The Lord’s Prayer exhorts, “Lead us not into temptation.” Yet, that is precisely what certain government programs do — programs that are ardently supported by many American Christians. A recent incident in Texas involving a death, an arm amputation, and broken limbs, ankles, and backs provides a good example of this phenomenon.
A group of Texas teenagers were transporting illegal immigrants from Eagle Pass, which is on the Texas-Mexico border, to San Antonio. They were spotted by a sheriff’s deputy. The teenagers floored the trucks they were driving, which caused one of the vehicles to skid and turn over. A Mexican man was killed and other people suffered multiple injuries.
Why were the teenagers engaged in this criminal conduct?
Money! The fierce federal crackdown on illegal immigration has caused prices for transporting illegal immigrants to soar. That’s what normally happens when a peaceful activity is made illegal. That’s what black markets are all about.
What happens when prices for a particular service soar as a result of being made illegal? They attract more people into providing the service. In this particular case, the high prices for transporting illegal immigrants have tempted American teenagers to engage in the practice in the hopes of scoring big.
According to an article in the Washington Post, “more than 60 percent of people convicted of smuggling in federal courts in recent years have been U.S. citizens, the majority of them with little or no criminal history.” The smugglers have included “down-on-their luck truck drivers, single mothers, oil-field workers and high school students.” Some of the smugglers said that they did it to “buy diapers, pay for college tuition, to resolve a debt, or as a favor.” The average age of a smuggler is 33, with most of them being men.
It’s just another perverse outcome of America’s socialist system of immigration controls, on top of all the death and suffering that the system has produced, not to mention the immigration police state that has come into existence in the American Southwest to enforce the system.
In a free society, one based on free-market principles, people would be free to cross borders in a normal fashion, i.e., like human beings. There would be no smugglers of illegal immigrants because there would be no demand for them. Mexicans, for example, would simply drive from Eagle Pass to San Antonio, take a bus, or catch a ride.
But once the government makes unapproved entry into the United States a crime, that is what gives rise to the smuggler. And as the government cracks down more fiercely, the price for smuggling goes up. Once the price soars to an extremely high level, regular, law-abiding people are tempted to commit the offense, especially those who are having a difficult time financially.
Of course, we have seen this same phenomenon in the drug war. The more the government cracks down, the higher the drug prices and profits, which end up tempting regular people to get into the drug trade in the hope of scoring big and relieving their financial difficulties.
Six of the teenagers involved in the Eagle Pass incident have been charged with murder and human smuggling charges. Too bad federal officials can’t be charged with leading them into temptation.