We would have more legal immigration if we had a rule of law that allowed for the safe, orderly and secure entry of foreign nationals into the U.S. Our Congress has been urged to fix the broken immigration system for years, which includes securing our borders, creating an employment verification system that is rapid and trustworthy, designing a temporary worker program that meets the future need for workers.

According to Gil Cisneros, President, Chamber of the Americas, “Canada is the top trading partner for the U.S., and Mexico is the second highest U.S. trading partner. The U.S. exports $189 billion a year to Canada, and $110 billion to Mexico. Billions of border crossings occur each year at both the southern and northern U.S. borders. For example, over six million trucks come from Canada each year into the U.S., and about four million trucks cross from Mexico. There is over $1 billion of two-way trade, crossing the northern U.S. border daily. Our borders can and should be a line of defense against those who pose security threats to this country, but borders must also allow for legitimate commerce and travel. Efficient allocation and use of technology, personnel, and infrastructure resources can achieve both of these goals.”

Building walls and barriers has not benefited any country. Germany is a prime example. In today’s technology, the borders can be easily monitored through satellite or utilizing N.S.A. According to the President’s fact sheet on SECURING AMERICA THROUGH IMMIGRATION REFORM, more than 85 percent of apprehended illegal immigrants are from Mexico, and most are immediately escorted back across the border within 24 hours. To prevent them from trying to cross again, the Federal government is using interior repatriation whereby Mexican illegal entrants are returned to their hometowns, making it more difficult for them to attempt another crossing. This approach is showing great promise. In a West Arizona desert pilot program, nearly 35,000 illegal immigrants were returned to Mexico through interior repatriation, and only about 8 percent turned up trying to cross the border in that sector again. The Administration is working to expand interior repatriation to ensure that when those who violate the country’s immigration laws are sent home, they stay home.

The Republican National Hispanic Assembly (RNHA) passed a resolution supporting comprehensive immigration reform, modeled after President Bush’s proposal. “The RNHA is 100% behind border security, as long as it is part of a comprehensive plan that includes interior enforcement and a guest worker program,” said National Chairman Pedro Celis, Ph.D. “We need immigration reform that serves both our national security and our economic interest. The President’s three part plan to address immigration tackles the issue in a comprehensive and realistic format required to address the problem.”

Yeh Ling-Ling, Executive Director for Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America noted that Harvard Professor Samuel P. Huntington, Chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, warned in his April 2004 article, “The Hispanic Challenge”: “Demographically, socially, and culturally, the reconquista (re-conquest) of the Southwest United States by Mexican immigrants is well underway… No other immigrant group in U.S. history has asserted or could assert a historical claim to U.S. territory. Mexicans and Mexican Americans can and do make that claim…” Huntington also said that “Mexican immigration differs from past immigration and most other contemporary immigration due to a combination of six factors: contiguity, scale, illegality, regional concentration [in the American Southwest], persistence, and historical presence ….”

In 2002, Charles Truxillo, Mexican American professor at the University of New Mexico, warned: “The U.S. Southwest will secede and may rejoin Mexico… No nation’s borders have been permanent. Throughout history, nations and empires rise and fall.” He also reminded Americans that any idea that the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia would break up would have seemed far-fetched 50 years ago. But that has become a political reality!

According to the Center of Immigration Studies, their research uncovered some alarming facts: This study is one of the first to estimate the total impact of illegal immigration on the federal budget. Most previous studies have focused on the state and local level and have examined only costs or tax payments, but not both. Based on the Census Bureau data, when all taxes paid (direct and indirect) and all costs are considered, illegal households created a net fiscal deficit at the federal level of more than $10 billion in 2002. We also estimate that if there was an amnesty for illegal aliens, the net fiscal deficit would grow to nearly $29 billion.

On average, the costs of households that enter the U.S. illegally without proper documentation, imposed on federal coffers are less than half that of other households, but their tax payments are only one-fourth that of other households. Although legalization would increase average tax payments by 77 percent, the average cost would rise by 118 percent. Does this really help our economy? Where are the trade-offs, if any?