Bishop Wester: Immigration enforcement initiatives have failed
May 07, 2010
The failure of law enforcement efforts to stem the tide of illegal immigration manifests the need for comprehensive immigration reform, according to Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration.
“The federal government since 2002 has spent over $100 billion on immigration enforcement initiatives,” Bishop Wester writes in a Washington Post column. “This amounts to a doubling of Border Patrol agents to almost 20,000, nearly 700 miles of border fencing, a failed "virtual" fence costing billions, and a tripling of detention beds. This is not to mention the manpower, weaponry, and other resources spent on immigration enforcement raids over the past several years, used to whisk away powerless mothers and fathers from their even more powerless children.”
“Yet, despite this strategy, along with its tragic human consequences, there has been no sustainable progress,” he continues. “In fact, the number of undocumented has risen over 50 percent in the past ten years, from 7 million in the 2000 Census to 11 million today … Despite its controversy, comprehensive immigration reform is the best way to secure the border and make us a safer nation.”