The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration
The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration
Facts, Figures And Statistics On Illegal Immigration

Border Security And The Border Fence

As detailed throughout the previous sections of this report, much of the problem of illegal aliens is a direct consequence of little to no border security. If nothing else, proper border security would prevent all the "previously deported" illegal aliens from simply returning and committing more of the collateral damage. Remember, some estimates put previously deported illegal aliens as being responsible for 60-65% of many of the crimes. Just eliminating that would be worth the expense.

If closing the borders and enforcing immigration laws are not important to you then I would suggest you go get the movies United 93, True Lies, and The Peacemaker from Blockbuster or NetFlix. In these movies Hollywood actually got it right, and is almost prophetic in True Lies. Then read Osama's exploits south of border -AlQaida in league with Mexican radicals in plot to penetrate U.S., says MI6 report and No place to run and consider some of the more serious consequences of open borders in a post 9/11 world.

If you still need some convincing, go back up to the TERRORISM, VIOLENT CRIMES, SEXUAL CRIMES, GANG CRIMES, and DISEASES sections and start clicking on the references and links. If you are a "bottom line" person go to the SUMMARY of COSTS of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION section and start figuring out how much of the costs are being paid by you and your family.

As this paper has documented, the borders are very porous and any meaningful border security is basically non-existent across much of our borders making it a fairly simple process to break into the United States. Millions of peasants are doing it now. How tough do you think it would be for trained terrorists?

In a speech by Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Michael Chertoff on September 11, 2006, Five Years Later, he stated "Our number one defense against terror involves the perimeter, keeping dangerous enemies from entering the United States of America."

While DHS and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) are doing a better job, by that admission we are in big trouble.

How bad are we actually doing and what is the current risk? See The Five Years War: Public Safety versus Special Interest for some rather discouraging insight.

Currently, millions of illegal immigrants are simply strolling across the borders and into the United States. This paper has documented the massive collateral damage being inflicted on the American people and society by our "open border" policies and tolerance of this illegal activity.

The President and Congress take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Allowing illegal aliens to wantonly defy our borders and laws is an abrogation of responsibility.

Hopefully, it won't take the NY or Washington DC subway system being contaminated with a nuclear or biological agent or Dallas, Phoenix, LA, NYC, or Washington DC going up in a mushroom cloud before our Government starts taking their responsibilities seriously and secures the border.

Maybe if the politicians who are responsible for securing the border and ensuring domestic tranquility thought Bin Laden planned on nuking Washington DC while Congress was in session, they might just start taking their responsibilities seriously.

If not and if it actually happens, we can re-elect politicians who finally will.

Regardless, border security starts with having secure borders where we can know and control who is coming into the United States.

As illustrated by the pictures above, there is little to no physical border security along much of the United States' international borders. This has allowed illegal immigrants, including terrorists, to simply stroll across the border to gain access to the United States.

A significant improvement in the situation in San Diego was made with the construction of the 14 mile San Diego dual fence, as shown below.

Contrast this border fence with the pictures of actual parts of the border in the paragraphs above.

What were the results of installing some serious physical border security in San Diego?

Upon completion of the "San Diego Primary Fence," it quickly reduced apprehensions at the Imperial Beach Station by about 80% with similar reductions noted at the Chula Vista station. However, apprehensions at other nearby stations doubled as much of the illegal immigration simply went around the fence. It was only when additional enforcement measures, manly manpower and detection support equipment, was added did traffic at those stations decline, although not as significantly as that achieved with better fences.

However, just like when you squeeze a water balloon in one place it bulges out in another, so the illegal alien traffic simply went other places, as noted in the following chart:

As proposed by We Need a Fence, and similar to the "three fence barrier" recommendations made by Sandia Laboratories in the CRS Report, maybe this is the kind of border security we need, although without the barbed wire roll on the southern side to be "politically correct":

In any case, acoustic listening devices would need to be embedded in the road in all areas with infrastructure on the Mexican side of the fence to detect for tunneling under the fence.

Similar border security fences in Israel have reduced terrorist attacks by up to 95%. Applied uniformly on the southern border, they would reduce the border transgressions of the common illegal alien even more and catch a similarly high percentage of "the really bad" border crossers. For details on the proper way to have border security, see Israel's Security Fence.

Why do we need such a formidable border fence? Because illegal alien criminals, gang members and potential terrorists are simply waltzing across the unmanned and/or lightly patrolled portions of the border. Furthermore, as this paper has detailed, and again as recently noted in Mecklenburg jailers find over 900 illegal immigrants since April, a high percentage of the ones that are deported simply come back in. 68 of 128 (53%) in this case, prompting Sgt. Daniel Stitt to comment, "We didn't realize it would be to this magnitude."

