GOP still fixates on border security as illegal immigration plummets
Posted in the Minneapolis Forum
#1 Jun 22, 2013
There is a saying that America is always preparing to fight the last war. So it is with the conservative crusade against illegal immigration. After all, even as tea party Republicans demand draconian—and expensive—new "border security" measures, apprehensions of the undocumented have plummeted to 40 year lows. And thanks to the slow U.S. economy recovery, the faster GDP growth south of the border and the aging of the Mexican population, the days of a million plus apprehensions a year are almost certainly over. Nevertheless, Republicans are demanding a doubling of the border security force and 700 miles of new fencing as the price for finally lifting the shadow hanging over 11 million undocumented people in the United States.
While the Congressional Budget Office explained that immigration reform along the lines of the current Senate bill would improve Uncle Sam's finances by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next two decades, the Wall Street Journal admonished its tea party cousins for their fixation on the rapidly shrinking problem of illegal border crossings:
The U.S.-Mexico border is more secure today than it has been in decades. According to Border Patrol statistics, illegal entries are at a 40-year low. Apprehensions of illegal entrants exceeded 1.1 million in 2005, but in both 2011 and 2012 the number was below 365,000.
According to a study by the Government Accountability Office, the number of illegal immigrants who escaped capture at the nine major crossing points from San Diego to El Paso fell an astonishing 86% between 2006 and 2011. All the talk-show shouting about America under siege from immigrants streaming across the Rio Grande is fiction.
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