Report: Tougher border security actually backfires, does not deter deported immigrant re-entry


immigration protest l.a.

Say it with me now: More border "security" is not the answer. Think Progress has a fascinating report that tells us why:

Even with border security spending at astronomical highs, deported immigrants are still finding their way back into the U.S., according to a new study from the University of Arizona. According to interviews with 1,000 detainees caught by Border Patrol agents in Tucson, AZ, 43 percent planned to cross the border again.

Detainees were most likely to attempt the grueling and often deadly crossing again if they had friends or relatives in the U.S., had a job, or had more education than other detainees.

Even though we've had way fewer border crossings under President Obama's watch, some of that is due to our weak economy. Jobs aren't easy to find, so why bother to sneak into a country that may not have them? But some still try.

No matter what the reason for coming here, the report states that "the need to come to the United States is greater than any deterrent." And by deterrent, they're referring to abuse, rape, long work hours, no health care, beatings, solitary confinement... you know, welcome matty stuff like that.

Apparently, Romney's brilliant "make them so miserable that they'll self-deport" solution isn't quite taking hold.

But this is the sentence that struck me:

Another study from the University of Arizona found that tougher security has actually backfired and encouraged more permanent migration.

That link leads to this post: Immigrant Women Face More Abuse And Family Separation, Study Finds. Please give it a read:

For the past decade, tougher borders have pushed workers to remain in the U.S. rather than risk another crossing. Meanwhile, women and families are beginning to make up a larger proportion of migrants, leading to more permanent migration.

But the GOP keeps insisting that 90% of the border must be airtight before they'll entertain the notion of a path to citizenship for immigrants already living here. Via the L.A. Times, in an article titled, "Rubio wants stronger border security in immigration reform bill":

As the legislation is now written, the Department of Homeland Security would be required to develop a plan to achieve effective control of 90% of the border with Mexico before immigrants in the U.S. illegally would be allowed to gain permanent legal status. Rubio's emerging alternative would shift the responsibility for creating that plan to Congress.

Typical GOP m.o.: Push a plan that is doomed to fail, and then blame Obama when nothing gets done.