January 31, 2009

U.S. Customs and Border Protection division of DHS apprehended more than one million illegal aliens at our borders in fiscal year 2008 FEEL SAFER?

Posted by D.A. King at 5:51 pm - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

The U.S. Border Patrol is part of the DHS Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

The stats below are from the CBP Website. There is a lot more HERE .

CBP apprehended over 1.02 million people at and between our ports of entry during FY 2008.

CBP seized more than 2.78 million pounds of narcotics during FY 2008.

During Fiscal Year ( end 1 October) 2008, CBP apprehended more than 200 people with serious criminal records including murder, rape, and child molestation.

According to the Arizona Daily Star newspaper, “in 2008, agents in the Tucson Sector made an average of 837 apprehensions of Mexicans daily, down from 1,000-plus a day the previous two years”.

FYI – John McCain has told congress that Border Patrol successfully apprehends one of every gour illegal border crossers, which is that agencies official estimate. Having been on the border in Arizona many times and spoken to young Border Patrol Agents who are right now risking their lives to protect us. When their supervisors were not around, many of them have told me that they are lucky to catch one of every eight or ten illegal crossers.

After they are let out on the southern side of the border, most illegal crossers who get caught simply try again until they make it .

My point is this…at a million two hundred thousand apprehensions in 2008, OUR BORDERS ARE NOT SECURE!

January 30, 2009


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Chattanooga Times
Perla Trevizo

Chattanooga: Immigration in reverse

José Gómez is seeing fewer people in his gym in Dalton, Ga. Not because folks aren’t as interested in staying healthy, he says, but because they’re interested in staying out of jail.

New immigration laws in Georgia — among the toughest in the nation — are scaring families with illegal immigrants out of the state, he says.

“I’ve known of at least 20 families that have left just because of these laws,” he said.

The fear and flight is not just in Georgia. Tougher immigration laws and more enforcement activity, combined with a slowing economy, are causing many immigrant families to pack their bags and head to other states or back to their native countries, area business owners and residents said.

Advocates of stricter controls on illegal immigrants complain that some laws still aren’t being fully enforced. But both sides of the immigration battle agree that undocumented workers are facing a variety of new hurdles.

n Georgia’s Security and Immigration Compliance Act, adopted in 2006 and implemented on July 1, 2007, requires verification of citizenship or legal alien status for any person to receive a government benefit in Georgia or to keep a new job by a public agency or state contractor.

n Although Tennessee has no state immigration controls similar to Georgia, a growing number of employers in Tennessee and other states are voluntarily joining the federal E-Verify program to check the legal status of new workers. A handful of police agencies in Tennessee also are participating in another federal program to check the immigration status of people they arrest.

n The federal Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency is checking more employers for illegal immigrant workers. In April, for instance, ICE arrested 100 workers at the Pilgrim’s Pride poultry plant in Chattanooga. Since then, federal and local authorities have recently made several arrests of undocumented workers in area neighborhoods.

The Rev. Mike Feely with the St. Andrews Center said the Hispanic community is definitely scared.

“There’s a heightened sense of awareness,” he said. “This has happened and the world doesn’t seem the same anymore.”

Bernardo Olvera, who owns a photo studio in Dalton, said while some immigrants decide to stay and look for employment opportunities in Chattanooga and Ooltewah, a large percentage have left to other states such as Texas, Louisiana and North Carolina.

“I know of a large percentage of people who have come to my studio to pick up some photos because they say they are leaving. I don’t know if that was the original intention of the authorities,” he said.

deportations rise

Across the South, the number of illegal immigrants deported from the United States has more than tripled in the past five years, rising more than five times as fast as the nation as a whole, according to Immigration and Custom Enforcement figures.

Nationwide, the number of people deported from October through February of fiscal 2008 totaled 113,683, or nearly 45 percent more than the same period a year ago. By comparison in the same period, deportations from the Atlanta office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement jumped from 1,546 in 2005 to 5,186 this year.

“The climate is certainly much different than in the past,” said Robert Divine, an immigration lawyer in Chattanooga. “We’re seeing more enforcement activity as the administration tries to demonstrate that the government has the will and ability to enforce the law.”

The increased enforcement against illegal immigrants comes as unemployment in the region is at the highest level in more than 15 years in Georgia and at a 21-year high in Tennessee. Immigrants often are among the last hired and the first fired in an economic downturn, and the new restrictions are making it harder for illegal immigrants to find or keep their jobs, officials said.

Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, said the general effects of Georgia’s tougher immigration laws have been creating a lot of confusion and fear.

“The word-of-mouth is spreading that Georgia is an unwelcoming place, and that’s not necessarily something we want to portray our state as,” he said.

But state Sen. John Douglas, R-Social Circle, said the new laws he helped sponsor are having their desired effect.

“We’re definitely seeing a downturn in the number of illegal immigrants in Georgia both because of the economy and some of these new rules,” he said. “Georgia has certainly earned a reputation that it is less friendly to illegal immigration than other areas and that was our goal. We want illegal immigrants to know that this is not the place for them.”

georgia crackdown

Sen. Douglas was a key sponsor of new immigration enforcement law adopted by Georgia lawmakers two years ago. The Georgia law requires state and local governments to verify the citizenship of any government contractor or recipient of government benefits administered by a state agency such as nonemergency health care. The new law also requires state law enforcement agencies to check the legal status of those charged with a felony or a DUI.

SB 529: Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act

Effective July 1, 2007

* Requires that jail personnel check the legal status of those charged with a felony or DUI and notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement if the individual is not legally in the United States.

* Requires that entities verify legal U.S. residence for local, state or federal benefits administered by a state agencies, with some exceptions such as prenatal and emergency care.

* Requires that companies contracted with state agencies use the E-Verify program for newly hired employees to verify lawful employment in the country.

* Specifies that undocumented employee compensation more than $600 a year may not be used as an allowable business expense.

* Requires 6 percent state withholding tax for all nonresident aliens.

* Authorizes the Department of Public Safety to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Department of Justice concerning the enforcement of immigration laws.

Source: Georgia’s State Legislature

287 (g)

* Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides for the authorization of trained state and local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration law.

* In Georgia, the Georgia Department of Public Safety and the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office are among the four entities that participate in the program.

* In Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Safety and the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office in Nashville are part of the program.

Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Web site


* A voluntary Internet-based program established to allow employers to electronically verify workers’ employment eligibility with the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.

* E-Verify allows participating employers to electronically compare employee information taken from the Form I-9 (the paper-based employment eligibility verification form used for all new hires) against more than 425 million records in Social Security Administration’s database and more than 60 million records in Department of Homeland Security’s immigration databases.

* Results are returned within seconds.

* Those employees whose work authorization cannot be instantly verified are given the opportunity to work with the Social Security Administration or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to confirm their work authorization.

* Naturalized citizens who haven’t updated their records with the Social Security Administration are the largest category of work-authorized persons who initially face a mismatch in E-Verify.

* More than 66,000 employers, representing close to 259,000 worksites, currently are signed up to use the E-Verify program, and the number of registered employers is growing by more than 1,000 per week.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Web site

Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program

* An inter-governmental information sharing initiative to help benefit granting agency workers determine a non-citizen applicant’s immigration status, ensuring that only entitled non-citizen applicants receive federal, state, or local public benefits and licenses.

* A rate of $0.50 applies to each request submitted electronically, with an additional $0.50 charge if the case is referred for additional verification. A rate of $2 applies to each initial manual verification request submitted via the paper-based Form G-845, Document Verification Request.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Web site
A separate Georgia law that went into effect July 1 also requires legal status verification for those convicted of driving without a license or a revoked license. If the person is not legally in the country, officials must notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

At the federal level, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is offering a new enforcement option to local police, a computer system — called 287(g) — that allows access to multiple databases to check the legal residency status of a person.

The Tennessee Department of Public Safety, Nashville’s Davidson County Sheriff’s Department and four Georgia sheriff departments, including Whitfield County in Dalton, have trained officers on the federal verification system. They are among 59 enforcement agencies that have collectively trained nearly 800 local officers nationwide to enforce immigration laws. The $42 million training program this year, up from $15 million in fiscal 2007, has helped identify more than 62,000 people with possible immigration violations in the past two years, according to government figures.

The Whitfield County Sheriff’s Department started working with the system in May to screen those arrested on other charges who cannot provide proof of legal residence or U.S. citizenship. After a few months of operation, Whitfield Sheriff Scott Chitwood calls the situation a “win-win.”

