Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Immorality of Operation Gatekeeper Continues

I have long complained about the immorality of Operation Gatekeeper because of the avoidable deaths along the border that it has induced. See The Dark Side of Operation Gatekeeper, 7 U.C. DAVIS J. OF INT’L L. & POL’Y 121 (2001). The policies were initiated under the Clinton adminstration, mastered by the Bush administration, and, sadly, perpetuated under the current administration. Now the ACLU reports that deaths resulting from Gatekeeper are at the highest rate since 2006.

President Obama and DHS Secretary Napolitano, PLEASE terminate Operation Gatekeeper. By forcing border migrants to cross at the areas with the most dangerous terrain, you know that many will die. Border enforcement and immigration policy need not be inhumane.

From Al Jazeera:

The number of people who have died this year while attempting to cross into the United States from Mexico has increased to its highest level since 2006, US data and a report by human rights groups has said.

The increase in fatalities comes in spite of a fall in the number of people arrested while aiming to cross the border, Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said.

"Border deaths have increased despite the economic downturn, fewer migrant crossers, and a steady drop in apprehensions," their report, released on Wednesday, said.

The total number of people killed while attempting to cross the border lies between 350 and 500 a year, depending on whether figures from the US and Mexican governments are used.

The US Customs and Border Protection agency says that 416 migrants have died while attempting to cross the border illegally in 2009 so far.

That eclipsed last year's total of 390. The highest number of fatalities came in 2005, when 492 migrants died.

'Escalating crisis'

The increase in fatalities "signal[s] an escalating humanitarian crisis that is not going away and requires more effective governmental responses," the ACLU and the CNDH report said. Click here for the rest of the story.

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