On Tuesday the US Boarder Patrol reported that they will be implementing the Consequence Delivery System to deter illegal immigration across the US/Mexico boarder. The program will greatly increase the consequences for undocumented immigrants caught crossing the boarder into the United States. Critics suggest this new policy is nothing more than another futile attempt at avoiding immigration reform.

Currently the majority of those caught crossing the border illegally are fingerprinted and sent back across the boarder voluntarily without punishment. Under the Consequence Delivery System migrants will no longer be returned to Mexico at the nearest boarder crossing.

One of the aims of the program is to cut migrants off from the smugglers who helped them across the boarder in the first place making it more difficult for them to try again. Some will be transported to boarder crossings hundreds of miles from where they entered the US. Others with criminal histories may be federally prosecuted or released to Mexican authorities for prosecution in Mexico.

Critics of the Consequence Delivery System point out that this program will come at a high cost to US taxpayers and will likely increase the demand and expense of using a smuggler to get across the boarder. The high cost of maintaining illegal crossers in prisons combined with the costs of transporting them to distant locations are some of the costs sited by such critics.

While curtailing illegal immigration is necessary, many proponents of immigration reform feel that we are still failing to address the larger issue; the absence of legal avenues for workers to obtain visas to work in the United States. Immigration reform would reduce illegal immigration across the boarder. Immigrant workers would be able to obtain employment legally, pay taxes and live without fear of deportation. Crime associated with illegal boarder crossing would decrease and the burden on US taxpayers would be less due to several indirect costs associated with illegal immigration that would be greatly reduced.

According to officials from Mexico’s National Commission for Human Rights, 3,000 Mexican migrants died attempting to cross the US border between 2000 and 2010.

From the Associated Press- Exclusive: Boarder Patrol to Toughen Up Policy on Returning Illegal Boarder-Crossers

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