so I may not have much of a chance to see your entries….but I will try to catch up later.

  • Kozmo

    Maybe if the US stopped ignoring the poverty south of the border and helped work in partnership to improve the economies of our neighbors to the south, desperate Latin Americans wouldn’t struggle so hard to leave their homelands in the first place. Treating the disease rather than the symptoms might do a world of good, we should try it sometime.

    • dave in texas

      Are you trying to say we should think beyond the next quarter or the next election?!? HERETIC! TO THE STOCKS WITH YOU!

  • Trump says what everyone knows….

    ““When politicians talk about ‘immigration reform’ they mean: amnesty, cheap labor and open borders,” Trump wrote in the position paper.”

    http://conservativetribune.com/trump-biggest-campaign-move/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=ConservativeTribune&utm_content=2015-08-17

    Dems give it up, you have CNN we have the internet.

  • “…undocumented illegal immigrants who have been assigned to the position of commissioner.

    The Huntington Park City Council is being paid with taxpayers’ money to do a job within rules and regulations. According to your board behind you, it says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” I want to paraphrase that and say: Where there is no law, the people perish.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/18/must-see-black-woman-rips-council-over-illegal-aliens/

    Holding liberals accountable….

  • Trump going after another liberal sacred cow….anchor babies

    “Trump responded that O’Reilly’s concerns by saying he was wrong about how the Constitution applies to anchor babies. “Many lawyers are saying that’s not the way it is in terms of this,” Trump said. “They are saying it is not going to hold up in court. It will have to be tested but they say it will not hold up in court.””

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/trump-to-oreilly-the-14th-amendment-wont-hold-up-in-court/

    Anchor babies and selling aborted baby parts are big businesses for democrats.

  • Indiana Pearl
  • Blue Dogs

    Meanwhile in the campaign for Houston Mayor, Ben Hall (D) received major endorsement from the city’s influential African American pastors!

  • WUSRPH

    Question for the lawyers. If, as many anti-immigrant folks claim, that the language in the 14th amendment that makes you a citizen if you are born here was ONLY meant to apply to the freed slaves, what effect would that have on the millions of Americans, probably including Trump’s parents, who got their citizenship thru the interpretation that says if you were born here you are a citizen? If their citizenship was not valid would that also invalidate The Donald’s? Or can you make some convoluted argument that the invalidation only covers the children of illegal aliens? See how stupid and messy fooling with the 14th amendment becomes.

    Where it gets even messier is when that drop the argument that it only applied to freed slaves and try to argue that it applied to everyone else EXCEPT the children of illegals. They try to claim that since their parents were here illegally, they were not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States and thus their children are to be treated as if they were the children of foreign diplomats who do not become citizens when they are born here.

    That argument overlooks a number of things, including the fact that foreign diplomats and their children are not subject to our laws (diplomatic immunity) while illegals certainly are. It also overlooks the fact that, when the 14th Amendment was adopted, it was clearly understood that the “subject to” language was intended to apply ONLY to foreign diplomats and American Indians.

    Of course, it is all made even more messy by the fact that there was no such thing as an illegal alien in 1868 when the amendment was adopted. That concept did not appear in our laws until after the adoption of real immigration controls with national quotas and such in the 1920s. Before then all immigrants, except Chinese, were legal.. (Chinese had been excluded by a law not finally repealed until China, as our ally in WW II, expressed its feeling about the law.)

    P.S. A federal law adopted under the provisions of the 14th Amendment that give the Congress the power to implement it by law, clearly says that born here makes you a citizen, but the anti folks say that too does not apply to illegal alien’s kids.

    • José

      Birthright citizenship, another wonderful right created by courageous leaders of the Republican Party and now disavowed by their lesser successors.
      As others have said, this right is one of those things that actually does make our nation exceptional, and it’s awful that many of the people who speak so stridently about American Exceptionalism are the same ones who want to erode some of our finest qualities.