Prior to the program, Sheriff Chitwood said his department would call the ICE office in Atlanta to check on the status anyone arrested who couldn’t provide documentation. Under the new federal program, deputies are sworn federal officers who can enforce immigration rules, Sheriff Chitwood said.

“Our officers now have the ability to hold someone at the jail and basically start the deportation process,” he said. “So what 287(g) has done is put six federal officers in the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Department.”

Lt. Wesley Lynch, a supervising officer with 287(g) training at the Whitfield Jail, said he thinks that public awareness of the program has caused a “dramatic decrease in our jail population and a noticeable decrease in the number of inmates arrested with no Social Security number.”

Legal fears and enforcement

Critics of the 287(g) program argue that what was sold as a program to catch and deport criminal illegal immigrants has spiraled out of control and people are being deported for traffic violations in some communities such as Nashville.

“Families are deciding not to drive together in the same car because of fear no one will be able to take care of their children in case they are stopped,” said Catalina Nieto, public awareness coordinator with the Tennessee Immigrants and Refugees Rights Coalition.

She said that in Davidson County more than 80 percent of those processed under 287(g) were only charged with misdemeanors.

“People in our community are living in fear, which affects all of us because that means people not reporting crimes or being easy target of crimes,” she added.

But proponents of tougher immigration enforcement contend that many local governments are not following all parts of the Georgia law more than two years after it was passed.

Among Georgia’s 159 counties, only Whitfield, Hall, Cobb and Gwinnett counties have police agencies participating in the federal 287(g) program, Mr. King said.

Among 694 cities and counties in Georgia, only 10 were enrolled in June in the federal program that verifies the legal status of non U.S. citizens for benefits — known as the Systematic Alien Verification of Entitlement (SAVE) program, according to Department of Homeland Security figures.

“The law clearly says that, before any public benefit may be offered to any legal alien living in Georgia, they must use the SAVE program,” said D.A. King, an immigration control advocate who lives in Marietta, Ga. “But very few agencies are even signed up for the program two years after it was adopted and a year after these new rules went into effect.”

Sen. Douglas, who said the Georgia law “overall has been very positive,” also wants better enforcement of the rules by Georgia cities and counties.

“Very few cities and counties have complied fully with Georgia law and I am preparing now a letter to the city and county associations in Georgia, reminding them that they need to get their members to come into compliance with the law or the Legislature may take more steps to make sure the law is enforced,” he said.

Sen. Douglas said he may introduce new legislation if cities and counties don’t comply with the current law.

Immigration shift

The Southeast has been a magnet for many immigrants in recent years.

Between 2000 and 2006, the foreign-born population in Georgia changed from 577,273 to 859,590, a rise of 49 percent and representing 9.2 percent of the total population, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit Washington, D.C.-think tank that analyses the movement of people worldwide.

In Tennessee, the foreign-born population increased from 159,004 to 236,516 between 2000 and 2006, a 48.7 percent increase and 3.9 percent of the state’s total population.

But over time, tougher immigration enforcement definitely slows down immigration growth, said University of Georgia demographer Dr. Douglas Bachtel.

“Once they lose their job, they have to move to other places, particularly if they are illegal, because they won’t be able to get unemployment compensation,” he said. “They might stay for a while because their friends and family will take care of them, but that can’t last long.”

Luis Arevalo and his wife, Rebeca Garcia, are among those illegal immigrants in the area debating whether it’s better to stay in Dalton and hope things will get better or look elsewhere for opportunities.

Ms. Garcia lost her job at a carpet factory five months ago when her bosses discovered she was in the country illegally. A month after that, she gave birth to her second son, Jefferson.

“It has been extremely hard finding another job because all the companies are being very cautious in verifying the documents of who they hire,” the Guatemalan native said in Spanish.

Ms. Garcia and her husband said they have talked about the possibility of returning to Guatemala or perhaps moving to a different state where immigration laws are not as tough. But Mr. Arevalo said he has built his life in Dalton and doesn’t want to leave.

“I’ve been here for seven years. I’ve built friendships, a family, I don’t want to go,” the 25-year-old said in Spanish.


January 29, 2009

Chamber Says ‘Jump’; Obama Asks, ‘How High? – Mark Krikorian

Posted by D.A. King at 7:41 pm - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Chamber Says ‘Jump’; Obama Asks, ‘How High?’

