Border security that works

To the Editor:

America is a nation of immigrants. Almost all Americans are descended from immigrants. At great risk, immigrant families leave their countries to create a better life for themselves and their children. They take jobs that most Americans disdain, and often work two to three jobs to put their kids through school. Our economy depends on a steady flow of immigrants.

Our immigration system is broken. Businesses take advantage of illegal immigrants to pay substandard wages. This hurts all workers. Currently, 10 percent of Americans are immigrants; 2.5 percent are illegal. See:

For effective border security, we must start with the facts. Illegal immigrants do not sneak across our southern border. They enter with tourist visas at airports and ports of entry and overstay their visas.

Illegal drugs come in at ports of entry, by car and by boat. Opioids arrive by mail from China. Asylum seekers are only about 8 percent of total immigrants. Only half are awarded asylum. We did not have a humanitarian crisis until the current administration closed the legal ports of entry to asylum seekers, forced them die in the desert or enter illegally, then arrested them and took away their children. Crime rates among immigrants are lower than the average crime rate in the U.S.

We need border security that works. A wall does nothing for people who overstay visas. A wall does nothing for drugs.

We need more border patrol officers and equipment to search cars and boats for drugs. Desolate areas in California, Arizona and New Mexico are best patrolled by people, supported by electronic surveillance. The Texas border is mostly private land. Landowners have already filed in court to prevent the government from taking their land to build a Wall.

Let’s set aside the wall and create border security that works.

Marvin Keshner