Although NOBODY that I am aware of is studying it, but as some of the studies referenced in this report would seem to indicate, I would bet that the deported recidivist illegal alien criminals have a higher rate of returning than the average "only doing the work Americans won't do" deported illegal alien. While I do not know what the record is, as referenced earlier in this report, one illegal alien criminal had been previously deported SEVENTEEN times. How much manpower and enforcement costs were expended on just that one illegal alien?

Part of the reason that deported illegal aliens return is because many that are deported are hard core criminals and, as the notorious bank robber Willy Sutton is reported to have once said, "That is where the money is." Like a bad penny, many keep showing up again and again.

As noted in the previous paragraphs, while the two fence, Sandia/SanDiego border fence dramatically reduced overall illegal crossings of the border where the fence was installed, it did not completely eliminate it. A notable portion of the more dedicated illegal aliens still made it across. What category do you suppose career criminals, gang members, and terrorists would be in? Remember, when terrorists smuggle a nuke across the border and vaporize your city it will be too late to start FINALLY building proper border security.

If we started today, a proper physical border security along the 1,951 mile long US-Mexico border will take a few years to build, even if we only built the 850 or so currently identified "critical miles." In the meantime, the illegal flow keeps gushing in. Once the decision to build the fence is made and publicized, a "last chance" stampede will start. To stop the existing flow and mitigate the surge before the fence is finished we must immediately and dramatically increase the physical presence of the INS on the border.

Since the vastly increased manpower requirement will only be temporary until the fence is built, this should be accomplished through the use of National Guard and/or military units. The latter might take changes in existing law but may need to be done to combat the foreign invasion. This action must be taken now. Each day we delay results in another few thousand illegal aliens entering the country, including gang members, hard core criminals, sexual predators, and terrorists.

But you say, "I thought we started building a border fence!" Not so. Passing the Secure Fence Act to build much more fencing and funding the actual building of the complete fence are two different things. For more information on that, see Vincent Gioia's October 2006 commentary, The Mexican Border Fence Hoax.

As this paper has detailed, there are currently hundreds of thousands of criminal illegal aliens roaming the streets committing mayhem on US citizens. Many were previously deported, often multiple times, and they simply walked back in. Without such a formidable barrier the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is woefully undermanned to enforce border security. As noted in the aforementioned CRS report, a fence is a "force multiplier."

If you are still not convinced that we need some serious physical border security, go back up to the CRIMINAL sections and start clicking on the links or go to the ICE Public Information News Releases and start perusing the press releases. Remember, until finally caught, the illegal alien criminals were in your city and neighborhood and the ones caught are only a small portion of the criminal illegal aliens still out there, with more pouring across each day. When you or your family are victims it will be too late.

In 2005 illegal alien criminals committed at least 704,709 crimes. The actual number may be three times as high. You can expect as many crimes in 2007. While some of the perpetrators were in the USA as a result of VISA violations, at least 60% of those crimes are a direct result of no border security. When you or your family are victims it will be too late.

It is also worth noting that a humane side affect of having robust border security barrier is that it will eliminate all the deaths from illegal aliens dying in the desert as they try to sneak across some rather inhospitable areas of the SW border. See: 460 border crossers died in past year. Posters on fence tell of 3,600 found dead in 11 years.

The December 2006 report from the Congressional Research Service, Border Security: Barriers Along the US International Border, provides some costing for the fencing. The report notes that, excluding the costs of land acquisition, the Army Corp of Engineers estimates that the double layer Sandia type fence like what was installed in San Diego would cost about $1.3 million per mile. The CBO estimates the construction costs to be $3 million per mile.

The DHS constructed the 14 mile San Diego fence at a cost of $127 million but some serious mitigating circumstances (environmental assessments, legal appeals, lengthy delays, a big canyon, etc) over the last 4.5 miles heading to the Pacific soaked up $96 million of that meaning that the first 9.5 miles cost $3.3 million a mile.

Averaging out the four estimates of 1.3, 2.8, 3.0 and 3.3 million per mile we get $2.7 million per mile. Thus 850 critical miles would cost $2.3 billion and all 1,951 miles would cost $5.3 billion, although one should expect a much longer fence to cost less on a per mile basis thus lowering the total costs some.

