Should we just build a big fence?

by on April 12, 2006 at 7:23 am in Economics | Permalink

To keep out Mexicans, that is.

For purposes of argument, let us say you are anti-immigration.  And let us say the fence would cost nothing to build and maintain.  You still might not want one.

Mexicans illegals enter the U.S. through two major channels.  They run (or swim) across the border, or they buy illegal papers.  Usually the papers cost more than the hiring the crossing guide.  The papers make for an easier and safer journey, for obvious reasons.  Mexican women, I might add, are more likely to use false papers, given their (their father’s?) greater aversion to the physical strain of four days in the desert.

If you shut off the desert walks (assume the fence is impregnable, ha!), more Mexicans will use illegal papers. 

Did I add I would expect the cost of the papers to fall, not rise?  Many Mexicans don’t trust the purchase of papers, as opposed to the desert walk.  If the walk were impossible, networks for manufacture and sale of the papers would become much better developed.  The illegal papers would become much cheaper and much more widely used. 

In other words, more young women will come.  Many of the Mexican men will have wives here, not back home.  Many more young Mexicans will be born on U.S. soil. 

Get the picture?  Hispanamerica is coming, like it or not.  Let’s deal with it constructively.

1 John Sterling April 12, 2006 at 7:57 am

Hispanamerica will generally be a good development for the US, primiarliy because of the higher degree of religious participation. Hispanamerica is the expected consequence of demographic trends, not immigration law enforcement. An effective wall, better document scrutiny and employer sanctions can, however, ensure that the population of hispanamerica will join this society via legally sanctioned means. The crucial issue concerning illegal immigrations remains the illegality.

2 Anon April 12, 2006 at 8:36 am

Hi Tyler,

I love the blog and more or less the whole of the GMU Law+Economics faculties, but this argument just seems disingenuous to me.

First you equate ‘anti-immigration’ with anti-illegal Mexican immigration. One can be pro-immigration, but want immigrants who will provide net benefits to current citizens. Mexican-Americans commit murder at a rate more than ten times as great as Asian-Americans, have average IQs 10-15 points lower, earn lower incomes, and underperform educationally unto the 4th generation. Increasing H1-B issuances (and allowing permanent admission of talented immigrants, using a combination of IQ and English tests, educational credentials, and auctioning off green cards combined with bonds against use of social services) clearly has net positive externalities, and the distributional effects benefit the poor and unskilled at the expense of the better-endowed. For illegal Mexican immigration the situation is precisely the reverse.

Illegal Mexican immigrants working at below minimum wage produces economic value of no more than $10-15,000. Many work in subsidized agriculture, where they merely help landowners farm the governmnet. Regardless, in the absence of immigrant workers the efficiency costs of automating these jobs, paying higher wages for them, or reducing their number would be small in proportion to the economy as a whole. These limited benefits are small enough to be overwhelmed by external costs on citizens: emergency room use, government schools ($9,000 per child in California), and increased police/prison costs, not to mention direct costs of crime (valuing lives at 7-10 million dollars). Worse, their children will tap welfare, Medicaid, and other redistribution programs more heavily and contribute less in taxes than the median citizen.

On a societal level there are other problems. Increasing the proportion of Mexican-American citizens increases electoral support for both socialism and social conservatism, which should draw libertarian scorn. Both economic illiteracy (as studied by Bryan Caplan) and nasty attitudes such as homophobia and anti-Semitism are more prevalent among this population. Lowering the average sophistication of the population encourages the dumbing down of popular culture and art. More Hispanic citizens means more affirmative action in education and employment, with associated efficiency costs and social discord. A looser labor market means greater unemployment and associated social ills among African-Americans and native poor, problems in themselves as well as burdens on taxpayers.

So I think it is unreasonable to equate importing Indian programmers, Chinese engineers, French academics, etc, with illegal entry of Mexicans to work on subsidized farms, doing jobs that are automated at slightly higher cost in other countries.

Moreover, on the merits your argument is flawed: we should not build a wall because it will increase the number of children getting birthright citizenship? Anti-illegal immigration folks ALSO oppose giving birthright citizenship to the children of illegals (and public schooling at taxpayers’ expense), just as citizenship is not accorded to the children of foreign ambassadors. Further, advocates also want to make ID documents harder to fake (biometrics, national database, etc), while policy heretofore has often been quitely constructed to make it easy to fake documents (see various state efforts to issue driver’s licenese to illegals.)

