In 2014, the Australian government launched a border control campaign dubbed “Operation Sovereign Borders.” As part of this campaign, it issued posters, printed in seventeen languages (including Arabic, Dari, Farsi, and Urdu), depicting a ship on storm tossed waters, bearing the legend “No Way: You Will Not Make Australia Home.”
Subsidiary text notes, “If you get on a boat without a visa, you will not end up in Australia.” Aimed at Middle-Eastern migrants who cross the Indian Ocean to reach Australia, the posters represent a firm departure from political correctness and an acknowledgment that illegal migration has a direct effect on both sovereignty and national security.
A record 300 refugee boats made their way to Australia in 2013. Since the launch of Operation Sovereign Borders, only one refugee boat has attempted to enter Australian waters and it was intercepted by Australian authorities. Operation Sovereign Borders was successful because Australia clearly articulated a pro-enforcement message and took decisive enforcement action, like towing seaworthy refugee boats back to international sea lanes, rather than permitting them to land in Australia.
Although the Australian government has not released figures showing the cost of the Sovereign Borders media campaign, it certainly spent significantly less than the millions the U.S. expends annually on ineffective border enforcement. Should U.S. immigration authorities should borrow a page from the Australian playbook and launch a pro-enforcement media campaign directed at the southern border?
The United States has previously attempted pro-enforcement media campaigns. But they were neither extensive, nor coupled with the type of decisive action to which Australia has committed. Instead, the U.S. has consistently combined lax enforcement with a clear message that there are few consequences for violating immigration laws. Rather than a rapid return to their nation of origin, illegal aliens who cross into the United States can find work and government-sponsored protection in sanctuary cities.
And while the number of aliens entering Australia without authorization plummets, the number of illegal aliens entering the United States continues to climb.