From the Front: Fences work.
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President Bush’s signing last week of the Border Fence bill produced an avalanche of media coverage, nearly all of it unfavorable. A fence couldn’t/wouldn’t /shouldn’t/ MUStNT be effective, apparently.

Amidst all this garbage one account glitters like a diamond: Adios, Yakima Valley — Migrants say border crossing too risky By ELOISA RUANO GONZALEZ YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC Sunday, November 5, 2006 will gladden the hearts of all immigration patriots.

This story’s message: interdiction works.

The U.S.-Mexico border isn’t the only wall Jose Herrera has had to climb—he plans to return to his country and never work in Washington again. The combination of spiraling smuggling fees at the border, rising rents in the Yakima Valley and increasingly vocal objections from groups like the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps…The last straw for Herrera: tightening federal border policies.

Those who oppose a Fence make huge play about how it can be evaded. But the point is that rational men make rational decisions. Raise the risk; fewer will take it:

Herrera says he gave a coyote — a smuggler — $2,000 in American dollars to lead him into the United States from Michoacán… About five years ago, it would’ve cost roughly $500, Herrera says…It took Herrera 12 days to get around “La Migra” — U.S. Customs and Border Protection — and the National Guard at the relatively remote Arizona line. A few years ago it would have taken only a couple of days entering through San Diego, which is now so heavily patrolled that many travelers avoid it.

Gonzalez quotes a Coyote (unidentified as such):

Blas Tepec confirms that this was the most difficult year to cross. The 30-year-old Mexican national leads Gonzalez’s workers to the Yakima Valley from Guerrero, Mexico, every year — a trek he’s been taking for about a dozen years.

This year, with weeks of daily attempts, it took them a month to get past border patrols. Once the group got over the fence, it was a three-day walk across the desert into Phoenix. Previous trips — through now-impassable Escondido, Calif., took about a day.

This account, inevitably, is about a respectable, family-loving man who definitely deserves Christian sympathy. Not all migrants are like that, or can sustain that standard. Furthermore, what about the Americans who are hurt by the influx of cheap labor? Eloisa Ruano Gonzalez does not mention this.

E mail her — see if she cares.


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