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By Philippe Legrain ADD COMMENTS

Immigrants beware: George Bush this week gave the go-ahead for a high-tech wall along 700 miles of the US border with Mexico, at a cost of $1.2 billion. Worse, he has for now dropped the sensible part of his immigration plan – a temporary-worker programme that would provide a legal pathway for foreigners to come do the jobs that Americans can’t or won’t do, and allow illegal immigrants to emerge from their shadow world of lawless exploitation and regularise their situation.

So will Bush’s border wall keep Mexicans out? Of course not.

Migrants resting at a Tijuana shelter after being deported from
the US told
Associated Press that more walls wouldn’t deter them. Alfonso
Martinez, a 32-year-old from southern Mexico, who had been working as a
farmhand for six months in Vista, Calif., when he was arrested and
deported last week, said

Wall or no wall, I will try at least three
times. I
have three girls that I have to support, and in Mexico there is no

The only thing the new wall will do is force migrants to resort to ever more desperate and dangerous measures to get across the border.

In short: more deaths, more suffering, but no end to immigration.

Posted 06 Oct 2006 in Blog

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