A challenge for Kevin Keenan of the ACLU: drop the false compassion
Earlier today, Kevin Keenan of the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties spoke with Alan Ray about the ACLU's recent report on San Diego's KPBS. The audio and transcript is here. In the interview (excerpt at ), Keenan showed a remarkable level of false compassion, complaining about deaths among border crossers without discussing the partial responsibility that groups like the ACLU have in those deaths.
As detailed at the last link, groups like the ACLU enable illegal immigration by constantly fighting against enforcement of our laws. If groups like the ACLU would not constantly try to prevent enforcement, the U.S. would not be seen as inviting to illegal aliens as it is now, which would result in fewer people trying to cross the desert, and that would result in fewer tragedies. Very few people would try to cross the border illegally if they knew they couldn't find work and anything beyond emergency services; groups like the ACLU work night and day to create a welcoming environment for illegal aliens, practically encouraging people to cross the desert.
If Keenan truly wants to reduce the numbers of border deaths, then he only has two choices: work towards completely open borders, or work towards stringent immigration enforcement. One ineffective solution  offered in the interview (by highly biased KPBS reporter Amy Isackson) of increased legal immigration won't work without stringent enforcement because no matter how many people we let in, there would still be countless millions who would want to come here. With lax enforcement, many of those will decide to cross. About the only way Isaacson's plan would work is if we completely flooded the U.S. with millions upon millions of low-wage workers, making the situation for all the low-wage workers in the U.S. - including of course American citizens - extremely dire. At that point in time, low-wage workers in foreign countries might decide to stay put.
The ineffective solution offered by Keenan of increasing search and rescue operations might even make the situation worse by giving people a false sense of security. The "solutions" offered by Keenan and Isackson are highly faulty, leaving the two choices of open borders or actual enforcement as the only two that will solve the problem. The challenge to Keenan is for him to make a choice and then work towards it. As it is, he's definitely part of the problem. If you get a chance, please go to one of his public appearances and state the challenge for him, or ask him one of these questions.
Note also that Alan Ray didn't ask Keenan about the fact that his chapter is directly collaborating with the Mexican government.
 Keenan said:
Well, absolutely [Operation Gatekeeper] was an attempt to push migrants away from populated areas and the hope and belief was that it would deter crossings. It hasn’t. There – It was known that there would be deaths. I don’t think they knew just how many deaths there would be. But year after year—we’re in the 15th year now—they’ve seen that the deaths have been large and the strategy has continued, in fact it has increased. So at some point it goes from being unintentional to being either reckless disregard or gross negligence, some level of sort of cold, detached, ignoring of this brutal death toll... The U.S. has full authority to control its borders. We acknowledge that and we support that. It’s even in the constitution. But with that responsibility comes, also, the obligation, both moral and legal, to do the most you can to reduce the number of deaths and to at least not set up a system that makes death more likely, and that’s what Gatekeeper and its sister programs have done... ...Enforcement has grown by billions of dollars in the past five years but the budget for search and rescue has not. So that is a concrete thing that could be done right now and we could be rescuing more people who are coming across. That’s the humanitarian thing to do and it’s actually an international human rights legal obligation that our government has.
 Isackson said:
Definitely, the Obama administration has said over and over again that they are open to considering immigration reform that increases the flow of legal workers, and Mexico’s ambassador to the U.S. and a number of analysts and academic experts say that doing that is really the only solution here, that enforcement only is just going to repeat this. But it remains to be seen. The fence is still being built. The Border Patrol is still adding new technology to the border and it’s very much focused on just enforcement, which leads to, as we’ve said, channeling people into these areas that are more and more treacherous. And in my conversations as well with Border Patrol spokespeople in Washington, they repeated what the Washington Post reported, that if there are recommendations that they are willing to look at them.