Argument: Border fences do not decrease smuggling


  • Newsweek 10/12/06 Question to David Shirk of the University of San Diego and director of the Trans-Border Institute – “Do these types of fences decrease smuggling? No, they actually increase smuggling. The harder you make it for undocumented immigrants to cross the border on their own accord, the more they have to rely on professional smugglers and organized criminals who can provide them with the false papers they need to enter the country. Essentially, as with drug trafficking, we’ve created a very profitable black market for migrant smugglers. As a result, there are fairly clear indications that we’ve moved from individual and “mom and pop” migrant smuggling operations to more sophisticated, costly and potentially dangerous organized-crime syndicates.”
  • U.S. Catholic bishops also made this argument in a 10/10/06 letter, adding that competition and violence between smuggling gangs could increase – “Another likely result of a border fence is an increase, not decrease, in smuggling-related violence, as smuggling networks may attempt to devise more elaborate and, in some cases, more confrontational schemes to smuggle persons into the country. Increased competition among smuggling gangs could lead to more violence in border communities. As Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff recently stated, violence against Border Patrol agents increased over 100 percent in 2005.”