If one assumes an average of two border patrol agents per mile, three shifts per day, with a 50% overhead for weekends, vacations, supervision, et cetera, to patrol all 1951 miles you would need a staff of 17,559. At an average burdened cost of $75,000 each that would be $1.3 billion per year. Maintenance and up-keep at $500,000 per mile would cost $976 million per year for a total operating cost of $2.3 billion per year. Even doubling that is only $4.6 billion per year. Since all 1,951 miles do not need such serious fencing and patrolling, a lower number of miles would be proportionally less. 850 miles, as an example, would only cost about $1 billion a year to man and maintain.

However, as the information from the San Diego fence detailed, the illegal aliens will only go around any serious fencing meaning that all or most of the 1,951 miles will eventually need to be secured.

As detailed earlier in this report, in 1980 there were only 9,000 incarcerated illegal alien criminals in federal, state, and local facilities. In 2003 there were 267,000.

For the sake of argument, let us assume that there were no increases of illegal alien prisoners from 1980 through 1986, when Reagan's "one time" amnesty bill was enacted, since it was supposed to stop the flow of illegal aliens into the US. Let us also assume that since 2003 there have been no more additional illegal alien prisoners and that there was a linear growth of the number of illegal aliens incarcerated from 1986 to through 2006. .

With all these "low ball" assumptions, that means we still have had 2,709,000 more man years of illegal alien incarceration, over and above the assumed 9,000 in 1986 when we weren't supposed to have any more. At $25,000 per year incarceration costs that means we have already spent $67.7 BILLION more on incarceration than we otherwise would have had, if we had simply kept all the additional illegal alien criminals out - something Reagan's amnesty deal , with border security and enforcement provisions, was supposed to have done. Unfortunately, our Government neglected the "security and enforcement" part of the "deal."

Again, assuming no additional illegal alien prisoners, something that is highly unlikely, the total incarceration costs are going up by about $6.7 billion per year. That number is greater than the cost of building, operating and maintaining a fence today.

So, as it turns out, not enforcing border security and building the fence in the first place was penny wise and pound foolish.

As this report has detailed, however, the yearly collateral costs of illegal immigration do not stop at the incarceration costs and in fact FAR EXCEEDS the cost of FINALLY building the fence and incorporating proper border security.

As a reminder, besides the $6.7B yearly incarceration costs the total yearly economic impact of illegal alien crime costs somewhere between $14.4 and $50 billion or more and may be as high as $150 billion; accidents caused by illegal aliens cost at least $11.5 billion and maybe 2-3 times as much; and the education costs for illegal alien children is about $34.5 billion. Per year. Add in the costs for, welfare, social programs, medical costs, et cetera and you have another $100 billion or so. PER YEAR.

Still think the fence "costs too much?"

While a fence would not do anything for the 267,000 or so incarcerated illegal aliens that we currently have due to Presidential and Congressional malfeasance, it would allow that number to decline as they complete their sentences and are deported. It would also dramatically reduce the number of crimes being committed by illegal criminals as about 60% of the crimes committed by illegal aliens are committed by illegal aliens that were previously deported.

It would also dramatically stop the illegal alien invasion.

The President and Congress are spending enormous amounts on the collateral damage of tolerating illegal aliens but they won't spend the money to protect you from it happening in the first place.

We have spent hundreds of billions fighting terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, with a loss of about 3,000 American soldiers with many more being injured. Part of the reason for this is that we would rather be fighting terrorist THERE than HERE. Yet, at the same time, we are tolerating the invasion on the southern border which has resulted in far more Americans being injured and killed by illegal aliens than the TOTAL casualties and injuries fighting the war on terror since 9/11, including the 2,752 Americans killed on 9/11.

Every year.

Which gets the most press?

We send a carrier task force to the Persian Gulf in a futile attempt to persuade potential terrorist states to behave. Yet for the cost of one carrier we could build a fence along the entire southern border. For the yearly costs of just operating that carrier and its air wing, let alone the accompanying task force, we could man and maintain that fence.

How many Americans has Iran molested, raped, killed, and murdered versus how many Americans have illegal aliens molested, raped, killed, and murdered?

What are our priorities?

So rather than demand Congress spend a paltry few billion dollars out of a three trillion dollar budget:

Exactly how many Americans are YOU willing to allow to be molested, raped, killed, and murdered to tolerate illegal immigration?

Since the fence is nothing more than a cost-benefit tradeoff:

What price do YOU put on each child molested?

What price do YOU put on each woman who is raped?

What price do YOU put on each American that is killed?

What price do YOU put on each American that is murdered?

What price do YOU put on a US city being vaporized?

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