An excellent point is made that the border must be secured before serious immigration law reform is able to be accomplished.
A major reason to stop the flow of illegal crossings is that when a new immigration law is being seriously considered, one can expect a flood of new illegal crossings to take advantage of that new law. The border must be secured to stop that expected flood.
The first issue is what do we mean by “securing the border”?
My suggestion that could be done right now is to concentrate the Border Patrol at the danged border.
Additional efforts are obviously required, but an immediate impact on illegal crossing and drug smuggling could be achieved if the Border Patrol was massed at the border.
We have over 3,000 Border Patrol agents wandering all over hell and gone in southern Arizona. The border is still porous because there are lots of places where people can cross because the Border Patrol are driving around 20 or 40 miles from the line looking for poorly dressed people walking down the roads or hiding in the bushes along side the roads.
The problem with massing the Border Patrol at the border is that this is a difficult assignment requiring people to work out of bases at the border, pulling multi-day shifts. This is a lot harder work than driving around neighborhoods in Tubac and Green Valley or sitting in the shade at the I-19 checkpoint running drug sniffing dogs around cars and trucks and asking tourists if they are US citizens.
A lot more horseback patrols would be needed with concentrating the Border Patrol at the border, requiring training agents in how to ride horses. It is easier to staff up the force with SUVs because agents already know how to drive. But agents in SUVs can’t even get near the border in many areas.
What is obvious is the Border Patrol has failed to secure the border with its present strategies. More BorderPatrol agents is not the solution if they aren’t at the border.
I’d love to see all the folks ranting about SB 1070 really get into what is needed to actually stop the flow of illegal aliens and drugs across the border. We know the feds have failed. But what do they need to be doing to succeed?
What are your suggestions on how to actually secure the border?