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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Debating the immigration issue

Two diametrically-opposed opinions on how to determine the effectiveness of increased border security.

one of the best examples of success is the Arizona Border Control Initiative, which the government launched in 2004. In the first year of this initiative -- now, listen to this, listen how hard these people are working here -- agents in Arizona apprehended nearly 500,000 illegal immigrants, a 42-percent increase over the previous year.
In the months before Operation Jump Start, an average of more than 400 people a day were apprehended trying to cross here. The number has dropped to fewer than 140 a day. In other words, one way that the Border Patrol can tell whether or not we're making progress is the number of apprehensions. When you're apprehending fewer people, it means fewer are trying to come across. And fewer are trying to come across because we're deterring people from attempting illegal border crossings in the first place.
So which is it? Is the true measure of the effectiveness of a border security policy more arrests or fewer arrests? Both, of course! Because if you're George W. Bush, no evidence exists, ever, which demonstrates that your policies aren't working.

WIIIAI notes that if the number of arrests had stayed EXACTLY the same, that too would have been evidence of success. Of course, we've seen this again and again. A decrease in the genocide rate in Iraq indicates that the security situation has improved; an increase means that the "terrorists" are desperate, in their "last throes." And so on. Being George Bush means never having to admit you're wrong, despite an infinite number of opportunities to do so.