“But there has to be something they can do to stop illegal immigrants from coming in,” said Mrs. Bowman.
“I don’t think so,” Mr. Magundi replied. “Every revenue officer knows that you can’t stop smuggling if the profit on contraband is high enough. In the same way, if the benefits of illegal immigration are great enough, no one can stop it. Heaven knows we’ve made life unpleasant and uncertain enough for illegal immigrants—heaven knows, and the recording angel is taking notes. But life is so much more unpleasant and uncertain where they come from that they’ll take a real risk of death over staying where they are. We can never make life difficult enough to stop them without making life impossible for ourselves. And so the only thing left is to make a kind of Copernican shift in our point of view, and realize that, instead of making life less pleasant here, we’re going to have to find some way of making life more pleasant there.”