” … 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. …”
An op-ed by Emily Puhl, a current participant in the Mexican Migration Field Research Program (MMFRP), was published in the Des Moines Register. The op-ed cites MMFRP data to argue that increased border enforcement has not been successful in keeping undocumented immigrants from entering the United States.
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.
Illegal Immigration: The Hard Facts
Militarizing the Border
” … 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. … ”
” … 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. … ”
CCIS Associate Director David FitzGerald was consulted for a recent Slate Explainer column about Mexican immigration laws.
” … 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. … ”
” … 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. …”
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.”
CCIS Director Emeritus Wayne Cornelius told the Arizona Daily Star:
Calls for the military, which date to the Mexican Revolution, have become politically motivated, knee-jerk overreactions to incidents, said Wayne Cornelius, director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at University of California-San Diego. It would be best to leave border work to the Border Patrol, he said.
“They are the trained professionals in immigration law enforcement, including tracking and apprehending people-smugglers,” Cornelius wrote in an e-mail. “We should leave it to the professionals.”