Pubdate: Mon, 22 Jun 2009
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Art Carden


The problems identified in the article about organized gangs smuggling
undocumented immigrants across the U.S. border and then holding them
for ransom ("Immigrants Become Hostages as Gangs Prey on Mexicans,"
page one, June 10) were created by a perfect storm of government
intervention. The drug war has encouraged the development of
international criminal syndicates and turned parts of the U.S.-Mexico
border into actual war zones. The war on undocumented immigrants has
created opportunities for those syndicates to enter into the
human-trafficking business. Cheap money and government policies aimed
at increasing access to "affordable housing" created the housing
bubble, and further intervention in the last year prevented housing
prices from falling far enough to clear the market. This effectively
created the "drop houses" in which criminal gangs abuse immigrants who
have no legal recourse against them.

I expect that politicians will demand ramped-up enforcement, but this
will be a mistake. The best way to proceed would be to end the war on
drugs, end the war on immigrants, and scale back intervention in the
housing market.

Art Carden

Memphis, Tenn.
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