“Hispanamerica is coming, like it or not.” But many countries are quite effective in limiting the flow of illegal immigration (not eliminating it, but not taking in millions of illegals) and there are a variety of options available. If you reduce the benefits of illegal entry and raise the costs, you will reduce immigration, unless the Law of Demand has been suspended for immigration.

Some of the options include the wall (which has been very effective in blocking terrorists in Israel, a group somewhat more determined than Mexican migrants), effective employer sanctions, the elimination of welfare benefits to illegal immigrants, imprisonment for those re-entering the country after deportation, the aforementioned change to birthright citizenship, etc. Perhaps the most important change would be actual enforcement of the immigration laws, which various administrations have refused to do under political pressure from businesses employing illegal immigrants and racial lobbies. When you combine these factors with the higher cost of living in the United States, the unpleasantness of living ‘underground,’ and the fact that the vast majority of illegals were productively employed before entering the United States it is not difficult to imagine a serious reduction in the number of people for whom illegal entry would be attractive. staunching of the flow of immigrants.

The idea that it is impossible to enforce borders and discourage illegal immigration (including by means like denying birthright citizenship, preventing American taxpayers from paying several times an immigrant’s annual income in education costs) is just silly, and I am disappointed to hear this argument from you rather than a positive case for admitting large numbers of unskilled workers (not to mention beneficiaries of tax dollars and future voters.)

3 kevin April 12, 2006 at 8:47 am

Q: How did California and Texas become part of the US?

A: We stole them from Mexico (you can look it up).

They are the west bank and golan heights of north america (and our
fence would be no different than the Israeli fence except that afaik, we
don’t have a problem with Mexican suicide bombers).

Mexico is simply taking back what is rightfully theirs in a much more peaceful manner
than the how we aquired it. I think we could more than pay for the alleged
drain on social services with the savings achieved by eliminating all patrolling and
enforcement activities on our southern border. If the number of mexicans
living in the US tripled, so what?

My advice: learn spanish. its a wonderful language.

Kevin (non-anonyomous) Grier

4 nelsonal April 12, 2006 at 9:00 am

As a single male, I will now change my opinion, Congress, get thee to fence building.

5 Tyler Cowen April 12, 2006 at 9:36 am

Some of the critics in the comments are overreacting or putting words in my mouth. I’m just saying a fence won’t stop the growing hispanization of the United States. Just look at the legal population already here, for one thing. Furthermore the U.S./Mexico situation is unique. Look at the numbers, the length of the border, and the differences in per capita income, among other features of the problem.

I’m not saying that *no policy* would keep out many more Mexicans. Very very tough penalties would do the trick, among other options, or for that matter WMD. I am saying that no policy we will or might adopt will succeed in this manner, given the other associated costs.

And watch out. If you call my argument “disingenuous” again, I might sue you!

6 April 12, 2006 at 10:04 am

And that Muslim terrorist threat is coming whether we like it or not. And those ridiculous airport screens never work anyway. We should just let people get on planes and then sort out the consequences. I mean, if we try to stop them, they’ll just figure out some way to do the same thing in a more lethal way. So the best defense is none at all.

7 kharris April 12, 2006 at 10:25 am

Without getting into the more abstract points of this debate, I do recall an instance in US passport history that may be relevant. A couple of decades back, maybe more, the State Department came up with a new passport. It was a high-tech jobbie meant to be impossible to counterfeit to any useful degree. That proved untrue. It was possible to counterfeit the new, higher-tech jobbie. The first discovery of a passable counterfeit was in the Phillippines, shortly before the launch of the official version. Before.

8 eddie April 12, 2006 at 10:48 am

John Sterling says “The crucial issue concerning illegal immigrations remains the illegality.” If so, then a solution is readily at hand: simply abolish the immigration quotas. There will then be significantly more immigration, but it will all be perfectly legal. If the crucial issue truly is illegality rather than immigration per se, then John should be perfectly happy with this solution.

Anon also protests Tyler’s conflation of anti-immigration sentiment with anti-illegal-immigration sentiment. He then discusses ways to discourage illegal immigration, but his arguments for doing so don’t hinge on illegality but rather on the immigrants’ lack of skills and their Latino culture.

