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Are open-border advocates partly to blame for immigrant desert deaths?

In this Aug. 10, 2012 photo, a morgue staff member brings in the body of a suspected illegal immigrant found in the Arizona desert, at the Pima County morgue in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The official term is human remains. You and I call them dead bodies.

But let’s be really blunt. What was been found in the Arizona desert along the Mexican border — in just the seven months that made up this year thus far — was what was left of 87 dads, moms, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. 

After dropping these shocking numbers on the public, the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office (which has a refrigerated semi-trailer to store bodies) followed them up with even more horrific numbers: If this pace keeps up, somewhere between 160 and 170 dead people will be located in the desert south before the end of this year. 

People desperate to feed their families or find a better life. 

People desperate enough to put their meager fortunes in the filthy, outstretched hands of human smugglers.

People desperate enough to try to cross some of the most inhospitable terrain in the entire world on their own

You and I didn’t convince them it was safe to do this, but if you dangle a big enough carrot for long enough, a desperate person will lunge for it. 

The circumstances in their home countries create most of the urge, but those who fight to keep an unsecured, open border are doing them no favors. 

I believe that a regulated flow of labor across the border is healthy for our economy, as is a flow of goods and capital. But the problems associated with illegal immigration and the potential of terrorists entering our country via our desert means that we need to know who is coming here. 

We have a right as a sovereign nation to have — and to secure — a border. We owe it to ourselves and our families to keep bad people out. 

Is it too much to dream for a real, market-driven guest worker program that screens individuals for the privilege to work here?

Something that would not just make Americans comfortable, but also one that would make immigrant workers comfortable enough to leave when the job is done instead of uprooting their entire family?

We need a program that convinces the otherwise desperate that they don’t need to cross a torrid, bone-dry desert in order to do what’s necessary to support themselves — or a family. 

In the meantime, I will fight against the schemes of the open-border advocates because lacking an orderly program, their attempts to roll out the red carpet for the undocumented isn’t just unsafe for America and Americans. It’s also unsafe for the undocumented

Don’t believe me? Just ask the families of the 87 people found dead in our desert this year.

Although, most of them probably will never have an idea about what happened to their loved ones — or their remains. 

Arizona's Morning News

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