Illegal Immigration, American/Mexican Border Essay

1831 words - 8 pages

Illegal Immigration and Border Policy
In recent years, Illegal immigration has been a contemporary political and social debate. It has been the platform of many politicians, especially in the southwest, and it is often a popular subject in news media. People in favor of strict immigration policy often claim that illegal immigrants are costly to the American economy and that they take American jobs. The border control policy is ineffective, it is often too costly for its effectiveness. Border policies have increased the number of immigrant deaths in the deserts of border states. Not only that but the US/Mexico border is harmful to the environment. The anti-immigration policy that's ...view middle of the document...

Instead of completely stopping migrants from crossing the border, the border wall is designed to increase the possibility that crossers will be seen on cameras or by drones. Increased spending on Border Security in 2006 failed to decrease the numbers of illegal entries into the United States. In fact, the number of illegal crossings during the Bush administration actually increased. The Department of Homeland Security offers a public report on illegal immigrant populations living in the US. The report shows that Between 2000 and 2007, the unauthorized population grew by 3.3 million from 8.5 million to 11.8 million and that of the 10.8 million unauthorized immigrants in 2009, 4.0 million (37 percent) had entered the United States on January 1, 2000 or later. The billion dollar expenditures to increase militarization and infrastructure along the US/Mexico border failed to completely stop illegal immigration into the United States. Because of this, it would appear that strict immigration policy might be fiscally irresponsible.
Aside from acting as a small deterrent for incoming migrants, border policies have led to the deaths of hundreds of immigrants along the border. Because of this, stricter border patrol policies can potentially lead to moral problems. Policies such as Operation Hold the Line and Operation Gatekeeper were attempts at redirecting Mexican immigrants to different routes along the border. These prevention policies were aimed at reducing the number of immigrants into America each year by making immigration more dangerous for border crossers. The rationale behind these measures was to funnel Mexican migrants to move through the Arizona desert. Julie Whitaker's paper called Mexican Deaths in the Arizona explains the consequences these policies had on migrants from Mexico. She explains that the policy forced Mexican migrants "to cross in the inhospitable remote environment of south western U.S. where the seemingly boundless terrain is treacherous and the temperatures can be extreme" (Whitaker 336). She then explains "Between 1998 and 2005, approximately 300 people died on average each year" (Whitaker 336). Humanitarian organizations like No More Deaths and Humane Borders have responded to the situation. Volunteers have placed water jugs along the border to prevent dehydration of migrants in the Arizona desert. These organizations have been highly criticized. Whitaker explains "for their assistance, many volunteers have been accused of, and charged with, criminal activities - mostly transporting migrants and littering" (Whitaker 367). The increase in the number of deaths along the border combined with the restriction of humanitarian aid in the dangerous desert terrain is a reason why strict immigration policy might be more than just a fiscal problem, but also a moral problem.
Aside from its moral consequences on human beings, the physical border has also had negative effects on desert wildlife. Because the wall is a physical...

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