Stricter Enforcement along Border Effective – Or is it Wishful Thinking?

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


exodus_265x164.gif “It’s as if Mexico and the United States are at war,” said one migrant who couldn’t make it across for all the National Guardsmen stationed along the border. Border Patrol offices along popular pathways into the United States are reporting significant drops in the number of (failed) migrations, according to the Los Angeles Times. In addition to more patrols, new strategies include jailing everyone, even first timers, for up to 2 weeks. Writing for Mother Jones, Vince Beiser argued that the so-called border fence would be a fiasco. Charles Bowden also rejects worker permits and an open border.

The Border Patrol says with the increased punishments and patrols, apprehensions are down by as much as two-thirds. But Bowden, who has spent his life reporting on the border (and shares some of his sun-baked wisdom in his MoJo piece), writes, “On the line, all numbers are fictions. The exportation of human beings by Mexico now reaches, officially, a half million souls a year. Or double that. Or triple that.”

Seasonal declines notwithstanding, one of two facts will have to change before migrants stop coming: There are no jobs in Mexico. There are jobs for Mexicans in the United States. Even the optimistic Times piece acknowledges that. It quotes Wayne Cornelius, director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego, who says “The modes of entry do change. Location of entries change. But the basic dynamics of the process don’t change, because the economic factors and family ties that drive the movement haven’t changed.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest