Border Boletín: Smugglers take to the seas (Arizona Daily Star)

CCIS Director Emeritus Wayne Cornelius was quoted recently in the Arizona Daily Star in an article about clandestine crossings by sea:

At least one expert predicted this development. In the fall of 2006 when I spoke to him, Wayne Cornelius, head of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California at San Diego, forecasted the shift to the seas.

Cornelius’ quote appears at the end of this excerpt below from a story published in the Arizona Daily Star on Sept. 27, 2006. The story ran on the final day of a multi-day series about the U.S. government’s efforts to seal the U.S.-Mexico border. (Sorry but I can’t post the full link to the story because it is temporarily down)

“The expansive waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean flank the nearly 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexican border.

Forty-three legal ports of entry line the southern border, where 5,049 U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers face the grueling task of finding illegal entrants hidden in the sea of 960,000 people who cross daily.

The Canadian border is twice as long, but patrolled by one-tenth as many U.S. Border Patrol agents.

The areas serve as sidelines in the match of vigor and wit that pits illegal entrants against agents. But if the federal government spends the billions of dollars and overcomes the bevy of logistical obstacles to sealing the border, all three would become important corridors, experts say.

As long as U.S. businesses offer better jobs than those available at home, illegal entrants will keep finding new ways into the country, a Star investigation found.

“The costs of a 2,000-mile seal of the land border are prohibitively high,” says Wayne Cornelius, head of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California at San Diego. “And the punchline is that it wouldn’t be effective because it would just divert crossings to the maritime border and the northern border, unless the jobs disappear within the U.S.”

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