2008 June 22 Sunday
Prosecution Of Illegal Border Crossers Cuts Illegal Immigration

Illegal border crossers are being held for prosecution rather than immediately delivered back into Mexico to try again.

March prosecutions numbered 9,360. That's small compared to the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the US. Nonetheless, "It's working," says Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think tank that would like immigration levels reduced considerably.

The hike in prosecutions stems from an expansion of "Operation Streamline" last year by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Under the effort, undocumented aliens caught by border guards are no longer simply steered into "air-conditioned buses," as Mr. Krikorian puts it, and driven back across the border to try crossing again. Instead, they are charged with crimes and detained.

Note that the Christian Science Monitor uses the politically correct lie-speak term "undocumented immigrants". Try "illegal aliens" or "illegal immigrants".

It will be interesting to see whether President Obama continues the practice of prosecuting illegal border crossers. Strengthening immigration law enforcement could raise the wages and labor market participation of poor black men. This would also reduce the future growth of the welfare state and the prison population and the amount of crime and population growth.

Krikorian guesses that in the past, 800,000 to 900,000 illegal immigrants successfully entered the US every year, and about 400,000 left voluntarily or were deported each year a net growth of about 500,000 illegal immigrants a year.

If current moves to restrain illegal immigration trim that growth by 100,000 to 200,000 immigrants, it should have some effect on the nation's labor supply, notes University of Chicago economist Jeffrey Grogger. He's coauthor of a paper calculating that a 10 percent increase in the supply of a particular skill group caused by higher immigration prompted a reduction in the wages of similarly low-skilled black men by 4 percent between 1960 and 2000, lowered their employment rate by a huge 3.5 percentage points, and increased their incarceration rate by almost a full percentage point.

As soon as the new Congress is elected it will be time to once again start flooding Congressional offices with faxes, emails, and snail mails demanding tougher immigration law enforcement.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 June 22 10:15 PM  Immigration Law Enforcement

JSBolton said at June 25, 2008 2:04 AM:

Deportation of foreign criminals will save on the net public subsidy of such cohorts. It should pay its cost 100% in a year or thereabouts.
Nothing else the government does, can offer returns like that, that I can think of right now, except maybe imprisoning someone who's about to commit a high-cost crime. When the goal is to do as much damage to the net taxpayer as possible, though, there is resistance to such measures.

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