Thursday, June 09, 2005


On An Immigration Thought Experiment

At The Immigration Blog Chris Kelly has a post entitled An Immigration Thought Experiment which asks:

If we absolutely had to deport a significant portion of the illegal aliens currently in the U.S. as quickly as possible, how could we do it? If you need numbers, assume 1 to 2 million within 6 months. Please give a specific plan and succinctly describe two or three scenarios (favorable, unfavorable) for how that plan might work out from beginning to end.

A new plan does not need to be created. Operation Wetback has already demonstrated how this might be accomplished. I do, however, have my own proposal for how 1 to 2 million illegal aliens could be removed from the United States within a short period of time with less heavy-handed methods:

Step 1. Begin surreptitiously building up Border Patrol capabilities, but without applying those new capabilities. This may initially require using military units, sensors, and unmanned vehicles to supplement the existing Border Patrol. Also build new detention facilities to house illegal immigrants captured entering the country. While this is going on…

Step 2. Give no indication of this improved capability. Instead give the impression that border security will be reduced, especially during the holiday season. If possible, announce some stupid sounding policy that results in illegal immigrants getting a free, comfortable ride to Mexico (or Canada) at the Border Patrol’s expense and spread word of this "feature" among the illegal immigrant communities.

Step 3. Wait for annual rush of illegal immigrants going home to visit their family during the Christmas holiday.

Step 4. On 12:01 AM December 26th surge the border security up to its new, greatly increased, capability.

Step 5. Make the captured illegal aliens languish in an uncomfortable (but not cruel or unusual) detention facility until they are prosecuted; don't just let them go. Make sure word gets back to Mexico about the new state of border security and that people caught sneaking into the United States or using forged entry documents can expect jail sentences. Buy advertisements on Mexican TV if neccesary. Simultaneously promote legal immigration and/or guest worker program as an alternative to illegal entry.

The beauty of this plan is that we don’t have to catch and deport the illegal aliens. They leave peacefully thinking they can get back. Then they discover that they can no longer sneak across the border and have to go through the proper legal channels to return to the United States.

The problems with this plan are: First, there might not be enough illegal aliens returning home for Christmas that year to meet the “1 to 2 million” quantity required. Any leaks about possible increases in border security after the holidays could greatly reduce the number of illegal aliens who leave the country for Christmas. Second, the challenge specifically asked for ways to “deport” 1 to 2 million illegal immigrants and since most of the aliens would be leaving on their own that technically wouldn’t be “deporting” them. The same objective is accomplished however; they are outside the United States and must follow the law if they want back in.

Easier, and would save more net lives overall, would be to arm up the Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean's on the border, and whatever National Guard troops and hardware needed, and declare a shoot on sight policy.
Within a week, the problem would be solved.
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