The Bay Citizen, 10/1/2010
At this week’s California gubernatorial debate, Republican candidate Meg Whitman said that the state could secure its border with Mexico by creating not one, but two fences.
But according to University of California, San Diego Political Science Professor Wayne Cornelius, it doesn’t matter how high, or even how many, barriers there are. If you build them, migrants will still come.
Speaking at Stanford University Thursday night, Cornelius presented his research with UCSD’s Center for Comparative Immigration Studies to highlight the current flaws and wasteful spending of border states’ current illegal immigration policies. A hot button issue with current gubernatorial and U.S. Senate contenders, illegal immigration has become a political battlefront for candidates looking to secure crucial votes.
Cornelius focused largely on California, whose 140 miles of border with Mexico are regulated by everything from border patrol officers to triple-fenced barriers in parts of San Diego County. The effort has been largely futile, he said.
Cornelius stated that about 61 percent of illegal immigrants crossing into California made it on their first try, and 98 percent of those who were caught the first time eventually made it to California on subsequent attempts.
While highlighting these failures, Cornelius also pointed out the amount being spent on enforcing our borders was roughly $17 billion annually.
“One thing we have managed to do is spend a lot of money,” he said.