    • You just highlighted another flaw of the overly simplistic way that many look at immigration. It is ridiculously obvious that very few elected leaders and those who want to be leaders have actually thought through all the various issues that make up the conundrum of how to deal with legal and illegal immigration.

      They’d rather spout feel good slogans that have no substance to them, such as build a wall and end the entitlements rather than support reasonable solutions.

    • Indiana Pearl

      This will make it tough for Ted Cruz . . .

    • Erica just addressed this, and quite well, in her latest installment

      • WUSRPH

        Yes, she did but I was a day ahead.

  • WUSRPH

    Another problem: How are we going to tell the illegals from the rest of us including from legal Hispanics? A national identity card? So, if you cannot show one when stopped by the law, we know you are illegal? We could make it a computer chip installed in your body. We would do it at birth for the future, but us older folks would have to go in and have it inserted. Or maybe we can make them all wear yellow sombreros.

    Goodbye for now from San Antonio.

    P.S. Some leftist group in Washington, The Center for American Progress, estimates that it would cost at least $10,000 per illegal to round up and deport the 11.3 million illegals….or a mere $113 BILLION DOLLARS. But maybe we can get the Mexicans to pay that too. The San Antonio newspaper estimates that it will cost about $30 billion
    to build Donald’s Wall. It did not give a source nor specify what kind of a wall..but that gets us up to more than $140 billion for The Donald’s Plan (sic) and still counting…

    • Indiana Pearl

      And they’ll come right back . . .

    • Indiana Pearl

      I believe the Nazis used tattoos . . .

      • with a 666?

      • Beerman

        Since you mentioned the Nazis, it is remarkable how in their minds, the Nazi leaders in Europe, and their accomplices in the 1930’s, thought they were not doing something evil. They convinced themselves their movement was the right thing to do, the thing they had to do. Sounds very similar to some of the extreme rhetoric in the present Presidential race.

      • WUSRPH

        Only on concentration camp residents…Those who paid only a short visit to the death camps (just enough time to be murdered) never got them. The most they had was a yellow Star of David on their clothes it they were Jews, a red triangle for political prisoners, a pink one for gays, a green one from criminals and so forth. That’s just where the Yellow Sombrero would fit in.

    • José

      Even identifying them at birth been a problem in the Valley. Not every child is born in a hospital, and midwives are pretty common among the Latino community. Sometimes they have trouble registering the births, even though the child was born in the U.S. I doubt that many middle class Anglo families have that kind of difficulty should they give birth at home.

      • Indiana Pearl

        As the grandmother of a native Texan, I have yet to find a mark or indicator of her status that differs from her plain, humble Hoosier parents.

      • WUSRPH

        You may have seen that the State Bureau of Vital Statistics in currently hassling the alien parents when they try to get birth certificates for their children. They are demanding all kinds of IDs that illegal aliens probably do not have. A lawsuit has been filed. Some think the State is trying to force a case to raise the challenge to citizenship by birth for these kids.

  • TexasRasta

    Welfare is the biggest driver of illegal immigration and has two downfalls 1) The taxpayer money going to people that will not accept a job that is tough and pays poorly 2) It creates demand for illegals who do take the jobs and also collect welfare benefits. Immigration is a great thing and I am all for a free market to labor, if someone is willing to work for wage and some is willing to hire someone to work for that wage, government should not step in between to consenting individuals. It is one thing to have an open border to work freely, it is quite another to have a lack of border security, while a welfare state exists; a welfare state and open immigration cannot coexist. Taxpayers should not have to pay the welfare bill twice. I am for deporting lazy US citizens, for hard working foreigners 365 24/7

    Trump has rightly identified a problem with [illegal] immigration but has wrongly come up with the first solution, which is to do his best to abolish the welfare state. Bad government schooling, bad government minimum wage laws, bad government regulations, bad government taxation have driven US Jobs south and overseas leaving US citizens with little jobs and a higher cost of living.

