The Message We Send
A record 300 refugee boats made their way to Australia in 2013. Since the launch of Operation Sovereign Borders, only one refugee boat has attempted to enter Australian waters and it was intercepted by Australian authorities. Operation Sovereign Borders was successful because Australia clearly articulated a pro-enforcement message and took decisive enforcement action, like towing seaworthy refugee boats back to international sea lanes, rather than permitting them to land in Australia.Although the Australian government has not released figures showing the cost of the Sovereign Borders media campaign, it certainly spent significantly less than the millions the U.S. expends annually on ineffective border enforcement. Should U.S. immigration authorities should borrow a page from the Australian playbook and launch a pro-enforcement media campaign directed at the southern border?The United States has previously attempted pro-enforcement media campaigns. But they were neither extensive, nor coupled with the type of decisive action to which Australia has committed. Instead, the U.S. has consistently combined lax enforcement with a clear message that there are few consequences for violating immigration laws. Rather than a rapid return to their nation of origin, illegal aliens who cross into the United States can find work and government-sponsored protection in sanctuary cities.And while the number of aliens entering Australia without authorization plummets, the number of illegal aliens entering the United States continues to climb.
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