Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Challenges To, And New Support For, The Fence

A new legal challenge to the fence by the Texas Borser Coalition (See post for May 17, 2008.) has led to renewed statements of support from Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security, and other border enforcers. This comes with an admission that the fence will not stop more illegal entries, but it should cut them down. They note that apprehensions along the border have dropped -- as much as 69% near Yuma, AZ -- proof that the fence, with stepped up enforcement by the Border Patrol, is working. Homeland Security's thinking is that a drop in apprehensions is a drop in attempted illegal entries. That's a disputable point, since observers also see an increase in illegal entries around San Diego. (See NY Times article which contains a map of the fence.)

Immigrant smugglers do not ply their trade only along the Mexican border. Off Florida the coyotes use "fast-boats" -- once called "cigarette boats" -- to ferry Cubans and a few others. The number of such attempted "land falls" -- Cubans can stay if the touch U.S. soil -- has soared the last few years. (See LA Times article.)

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