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Best Way to Prevent Illegal Immigration from Central America: Stop the Train in Mexico

A few soldiers perched on top of every cargo train in southern Mexico ought to do it.

Tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children from Central America are pouring over the border and the only bright idea we’ve gotten from Washington is a call for more funding – more money for border control, more money for corrupt Central American governments, and more money for the kids. What we haven’t heard is a single practical solution that will do anything to stem the tide that is threatening to overwhelm our nation.

Rather than asking Americans to pony up more of their hard earned cash to address this problem, there is an obvious solution available that can turn off illegal immigration from Central America like a light switch: stop the train that is bringing them here.

It’s no mystery that the cargo train known as “The Beast”, which travels from the southern Mexican town of Arriaga up to Mexico City, is the predominant transport for people leaving Central America searching for the U.S. Without this train, and a few other cargo trains like it, there would be no practical way for tens of thousands of children to transit 1,400 miles through Mexico. Without easy transportation to the U.S. border, the vast majority of the Central American children will simply give up and return home.

Rather than waiting for illegal immigrants to make it all the way to the Texas and Arizona borders before doing anything to stop them, Washington should put pressure on the Mexican government to interdict the trains at their source, arrest all the people riding on top and march them back to Central America.

It is far easier to identify and detain people traveling on a cargo train than trying to stop them crossing over a nearly 2,000 mile border, and a lot cheaper too. The Mexican government has the necessary infrastructure to accomplish this mission – a few soldiers perched on top of every cargo train in southern Mexico ought to do it. The only thing Mexico is lacking is motivation, something the U.S. could provide if it were serious about addressing illegal immigration from Central America.

The U.S. government must pressure Mexico to police “The Beast”. It’s pretty easy to pick out the illegal immigrants – they’re the ones sitting on top. Mexico will likely cry poverty, but it is far more affordable for American taxpayers to pick up the tab for interdiction of illegal immigrants in Mexico than pay for the army of lawyers, social services and other resources that it will cost to take care of these children once they make it to the U.S.

It is doubtful that politely asking Mexico to help prevent illegal immigration will be sufficient, but where the carrot may fail there is always a stick to fall back on. Obama may not have the fortitude to take on the Mexican government, this crisis was created by liberals after all, but regardless of what the White House does Congress should immediately get to work on a number of punitive measures that will force Mexico to do its part.

The future of our country may depend on it.

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