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55 Guardsmen Decrease Mexican Border Infiltration 21% in 10 Days

Myth of unstoppable illegal immigration crumbles
 Listen to streaming audio of this column | MP3

How many illegal aliens does it take to change a light bulb? AY CHIHUAHUA! The National Guard is coming, change it yourself!!!

That pretty much summarizes what was undoubtedly the most important news story of the last week, a report that was all but buried by the mainstream media. While the press continues to pretend that the real central story in the ongoing illegal immigration debate remains in Congress, where the liberal Senate amnesty bill just had its feeding tube removed by House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R.-Ill.), a miracle has taken place in the deserts of the Southwest.

Total detentions of aliens attempting to sneak across the Mexican border have plummeted an unimaginable 21% in the first 10 days of June compared to the same period last year. This drop occurs at a time when enforcement efforts are at a recent high, due to political concerns, and reflects a precipitous drop in total attempted border crossings. According to an Associated Press report, Jorge Vazquez, a director of “Grupo Beta,” an agency funded by the Mexican government and that works to aid and abet Mexicans seeking to enter the United States illegally, his agents have seen a similar drop in traffic on his side of the border.

The shocking drop-off in human smuggling is attributed to one factor: the arrival of the National Guard on the border. That’s quite an accomplishment for just 55 guardsmen, who did not even arrive until June 3 and are working entirely in support roles with the Border Patrol. What has really stemmed the tide is just the idea that troops are coming to the border—a fact that has found widespread exaggeration in the Mexican media.

The small National Guard deployment that started as a political stunt by President Bush and the other proponents of amnesty has ended up disproving one of the most cherished myths of the open borders propaganda machine: that nothing can stop the human tide that has been allowed to flood across our borders. It seems that just the rumor that we might be getting serious about enforcement can stop thousands of aspiring illegal aliens in their literal tracks.

The AP report quoted the operator of one “shelter” for infiltrators waiting to cross the border as saying, “Some migrants have told me they heard about the troops on television and, because the U.S. Army doesn’t have a very good reputation, they prefer not to cross.”

Actually, it sounds to me like the U.S. military has an ideal reputation. It must be the Border Patrol that has a poor reputation within the Mexican smuggling community.

The snipe at the military’s reputation was in reference to “reports of abuse in Iraq.” If this explanation is true, then it should forever end any claim that the war in Iraq has not made America any safer. I mean, really, we should get Lyddie England a Sombrero and new digital camera immediately. One pixelly snapshot of her pointing menacingly at some muchacho’s machismo and we may not even need to build a border fence.

But of course a better explanation might be that the fear of the military among so-called “migrants” has more to do with their own experiences with the Mexican military. The Mexican army is hypocritically stationed on the southern border of Mexico to intercept illegal aliens trying to sneak into Mexico from Central America and is reported to routinely beat, rob, bully and rape the Guatemalans and Hondurans that are just trying to do the jobs that no Mexican will do. But whatever the true source of the fear, its stark result shows just how effective it can be to declare that the “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” games are over.

Compare the chilling effect that the talk of enforcement has had on border infiltration to the opposite effect that all the previous talk of amnesty had, when border apprehensions and crossings spiked. Francisco Loureiro, apparently the same shelter operator that the AP quotes last week as saying that his shelter was nearly empty due to the fearsome reputation of the U.S. military, was credited in a separate article during the Senate’s slide toward a guest-worker amnesty last April as saying that “he has not seen such a rush of migrants since 1986, when the United States allowed 2.6 million illegal residents to get American citizenship.”

The drastic change in traffic through Loureiro’s hidey-hole hotel is powerful proof that amnesty cannot be part of the solution to illegal immigration. Amnesty simply encourages illegal immigration. Enforcement, pure and simple, is the only effective solution to illegal immigration. When the law is taken seriously, it is obeyed. When it is declared optional, it is not.

The government and the media can bury it, or ignore it, or distort it, but the incredible change on the border this month demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that the illegal alien invasion has been an invited one, caused by government sending all the wrong signals about America’s commitment to border enforcement.

The only way to undo such damage is to send a new message, loudly and clearly: anonymous border infiltration is illegal and will result in summary deportation, or worse. Those who wish to immigrate will apply, be screened and wait for our permission to enter our country.

The problem is already 21% solved. Failure to follow through now would be a waste of a huge opportunity to speak through actions.

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Written By

Mr. Johnson, a writer and medical researcher in Cambridge, Mass., is a regular contributor to HUMAN EVENTS. His column generally appears on Tuesdays. Archives and additional material can be found at www.macjohnson.com.

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