Thursday Night comes (well actually Friday morning, but who is keeping track?) and with it comes the ever popular guest commentary article for the week. As was alluded to earlier, this week’s submission comes to us from D13, and deals with the problems we are facing on our southern border. I have not talked a lot about the problems with illegal immigration in the United States thus far. I imagine that this will start some of that. I will weigh in with an article discussing the issue form my perspective soon. What the good Colonel offers us for tonight is a wealth of information that he has collected on the border problems. This is part one. Part Two will instead have more of a focus on what he has actually witnessed and found in his work on the border. You can expect the second part to this article within a week or two as another guest commentary. I have to say that I have been looking forward to this article ever since D13 told me that he was working on it.
My anticipation was related to the fact that there is perhaps no one that regularly visits SUFA that has more of a focus on the illegal immigration problems we face on the southern border, and there is certainly no one who is spending more time actually working in this arena… actual boots on the ground. In the article that I am working on, we will discuss this in a different way. I will be presenting illegal immigration as one of the “Let’s Fix It” articles where we entertain all the ways that we can deal with the problem, like we did with unemployment insurance. I look forward to that, but first we needed to get a look into what the realities are on the border, and that is what the Colonel has provided for us.
Open Border with Mexico
A Study in Contrast
There has been much said about the “open border” concept along the Mexico border. Some have the opinion that there should be no control and some are of the opinion that there should be closed borders and some fall in the middle. The purpose of this article is to lay out some facts and figures and you decide what the best procedure would be. Since I am on the “front lines” so to speak, I feel that I can speak authoritatively. I will do my best to present both sides of the concern and then present my analysis and opinion. The issue is not to look at this in an emotional state but rather look at it in the form of reality….what is…and not what we wish it would be. Never should a decision be made from emotion but rather, it is my belief that all decisions should be made from fact and from realism.
First, let me begin by saying that this article is not anti immigration. I have absolutely no problems with immigration. I have all sorts of problems with illegal immigration; consequently, this article will be aimed at the illegal immigration that takes place, its effects on the economy, both local and federal, its effects on health issues, and its criminal element. So, in order to proceed with the article, please accept the fact (as it is fact) that we are a nation of laws. Some of those laws directly affect immigration. It matters not whether you agree with those laws. If you disagree with our laws, I will be the first to say…great…you have an inherent right to disagree but change them if you do not like them. To break the law in order to change the law is wrong… legally, morally, and philosophically. So, deal with the fact that we have laws and the laws should be obeyed until changed.
The popular perception of illegal aliens crossing our southern border is that they are merely poor Mexicans trying to find a better life here. But increasingly, the border is being crossed by hardened, often violent criminals. During the past five months, more than 54,000 of the illegal aliens caught at the border were convicted criminals or people being sought in connection with crimes, according to federal officials. About 139,000 of the illegal aliens arrested last year fell into the same category. The main stream media has been instructed to not write articles about the issue of the criminal elements that have consistently been coming into this country disguised as poor immigrants. Yes…. instructed and the hammer is that they will not have a seat on Air Force One if they do not follow that rule. The criminal element knows that we are not actively engaged in stopping the immigrants because it is known that the liberal (progressive) establishment wants the votes and wants a voting block, therefore, it is a well known among those of us that patrol and fight on the border that the law is deliberately avoided and sanctioned by the progressive faction in this country. The first thing that I will deal with in the article is the gang influence and the criminal element that is prevalent on the border and in our cities.
Mexican Drug Cartels
Mexico’s drug gangs have been highly successful in the past two decades, gradually replacing Colombian gangs in the United States to control the profitable distribution of cocaine from coast to coast. Colombia remains the world’s largest producer, but Larry Holifield, the DEA’s past director for Mexico and Central America, says Mexican cartels are now the most powerful in the world. In 2003, Mexican traffickers supplied 77 percent of the cocaine that entered the US. Last year, 2009, it was 95 percent, a top DEA intelligence official, told a congressional panel. Now, in 2010, Mexican Drug Cartel trafficking has increased to 96% according to acting administrator Ms. Michelle Leonhart in a circular sent to all border agencies in February, 2010.
