There are some things that America just can’t get enough of. There is always money for the military. There is always money for prisons. There is always money for border security. Yet there is almost never any indication that this money is well spent. Quite the opposite, actually. Let’s talk border security, shall we?
From 2005 to 2010, the amount we spend on border security almost doubled. We now spend $18 billion per year on border security. This is about what we spend on Pell Grants, but while they are decreasing, border security is skyrocketing.
I suppose we can take some solace from the fact that the number of deportations has also skyrocketed—although they have not gone up by quite as much. We have reached the point where there is no net illegal immigration. But the main reason that we’ve accomplished this has nothing to do with our more rigorous enforcement. Instead, it is due to the economic downturn. There just aren’t as many economic opportunities in the United States and so people are not coming as much as they used to.
None of this matter, of course. The federal government always wants more money for border security. Because in the United States, it doesn’t matter that you accomplish anything, only that you look like it.