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Ross: Could computers create the ultimate deterrent to illegal immigration?

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Once upon a time Janet Napolitano was in the hot seat as President Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security. Today she heads the University of California system, but she still has plenty to say about immigration.

“As tough as Trump appears to have been with all of his rhetoric etcetera, it’s not working,” Napolitano said.

Instead, she says, the United States has to address the crime and the poverty causing people to flee their homes. To which I said, “that sounds like nation-building.” Which also hasn’t worked. Why shouldn’t a president just say “We’re sorry, the United States is full?”

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“I don’t think the United States is full,” she said. “I live in California and you drive through the Central Valley of California and everywhere you go you see signs for ‘workers wanted’ and you actually see fields that are not planted because there’s no one to pick the crops.”

So then, what about people who think just the opposite? Some argue that the reason wages in some parts of the economy are depressed is because we let too many people into the country, even legally.

“The data just doesn’t show that,” Napolitano counters.

But in a few years, it may all be moot anyway. Because a quick YouTube search shows farms are looking at another alternative.

As one video points out: “This is Agrobot. An AI-powered autonomous harvester that can operate without human guidance.”

The ultimate deterrent to immigration may end up coming from the computer lab.

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