This article was just posted in the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson http://www.azstarnet.com/metro/252028, detailing how the U.S. has spent $51 million over the past four summers on a program that flies illegal immigrants to Mexico City from Tucson aboard a Mexican airline rather than busing them to the border, where presumably they would fall prey to bad guys and summer heat.
As expected, there are many people who don’t care for this program, but it seems no crazier to me than anything else that has taken place with regards to a non-existent immigration policy. This entire subject has been conspicously missing from the politcal debate landscape. I suspect little will change no matter who wins in November, as Big Business lobbyists essentially control our lawmakers, and they want that cheap labor to keep the stock price solvent.
What struck me most about the article is the numbers: $51 million sent to fly 64,000 people one-way to Mexico City. My 15-year-old adding machine tells me that comes to almost $800.00 per person…and that was before jet fuel prices nealry doubled. Someone’s got a sweet deal there. Maybe some crack investigative reporters should do some homework on this one instead of the rumors they print as truth.
And the program is voluntary. That’s right, the apprehended scofflaw who is taken into custody can decide if he wants the bus to Nogales or the flight to Mexico City. Now I don’t want to be overly cynical here, but if I’m missing the family back in the Mexico interior, surrendering to the authorities might be a good, cheap way to get home.