By Mark Krikorian, January 29, 2009

Center for Immigration Studies

Good news and bad news on the E-Verify front. The House version of the “stimulus,” monstrous though it is, at least retains the requirement that recipients of its funds be enrolled in E-Verify, so as to screen out illegals. On the other hand, at the request of the open-borders U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Obama Administration has postponed, for the second time, implementation of the rule that existing federal contractors be enrolled in E-Verify. The explicit goal is to kill the rule; in the words of the Chamber’s spokesman, “We are hopeful that the incoming administration will agree that E-Verify is the wrong solution at the wrong time.” The curious argument is that businesses shouldn’t be asked to check that illegals not be hired because they’re already under a lot of stress as it is; in other words, illegal aliens should be permitted to take jobs even though unemployment is at its highest level in a generation.

The Indianapolis paper parroted this line in opposing what might become the nation’s toughest state immigration bill, the centerpiece of which is an E-Verify mandate for Indiana firms: “The first major problem with Senate Bill 580 involves timing. Amid a deep national recession, with companies eliminating jobs by the thousands, [Sen. Mike] Delph’s bill would add another layer of regulation, and more expense, on every business in the state.” Regulation? It’s already illegal to hire illegal aliens; if you want to change that, say so openly. Expense? The editorial writer is clearly relying on Chamber talking points rather than experience; I’ve been using E-Verify for a while now and there’s no expenditure of money and very little of time. The real problem with it is that legitimate employers can tell who the illegals are, and crooked employers can no longer pretend not to know.


Janet Napolitano to criminal illegal aliens: GET OUT!

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Associated Press

Homeland secretary wants criminal aliens out of US

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says if you’re a criminal and you’re not entitled to be in the United States, she wants you out of the country.

Napolitano wants what she calls “criminal aliens” off American streets. She is looking at existing immigration enforcement programs to see if taxpayers are getting the most bang for their buck.

Napolitano, whose job includes overseeing immigration laws, says she also will go after criminal fugitives who are illegally in the country.

Officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement say about 201,000 criminals illegally in the U.S. were deported last year.


I am off to do my happy dance!

Stimulus money to go to illegal aliens?

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Associated Press

Hill Republican: Stimulus aids illegal aliens

A top Republican congressional aide says the $800 billion-plus economic stimulus measure could steer government checks to illegal [aliens]. — Republican officials are concerned that the Democratic-written legislation makes people who came to the United States illegally eligible for tax credits of $500 per worker…


Another illegal alien kills another American – Clarke County mom dies as she walks along road with her 3 year-old son

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Athens Banner Herald

Teen guilty in fatal hit-and-run

A teen pleaded guilty Monday to hitting and killing a North Clarke County woman as she walked along Commerce Road with her 3-year-old son in June.

Fifteen-year-old Abel Gonzalez-Perez pleaded guilty to first-degree vehicular homicide, DUI and hit-and-run in the June death of 19-year-old Nayasheika “Keisha” Cooper, who died after being struck from behind while she walked with her son to get a drink.

Gonzalez-Perez, who was working illegally in the United States at the time of his arrest, accepted prosecutors’ recommendation that he spend as many as eight years in prison and an additional seven on probation.


D.A. King on Southern Political Report website – my guest column today: Nashville vote indicates immigration issues have cooled? “Absurdo” says Georgia immigration activist

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My guest column today on the Southern Political Report, an Insider Advantage publication. Mr. Tom Baxter editor.

My column below, in response to Mr. Baxter’s column of January 27, 2008: “Nashville vote indicates immigration issues have cooled” HERE

We thank Mr. Baxter for the space. My original column on Southern Poitical Report HERE

Nashville vote indicates immigration issues have cooled? “Absurdo” says Georgia immigration activist

January 29, 2009

D.A. King

“If Washington still wants to “do something” about immigration, we propose a five-word constitutional amendment: There shall be open borders.” The Wall Street Journal, July 3, 1984

The premise that the recent win for the well-funded open borders crowd in defeating the Nashville charter amendment making English the official language of government there somehow means that “the immigration issue has cooled” is, well… absurdo.

While in temporarily diminished numbers, illegal aliens are still flowing across our southern border. U.S. Border Patrol Agents are still risking their lives to protect us. Criminal employers are still rewarding the wage thieves and our tax dollars are still going to subsidize these victims of geography.

And we are doing it in two languages.