    The 14th amendment excluded many native americans from citizenship and denied citizenship for diplomats having children here during their visits here and they were INVITED because

    “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, [and subject to the JURISDICTION thereof], are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    I live in El Paso, we are one of the safest cities in the US not because of illegal immigration, but because we have every single federal law enforcement agency in the country, El Paso PD, Sheriff department, Texas Rangers, Texas State Troopers, Ft. Bliss and many of us exercise our 2nd amendment right.

    BTW hispanics are some of the most conservative groups you can come across, if not for the topic of immigration, you would have a very religious, very pro-life group at voting for the Right.

    Trade unions and many progressives hate illegal immigration, although many don’t admit it. Bernie Sanders is against immigration, but he gets his money from the unions and his closing of the border makes sense….right?

    • Indiana Pearl

      The driver of illegal immigration is the income differences between Mexico and the U.S. If your hypothesis was correct, the U.S. would have lots more Canadian “illegals.” Canadians like their system and are not eager to give it up.

      • It’s not just the income disparity, which makes our complaints about income inequality seem trivial, but it is also the job availability that drives much of the illegal immigration.

      • TexasRasta

        The driver is the supply of jobs and income disparity as well because the level of the jobs that offered are overwhelmingly low skilled work. If the US had a shortage of jobs paying $500,000 that Canadians were qualified for, they would migrate to the US as well.

        Welfare sealed our borders and its a shame. Unfortunately Bernie Sanders is going to keep the poor from all over the world, form having the opportunity to work and have a better life in the US because of his union cronies

    • Unwound

      Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for welfare, food stamps, medicaid or most other methods of public assistance.

      • TexasRasta

        They may not qualify but they get the benefits regardless and on the border, they get food assistance, use it in the US grocery stores and walk over the bridge back to Mexico (Juarez in the case) where they live.

      • TexasRasta

        The biggest joke is the enforcement of the welfare system. In NY they just caught a family of 4 making in excess of $400,000 well above the threshold for housing assistance and NY knows and doesn’t care, despite 300,000 people on the waiting list. BTW they pay $1,500 a month for their apartment.

        When government agencies are in charge, its about the numbers, not the qualifications. Medicaid, Medicare, VA all travesties, horrible care and over budget.

  • Madrigalian

    The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers (2013)

    Executive Summary

    This report estimates the annual costs of illegal immigration at the federal, state and local level to be about $113 billion; nearly $29 billion at the federal level and $84 billion at the state and local level. The study also estimates tax collections from illegal alien workers, both those in the above-ground economy and those in the underground economy. Those receipts do not come close to the level of expenditures and, in any case, are misleading as an offset because over time unemployed and underemployed U.S. workers would replace illegal alien workers.

    Key Findings

    Illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers about $113 billion a year at the federal, state and local level. The bulk of the costs — some $84 billion — are absorbed by state and local governments.

    The annual outlay that illegal aliens cost U.S. taxpayers is an average amount per native-headed household of $1,117. The fiscal impact per household varies considerably because the greatest share of the burden falls on state and local taxpayers whose burden depends on the size of the illegal alien population in that locality

    Education for the children of illegal aliens constitutes the single largest cost to taxpayers, at an annual price tag of nearly $52 billion. Nearly all of those costs are absorbed by state and local governments.

    At the federal level, about one-third of outlays are matched by tax collections from illegal aliens. At the state and local level, an average of less than 5 percent of the public costs associated with illegal immigration is recouped through taxes collected from illegal aliens.

    Most illegal aliens do not pay income taxes. Among those who do, much of the revenues collected are refunded to the illegal aliens when they file tax returns. Many are also claiming tax credits resulting in payments from the U.S. Treasury.

    http://fair.thinkrootshq.com/publications/the-fiscal-burden-of-illegal-immigration-on-united-states-taxpayers