May 19, 2024

Immigration Bill A Costly Solution Without A Problem

Congress is hard at work putting together massively complex and costly legislation to solve the “illegal immigration” problem at the Mexican American border.  As the Immigration Bill Gathers Momentum, it is becoming apparent that the bill will be an incredibly costly effort to solve a problem that no longer exists and America will become the only country in the world with a massive wall and fence along our borders.

The proposal would double the number of border control agents to nearly 40,000, require 700 miles of fencing on the southern border and wrap in a handful of other measures designed to wrangle GOP votes. It was crafted by two Republican senators, working with the bipartisan group of senators who wrote the main bill.

The legislation already includes $14.8 billion in border-security spending over a decade. The sharp increase in resources in the new border plan could cost an additional $30 billion, lawmakers estimated Thursday, an expense that some experts said may not be worth it.

“It’s pretty clear at this point that we’re reaching diminishing returns,” said Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations. “There are parts of the border where agents are making very few arrests at all.”

The number of border patrol agents has more than doubled in the past decade, even as the number of immigrants crossing the southern border has slowed. In 2002, a southwest border agent on average apprehended 100.5 crossers. In 2012, an agent on average apprehended 19.

Experts said the money could be better spent elsewhere, such as focusing more agents on ports of entry, instead of areas in between the ports, or deploying technology instead of people.

One requirement would be ensuring that 700 miles of fencing has been installed on the border. More than 350 miles of fencing has already been constructed, according to the Congressional Research Service.

A proposal of particular idiocy was advocated by Sen. John Cornyn (R, Texas) who wanted to “require border-patrol agents to apprehend 90% of illegal immigrants who attempted to cross the border before immigrants already living illegally in the U.S. could receive green cards.”  Since no one could ever know the number of attempted entries to the U.S. by illegal immigrants, how would it ever be possible to say that exactly 90% of them were captured?  The plan was so dumb that the Senate turned it down immediately.

The most comical part of Congress’s efforts regarding immigration is that it comes at a time when illegal immigration has declined to the lowest level in decades.  Mexico’s economy is doing so well compared to the U.S. that many Mexicans are actually “self deporting” themselves back to Mexico.  Adios America, former land of opportunity.

It is very easy to understand why the public approval rating of Congress is at 10%, a level almost unreachable by any other miscreant group of people.



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