This chapter examines lessons from 150 years of U.S.-Mexico border crossings, as the basis for later chapters’ construction of a framework for comprehensive border reform.. Particularly, these experiences demonstrate the futility of supply-side enforcement that concentrates on interdiction, as well as illustrate the U.S. history of unilateral policymaking on subjects that spur border crossings and on the crossers themselves. In contrast to interdiction, reducing demand for cheap labor and illegal drugs may hold more promise for controlling border movement, as the Prohibition experience confirmed when legalization of alcohol in the U.S. eliminated the market for Mexican trafficking. Further, the supply-side approach of economic vitalization measures in Mexico, in contrast to tactics of interdiction that have dominated the U.S. arsenal, holds promise for easing the migratory pressures that sometimes tear Mexican families apart, and could even alter the climate in which U.S. sexual predators take advantage of economic desperation to find child victims in Mexico.
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