Why aren’t we paying the Mexicans to patrol our border?

“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.]

10 thoughts on “Why aren’t we paying the Mexicans to patrol our border?

  1. The US government _is_ paying Mexicans to patrol the border. It’s just that they’re more interested in propping up the War on Agriculture, Chemistry, and Capitalism (or “Drugs” for short), so that’s how the money is used.

  2. Pretty sure the border patrol agents aren’t being opposed with artillery, machine guns, kamikaze attacks, and a 30+% casualty rate.

  3. Money paid Mexican law enforcement would accomplish nothing because Mexican law enforcement is corrupt so the money would just disappear. Mexican law enforcement can’t even protect its own citizens much less US citizens.

    • This is only a part of the story. I am not confident that the US personnel would fare any better: Iraq, Afghanistan, Portland, Chicago, and Baltimore are all evidence for that. At least, Mexicans would be cheaper to deploy, and we would need to save up for that wall they had promised to pay for.

  4. I agree with you, and I have something to add. I think the part of the solution is to encourage Mexico to be as progressive as Massachusetts and go a lot farther by legalizing recreational marijuana nationwide. Make it a priority to establish a network of recreational pot shops along the preferred migrant transit routes and increase their density the closer to the border you get. Instead of spending $4,000 per hour on Eurocopters we just send the money to Mexico and have them build, staff and maintain crash pads and “420 friendly” inexpensive lodging all along the route. Encourage them to sell a lot of high-sativa strains like Sour Diesel to generate maximum couchlock. Effectively, you just give them the same thing people in Massachusetts now have, but on an even grander scale. Someone is going to have to get the Catholic church in Mexico to stop preaching about the evils of marijuana, but apparently that process is well underway, so it’s time for investors and forward-thinking people to recognize that within a few years, this is going to be a big market.

    I admit, this is just a back-of-the-napkin sketch of an idea, but I think it really has potential. People with couchlock have the munchies. They don’t want to hike through the desert, get dehydrated and risk their lives, they want to watch Netflix. So there’s an opportunity for them, too.

    Think it over!

  5. In support of the previous post, people might like to read about couch lock and ponder the fact that if John Boehner has his way (along with many, many others) the United States will soon be the home of the largest and most expertly managed professional cannabis industry of any developed country in the world. We are going to be the uncontested experts in this technology, and the next step of course is to export it to the world. Naturally we should begin with our southern neighbor, Mexico. I’ll bet in the end we can help the Mexicans establish a new industry, make money, and stem the flow of illegal migration all in one fell swoop.


    Before you forget, and so I’m not accused of recommending something that could be detrimental to Mexico, here’s an article about how to counterbalance THC’s paranoia, anxiety and memory loss. High-THC strains seem to exacerbate them when the levels of CBD are relatively low, at least according to the good folks at Potguide.com.


  6. It seems an odd statement from Border Patrol that the best helicopter they could find to secure the US southern border is one made by immigration-loving European socialists.

    I did see a shiny looking CBP Blackhawk at KCRQ in January, shortly before it dramatically featured in the President’s hype reel from his visit to the southern border: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1f0jyvFIE7Y

    That mean looking machine does seem at least optically much more suited to the mission.

  7. Great idea. The Mexican cops are corrupt and, shall we say?, have not signed the Geneva Convention, as it were. Any “refugee” who ever made it out of the clutches of the Mexican cops would never, ever try a second attempt.

  8. Why the trash talk about the Mexican government above? We are informed daily by our media about abuses committed by the U.S. government and its contractors. Detainees are raped, killed, forgotten, separated from children, mixed up, etc. Other than prejudice, why do we think the Mexican government will be less humane?

    (might not be separated from their biological children; see https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7045351/Rapid-DNA-testing-reveals-migrants-faked-family-relationship-kids.html )

  9. It might be easier for Mexico to just build a wall on their side. They have plenty of migrant labor. They could just build it in some of the sections where the border crossings are worst (probably where the U.S. doesn’t have a fence.)

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