Friday, September 12, 2014

Sieve Details

I have long argued that U.S. border policy serves as a human sieve, detaining persons while allowing their labor or wealth to flow. I have written about many other aspects of misguided policy -- and misplaced thinking -- about migration.
Commerce continues at what used to be my favorite crossing point -- 100 km south of Tucson, between Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, but under increasingly militarized conditions.
From Tucson, we moved to Pharr, Texas, where we had bridges directly into Tamaulipas.
I am very thankful to Roque Planas for his eloquent discussion of how to fix migration. He goes farther than I have done, but he makes the case quite clearly. Nothing about our current approach to migration policy is worth saving. Scrap it all, he says, and provides 16 compelling reasons. I would challenge skeptics to think very seriously about his reason #10: hardened borders serve as a kind of ratchet. The harder it is to get in, the more likely people are to stay once they arrive. His ethical and economic reasons are even more compelling in my view, but #16 points to one of the biggest obstacles: some people make a handsome income from unreasonably limiting the freedoms of the rest of us.

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