I don't get the point of this story. Are we supposed to give them bus or plane fare?
As security tightened on the U.S. side of the border — new barriers were built and it was flooded with Border Patrol agents — a return to central Mexico to visit his wife and child carried the risk that he might not be able to get back to his job in Phoenix.
It made the difficult decision to have his family join him here easier.
Studies show that because it is harder to crisscross the border, illegal immigrants who intended to be in the U.S. for limited stretches may increasingly be choosing to bring their families with them — and settle permanently.
Mexican government surveys show that 20% of illegal Mexican immigrants returned home after six months in 1992, compared with 7% in 2000.
"The net effect of the militarization of the border since 1993 has been to transform a circular movement of male workers to a settled population of families," said Douglas S. Massey, a Princeton University sociologist who has long studied the phenomenon. "Once they're here, they hunker down to stay longer."
Massey and other analysts argue that if Congress tightens border security again, more illegal immigrants will put down roots in the U.S.
"Every time we try to solve this problem, we end up shooting ourselves in the foot," said Dawn McClaren, an economist at Arizona State University in Tempe who studies immigration issues.
Advocates of greater border security acknowledge that it may cause some immigrants to stay permanently in the U.S. But they cite census data showing that for 30 years — well before the border was tightened — increasing numbers of people born in Mexico were settling in the United States.
Data on illegal immigrants are notoriously unreliable because most undocumented immigrants don't advertise their presence. But several academic studies show that they are staying longer, and suggest that the increased difficulty in crossing the border is a factor.
The probability of returning home started to dip after President Reagan in 1986 signed an amnesty law for illegal immigrants, according to data compiled by Massey and Mexican researchers. It dropped again after 1993, when the U.S. government began fortifying the border in El Paso and San Diego, the two most popular points for illegal entry.
The fortification pushed crossers into the unforgiving deserts of the Southwest. The cost of a coyote, or human smuggler, to bring people into the U.S. has risen from $143 in 1993 to more than $2,000 today. Deaths during crossings soared to a record 460 last year.
If the author is trying to create sympathy for illegal aliens, they failed miserably. If you're in this country illegally you take the chance if you want to exit knowing you may not be able to get back in. If you don't, it's tough luck you'll get no sympathy from me. The dangers in crossing are theirs to endure. Don't come crying to me.
This kind of reminds me of some Filipino friends my wife had when she first arrived in the states. This couple was wealthy in the Philippines but were living illegally in the US. I think they over stayed their visa. In 1992 or 1993 they returned home to the Philippines and tried to come back. They weren't allowed. I'm sure they knew the risk. Such is life if you're an illegal alien. Illegal doesn't give you free transit rights.
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