Anti-illegal-immigrationists are anti-immigrationists. The legality question is a smokescreen.

9 cb April 12, 2006 at 11:09 am

I agree with eddie. Furthermore, I’m sick and tired of people quoting a bunch of statistics saying Mexican-Americans are more criminal, less intelligent, lazy, etc. Cite your sources, racists.

10 Bob Lawson April 12, 2006 at 11:12 am

So you’re arguing that the market for illegal papers is a declining cost industry? That is, as the demand for illegal papers increases after the wall is built, the resulting increase in short run prices/profits will spur a long run supply response that (because of decreasing costs) exceeds the demand initial stimulus, thus causing prices to fall.

I like it! I may have to use this in class. It might even be true.

11 Half Sigma April 12, 2006 at 11:42 am

“How did California and Texas become part of the US?”

Texas seceded from Mexico and then asked to be admitted to the U.S. And Mexico’s claim to California was pretty dubious considering the distance from Mexico City to California and Mexico’s inability to defend it.

12 Chris Durnell April 12, 2006 at 12:16 pm

Tyler does not go far enough in his analysis to develop a real strategy to the problem. “Hispanoamerica is coming, like it or not” actually means: as long as Mexico remains poor and impoverished people will keep coming.

So it seems to me the solution is for a prosperous Mexico. How can Mexico become prosperous? In this regard NAFTA is good because any future prosperous Mexico needs access to the US market, and competition is needed to make Mexican businesses efficient and lean. But that is not enough.

The real root cause of Mexico’s poverty is the corrupt nature of Mexican politics and their elites. Recently some good has come (Zedillo and Fox to some degree), but overall the system remains too corrupt. Ireland was able to transform itself from the backwater of Europe into the Celtic Tiger in 10 years. Why can’t Mexico?

How much growth is needed in Mexico before Mexicans decide it’s not worth the hassle to come to the US? Now that’s a marginal question!

One thing that needs to be understood is that illegal immigration is the saftey valve of the corrupt Mexican elite. That is why Mexico does nothing to stop illegal immigration, and why in fact they do everything they can to encourage. Why bother to improve things if any troublemakers can be forced into moving to the US? Why aren’t all the illegal immigrant marches, concerned about the status of Mexicans, not done in Mexico? Why do they wait to come here to march? What if some of that discontent was kept where it belongs, in Mexico?

What if the US can bottleneck the border just enough to rise the discontent in Mexico because people who would otherwise leave must stay? How much more discontent is needed before pressure comes to the Mexican elite to enact serious reforms that improve Mexico? That’s another marginal question.

Furthermore, take the analysis even further. If the solution to Mexico’s problems is for the US to solve them, then why address the problem only after people leave? If we accept that “Hispanoamerica is coming, like it or not” why not drive the solution in Mexico? Why not have an American-funded grammar school system IN MEXICO to teach English, American history, and good citizenship? Why not, since the Mexican government implicitly accepts it is a failed state, say – disestablish yourself and let Washington administer Mexico as a US territory so we can bring the benefits of America directly to the people of Mexico? Let US law break up the haciendas, give land grants to the peasants, and arrest the corrupt politicians so that the native genius and work of Mexicans can happen in Mexico not just the US.

This would require a radical change in US foreign policy. I don’t expect it to work, but doing so would change the debate to where it’s needed: the root causes. The root cause is Mexico, so let’s work to change it. In either case, building a wall puts the pressure on Mexico to respond.

That’s what needs to be done, and that’s what Tyler’s analysis fails to look at.

13 Linda Seebach April 12, 2006 at 12:32 pm

Documents may be easy to fake; information isn’t. If you’re applying for a job at my company, and you’re a twenty-something man and your Social Security number belongs to an eighty-something woman in Rochester, NY — and I can check that at my desk, right now — then you don’t get a job until you get that sorted out. Of course, that wouldn’t matter to casual labor, but to any business that pays taxes, denying deductions for wages paid to illegal workers would be a serious deterrent to hiring them.

14 Mr. Econotarian April 12, 2006 at 12:38 pm

Regarding: “many countries are quite effective in limiting the flow of illegal immigration”

Can someone point me to a country (rich and free) that effectively limits the flow of illegal immigration across land borders?

Japan doesn’t have many immigrants, but has no land borders.

15 Roy April 12, 2006 at 1:03 pm

Here is a source:

Care to retract the “racists” remark?

