News that Mexican authorities found 513 would-be illegal immigrants packed tightly into trucks, with the United States as their destination, should shock Americans into action. They were from Mexico, Japan, China, India and Nepal, and authorities said each had paid $7,000 to gangsters to be smuggled in.
Coming only days after President Obama mocked those calling for stronger border and workplace enforcement (by asking if they wanted moats and alligators), the incident highlights the role of organized crime in smuggling people into the United States in defiance of federal immigration law.
The debate about immigration reform tends to focus on catching illegal immigrants like those in the smugglers' trucks at the U.S. border, by measures like more fencing or more Border Patrol agents. But the most effective way to reduce illegal immigration is to reduce the demand for the labor of illegal immigrants.