A few illegal immigrants running down the beach in front of your hotel can ruin your whole day. So Mireya Navarro reported on the front page of The New York Times on August 21. Up until pretty recently, a steady stream of Mexicans were illegally crossing the border at Imperial Beach south of San Diego, and it was really cramping the residents’ style.

As one hotel manager told Navarro, Border Patrol agents routinely chased illegal immigrants up the beach, each time prompting about half of his horrified guests to check out of the hotel. At a nearby wildlife refuge, these crazy Mexicans “trampled rare plants and the nests of endangered birds on their furtive way north, sometimes even eating the birds’ eggs for breakfast.”

Thank goodness for the tightened border control brought on by Operation Gatekeeper, Navarro reported, which has pushed all those pesky immigrants off the Golden State’s beaches eastward into Texas and Arizona. Sure, Navarro acknowledged, the tighter enforcement “has been widely condemned by human rights advocates for channeling immigrants into remote mountains and deserts, where hundreds of them have died of exposure.” (Later on in the story, the number of those who have died inexplicably jumps to “more than 1,000.”) But who can complain when Imperial Beach is now enjoying “record attendance for beach events like the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition”?

More people are staying at Imperial Beach hotels, Navarro reported, and home prices are up 28 percent. Indeed, according to “grateful residents,” keeping the illegals out has all-around “helped revive the area’s economy and improve the quality of life.” It appears the Border Patrol did such a good job sealing off access to the beach that Navarro couldn’t raise a single real live illegal immigrant to quote for her 1,500-word story. Or maybe they were all awashed out to sea on a tide of budget-surplus green.

Money, money everywhere

Hey, all you welfare moms, homeless people and working poor. Quitcher bellyachin’. Haven’t you heard? The hard times are over, and that’s direct from White House Budget Director Mitch Daniels. “The nation is awash in money,” he declared in response to concerns over the dwindling budget surplus, adding for emphasis, “and it will be.” So get yourself to the nearest body of water, be it bathtub, gutter sludge or the L.A. River, and partake of the bounty. If that proves less than fruitful, just head on over to Mr. Daniels’ house, and tell him you’d like a turn awashing in his personal nation.

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