The huge majority of the American people are still outraged over it – even while being told that taxes, soaring unemployment, the American health care crisis, the declining quality of our educational system and the growing disrespect for the rule of law are totally unrelated to the fact that there are about twenty million mostly low-skilled aliens depressing the American Dream in unpunished violation of American law.

What has changed is the fact that — ever-hopeful we will forget about it — the mainstream media has put the issue on the back burner.

While it is certainly true that the two presidential candidates were in agreement on repeating the failed amnesty of 1986, the assumption that they didn’t talk about it is equally incorrect.

Just not so much in Inglés.

During the campaign, they both talked about it mucho – but mostly in the Spanish language media.

In the native language of the majority of the illegal aliens, Obama repeatedly made the promise to attempt a do-over of the ’86 amnesty in his first year in office. McCain raised the ante on Univision, a Spanish language television network. He said he would present it to Congress “on my first day.”

Which is why many conservatives went fishing on Election Day, including this one.

Two candidates for president each making two sets of promises in two different languages. The common and desperate message from each: “voto para mí.”

Despite the huge amount of money spent to dispel the truth, the Nashville amendment didn’t tell anyone what language to speak. The goal was to designate a common, unifying and official language (English!) in which to operate the city government and excluded any federally mandated requirements.

When falling back on the tired and false rendition of “we are a nation of immigrants and must cater to all languages in the name of diversity,” we should all take note that such an amendment was unimaginable and unnecessary just twenty years ago.

Illegal immigration likely had nothing to do with that change…si?

We all remember taking our drivers license test in Chinese, Italian, Celtic and Dutch. Correcto?

People who don’t study the illegal immigration crisis seldom understand that the coalition of big business, the radical big ethnic lobby, big religion and big media will do and say anything to advance the cause of the free flow of people and massive immigration, legal or illegal.

Open borders is the final goal and the “follow the money’ rule will never be so obvious.


D.A. King is a community organizer and president of the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society, which is opposed to open borders and a bilingual America. On the Web: www.TheDustinInmanSociety.org

January 28, 2009

Study shows immigration low priority for Latinos

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Inland Valley Daily Bulletin — Ontario, Calif.

Study shows immigration low priority for Latinos

…Only three in 10 Latinos rate immigration as an “extremely important” issue facing the incoming Obama administration, according to a new report from the Pew Hispanic Center. — The top-rated issue among Latinos is the economy, with 57% saying it is an “extremely important” one for the new president to address, the report states…


Yearly Mexican remittances drop for first time

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Associated Press

Yearly Mexican remittances drop for first time

The money sent home by Mexican migrants fell in 2008 for the first time on record, Mexico’s central bank said Tuesday — part of a global trend that could worsen as emigrants from developing countries lose jobs in the global financial crisis…

Experts blame a crackdown on illegal immigration that has stemmed the flow of those heading north to seek work as well as the U.S. recession, in which many Mexicans, especially construction workers, have been laid off.

It was the first time remittances have fallen year-to-year since the bank starting tracking the money 13 years ago. HERE

January 27, 2009

Open Nafta Borders? Why Not? WSJ 2001

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From the WSJ Opinion Archives


Open Nafta Borders? Why Not?
Immigration is what made this country great.

Monday, July 2, 2001 12:01 A.M. EDT

Reformist Mexican President Vincente Fox raises eyebrows with his suggestion that over a decade or two Nafta should evolve into something like the European Union, with open borders for not only goods and investment but also people. He can rest assured that there is one voice north of the Rio Grande that supports his vision. To wit, this newspaper.

We annually celebrate the Fourth of July with a paean to immigration, the force that tamed this vast continent and built this great Republic. This is not simply history; immigration continues to refresh and nourish America; we would be better off with more of it. Indeed, during the immigration debate of 1984 we suggested an ultimate goal to guide passing policies–a constitutional amendment: “There shall be open borders.”

The naysayers who want to limit or abolish immigration look backward to a history they do not even understand. Each new immigrant group has been derided as backward, unclean, crime-ridden and so on; each has gone on to adopt the American dream of a free and independent people, and to win advancement economically, politically, socially. The ability to assimilate is the heart of the American genius, precisely the trait that sets the United States off from other nations. Immigration makes the U.S. what it is.

