One of the most common refrains that's heard from politicians and from people on the street is that we can talk about reforming our immigration policies when the border is secure.
When politicians talk about securing border, they generally mean the border with Mexico. But, here is the vital question; what makes the border secure?
Is the border secure when there is no net migration from Mexico? Is the border secure when no one crosses the border illegally? Is the border secure when there is no smuggling—no infiltration of illegal drugs and weapons? Is the border secure when no terrorists enter the United States? Is the border secure where no one attempts to use a visa to cross into the United States, but then stays in the United States beyond the terms of their visa? What if the person enters the United States on a visa that does not allow a person to work legally in the United States and then starts working; is the border not secure?
Migration From Mexico
Here is the little secret that no one is talking about: in 2011, there was no net migration from Mexico to the United States. According to the Pew Research Hispanic Center, net migration from Mexico in 2011 was zero, or perhaps even less.
There are several reasons for the change in migration from Mexico including the weaker U.S. economy, the stronger Mexican economy, and lower birth rates from Mexico. However, one of the main reasons for the change in migration is $18 billion.
In 2012, United States Spent More On Immigration Enforcement Than All Other Types Of Law Enforcement Put Together
In 2012, the United States spent more on immigration enforcement than on all areas of law enforcement combined. The United States government spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement and it spent a total of $14.4 billion on the rest of federal law enforcement including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Drug Enforcement Agency. This massive influx of money into immigration enforcement has helped to secure the border.
Over The Past Four Years The Obama Administration Has Deported More Immigrants Than Any Other President In History
The other secret that no politician is talking about is that the Obama Administration has deported more documented and undocumented immigrants than any other modern president. As of July 2012, Obama deported 1.4 million documented and undocumented immigrants since the beginning of his administration in 2009.
To put these numbers in an even larger context, between 1892 and 1997 a total of 2.1 million people were deported from the United States. In 2012, more than 400,000 people were deported. If future policy goes according to this trend, by 2014, President Obama will have deported more than 2 million people. In other words, more people will have been deported from 2009 through 2014 than all of the people deported prior to 1997 combined. President Obama has been “stronger” on illegal immigration than any other modern president.
There Has Been A Decrease In Violent Crime And In Arrests Along The Border
Recently, the Department of Homeland Security has recorded a decrease in violent crime along the border. The Department of Homeland Security statistics show a decrease in violent crime and in arrests along the Mexican-American Border.
Most Of The People Arrested On Federal Terrorism Charges Are U.S. Citizens—Usually Entering The United States At An Airport
According to a recent study at the University of Maryland, most of the people indicted on federal terrorism charges were U.S. citizens and these people usually entered the United States at airports from countries through out the world.
Roughly 40 Percent Of Undocumented Immigrants Entered The United States Legally
According to the popular website PolitiFact roughly 40 percent of the undocumented immigrant population in the United States originally entered the United States legally and then stayed beyond the terms of their original visa.
Should the United States be tracking every person who enters the country? Should we be monitoring their movements and arrest all those who overstay their visa? If a person enters the United States on a non-work visa and starts working, should the U.S. government track this person down and deport him or her?
How do we determine that the border is secure and who should make this decision? According to some, the Senate Plan calls for a commission of border state governors and other officials make this decision?
The Democrats are trying to ensure that this Commission makes recommendations that Congress then weighs. How do we keep the border safe and secure? Do we militarize the border?
Despite all of the noise out there; is it actually possible that the border is secure?
Next Post: The Senate’s Immigration Plan