Originally Published: July 19, 2010 9:58 p.m.
Reading endless letters to the editor from Arizonans condemning Mexicans who illegally cross our borders as "dangerous criminals, terrorists, drug smugglers," etc., I'm constantly reminded of the glaring flaws in their arguments.
"Securing" the U.S.-Mexico border with walls, electric fences, guards, etc., is a myopic pipe dream that would be outrageously expensive and totally ineffectual in keeping out the "real" organized terrorists who would actually intend to harm us. It also sends an imperious, unwelcome message to the world.
The present administration's strategy seems to realize that even if you could secure a 1,969-mile border, it would end up reminiscent of a Berlin Wall with its negative, paranoid implications. I believe borders serve a pragmatic international purpose of discouraging illegal crossings rather than creating an artificially impervious fortress.
As for the drug smugglers indictment, supply-and-demand economics clearly indicate that selling illegal drugs in the U.S. is a prosperous business solely because our citizens keep demanding them.
Are illegals really taking our jobs? I doubt that any of our citizens railing against illegals would be willing to work all day in the fields or seek other mediocre minimum wage jobs. Micro-studies throughout the U.S. have shown that when you eliminate illegal workers from backbreaking mediocre jobs, few citizens are willing to replace them. This, of course, means much higher wages will be necessary to fill the jobs, resulting in higher food prices, etc. that citizens can't afford or won't pay.
One common sense solution is to give permits, like Green Cards, to illegals in order to fill such undesirable jobs, while paying taxes like other U.S. laborers.
I also want to believe that any non-bigoted citizen with a hint of empathy realizes that the vast majority of those who enter the U.S. illegally come here solely to work.
Larry Wonderling, Ph.D.
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