On this Fourth of July we celebrate this history more forthrightly than we have in two decades. Anti-immigrant hysteria peaked in 1996, when the California Republican Party self-destructed with anti-immigrant themes. Today the GOP is led by George W. Bush, who told campaign audiences “family values do not stop at the Rio Grande.” The employer sanctions in the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli bill are now recognized as windmill tilting. Congress has repeatedly raised the limits on H-1B visas for engineers and such, to 195,000 a year from an original 65,000. Last week the U.S. Supreme Court twice held that aliens are people too, entitled to such basic rights as the presumption of innocence, petty 1996 legislation notwithstanding.
At the same time, the U.S. is gradually relearning the secret of assimilation–every informal recognition of cultural differences but no formal ones. “Bilingual education,” which trapped schoolchildren in a Hispanic ghetto for the benefit of ethnic politicians and a few teachers, is on its way out. Racial quotas generally are under increasing suspicion. In the next census, in 2010, increasingly meaningless and irritating questions about ethnicity may be abolished. This too bodes well for future acceptance of immigrants.

Immigration now runs about a million a year against a population of 275 million, a rate that remains below the historical average. The proportion of immigrants with postgraduate education is three times the native rate. New immigrants are no longer eligible for welfare, removing that bugaboo. A study by the National Research Council in 1997 found that while unschooled immigrants are net recipients of taxpayer money in the first generation, their children repay these costs.

About half of current immigrants are Hispanic, though the Asian component is projected to grow rapidly. By far the largest single source is President Fox’s Mexico, a Third World nation of nearly 100 million inhabitants sharing a 2,000-mile border with the U.S. The opportunity north of the border is inevitably a huge magnet for the poor but ambitious. There is no realistic way to stop the resulting flow of people–certainly no way that would be acceptable to the American conscience.

This was headlined last May when five sunburned and dehydrated survivors staggered up to Border Patrol agents in a desert called “The Devil’s Path” about 25 miles north of the Arizona-Sonora border. Searchers found six more survivors, then 14 bodies. Smugglers had abandoned the group in 115-degree heat without water. This is no isolated instance; last year 491 souls perished trying to immigrate. With the U.S. Border Patrol doubled by the 1996 act, these victims were forced to risk death in increasingly desperate corridors.

Sealing the border against people willing to risk death is not a practical option, let alone a morally attractive one. The only hope is to manage the flow of people in a constructive and humane way. As President Fox says, “By building up walls, by putting up armies, by dedicating billions of dollars like every border state is doing to avoid migration, is not the way to go.”

Item one in any agenda to ease border problems would be rapid economic development to provide opportunity within Mexico. It’s entirely possible that Mexico will become the next tiger economy. It has the huge advantage of free trade with the world’s largest market. For all its poverty, it has a large first-world economic sector and a technocratic elite educated at the best American universities. Contrary to stereotypes, the general population is exceptionally hard-working. Politically President Fox promises a fresh start after ending 71 years of one-party rule. If Mexico can avoid the currency depredations that have marred its last quarter-century, the immigration problem may start to fade.

North of the border, the solution to the problem of illegal immigration is to make it legal, or at least to normalize the movement of people. A program of temporary work visas would allow Mexicans to go home; the incentive for undocumented aliens now is to stay rather than face the border barrier a second time.
Laws and regulations can generally be made more generous. The 1996 Border Patrol expansion is a dubious expense, expanding a cops-and-robbers game that sometimes turns deadly. After the 14 deaths in May, the Mexicans promised to patrol their side of the border in especially dangerous areas, while the Border Patrol promised to arm agents with pepper balls rather than bullets. During the campaign, President Bush talked of dividing the Immigration and Naturalization Service into two agencies, one to police the border and another to aid immigrants already here.

Another amnesty for undocumented aliens is already in the air; every decade or so Congress somehow or another faces this reality. Even opening Nafta borders completely, I would dare to suggest, might not unleash a new flood of immigrants. There is a limit to the number who actually want to come, and experience suggests that many of those who do already can find a way. And after all, we did have a long history of unlimited quotas for Western Hemisphere immigrants, ending only in 1965.

President Fox is nothing if not a visionary. Many scoffed at his ambition to unseat the machine that had run Mexico for generations; now they scoff at his proposals on immigration. But over the decade or two he mentioned, a Nafta with open borders may yet prove not so wild a dream.

Mr. Bartley is editor of The Wall Street Journal. His column appears Mondays in the Journal and on OpinionJournal.com.


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