Death at the Border. Foundation For American Policy Brief

Death at the Border. Foundation For American Policy Brief

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The absence of a way to enter the United States legally to work has contributed to more than 4,000 men, women, and children dying while attempting to cross to America since 1998. Alarmingly, immigrant deaths increased in 2009 at a time when illegal entry fell significantly. This death toll an average of about one person a day has occurred in the context of great pressure from Congress and executive branch officials to control the border. The loss of life will almost certainly continue unless more paths are open to work legally in the United States. The only plausible way to eliminate immigrant deaths at the border, as well as reduce illegal immigration in the long term, is to institute a new program of temporary visas or portable work permits for foreign workers. Strong evidence exists that the current enforcement-only policy has strengthened criminal gangs, providing a profitable line of business for Mexican criminal enterprises. If Mexican and Central American workers could come to America on a legal visa or work permit they would have no need to employ the services of a coyote or criminal enterprise. (The research for this paper was funded by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.)
Citation: Anderson, Stuart. Death at the Border. Policy brief. Arlington, VA: Foundation For American Policy, May 2010. Print.
Program: Democracy