In 2009 alone, 419 bodies were discovered along the Mexican border. In the even shorter time between April and September 2010, some 11,333 illegal immigrants were kidnapped throughout Mexico. And just last year, 72 immigrants were brutally slaughtered by the Los Zetas, their bodies dumped in mass graves. Unfortunately, this violence is nothing new.
It is both shocking and unacceptable, and it’s finally getting recognition. On July 6, The Washington Post produced a piece about the treacherous journey of illegal immigrants from Mexico. This timely front page spread had striking similarities to a Heritage Foundation study published on June 22.
Both articles noted that since the economic decline in 2004 and 2005, illegal immigration has significantly decreased, but unfortunately, the dangers of illegal border crossing continue to grow.
Between hiring coyotes, riding on top of trains, or boating across dangerous waters, many have taken extreme actions in pursuit of the American dream.
The Heritage report noted:
Criminal acts committed against illegal immigrants include kidnapping, robbery, extortion, sexual violence, and death at the hands of cartels, smugglers, and even corrupt Mexican government officials.
And the Post writes:
Where migrants once faced being robbed or molested, they now fear being killed and dumped in mass graves—or forcefully recruited into a gang and made to smuggle drugs—or abducted and tortured for weeks.
The alarming rate of violence has led to more than just deaths. Mexico now has the second highest kidnapping rate in the world. It is three times higher than Colombia’s rate at its height of violence in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
The violence on our border is in need of resolution. However, amnesty is not the answer and would only make matters worse. The escalating violence, ad hoc border security, and spotty immigration enforcement demands a more comprehensive and robust strategy for combating human smuggling, violence, and the huge numbers of illegal aliens. This would move the United States in a direction that stems the tide of dangerous illegal migration.
Kudos to the Post and Foreign Policy magazine for picking up on such an important issue. Now Congress and the Administration need to take note.