Trump's Wall vs. the Devil's Lottery

We argue that Trump's wall and enforcement of the immigration laws already on the books would actually be more compassionate than our current immigration policy – the virtually open border, lax enforcement of the immigration laws, and sanctuary cities.

It is true that many Hispanics illegally crossing our southern border have found a better life here.  But they are the winners of a Devil's Lottery.  The losers include not only the thousands who have died in the desert, but the countless thousands more who find only hardship and misery, including slavery, after they reach the U.S.

Surely, this humanitarian catastrophe outweighs the benefits.  And the dark side of illegal immigration would discredit the whole if the readily available facts were widely reported.

The U.S. Border Patrol reports that from Fiscal Year 2000 through FY 2016, 6,403 illegal immigrants died crossing the Southwestern border.  (Four thousand four hundred seventy-five U.S. military died in the Iraq War.)  In an interview with the pro-migrant Truthout Buzzflash, Northern Arizona University professor Robert Neustadt recounts that "over 7,000 human remains have been found in the [desert] borderlands."  He emphasizes that "this number only represents the number of bodies found.  The actual number of border crosser deaths is almost certainly significantly higher, though the bodies were never found."

The first cost of our Devil's Lottery immigration policy is thus the thousands of men, women, and children who have died – and continue to die – of hunger, thirst, and exposure in the desert.  For them, the better life in the U.S. proved to be a mirage – a mirage created by the illusion of an open border, easily crossed, and the promise of sanctuary in an American city. 

But those who die may be the lucky ones. 

An issue brief by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) reports that "17,000 to 19,000 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States each year" – trafficking being defined as "the recruitment and possible transport of persons within or across boundaries by force, fraud or deception for the purpose of exploiting them economically."  Trafficking often takes place as "labor exploitation, including domestic servitude, sweatshop factories, and agricultural work."  Trafficking victims are also exploited for commercial sex, "including prostitution, pornography, and live sex shows."  Illegal immigrants are particularly vulnerable to trafficking, says FAIR.  Trafficking victims find no sanctuary in the sanctuary cities.

After drug dealing, human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today.  And, FAIR reports, it is the fastest growing.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) takes human trafficking seriously, maintaining a "10 most wanted" list of human traffickers.

Last year, one of the top ten, Paulino Rameriz-Granados, was captured and charged with sex trafficking, alien smuggling, and money laundering.  One of his victims testified that she had been smuggled into the U.S. and forced into prostitution.  "She provided a detailed account of the physical and sexual assaults she suffered by a member of the Granados organization and threats made to the safety of her children when she said she no longer wanted to work as a prostitute," according to ICE.  ICE also rescued an additional 25 victims – all Mexican nationals – and arrested 19 additional traffickers or smugglers, all members or associates of the Granados family.

In another case reported by ICE, a former Mexican fugitive illegally residing in Houston, Noe Arando-Soto, aka Diablo, was sentenced to three life terms in federal prison for alien smuggling, conspiracy, and kidnapping resulting in three deaths.  Fourteen victims addressed the court, most of whom had sustained some type of permanent injuries as a result of Arando-Soto's crimes. 

These stories are typical of the price illegal immigrants pay for the Devil's Lottery.

The allure of the unsecured border has made alien smuggling a big business for organized crime.  Breitbart reported a study prepared by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) regarding the surge of illegal immigrants across the border in 2014.  According to DPS, "[n]early all illegal aliens made use of alien smuggling organizations (ASO's), nearly all of which are associated with Mexican cartels."  According to DPS, the Gulf Cartel alone made $38 million in a few months in 2014.  "As of July 2014, the Gulf Cartel was receiving so many immigrants that the organization did not know what to do with them.  In some cases, groups of illegal aliens have been kidnapped or hijacked by criminals from smugglers, subjecting them to further exploitation," the report revealed.  "Sometimes smuggled women and girls were delivered to sex traffickers."