16 Anon April 12, 2006 at 2:28 pm

Eddie says that:
Anti-illegal-immigrationists are anti-immigrationists. The legality question is a smokescreen.

Posted by: eddie at Apr 12, 2006 10:48:08 AM

I am pro-immigration, where the immigrants are selected to be on balance beneficial to current citizens (and the development of the US economy as an engine of technological and business innovation for the world). I would support millions of people coming in on an expanded H1-B program, folks who would contribute (as workers and entrepreneurs) powerfully to knowledge industries without harsh distributional effects on native poor, including African-Americans. Mexican mass immigration would not have that character, and so it is true that I would oppose permanent immigration from that country whether illegal or not, but this does not change my general enthusiasm for the immigration of productive citizens-to-be who will not add to the ranks of net tax consumers in this country.

Chris asks:

For the nativists — under what circumstances would you favor increased immigration? Given that no immigration policy can eiminate all potential criminals from crossing the border, what do you think would be an acceptable failure rate? For example, would you accept an immigration policy that allowed immigrant populations who committed crimes and went on welfare at rates comparable to say, Irish immigrants? Or Canadian immigrants?

If immigrants were not allowed to vote for say, 20 years (and thereby could not vote themselves increased welfare in any reasonable time frame) would you then support allowing free immigration?

Posted by: Christopher Rasch at Apr 12, 2006 11:12:34 AM

Chinese, Korean, and Indian immigrants have still better performance so if I was assigning quotas by country I would probably put Ireland and Canada lower in the pecking order (despite being an Irish-Canadian myself). But an H1-B style program (but offering green cards) accepting educated professionals (ideally with high IQ and English test results) would be based on generic criteria that could be met by people from anywhere in the world.

On a 20 year limitation on voting, that doesn’t address birthright citizenship. But suppose a guest worker program were set up with the following characteristics:

1. Reasonable security checks, and procedures to ensure that unemployed workers can be sent home.
2. No birthright citizenship or entitlements to welfare.
3. No free access to emergency rooms (you get treatment, but if you can’t pay you are deported).
4. No path to citizenship or voting (officially or unofficially, note efforts to let illegals in California receive driving licenses so that they could vote Democratic in state elections).
5. A modest fee, say $1000 annually, for the work permits to cover remaining externalities like crime rates.

My only concerns would be about the harsh distributional effects on the native poor and the creation of a harsh class system, but it would be far more acceptable than the current situation.

For some sources, here are Randall Parker’s archives on immigration economics, with some handy links:

17 Michael Stack April 12, 2006 at 3:18 pm

Wow, the L.A. Times had a story today on precisely this phenomenon:

“Studies show that because it is harder to crisscross the border, illegal immigrants who intended to be in the U.S. for limited stretches may increasingly be choosing to bring their families with them — and settle permanently….Mexican government surveys show that 20% of illegal Mexican immigrants returned home after six months in 1992, compared with 7% in 2000. “The net effect of the militarization of the border since 1993 has been to transform a circular movement of male workers to a settled population of families,” said Douglas S. Massey, a Princeton University sociologist who has long studied the phenomenon. “Once they’re here, they hunker down to stay longer.” Massey and other analysts argue that if Congress tightens border security again, more illegal immigrants will put down roots in the U.S.”

[Via Hit & Run],1,6003181.story?ctrack=1&cset=true,1,6003181.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

18 Steve Sailer April 12, 2006 at 3:40 pm

The 1986 amnesty for illegal aliens (1.6 million in California alone) sped the decline of California’s affordability by setting off a Hispanic baby boom in the state. Laura E. Hill and Hans P. Johnson of the Public Policy Institute of California wrote in 2002:

“Between 1987 and 1991, total fertility rates for foreign-born Hispanics increased from 3.2 to 4.4 [expected babies per woman over her lifetime]†¦ Why did total fertility rates increase so dramatically for Hispanic immigrants? First, the composition of the Hispanic immigrant population in California changed as a result of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986†¦ As a result, many young adult Hispanic women came to California during the late 1980s.

A new amnesty would do the same nationwide.

19 TGGP April 12, 2006 at 4:52 pm

It might very well be true that, given the birthrates of the current population, “Hispanamerica is coming”. I would prefer that the coming Hispanamerica take the form of educated English speakers widely distributed throughout the country paying more in taxes than they take out but still celebrating Cinco de Mayo or whatever (alright, I don’t know all that much about Mexican culture, so sue me).

