Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Half-Baked Plans That Sound Good On Talk Radio

I have a feeling this recent something-must-be-done-about-illegal-immigration flap will dissipate over the next few months but for now it’s of the highest priority among the pundit and political classes.

What I’m wondering is, can you really shut down the flow of illegals coming from Mexico and Central America? Even if you could construct a giant, impenetrable barrier along the whole 2000 mile Mexican border (and, as Stephen Colbert suggested last night on his show, front it with a flaming mote filled with fire-proof alligators) would that put an end to illegal immigration? Would it make a serious dent? I’m seriously asking.

It seems to me, many if not most would-be border jumpers would simply take to the sea. I’m not sure if logistically you could get as many people smuggled into the country that way but I bet it would be close as long as there are jobs to be had here (and not there). Like I pointed out before, efforts to stem the importation of drugs into the country have been a dismal failure, what makes anyone think the same won’t be true of human contraband?

Maybe I’m wrong but it just seems to me the Stopping Them at the Border plan isn’t going to work on its own. Without drying up the demand for the workers here, and improving the economies in their home countries, they’re going to find a way in.

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