For the living conditions of smuggled migrants, do a web search for "migrant stash houses," and you will find a long list of stories like this one from the New York Daily News: "Human traffickers have been busted holding 108 suspected illegal immigrants inside a filth-infested Houston stash house, police said."  According to the report, "[h]uman waste coated the floors, dozens of trash bags filled with old clothing filled the hallways and the thirsty and hungry victims were confined to tiny spaces.  The conditions were so cramped that some were forced to sit on top of one another, while many were only dressed in their underwear."

If abuse and misery are the lot of many thousands of illegal immigrants who do not die entering the U.S., what is the situation for illegals as a whole?  Apparently not good.  According to a report by Heritage Foundation scholar Robert Rector, granting amnesty to an estimated 11 million unlawful immigrants would cost taxpayers at least $6.3 trillion.  According to Roberts, "[o]ver the course of their lives, former unlawful immigrants together would receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits and services and pay $3.1 trillion in taxes, for a lifetime "fiscal deficit" – at minimum – of $6.3 trillion (total benefits minus total taxes)."  This means that average illegal immigrants, after surviving the horrors of the desert and/or the abuses of traffickers, can still be expected to live in relative poverty throughout their lives in the U. S.

The above facts explain why an election eve poll showed a majority of Hispanics supporting stronger enforcement of immigration laws – and why exit polls showed Trump drawing a larger share of the Hispanic vote (29% ) than Romney in 2012 (27%), exploding a pre-election Huffington Post report that "Trump anxiety" would drive Trump's share of the Hispanic vote down to 18%. 

Liberal rhetoric on immigration may make liberals feel good about themselves.  But in the real world, Trump's Wall, enforcement of the immigration laws, and penalizing sanctuary cities are much more compassionate than luring Mexicans and Central Americans to death and misery by the illusion of an easy path across the border and a better life in a sanctuary city in America.

D B Louis is the pen name of a 20-year veteran of the swamp.  DBLouis.yolasite.com

We argue that Trump's wall and enforcement of the immigration laws already on the books would actually be more compassionate than our current immigration policy – the virtually open border, lax enforcement of the immigration laws, and sanctuary cities.

It is true that many Hispanics illegally crossing our southern border have found a better life here.  But they are the winners of a Devil's Lottery.  The losers include not only the thousands who have died in the desert, but the countless thousands more who find only hardship and misery, including slavery, after they reach the U.S.

Surely, this humanitarian catastrophe outweighs the benefits.  And the dark side of illegal immigration would discredit the whole if the readily available facts were widely reported.

The U.S. Border Patrol reports that from Fiscal Year 2000 through FY 2016, 6,403 illegal immigrants died crossing the Southwestern border.  (Four thousand four hundred seventy-five U.S. military died in the Iraq War.)  In an interview with the pro-migrant Truthout Buzzflash, Northern Arizona University professor Robert Neustadt recounts that "over 7,000 human remains have been found in the [desert] borderlands."  He emphasizes that "this number only represents the number of bodies found.  The actual number of border crosser deaths is almost certainly significantly higher, though the bodies were never found."

The first cost of our Devil's Lottery immigration policy is thus the thousands of men, women, and children who have died – and continue to die – of hunger, thirst, and exposure in the desert.  For them, the better life in the U.S. proved to be a mirage – a mirage created by the illusion of an open border, easily crossed, and the promise of sanctuary in an American city. 

But those who die may be the lucky ones. 

An issue brief by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) reports that "17,000 to 19,000 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States each year" – trafficking being defined as "the recruitment and possible transport of persons within or across boundaries by force, fraud or deception for the purpose of exploiting them economically."  Trafficking often takes place as "labor exploitation, including domestic servitude, sweatshop factories, and agricultural work."  Trafficking victims are also exploited for commercial sex, "including prostitution, pornography, and live sex shows."  Illegal immigrants are particularly vulnerable to trafficking, says FAIR.  Trafficking victims find no sanctuary in the sanctuary cities.

