The fact that would-be illegal aliens are being dissuaded from crossing the border by the mere suggestion that the American military might be waiting to head them off is exactly the message that needs to be delivered.

Congratulations, President Bush; You’ve managed to do something right on immigration. Now just quit spouting off about amnesty and slap-on-the-wrist punishment for those who’ve been taking advantage of their illegal activities for far too long, and we’ll be firmly on the right track.

Troops scare would-be illegal immigrants away from border, officials say

The soldiers aren’t allowed to detain migrants and have been limited to projects like extending border fences and repairing roads, but the military’s presence are keeping would-be crossers away from the area, migrant rights activists said.

“Some migrants have told me they heard about the troops on television and, because the U.S. Army doesn’t have a very good reputation, they prefer not to cross,” Loureiro said, referring to reports of abuse in Iraq. Others have been discouraged by smugglers’ fees that have nearly doubled to more than $3,000.

Loureiro said the shelter was housing about 12 migrants a night, down from about 100.

Jorge Vazquez, coordinator for Mexico’s Grupo Beta migrant aid agency in San Luis Rio Colorado, across from San Luis, Ariz., said that before the troops arrived, his agents encountered at least two dozens migrants daily, most waiting for nightfall to begin their trek through the sandy desert.

“Migrant rights activists”? “Migrant aid agency”?

Sounds like exactly the kinds of people that need to be driven out of business.

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