It would seem that today our borders are only minor inconveniences for the hordes of illegal immigrants swarming daily into the country. The Border Patrol puts up a fence and tightens security in one area and the illegal immigrants simply move to another. Great amounts of money are apparently being made by guides hired to get the immigrants into the U.S., the Border Patrol gets ever increasing amounts of money to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, and manufacturers and suppliers get lucrative contracts for very sophisticated and very expensive pieces of equipment designed to detect people illegally crossing the border.

If the purposes of this drill are to provide an exciting game of cat and mouse for the amusement of border guards, to provide employment for a great number of people engaged in the game, and to keep the economy pumped up with a lot of government money, then the system is working very well indeed. If the purpose is to keep illegal immigrants out of the United States, the system is a dismal failure. Of the people assaulting the border daily, some get caught by the Border Patrol; but most get through. Those who are caught are deported to square one of the game. Each day, the group assaulting the border will include most of those who were caught and turned back the day before. This of course means that every day there are more people trying to get across than there were yesterday. This is a game that can’t be won by the border defenders. Does that mean that nothing can be done? No. It just means that someone needs to apply a little common sense to the problem.

Entering the country illegally is a crime. Deportation is not the appropriate punishment for this crime. Six months on a prison farm is the appropriate punishment. Even assuming that six months hard labor would not deter anyone trying to enter the country, it would reduce each person’s attempts to one every six months. With a smaller number assaulting the border each day, the Border Patrol should be able to catch an ever increasing percentage of those trying their luck. I suspect also that two or three six month stints on a prison farm would seriously reduce one’s desire to enter the U.S. illegally.