After drug dealing, human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today.  And, FAIR reports, it is the fastest growing.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) takes human trafficking seriously, maintaining a "10 most wanted" list of human traffickers.

Last year, one of the top ten, Paulino Rameriz-Granados, was captured and charged with sex trafficking, alien smuggling, and money laundering.  One of his victims testified that she had been smuggled into the U.S. and forced into prostitution.  "She provided a detailed account of the physical and sexual assaults she suffered by a member of the Granados organization and threats made to the safety of her children when she said she no longer wanted to work as a prostitute," according to ICE.  ICE also rescued an additional 25 victims – all Mexican nationals – and arrested 19 additional traffickers or smugglers, all members or associates of the Granados family.

In another case reported by ICE, a former Mexican fugitive illegally residing in Houston, Noe Arando-Soto, aka Diablo, was sentenced to three life terms in federal prison for alien smuggling, conspiracy, and kidnapping resulting in three deaths.  Fourteen victims addressed the court, most of whom had sustained some type of permanent injuries as a result of Arando-Soto's crimes. 

These stories are typical of the price illegal immigrants pay for the Devil's Lottery.

The allure of the unsecured border has made alien smuggling a big business for organized crime.  Breitbart reported a study prepared by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) regarding the surge of illegal immigrants across the border in 2014.  According to DPS, "[n]early all illegal aliens made use of alien smuggling organizations (ASO's), nearly all of which are associated with Mexican cartels."  According to DPS, the Gulf Cartel alone made $38 million in a few months in 2014.  "As of July 2014, the Gulf Cartel was receiving so many immigrants that the organization did not know what to do with them.  In some cases, groups of illegal aliens have been kidnapped or hijacked by criminals from smugglers, subjecting them to further exploitation," the report revealed.  "Sometimes smuggled women and girls were delivered to sex traffickers."

For the living conditions of smuggled migrants, do a web search for "migrant stash houses," and you will find a long list of stories like this one from the New York Daily News: "Human traffickers have been busted holding 108 suspected illegal immigrants inside a filth-infested Houston stash house, police said."  According to the report, "[h]uman waste coated the floors, dozens of trash bags filled with old clothing filled the hallways and the thirsty and hungry victims were confined to tiny spaces.  The conditions were so cramped that some were forced to sit on top of one another, while many were only dressed in their underwear."

If abuse and misery are the lot of many thousands of illegal immigrants who do not die entering the U.S., what is the situation for illegals as a whole?  Apparently not good.  According to a report by Heritage Foundation scholar Robert Rector, granting amnesty to an estimated 11 million unlawful immigrants would cost taxpayers at least $6.3 trillion.  According to Roberts, "[o]ver the course of their lives, former unlawful immigrants together would receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits and services and pay $3.1 trillion in taxes, for a lifetime "fiscal deficit" – at minimum – of $6.3 trillion (total benefits minus total taxes)."  This means that average illegal immigrants, after surviving the horrors of the desert and/or the abuses of traffickers, can still be expected to live in relative poverty throughout their lives in the U. S.

The above facts explain why an election eve poll showed a majority of Hispanics supporting stronger enforcement of immigration laws – and why exit polls showed Trump drawing a larger share of the Hispanic vote (29% ) than Romney in 2012 (27%), exploding a pre-election Huffington Post report that "Trump anxiety" would drive Trump's share of the Hispanic vote down to 18%. 

Liberal rhetoric on immigration may make liberals feel good about themselves.  But in the real world, Trump's Wall, enforcement of the immigration laws, and penalizing sanctuary cities are much more compassionate than luring Mexicans and Central Americans to death and misery by the illusion of an easy path across the border and a better life in a sanctuary city in America.

D B Louis is the pen name of a 20-year veteran of the swamp.  DBLouis.yolasite.com