Mac Johnson, Human Events, June 19, 2006
How many illegal aliens does it take to change a light bulb? AY CHIHUAHUA! The National Guard is coming, change it yourself!!!
That pretty much summarizes what was undoubtedly the most important news story of the last week, a report that was all but buried by the mainstream media. While the press continues to pretend that the real central story in the ongoing illegal immigration debate remains in Congress, where the liberal Senate amnesty bill just had its feeding tube removed by House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R.-Ill.), a miracle has taken place in the deserts of the Southwest.
Total detentions of aliens attempting to sneak across the Mexican border have plummeted an unimaginable 21% in the first 10 days of June compared to the same period last year. This drop occurs at a time when enforcement efforts are at a recent high, due to political concerns, and reflects a precipitous drop in total attempted border crossings. According to an Associated Press report, Jorge Vazquez, a director of “Grupo Beta,” an agency funded by the Mexican government and that works to aid and abet Mexicans seeking to enter the United States illegally, his agents have seen a similar drop in traffic on his side of the border.
The shocking drop-off in human smuggling is attributed to one factor: the arrival of the National Guard on the border. That’s quite an accomplishment for just 55 guardsmen, who did not even arrive until June 3 and are working entirely in support roles with the Border Patrol. What has really stemmed the tide is just the idea that troops are coming to the border — a fact that has found widespread exaggeration in the Mexican media.
The AP report quoted the operator of one “shelter” for infiltrators waiting to cross the border as saying, “Some migrants have told me they heard about the troops on television and, because the U.S. Army doesn’t have a very good reputation, they prefer not to cross.”
Compare the chilling effect that the talk of enforcement has had on border infiltration to the opposite effect that all the previous talk of amnesty had, when border apprehensions and crossings spiked. Francisco Loureiro, apparently the same shelter operator that the AP quotes last week as saying that his shelter was nearly empty due to the fearsome reputation of the U.S. military, was credited in a separate article during the Senate’s slide toward a guest-worker amnesty last April as saying that “he has not seen such a rush of migrants since 1986, when the United States allowed 2.6 million illegal residents to get American citizenship.”