Border walls only work if illegal immigration is…illegal

· October 24, 2018  
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Border wall replacement
Mario Tama | Getty Images

“I will not hesitate to use every legal tool available to challenge these policies in court. … May a thousand litigation flowers bloom.” ~ Karen Tumlin of the National Immigration Law Center.

A border wall can stop a physical invasion, but it can’t stop an invasion of 1,000 lawsuits. Unless we stop the bogus asylum policies and end all cross-border migration in a legal sense, no amount of border security or infrastructure will help. Thankfully, the president appears to understand this.

The key now is to make sure he pressures his Department of Homeland Security leadership to get on the same page and uses his leverage against leaders in Congress like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to achieve this.

Yesterday, I spoke with Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels, the head of the Arizona Sheriff’s Association, and he was incredulous about the infighting in Washington that is hurting quality of life in the border counties. “We just don’t have the resources our federal partners do to patrol the border; we need them to act now.” He lamented how the waste of resources on processing the invasion rather than deterring it “are creating a huge opportunity for the cartels to smuggle in their more dangerous clients.”

Is it that we are lacking resources and infrastructure on the federal level? Not at all. It’s that we are complaining about the invasion out of one side of our mouth but inviting it in with the other. Dannels pointed out that he’s never seen such a surge in family units coming over the border once we telegraphed the message that “if you come with a kid, you are home free.” Once they are here, there are thousands of pro bono lawyers who can petition lawless lower courts to violate our sovereignty and make it impossible to deport them. Thus, rather than trying to avoid detection by our border agents, the illegal invaders actually seek them out.

This is where understanding the use of a border wall comes into play. A border wall is a very effective force multiplier for the Border Patrol if the goal of apprehension is to immediately block or deport those apprehended and that message is conveyed to the would-be trespasser. While it is possible for physically healthy people to climb most walls, it takes some time, especially if a group of people is trying to come over together. They would likely be apprehended by the Border Patrol by the time they get over, or at least would fear the likelihood of such detection.

But here’s the rub. That only applies if we have sane policies where illegal immigration is, you know, illegal. But if we allow courts to make a mockery of our clearly written laws, then rather than fearing detection, illegal immigrants seek out detection. Thus, they will not only come at points of entry to surrender themselves, they will climb the border wall anywhere between the points of entry and surrender themselves.

This explains the phenomenon in the Yuma sector, where law enforcement is dealing with the sharpest increase in incursions in recent memory. When Congress passed the Secure Fence Act in 2006 requiring no less than 850 miles of double-layered fencing, the Bush administration only completed 36.3 miles. Obama gutted the effort, and the rest is history. But there was one success story. Most of that fence was built in Yuma. The Yuma sector contains most of the remaining double-layer fencing with razor wire, including areas with triple layers and a 75-foot “no man’s land.” Not surprisingly, it worked. Apprehensions declined 96 percent from 2005 to 2014 — falling from 138,438 to 5,902.

But something changed under Obama, a phenomenon that has now been codified by lawless lower courts. Twenty-fourteen was a watershed year in our border history. Even though we had more border assets than ever to deter an invasion, our policies of DACA and then asylum invited in the invasion of Central Americans, which began in 2014-2015 and brought in the drug and gang crises. No wall can negate a legal invite. Bogus asylum requests became the norm and spiked 1700 percent over the Obama years and surged to unimaginable levels in recent months.

Back in the 90s and in the 2003-2005 surge, over one million individuals of Mexican descent poured over the border every year. Back then the primary issue was a lack of resources to apprehend the invaders and a lack of will to turn our attention to the invasion. Over time, we tripled the Border Patrol and built some fencing, at least in places like Yuma. If our policies had remained the same, our border assets would have deterred most of the invasion, especially in a place with fencing like Yuma. The Mexican migrants never wanted to be caught. But the Left and its allies in Latin America adapted, along with Obama’s insidious change in asylum policy. No number of border agents and walls could stop the magic words “credible fear.” In fact, the more border agents, the better it is for the illegals, because they get to be placed in the agents’ care until they are released rather than travel the dangerous desert alone.

As Dannels pointed out, during the first few months of the Trump administration, when migrants merely perceived that Trump would finally enforce our sovereignty, border crossings plummeted. He never saw fewer incursions or less drug smuggling in his entire career. But if interdiction means they will achieve their goal of release into our country, they will simply “climb over and surrender themselves to the border agents who are then distracted from dealing with more serious threats.”

The moral of the story? Border walls help when actually built on the land they partition like a border and no exceptions are made.

This is why a border wall without first ending our self-immolating policies of “lawfare” will not work. A wall slows down an invasion, and together with a border patrol can serve as a force multiplier. But it can’t stop a lawfare invasion.

This is also why a plan of amnesty in exchange for a border wall is such a bad deal. Amnesty is the magnet that is bringing them here, and that will overwhelm a border wall, not to mention the points of entry. Rather than Trump making the border wall the number one priority, ending suicidal asylum policies and UAC policies must be the number one priority. As I’ve noted before, that can all be done unilaterally without Congress because that is the proper interpretation of current law. He must categorically close the points of entry to any caravan and must force DHS to implement AG Sessions’ guidance on individual asylum requests.

Once Trump solves the temporary problem alone, he can use that leverage, backed by the threat of vetoing the next budget bill in December, to make Congress include not just money for the border wall, but statutory changes that permanently codify his policies on asylum, as well as legislation cutting off sanctuary cities, removing immigration jurisdiction from lower courts, and many of the other 25 ideas I’ve laid out. The common denominator is de-magnetizing our border and ramping up interior enforcement. We should also clamp down on remittances from illegal aliens back to their home countries and bar anyone caught coming here illegally, not at our consulates in Mexico, from ever entering the country again.

There is only one way to stop illegal immigration, and it’s quite easy. Make illegal immigration unambiguously illegal, once and for all.

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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.