Saturday, July 17, 2010

Border crossing deaths

A few days ago, I wrote about how economic recovery was increasing the number of border crossings.  Now (via Border Wall in the News) the number of border crossing deaths may hit a record high this month (the record of 68 was set in July 2005).

Apprehensions in the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector have decreased each of the past five years; remittances to Mexico have declined and anecdotal reports show the economic recession has slowed illegal immigration. Yet more people are dying than ever.
Border-county law enforcement, Mexican consular officials, Tohono O'odham tribal officials and humanitarian groups say the buildup of border fencing, technology and agents has caused illegal border crossers to walk longer distances in more treacherous terrain, increasing the likelihood that people will get hurt or fatigued and left behind to die.
The Border Patrol disagrees that it's pushing illegal immigrants into more hazardous terrain and points to its rescue efforts as evidence that its presence prevents deaths rather than causes them.

The Border Patrol certainly does not want people to die, and rescues those it can, but border enforcement pushes people to seek ever more dangerous routes.  Study after study has shown the number of deaths increasing as border security was tightened.  The essential point is that people will come illegally if there is no legal route, and take greater risks if they need to.


Anonymous,  6:47 PM  

Are you suggesting we don't tighten border security because people may die?

Greg Weeks 6:57 PM  

No. What I would suggest is that border security both will not work and will kill more people if not accompanied by immigration reform.

Anonymous,  7:01 PM  

ahh, that I agree with.

Tambopaxi 9:15 AM  

Greg, I'm not sure what you mean by immigration reform, but your response still implies responsibility for killing people lies with the U.S. because it's tightening up the border.

You've said before that efforts to build a wall, etc., have been failures, now you're saying that those same walls are causing people to go farther to cross the border - which means the walls are working.

In walking farther, you say, more people are dying, which is tragic, as is all loss of life. Still, you responsibiliza, para nada, a la misma gente for having decided to walk out there in the first place. There are signs along the border (actually, well within Mexican territory) warning people not to cross the desert - and they still do it.

Looking for a job is not a reason to commit suicide, which is what these people are doing of their own will, and yet it's implied that they die because it's the United States' fault. In reality, it's the failure of Latin American countries - after all these years - to generate employment for their own people, resulting in suicidal desperation, as I would call it. Said suicides are then blamed on the U.S. for its failure to carry out "immigration reform", i.e., it's the Americans' fault again.

Here's my take on what we should do regarding reform:

1. Amnesty for every/every illegal in the States right now, all 12 million of them, or how many there are at the moment. Per Obama's ideas, do due diligence in terms of citizenship processes, etc., but get it done and put this problem behind us, period.

2. Build the rest of the wall, double, triple, quadruple, the size of the BP, and make it crystal clear to folks down here in LA that no one else is going to come across the U.S. border illegally - and if they die in the attempt, it's their own/own fault, not the United States'.

It's simply amazing that people continue to hold the States morally culpable for daring to defend its own borders, when in fact, the responsibilities for this tragedy lie with LA countries (when will they ever grow up and generate jobs?) and Latino individuals themselves for putting themselves in harm's way...

Hipporage 12:49 PM  

The problem isn't who is to blame. Why do people take blame so personal. Govs make crapy decisions and people pay. Fact is that heavier border patrol has only increased how long immigrants stay for work and has not stoped or curbed people coming in.
Jobs = workers
America's aging work force= need for young workers

Greg Weeks 10:41 PM  

People dying does not mean walls work--it means people take greater risks to get through/around them.

Ideally, immigration reform (which goes far beyond what you describe, with guest workers, workplace enforcement, amnesty, and a host of other things) would greatly reduce the need for all the fencing and there would be no need for people to die to get through/around them.

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