Speaking 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.”
“…Immigrant rights groups say Operation Gatekeeper and similar enforcement efforts along the U.S.-Mexico border are responsible for the deaths because they were designed to push illegal immigrant traffic into the mountains and deserts.
The strategy was to use the dangerous terrain as a deterrent.
It did not work, according to Wayne Cornelius, former director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego.
Illegal immigrant traffic simply shifted to states such as Arizona and Texas…”
“…U.S., Mexican and international officials must recognize the deaths of migrants occurring during unauthorized crossings of the U.S.-Mexican border as an international humanitarian crisis and respond with reforms that make human life a priority, according to a new report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties and Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH). The report, Humanitarian Crisis: Migrant Deaths at the U.S.-Mexico Border, finds that border deaths have increased despite fewer unauthorized crossings due to the economic downturn…”
“…There are different reasons why border-crossing arrests are down, said Wayne Cornelius, director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UCSD.
Those who can afford it are also paying as much as $5,000 to be smuggled through border ports of entry, he said, seen as a safer alternative to treks through increasingly remote routes in the desert and mountains.
The depressed U.S. job market is a key factor, and even border security appears to have an economic factor. Tighter security has led to steeper smugglers’ fees, Cornelius said, often $3,000 just to cross on foot…”
…The federal agency in charge of patrolling the borders, Customs and Border Protection, has added 11,212 agents in the last three years. In a recent study, Wayne Cornelius, co-director of a center on migration at the University of California, San Diego, found that 28 percent of Mexican immigrants he surveyed in early 2009 had slipped into the United States through a border station, including 52 percent who were hidden inside a vehicle and 39 percent who used fraudulent documents.
“This is now a well-established mode of illegal entry,” Mr. Cornelius said, preferred by women and children and anyone else seeking to minimize the dangers of crossing.
But the study showed that smugglers charge significantly more for passage through a border station, Mr. Cornelius said, up to $5,000 per person compared with $3,000 for a crossing outside a station.
With more than 225 million crossings annually through Southwest border stations, Mr. Cornelius said, “close scrutiny of this massive flow is impossible…” Read full article »
“…Wayne Cornelius, director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California in San Diego, says he has conducted 4,000 interviews with illegal immigrants and potential migrants from Jalisco, Zacatecas, Oaxaca, and Yucatan in the past five years. His assessment:
‘The existing border fortifications do not keep undocumented migrants out of the US. Not even half are being apprehended on any given trip to the border, and of those who are apprehended, the success rate on the second or third try is upwards of 95 percent.’
‘There is no reason to believe that additional investments in the fence project – both physical fencing and the new “virtual fence” – will create an effective deterrent,’ he says…” Read full article »
CNN News Update (7-23-2009 1 AM EDT) (Radio Clip)
Skip to the 2:00 minute mark to hear Dr. FitzGerald’s comments.
… People in Mexico are very aware that there’s an economic crisis in the U.S. and that there are far fewer jobs,” says David FitzGerald, associate director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California-San Diego.
In January, he interviewed people in the Mexican town of Tunkás. “Most people in the last year or so have put off their plans to migrate to the U.S.,” he says … Read full article »
…New data, from a research team led by Wayne Cornelius, Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego, indicates that the condition of the U.S. economy is more significant in explaining the recent decline in border apprehensions than any of the enforcement-only measures that have been implemented to date….Read full article »
With the U.S. in a deep recession, Mexico has been preparing for an influx of returning migrants. But there hasn’t been one. Dan Grech reports many Mexican migrants still prefer to ride out the economic storm in the states. Full audio »