On December 21, 2011, I was interviewed by Neil Cavuto on Fox. Cavuto’s premise was that since Border Patrol arrests had declined it would seem that there are fewer illegal aliens present in the United States.
In responding to Neil's hypothesis, I told him that attempting to compute the number of illegal aliens present in the U.S. by reviewing arrest statistics is like taking attendance by asking those present to not raise their hands.
What I didn’t have time to say during the brief interview was that the arrest statistics published by the administration are unreliable. Indeed, the vice president of the union that represents the Border Patrol agents said that the administration has been “cooking the books.”
Also omitted in the interview was the obvious fact that there are many illegal aliens in the U.S. who did not run our southern border. They may have run our northern border, stowed away on ships or entered the country via the lawful inspections process and then, in one way or another, violated the terms of their admission.
Today, once aliens get past the border or the inspections booth, they have little to fear from ICE. That’s because the outrageous policies of the administration virtually ignore aliens who violate our borders and our laws. Indeed, Comprehensive Immigration Reform would actually reward those violations of law.
On July 30, 2013, The Washington Times reported that Homeland Security had lost track of 1 million foreigners. This is not a new problem. On May 11, 2006, I testified before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on International Relations about visa overstays. I also was interviewed by CNN and the Arizona Republic on May 10, 2010 on this topic.
On September 3, 2013, I joined Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA) in a discussion at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to discuss many facets of immigration, especially national security and public safety. During our conversation, I suggested that the next time that Congressman Barletta, who sits on the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, participates in a hearing on the issue of border security, he ask the current price of narcotics.
The point I was making is that illegal aliens and contraband are both smuggled into the U.S. Both illegal aliens and contraband, such as cocaine, heroin and other drugs, could not make their way into the country if our borders were truly secure. While arrest statistics can and are doctored, the price of narcotics provides a much clearer picture about how easily our borders are penetrated by smugglers. If the border was truly secure, the price of drugs would increase. If the price of narcotics remains constant or declines, the borders are not secure.
This is not “rocket science” but common sense and a little basic economics. Unfortunately, where the issues of immigration law enforcement and border security are concerned, common sense is certainly in short supply!
Law enforcement is at its best when it creates a climate of deterrence to convince those who might be contemplating violating the law that such an effort is likely to be discovered, and, that if discovered, adverse consequences will result for the law violators. Current policies and statements by the administration, in my view, encourage aspiring illegal aliens around the world to head for the United States. In effect the starter’s pistol has been fired, and for these folks, the finish line to this race is the border of the United States.