“Mexican armed forces meets migrants at southern border” (NBC) is subtitled “The tougher response follows the Trump administration’s threats to impose stiff tariffs if Mexico didn’t do more to curb migration through Mexico to the U.S.”
This strikes me as unfair. Mexicans didn’t create our cradle-to-grave welfare state, birthright citizenship law, or policies for welcoming anyone willing to spin a tale that will qualify for asylum. Why is the Mexican taxpayer’s job to stand in the breeze created by the American offer of free housing, free health care, free food, and free smartphone to anyone who is sufficiently fit to travel across the border?
I wrote about this in a post about a book by a former Border Patrol agent:
As a taxpayer, I was horrified to read about the money being spent. The cost of border patrol agents, including pension and benefits, is staggering. Helicopters are flying constantly, notably for medical evacuation of dehydrated migrants found by these highly paid border patrol agents. These aren’t $350/hour Robinsons, but $1,500/hour Eurocopters (which become $4,000/hour Eurocopters when federally operated; 40,000 aircraft hours per year in 2014!). I wonder if we could simply pay the Mexicans to patrol the border. If we offered them $10 billion per year and then subtracted the cost of lifetime welfare (about $2 million?) for every unauthorized person who slipped through, I have to believe that they would be a lot more efficient and effective. It would also cut down on gun fights between U.S. agents and bad guys, which have killed 123 officers since 1904. The author of the book makes the job sound incredibly dangerous and spends quite a few pages recounting his vivid dreams. The Marines on Iwo Jima faced only token resistance by comparison. The author never explains why Border Patrol agents are able to purchase life insurance at a lower cost than other federal employees from an independent nonprofit association. Either the underwriters are pinheads or carrying a gun for the Border Patrol is actually less hazardous than sitting at a desk in a D.C. bureaucracy.
Readers: What do you think? The Mexicans aren’t the ones running a welfare state that is a magnet for folks from around the planet. Is it reasonable that they have to pay the costs of keeping welfare-seekers away from the borders that we can’t be bothered to fence?
[Note: I recognize that Americans will differ in whether an immigrant or descendant of immigrants is “on welfare” if the person (a) has a low-to-medium wage job, and (b) receives taxpayer-subsidized housing, health care, etc.]