The February 3 The New York Times Magazine column “Risking Everything to Come to America on the Open Ocean” spotlights migrants attempting to illegally enter the U.S. at sea and the border enforcement there to stop them.
At the center of the column is a boat named Lazaro that was stopped by patrol in October 2019 before reaching its southern California destination. Author C.J. Chivers chronicles Lazaro's journey from Mexico so that he can delve deeper into broader matters: increased illegal water crossings due to tighter land enforcement; national immigration policy; agency aircraft and vessel capabilities and the plight of migrants who “...embark on a furtive form of opportunity in the United States.”
For Chivers, Lazaro's run at sea is representative of the "border-policy-and-enforcement puzzle President Joseph R. Biden Jr. inherits....an immigration puzzle that no presidential administration or law-enforcement agency has been able to solve” and made more difficult as increasing numbers of “...smugglers and migrants, aware of the Biden administration’s desire to reduce deportations during an immigration-policy review, test enforcement while the country’s border posture changes yet again.”
Many readers recognize Chivers’s “border-policy-and-enforcement puzzle” is not the conundrum he presupposes. The following Reader Picks explain candidly and simply how migrants will continue to test immigration boundaries at land and sea so long as jobs await them and exploitative employers go unbothered.
Blacksburg, VA Feb. 7
“This story illustrates the need to institute mandatory E-Verify to shut down the jobs magnet that draws illegal entrants here. If they could not find jobs, they would stop coming.
And if the employers who hire them were prosecuted for doing so, they would find that it is better for business to hire legal qualified workers even if they cost more…”
Hudson Valley Feb. 6
“There needs to be compassion toward immigrants, but being too ‘accommodating’ is going to hurt Biden. We need bolder and louder voices in the Democratic Party to speak up on limits. Especially when so many in our country are unemployed.”
Massachusetts Feb. 3
“Well written article….Illegal immigration could be stanched to a trickle--ending the smuggling and the deaths--by passage of a national, mandatory E-Verify, preferably with stiff penalties for heads of companies that knowingly hired foreign citizens illegally in the US.”
Pittsburgh, PA Feb. 3
These very sad stories of dangerous travels to come to the U.S. by land and by sea have been told and retold for decades. Lives have been lost unnecessarily.
Both political parties have refused for more than three decades to pass E-Verify that would prevent illegal immigrants for being hired---the jobs lure that encourages them to take high risks to come to America would be eliminated.
Bella Vista, AR Feb. 6
“...The enormous downward pressure on wages represented by tens of thousands of undocumented, unskilled and semi-skilled Central Americans and Mexicans in the labor market cannot be overstated. It may not affect the highly skilled urban professionals, who read this paper and who benefit from cheaper nannies and gardening services, but it is a pocketbook issue of the first importance to our most vulnerable citizens….”
LISA IRVING VENUS is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Media Standards Program for NumbersUSA
Updated: Fri, Feb 19th 2021 @ 10:15am EST