Monday, July 27, 2015

Stop Securing the Border and Start Valuing Migrants' Lives

Above all, we need to remember that border enforcement isn't just a counterproductive waste of taxpayers' money; it's also lethal.

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
July 27, 2015

US billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is not the only politician intent on barricading the southwestern border of the United States. Calls for "regaining control of our border" are commonplace in US political discourse, routinely repeated by both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans. The most recent proposal for "comprehensive immigration reform" is a good example. The bill, which passed the Senate in June 2013 but was blocked by House Republicans as "dangerously liberal," included provisions for doubling the current number of Border Patrol agents and adding $30 billion to the border enforcement budget over the next ten years.

The general public overwhelmingly backs these calls for more enforcement. While a survey the Pew Research Center conducted in May found respondents generally supportive of immigrants - 72 percent said undocumented people now living here should be allowed to stay - 80 percent thought "a lot" or "more" could be done to reduce unauthorized immigration at the borders.

This support continues despite a complete lack of evidence that an increase is necessary or that it would be effective - or even that there's an actual "crisis" of people crossing the border. What the facts show, on the contrary, is that the current policy is expensive and counterproductive and needs to be rolled back.[...]

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