Previous waves of immigrants assimilated in the manner I described because the government and other institutions (the Catholic Church, for example) encouraged them to assimilate rather than mau-mau flak catchers, and the waves of immigration halted or slowed to a trickle (there also wasn’t a country or non-english language dominating the wave and more, as described above, went back home). This is why the culture (and as a result, government) of America is still, in a sense, that of the four groups described in “Seeds of Albion”, and the great place people want to come to. I think immigration reform (including the fence, which I think through an increase in demand would raise the cost of papers) would be more likely to lead to an America much like that of today but with more names ending in “z” than either the status quo or open borders (without serious amputations performed on the welfare state).

20 Christopher Rasch April 12, 2006 at 5:43 pm

But an H1-B style program (but offering green cards) accepting educated professionals (ideally with high IQ and English test results) would be based on generic criteria

How high an IQ? Level of English-proficiency? How many more people do you think this would allow?

Would you impose time limits on how long someone could be a guest worker?
Would their children be allowed to attend government schools?

21 J Bravo April 12, 2006 at 6:37 pm

Funny that some claim that Mexican migrants are lazy or criminals, since there is vast evidence to the contrary – both impressionistic and scientific.

Talk to any employer. S/he will confirm what academic studies have shown, and what common sense suggests: Mexican migrants are positively self-selected on desirable unobservables (i.e. tenacity). Some studies even show a positive self-selection in terms of health (not that surprising, at least for anyone who knows anything about the risks involved in entering the U.S. via the Arizonian desert).


PS: Trust me, if a Mexican is considering a career in the crime industry, Mexico offers a considerably better location than the U.S. for that line of work.

22 Andrew April 12, 2006 at 6:53 pm

“Why does the place where someone was born matter to where they should be allowed to live and seek work?”
Because there are literally billions of poor people (that majority of them far far poor than mexicans) in the world and no nation, no matter how large, how rich, how powerful, or how welcoming could take them all in.
eddie, is your argument then is that we should allow everyone who wants to immigrate to the US to do so? The problem is that currently, only people from mexico or who enter through mexico get that free pass. Last week, 22 illegal immigrants from China were caught in a shipping container in Seattle’s harbor. They are being sent home. Why do mexicans get to come and not the Chinese? Your argument about departing native us citizens is completely insalient. They are legal! Why should they be deported?
The above question goes directly against what you’re arguing, and your’s may be the most unreasonable of all the arguments made here, including kevin’s and superdestroyer’s.

23 Patrick R. Sullivan April 12, 2006 at 8:15 pm

‘…if a Mexican is considering a career in the crime industry, Mexico offers a considerably better location than the U.S. for that line of work.’

Absolutely. Which is why we see mostly entrepreneurial Mexicans who are bent on working and accumulating a little capital. Most of whom would like nothing better than to move back to Mexico to retire.

It isn’t Mexican kids whose parents let them hang out on street corners in baggy pants and backwards baseball caps. Compared to some native born Americans, Mexican families more closely resemble the Cleaver household of the 1950s.

24 Andres April 12, 2006 at 9:38 pm

A few points:

-Mexican immigration has grown (in relative terms) during the last 20 years due to two main factors. The Mexican economy has performed rather poorly after the 1982 crisis, which acted as the trigger. Once a the initial groups became established, networks developed that made it much more feasible to emmigrate. It’s easier to decide to go LA if you have family members there who can get you a job and a place to stay and, in many cases, the capital to pay the costs.

-The idea that Mexicans want to “reconquer” Mexico’s former territories (i.e. the “Reconquista”) has to rank up there with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as one of history’s most mendacious and persistent falsehoods. Sure, there are a couple of Chicano loons who take that seriously (they’re as representative as the Aryan Nation), but come on. No Mexican immigrant in his/her right mind wants to recreate what they left behind.

-Last but not least, it’s amazing that in the immigration debate an elementary fact is simply ignored: 70% of immigrants come from Mexico, a country that shares a 2,000+ mile border with the U.S., that has 105 million people and is one of the largest trade partners of the U.S. Any reasonable solution has to include Mexico, like it or not.

