Most people who advocate sealing of the Mexican border have never been to a border town. In border towns, hundreds if not thousands of people cross the footpaths and streets back and forth, to and from Mexico. People shop and do business daily. This is called commerce and border-living. Families, cousins, brothers, sisters, mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, live on both sides. When one visits a border town, there isn't much security leaving the U.S. There is much more security coming back in. Border Patrol man the booths along the border entries and patrol the border fences and barriers, both on foot and via vehicles. They also have electronic and video surveillance along well travelled points of entry and paths. Additionally, about 10 miles in from the border, there are Border Patrol booths set up to check the IDs of everyone travelling back into the U.S. from border towns.
Anyone who lives along the border will tell you. People who live along the border, people of all colors and ethnicities, have very good relationships with residents on both sides of the border. However, about 10 years ago, with the increase of drug use in America, a new group of travellers migrated both ways across the border. These are the drug cartels. Anyone who lives along the border will tell you, there is a huge difference between those that come here to work and those that carry drugs across the border. The drug carriers carry or sneak in by vehicle, bales of marijuana, meth, marjuana laced with meth and cocaine. They also carry prescription pills including vicodin and percocet/oxycontin. Many of these drug carriers are American citizens, like the Bowen family, and also take guns/weapons and ammunition back into Mexico to provide to the cartels. You see, Americans help finance both sides of the Mexican drug war by purchasing illegal drugs and smuggling weapons.
The residents on both sides of the border want the cartels to stop. They want America to stop using drugs. They want the cartels to stop delivering drugs. Most of all, they want the violence to end.
You would think anyone familiar with the situation on the border would understand what is happening. Reports from both sides of the border indicate the majority of the violence is in Mexico and has not crossed over to the U.S. side of the border. Violent Crime is down in the U.S., particularly in border states. However, extremists and sb1070 supporters want you to believe otherwise. They want you to believe border violence has increased. They exploited the murder of rancher Robert Krentz and want you to believe all "illeegals" are responsible for his death when in fact the police don't know who committed the crime and believe it was someone from the U.S. since the tracks went from North to South.
The zealots also exploited the so-called shooting of Deputy Puroll. Tapes have recently surfaced regarding his explanation of the shooting. The tape totally conflicts with early reports of the shooting provided by his spokesperson Tammy Villar. Yet, this shooting also is blamed on all "illeegals." Their lies are set up to instill fear and terror into border residents. They believe in the political adage, "If you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth."
The facts are: we have a drug problem in the U.S. We are the number one abuser of drugs in the world. Drug cartels from China, Columbia, Brazil, the Middle East, Russia, Venezuela, etc. are falling all over themselves to be our drug provider. We have a Drug problem in the U.S., not an "illegal immigration" problem. Border Security is a big factor in that we need to STOP the flow of drugs from coming into our country and we need to stop the flow of weapons, money and cash back to the Cartels both here and in Mexico.
The facts are: sb1070 has NOTHING to do with stopping drugs or even securing the border. The primary intent of sb1070 is to Mass Deport all the "illeegals" in Arizona and their citizen children too. It also criminalizes citizen friends and families of the 11M here. It also encourages citizens to become amateur Border Patrol by encouraging them to call the police every time they see who they suspect is an "illeegal" (aka brown person).
The worst part of sb1070 is it deters police resources from going after the real danger, the drug cartels. Instead, if sb1070 is enacted, Law Enforcement will be doomed to spend their time, as arpaio and his masked goons do, in terrorizing latino neighborhoods with suppression sweeps. No time to hunt down the felonious drug lords on both sides of the border. Jails will be filled with landscapers and restaurant workers. No room for violent drug dealers.
Why don't people understand the truth? We have a DRUG problem, not a migrant worker problem. We need our Border Patrol Agents and Law Enforcement focused on targetting felonious criminals, especially drug cartels and drug dealers, not conduct round-ups in well established latino neighborhoods rounding up agjob workers and cooks.
Remove the xenophobia and restrictionist attitude from the work that needs to be done. Allow the 11M to come out of the shadows, pay a fine and begin steps to apply for legal status. Let's bring some sense back to the immigration discussion. We need the Federal Government to pass CIR.
The Obama Administration has made a good start. On a visit to Mexico in March by several senior Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; they met with key Mexico officals and expanded on and improved programs already under way as part of the Mérida Initiative that was started by the Bush administration including cooperation among American and Mexican intelligence agencies and American support for training Mexican police officers, judges, prosecutors and public defenders.
Under the new strategy, American and Mexican agencies will work together to refocus border enforcement efforts creating systems that allow goods and people to be screened before they reach the crossing points. The plan also provides support for Mexican programs intended to strengthen communities where socioeconomic hardships force many young people into crime. The most striking difference between the old strategy and the new one is the shift away from military assistance. More than half of the $1.3 billion spent under Merida was used to buy aircraft, inspection equipment and information technology for the Mexican military and police. Next year's foreign aid budget provides for civilian police training vs equipment. Military-to-military cooperation was expected to continue. This revised strategy will first go into effect in Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, the largest cities on Mexico's border with the United States. Ciudad Juárez, a city of 1.7 million, has become a symbol of the Mexican government's failed attempts to rein in the drug gangs. Finally the Administration is focusing on the right issues. Stop the drug cartels. Nip them in the bud. Partner with Mexico to stop the cartels at inception. On the American side, do the same. Infiltrate, Arrest and stop them!