Thursday, October 25, 2007

What do you know, border enforcement works!

From The Wall St. Journal:

EL PASO, Texas -- A security crackdown on the Mexican border is believed to have reduced the number of people trying to cross illegally into the U.S. while increasing business for professional smugglers with ties to the drug trade.

Data to be released next week by the Department of Homeland Security are expected to show the number of illegal border crossers caught fell to less than one million for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, the first time that has occurred since 2003. Through the end of August, barely 800,000 apprehensions were recorded along the U.S.-Mexico border, a drop of more than 20% from the previous fiscal year.

The decline -- thought to show that fewer migrants are attempting to cross -- will add weight to claims by U.S. officials that heavier law enforcement is making it more difficult for migrants to sneak across the 2,000-mile border. With politicians deadlocked over how to deal with illegal immigration, trying to seal the border to catch and deter illegal immigrants has become the main policy tool.

But the crackdown also appears to be affecting the markets for smuggling people and drugs in Mexico. As tighter security makes crossing the border trickier and more hazardous, the traditional mom-and-pop operations in Mexico that used to ferry people across have been replaced by larger, more-professional criminal gangs, often with ties to the illegal-drug trade.

U.S. officials are reporting increased violence along the border, including gunfights between rival smuggling gangs, gangs hijacking each others' customers en route to U.S. destinations and the rape or assault of migrants.

This is all good news, even the part about the criminal gangs.

It is easy for the pro-illegal, pro-amnesty forces, both the left-wingers who want to import voters and the business interests whose only motivation is pure greed, to paint alien criminals as salt-of-the-earth types who just want a better life. But when the business of moving illegals into the country can be tied to violent criminal narco-gangs it becomes much easier to win the public opinion war.

Then completing the border fence becomes a matter of protecting the poor innocent Mexicans from the evil exploitative gangs as well as protecting the US from an invasion of illegal aliens.

The thing for US authorities to do is continue building the fence and aggressively patroling the border while cracking down HARD on the gangs.