Analysts Say National Guard Does Little To Deter Illegal Immigrants (KPBS)

BY AMY ISACKSON   MAY 26, 2010

Analysts say President Barack Obama’s plan to send 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border will have minimal impact on border security. The guardsmen are part of Obama’s $500-million proposal to make the border safer.

The National Guard troops would work as extra eyes and ears for the Border Patrol, but would not be allowed to make arrests.

In 2006, President Bush sent 6,000 National Guard troops to the border, including to San Diego.

Shortly after, Wayne Cornelius, who studies migration at UCSD, interviewed about 1,000 people in Mexico who were considering crossing to the United States illegally.

“The National Guard presence on the border was a major source of concern for just 5 percent of our interviewees. And it’s even more revealing because the majority believed, incorrectly, that the National Guard in 2006 were armed and, presumably, authorized to shoot,” said Cornelius.

Cornelius and a bipartisan homeland security analyst in Washington say sending the National Guard may buy political protection for the president and some Democratic congressman.

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Political chameleon / Tough election has McCain changing colors (San Diego Union-Tribune)

” … Being in a border city, this editorial page has never been enamored of the idea that the immigration problem can be fixed by building a wall or putting up a fence, and calling it a day. In fact, as has been pointed out by longtime border researcher Wayne Cornelius, formerly of UC San Diego, building walls often has the effect of sealing off immigrant communities and preventing the kind of cross-border migration that allows immigrants to go home. …”

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David FitzGerald on 60 Minutes

CCIS Associate Director David FitzGerald is featured in several CBS 60 Minutes “web extra” interviews. The segments were shot for a report on the All-American Canal.


Professor David FitzGerald, Associate Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego briefs “60 Minutes” Correspondent Scott Pelley on illegal
immigration from Mexico.

Illegal Immigration: The Hard Facts

Militarizing the Border

Border Control

Taking a stand: Residents raise their voice in favor of immigration reform (Brownsville Herald)

” … But if you successfully frame any policy as part of national security, there will be a greater chance of passing it, said John Skrentny, a sociology professor and director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California at San Diego.

Such was the case in the late 1950s with the passing of the National Defense Education Act, Skrentny said. For years, people believed the school funding was a local issue and that the federal government should not get involved, even though campuses were struggling, the professor said. That changed when the Soviet Union launched its first satellite ahead of the United States spurring the country to finally pass the act. … ”

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Arrested on Entry: Operation Streamline and the Prosecution of Immigration Crimes (Migration Policy Institute)

” … Political scientist Wayne Cornelius has found that notwithstanding increased border enforcement measures, eventual crossing success rates have remained consistently high (in the 97 percent range from 2005 to 2007), even for unauthorized immigrants who are apprehended by the Border Patrol. However, border enforcement strategies have increased smuggler fees and have pushed migrants to more remote and dangerous crossing routes. … ”

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Sound and Fury (Texas Tribune)

” … Just as in 2006, some Democrats are clamoring for immigration reforms, including easing pathways to citizenship, while Republicans are insisting that more security on the border must come first. Policy experts, meanwhile, say the outcome for immigration changes this year will likely be the same as back then: nothing. “I don’t see productive discussions on immigration this year,” said John Skrentny, director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego. … ”

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The Fiscal Bottom Line on Immigration Reform (Immigration Policy Center)

” … A research team led by Wayne Cornelius, Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego, has found that while unauthorized migrants from Mexico may be caught on their first attempt at crossing the border, they have an almost 100 percent chance of eventual success—particularly if they enlist the services of a coyote, or people smuggler. Moreover, as border enforcement is tightened between ports of entry along the southwest border, more migrants are being smuggled through ports of entry (sealed in a compartment within a vehicle, or as a passenger with false or borrowed documents).

Research by Cornelius and his team have also found that undocumented migration from Mexico has diminished mainly because there are fewer jobs available in the United States. …”

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Survey reveals data on illegal immigration (La Jolla Light)

UCSD professor emeritus Wayne Cornelius recently presented his survey results, facts and views regarding illegal immigration in the United States at a colloquium for the UCSD Chancellor’s Associates.

He observed that enforcement of existing immigration laws is extremely difficult, if not impossible, due to the conflicting interests of employers. That being the case, the resolution of the problem has to start with congressional action.

Cornelius’ topic for the associates event was “Toward a Smarter and More Just U.S. Immigration Policy: What Mexican Migrants Can Tell Us.”

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