25 Steve Sailer April 13, 2006 at 5:06 am

Tyler writes:

“Get the picture? Hispanamerica is coming, like it or not. Let’s deal with it constructively.”

If that’s the best Tyler can come up with, I’d hate to see his recommendations for what to do about the problem of prison rape.

26 albatross April 13, 2006 at 12:07 pm

Patrick Sullivan:

I’m relieved to hear that immigrant kids aren’t joining gangs and hanging out on street corners. Would you mind informing the members of MS13, too–they don’t seem to have read your post.

27 Christina April 14, 2006 at 11:09 am

I think radek’s proposal (to allow immigrants to pay INS approximately what they would pay smugglers or forgers for legal residency) is the strongest one I’ve yet seen. I would make only one modification: bring back quasi-indentured servitude. A person gets sponsored by a family member or employer and the sponsor fronts the costs of the visa or greencard, giving the immigrant a period of time to pay back the loan.

I am very strongly for more legal immigration but given the fact that we’d have to depend on the crappy INS to administer it I had been thinking that we should simply reduce the hoops that prospective immigrants have to jump through, to the point where they would merely be subject to criminal background checks.

I believe strongly in the overwhelming ability of the American culture to have transformative effects on newcomers, which is why I’m not particularly concerened with the “quality” of immigrants. Of course, we’d have to dismantle much of the welfare state, but then I support that cause regardless.

28 Randall Parker April 14, 2006 at 11:13 pm

People who are for building a border barrier do not see it as a panacea. It would greatly reduce illegal immigration. But it would not stop it.

To stop illegal immigration we need something analogous to defense in depth. A barrier would be one layer of a larger system of defenses.

Another critical component would be an information system that would allow border agents to check whether a person’s papers are legitimate. A visa or other entry card could be checked against a database. Biometric scanning such as fingerprints, an iris scan, or other scan could verify that a person is who they claim to be.

But internal enforcement is necessary as well. As long as politicians sabotage interior enforcement illegals who make it past the border or people who overstay are going to be able to remain in the US.

Interior enforcement could be done quite cheaply if the federal government would allow police and private citizens to turn in illegals. Local police are routinely told by feds that the feds do not want to take custody of illegals that local law enforcers come across. So you can find accounts of cops who find 10 or 15 illegals in a van and who can’t get the illegals deported.

There’s nothing inevitable about illegal immigration if enough Americans decide strongly enough that it should be stopped. Public attitudes are shifting toward a more restrictionist view. The question at this point is just how far will those attitudes shift. Will the public become angry enough to demand of the elites to enforce the will of the majority? Time will tell as it does with so many things.

29 hans gruber April 19, 2006 at 1:06 am

“Hispanamerica is coming, like it or not”

You really think this is a good argument? Maybe there’s a lot more to this conclusion, but it appears to be based on little reasoning.

The best way to reduce illegal immigration, in my mind, is to increase enforcement against employers. I see no reason why this would be unworkable, the unsupported inevitability meme notwithstanding.

30 joe April 23, 2006 at 11:33 pm

I live in an agricultural area, and I have worked with Hispanic workers (legal or otherwise) for more than 20 years, first as a farm worker and now as a farm employer. My region has seen a steady increase in the number of Hispanic workers in the ag sector over the last 10 years or so.

My reason for hiring Hispanic workers is not that I can’t find other workers. We have a state university nearby, and there are plenty of idealistic college kids who would “love to work on a farm”. The problem with these native workers is that they just can’t do the work. They’re slow, lazy, and/or stupid.

We pay good wages for “low-skill” work – up to $10/hr, as good or better than any McJob in the area, and we provide free housing as well. Hispanics don’t so much work cheaper as they work better. They show up on time and work steadily right on through, even if the weather is bad. I can count on them to do a job quickly and well. I seldom have to show them how to do something twice or find work for them to do. And when 4:00 PM comes they will keep right on working until the job is done, instead of whining that they want to go home. I think a person could sell tickets to see a lazy Mexican.

As for the relative level of crime/honesty/moral values, etc, we’ve had more native-born Anglos cheat us than Mexicans. Most of these guys have strong family connections back home, and it shows in thier level of commitment to them. And they all know that the key to better jobs and hence better pay is to learn English.

