Tuesday, August 10, 2010

INTIMIGRATION -- Follow the Money: $600M Border Bill, Predator Drones, Safety of Citizens on the Mexican Border, Political Contributions

Last Thursday, the Senate passed a $600M bill to "beef up" border security on the Mexican border. The security will not be on the Canadian border, nor ports of entry, just on the Mexican border. This bill includes sending airborne drones to search for "illeegals." A democrat, Sen. Chuck Schumer, introduced the bill. He was a bit surprised when Republicans, who have been the "party of No" since the President was inaugurated, suddenly jumped on board and voted YES. McCain and Kyl from AZ even asked to co-sponsor the bill. The bill sped like the wind and was overwhelmingly passed by Senators from both parties. The bill includes $176M for 1,000 border agents, $189M for other border personnel, and $196M for local law enforcers and prosecutors. The bill also includes $32M for unmanned surveillance drones.

As I read the reports, my mind imagined the dollar signs rolling in the glazed eyes of all the politicians - especially the "party of NO" republicans, but also of the Democrats too.

First, we all have to remember, the ANTI Immigration Reform supporters have drawn their battle lines with their Intimigration War. Never mind that the rate of "illegal immigrants" and violent crime in border states is at a 10 year low. Never mind that they use the deaths of rancher Robert Krentz and the shooting of Louie Puroll as their rallying cry even though no one knows who shot Rancher Krentz and many in the local Law Enforcement seriously question the validity of deputy puroll's claims. They have taken their false claims to the press and to their "feet on the ground" supporters and have rallied them to a frenzy. Our President and the majority party are intimidated by the frenzy and have acquiesced to their revolt. That is how the bill was passed.

Now let's follow the money -- the $600M.
The added numbers of "feet on the ground" and millions into the coffers of local politicos is obvious and is bringing them most of their dollar sign - eye rolling glee. What is not so obvious is "who else" will be receiving millions. I decided to do a little investigation on the "who else."

$32M will be spent on unmanned surveillance drones.
A Texas congressman met with federal officials in April to press for use of an unmanned aerial vehicle — called a UAV or drone — to patrol the border from Brownsville to El Paso. U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, requested the government use a Predator drone to help patrol the Rio Grande border in Texas. They are to be deployed on
September 1, 2010.

In pushing for the drones, apparently citizen safety was NOT taken into consideration. The FAA has raised safety concerns about drones operating in heavily traveled airspace. Drones are twice as likely to crash as manned aircraft, according to an analysis compiled by the Congressional Research Service.

Do the supporters of the drones, particularly Rep. Cuellar have an agenda? Cuellar, as a member of the House Homeland Security panel, has been seeking the use of drones for border surveillance for four years. And, he has a strange bedfellow - Republican TX Gov Rick Perry who also supports the use of these drones. Each Predator Drone costs $4.5 million. $32M will buy at least seven.

These drones are made by a U.S. firm, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems who also have provided drones for use in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to some, while deployed overseas, they were used by the US military to drop Hellfire missiles from thousands of feet above on to mostly civilian targets and have killed thousands of innocent people.

General Atomics has experienced a certain amount of
controversy. The company was the single biggest corporate underwriter of Congressional trips between January 2000 and June 2005, according to a nine-month study of congressional travel disclosure forms. The company spent more than $660,000 on 86 trips taken by members of Congress, their aides and families. Most of that was spent on overseas travel related to the unmanned Predator spy plane made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. Additionally, in 2001, the company was sued for allegedly overcharging the U.S. government for projects between 1992 and 2001.

In this era of INTIMIGRATION, as the ANTI Immigration Reformers heat up the debate and rile their supporters up with Fear against Latinos, Minorities and our President, how many more such bills will pass? How much more money will be wasted? How many more people will be racially profiled? How many more Hate Crimes will occur? If these drones are a public hazard as the FAA has reported, how many innocent people will be hurt? Will these drones be used for other purposes as they have been used in Iraq and Afghanistan?


pcorn54 said...

Perhaps it might not be such a waster of money if equipped with Hellfires, they were targeted at Camp Vigilance in California and on the Vakol Valley in Arizona when Neo Nazi JT Ready was out with his girl scout troop.

Marcus said...

We have an interesting debate going on the immigration issue at:


Come join the discussion.

Anonymous said...

I have infer from a only one of the articles on your website now, and I definitely like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites net age file and disposition be checking promote soon. Please contain in view my orientation as highly and leave to me conscious what you think. Thanks.

Page Hits