Skip to comments.Cash Cows - Oil, Drugs, and Migrants
Posted on 10/18/2006 11:22:06 AM PDT by azhenfud
It is estimated Mexico and Central/South America account for as much as 70% of illegal drugs coming into these United States. Some studies place that number higher, pushing that estimate to over 80%. To add insult to injury, the Mexican government has just recently thumbed its collective noses at America's fight against illegal drugs by attempting the legalization of specific quantities of narcotics which now are banned within the United States. Should Mexican officials along America's last line of defense legalize these substances and migrants heading north ignore U.S. anti-drug laws with the frequency as have ignored our immigration code, America's judicial system will be overwhealmed and with Mexico's threats to tie up American courts with challenges to National Guard assisted apprehensions of illegal border crossers, these situations are sure to provide substantial future costs to all American taxpayers as cases inundate America's courtrooms.
Could it be these Mexican officials along America's southern border wish to legalize narcotics so their support and aid of transporting illegal substances into the United States would be legal just across the border? The Mexican government's squeeze on its producer/exporter of oil, Pemex, has put members of Mexico's Congress in search of another cash cow. The recent drop in crude prices, even after a period of historic crude oil highs, have put a hole in the Mexican budget since Pemex, deeply in debt, supplies a third of government's operating budget. With an impending collapse of continued Pemex financial support, Mexican officials must tap other sources of income, which they have. Illegal and legal migrants make up an estimated $20 billion annual cash receipts conveyed to Mexico from the United States, and is second only to the illegal drug trade. What's most interesting is the Mexican government's wide acceptance and declared position of defence of those remittances from migrants, both legal and illegal, to boost the Mexican economy. There is little doubt remittances from illegal drugs laundered into the Mexican economy is driving the desire to legalize those substances and likewise will or may have already become a well defended source of government revenue.
In 1999 alone, it was estimated Americans spent some $69 billion on illegal drugs. With certainty, that number has anything but decreased over the past six plus years. With 70% of that flowing in from the southern border, America's southern neighbor may be duly credited with a $48 billion annual illegal drug exchange with the United States. America's only defense to interrupt or curtail that flow is with an effective border barrier. Even should a barrier prove only 50% effective in the war on drugs, it may be extrapolated that if the US invests as much in a barrier for the 1000 mile remainder of the 2000 mile stretch as is invested in a four-lane highway (approx $13 million/mile), costs to taxpayers would still only amount to about half of the southern neighbors' contributions to the annual trade in illegal drugs - roughly $13 billion. Mexico and South/Central America's annual contributions to the illegal drug trade could afford America some 3,700 miles of border fencing at a $13 million per mile price. The effectiveness of such a barrier may also be enhanced by alternating Border Patrol shifts and restationing and relocating personnel so contacts of corruption are difficult to maintain, resulting in a possible approximated 70% effectiveness.
A $13 billion expenditure in a border barrier would be an investment with exponentially compounded savings realized each year in the illegal drug fight as well from the aid to enforcement of U.S. immigration code. To cut 70% of 70% of a $69 billion annual illegal drug trade (roughly $34 billion annually) is not something to quickly dismiss. What does America currently pay South/Central American administrations annually in illegal drug interdiction? and moreover, what does America have to show for it?
Fences make good neighbors.
--if nothing else, highlights the idiocy of the "drug war"--
Build the fence, let the druggies toke their minds out. A twofer winner.
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