I do not see thier presence either dragging down property values or raising local rents. About 30 minutes to the south of us is a small city, which has been on the downward side of the urban blight slide as long as I’ve lived here. Well, times are changing for this town, as there is more building and investment in that slumtown than ever. And who are the folks fixing up the condemmed buildings? Hispanics. They are adding to the supply of rentable houses, not taking from it.

And FYI, the current rate Coyotes are charging for the desert trek (which is about 140 miles walked in 30 hours or less) is about $2500 US, which is up significantly from last year at this time, which was about $1500. This includes transport within the US to the final destination – which can as far away as Chicago or NYC. Probably this is due to increased border security, as I’m hearing reports of INS agents on foot, on atvs, on horseback, in 4wd trucks, also of vigilante groups and even the US Army all patrolling the SW border right now. It dosent seem to have stopped Mexicans coming over – we have had about the same number of folks show up looking for work as previous years – it justs takes them 3-5 tries to cross instead of one. And fake papers cost less than $100 to fabricate (fake SS card and green card [which is really pink, btw]).

Now my opinion: if we had put the same kind of effort into finding BinLaden that we are putting into keeping out willing hard workers than we wouldn’t have needed to bother with Iraq.

31 scott black April 25, 2006 at 7:37 pm

why is it when someone makes a remark about illegal immagration some TWIT like KEVIN responds “YOU’RE A RACIST” hey you know what racist means?Probably not,you sound like an undereducated welfare absorbing democrat.For you information a RACIST is someone who feels their race is genetically superior to all other races,look it up before you use it next time,you twit.Now back to the invasion of the Mexicant’s
But good ol Kevin and Tyler let’s not forget him,their suggestions to this are live and let live.We cannot build a fence to stop them,but wait,in other words let’s give up what our forefathers fought for and what all of our relitives fought and some lost their lives to protect,a place we as a whole contributed trillions of dollars to build, by just handing to the Mexicans who feel it is their god given right to come here.You seem to think that illegals keep resturaunt food cheap,you must be dumb.The blacks and whites worked as cooks in sports bars for years and the food was priced appropriate for the times and the labor paid around $8-$11 per hour.Economists studied and found that if Americans picked fruit and vegitables the price would go up for the average american family by $10-$15 a year,it’s a small price to pay for our people working.Now let’s get back to Kevin,I didn’t forget you,when I was a young boy in N>J> I would go to my Great Grandmother,who came from Naples Italy,in 1907.I would talk to her for hours,but I’ll keep this short,I wanted to learn Italion from her in the worst way,she told me when her and her family got off the boatthey were in a new country with a new start,they learned english,spoke Italion at home and they were so proud to finally be somewhere that they had financial freedom that they just let that one part of their lives fade away,so they could fit in and show they were proud to AMERICANS now.Every other nationality gave something to this country to as a testoment to show respect,the Irish built the holland and Licoln tunnels,the Brooklyn bridge,and almost all of Manhatten for an example,where were the Mexicans to keep labor down and contribute?The golden gate bridge,The Hoover Dam,The Tacoma Narrows Bridge,The original NYC Subway,all built by AMERICANS with no Mexican labor present,well people,how do you explain that.?These people do not contribute they take,all they do is take.As long as there is sympothy comming from people on this side of the line they will keep taking.Draw a line now before it gets worse.

32 Larry September 25, 2006 at 11:48 am

First, let’s not mistake immigration for “illegal” imigration.

The United States is capable of making forge-proof documentation. That would keep those who would use forged papers out of the country. I am sure, however, that there are those who would oppose this idea on the grounds that it descriminates against illegals.

33 Fed-up November 20, 2006 at 2:31 pm

You lazy, moron, booze-loving, clownish and above all, disgustingly Bad-looking Mexicans GO HOME as soon as possible or otherwise American Skinheads will start to act now seriously in order to get America clean again.
As for “reconquering” California, hello!!! Dou you think it will be so easy as it was when we become America’s? Wake up, losers! Californian white Anglos would better die before see our State so downgraded!
And, Kevin, what about you emigrating to that banana Republic referred to as “Mexico”? Don’t wait for the Fence; clear off now. Since you love them that much, you will surely enjoy the beans.

34 xavier May 9, 2007 at 12:44 pm

wy shouldent us be able to put a fence on thier own teratory thats like saying you cant have a front door on your house it is really no arguement,unless you want to make it one

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36 Anonymous October 14, 2008 at 1:26 am

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