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.”

Read full article »

Baja smugglers’ use of boats rising rapidly (San Diego Union Tribune)

“…The deaths of two immigrants after an overcrowded smuggling vessel capsized off Torrey Pines State Beach on Jan. 16 highlighted the area’s status as a maritime corridor for the illicit traffic of people and drugs. The two victims, a man from Mexico and a woman from Guatemala, are the first known maritime smuggling fatalities in San Diego County.

‘It was totally predictable,’ said Wayne Cornelius, director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California San Diego. ‘People always underestimate the determination of the migrants themselves, and the creativity of the professional people smugglers.'”

Read the full article »

Obama’s choices during first year in office resonate in San Diego (San Diego News Network)


“John Skrentny, director of UC San Diego’s Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, noted that if there’s one thing that has happened with immigration reform, it may be a lack of momentum.

‘I would say that the Obama administration has lost a lot of its momentum while trying to repair the economy and get through with the agenda on health care,’ Skrentny said. ‘The progress Obama has made on immigration will be harder to follow through because of the lost momentum.'”

Read the full article »

Wayne Cornelius Featured on 60 Minutes

CCIS Emeritus Director Wayne Cornelius was featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes program recently, talking about the virtual fence being built on the U.S.-Mexico border.

* * *

“It’s a great deal for Boeing and its subcontractors. It’s a bad deal for the taxpayers,” Wayne Cornelius, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, told Kroft.

There are some, like Cornelius, who think the virtual fence provides only the illusion of border security. He has studied and written about the border for years and says the only thing that has ever stopped people from illegally entering the United States from Mexico was the Great Depression.

“They will detour around the electronic fence just as they have detoured around sections of the physical fences that have been built since 1993. They would be crazy not to,” Cornelius said.

He says smugglers are already probing the system for weaknesses, and will eventually figure out ways to sabotage or blind the electronic towers.

* * *

Video of the entire 60 Minutes segment:


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Web-only video of Cornelius talking about the virtual fence:


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Detentions at Border Are Down (New York Times)

new-york-times-logo

“… Some researchers have cautioned that border enforcement would not prevent Latino immigrants from returning if the economy picked up. Based on the pattern of past recessions, ‘full economic recovery is likely to bring a quick rebound in northbound migration,’ said Wayne Cornelius, who recently retired as director of an immigration research center at the University of California San Diego …”

Read the full article »

University Launches Global Health Program (UCSD Guardian)

ucsd-guardian-logo“In an effort to address some of the health ramifications of California’s large immigrant population, the University of California launched the Center of Expertise on Migration and Health on Nov. 9 — part of its new Global Health Institute.

The COEMH, to be located at UCSD, was created to examine the impact that large population movements have on both the destination country and the migrating population’s country of origin. The program will pay particular attention to consequences that changes in federal health-care policy have on California’s refugee and immigrant population … ”

Read the full article »

Border Crosser Deaths Rising, Despite Reduction In Illegal Immigration (KPBS)

kpbs_logo2_2Speaking on the KPBS program These Days, KPBS reporter cited research from the Mexican Migration Field Research program: “… Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and people cross the border even who know that – Wayne Cornelius from UCSD did a study recently and he was down in the Yucatan talking to migrants who wanted to – who were thinking about crossing and about more than 40% of them knew someone who had died crossing the border and the grand majority of them said we know it’s difficult and we know that it’s hard to get around the Border Patrol but, they said, regardless of that, they’re going to do it.”

Read the full article »