Mexican gangs have also dominated the growing methamphetamine trade, producing 53 percent of the drugs on the market in “super-labs” in Mexico as the U.S. tightens its laws. Much of the rest is made in clandestine labs mostly in amnesty safe California, also run by Mexicans, according to U.S. officials. And as has been the case for nearly 100 years, Mexico is the biggest marijuana supplier to the United States and produces nearly half the heroin consumed north of the border, behind only Colombia.
The drug trade permeates life in Mexico. In Ciudad Miguel Aleman, drug traffickers boost the local economy and rule with a combination of fear and awe, threatening or bribing anyone who dares to try to stop them. In this city of 35,000 across from Roma, Texas, hit men are easily identified by their bulletproof pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. The traffickers have lookouts at every entrance to the city and informants on bicycles looking for anyone suspicious, townspeople say. They will photograph newcomers, including reporters, and question strangers. This can be further verified by the local National Guard Units that help patrol the border and by Department of Defense officials that are in observance. Quite often, these bullet proof pickup trucks and SUV’s, come across the border and are involved in shoot outs on the US side and it goes unreported….yes, that is UNREPORTED on a consistent basis. Again, it is not reported through heavy handed intimidation by the current administration. (Let me add a side note. It was also unreported in the Bush Administration as well but I have not seen written instructions from the Bush Administration as I have seen from the present administration.)
Armed gangs dressed in military uniforms often illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border, providing cover for the trafficking of drugs and illegal aliens into the United States. U.S. government officials and sheriffs from border areas told a Senate panel of U.S. lawmakers these intruders were becoming more sophisticated and ruthless, often clashed with U.S. Border Patrol agents and committed crimes in the United States.
“We are indeed aware of criminal organizations that wear military-style uniforms, use military-style equipment and weapons and employ military-style vehicles and tactics while conducting illegal activity in border areas,” Border Patrol chief David Aguilar told a joint hearing of the Senate subcommittees on immigration and terrorism.”
The Border Patrol has intercepted over 400,000 aliens trying to cross the border in the first two months of this year, compared to around 100,000 a month – 1.2 million — last year. About 120,000 or 10% of those caught had criminal records. That’s 40,000 with criminal records caught so far this year!!!!! How many have not been caught?
One other NON REPORTED ITEM that has happened from the Mexico side. Mexican President Felipe Calderon tacitly turned his head as Mexican prisons officials “released” over 52,000 known felons and drug traffickers, rapists, murderers, and a variety on the Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California borders over a period of 6 months in 2008/2009. These “released” inmates were driven to remote areas outside of Piedras Negras, Ojinaga, Juarez, Monument 67, Nogales, and Tijuana, Mexico and told to not come back. They were given back packs of food, water, maps of sanctuary locations, and money. In January of 2010, three bodies, now identified as drug cartel members, were found in the Big Bend area of Southwest Texas. All three had walked off a cliff in the middle of the night trying to find their way through. All three had brand new Mountain West backpacks, three sets of clothes, 7 weapons (3 US, 2 Russian, and 2 Chinese origins), over $4,000 cash (collectively), maps of the region, and pick up points.
It is common knowledge that Criminal Gangs and Al Qaeda are also merging along the Mexican Border
A Bangladeshi Muslim man named Fakhrul Islam was among a group of 13 illegal aliens arrested near Brownsville, Texas, just across the border from Mexico. Border Patrol agents have said that one of the men detained along with Islam was a member of Mara Salvatrucha, a violent Salvadoran criminal gang with more than 300,000 members across Central and North America, including powerful enterprises in several major U.S. cities. Adnan El-Shukrijumah, a high-ranking Al-Qaeda leader and one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, was spotted in Honduras meeting with members of MS-13. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft has said that El-Shukrijumah, who he has described as a ‘clear and present danger to America,’ is seeking ways to infiltrate the U.S. via the Mexican border, and is willing to pay top dollar in order to do so. Erik Holder, the current attorney General, disavows any knowledge of said meetings.
In the last 6 months, we have captured several immigrants that are linked to Muslim factions in Europe and South America. Everyone knows that our borders are porous and that it is easy to get into the United States and get on our welfare roles and actually get jobs often times in federally classified areas because of the lack of background security checks. In November of 2009, a security sweep of the Federal Border Patrol personnel in Laredo, Texas resulted in 23 firings of US Border Patrol agents that were NOT US Citizens and not on work visas or in the US legally. They were hired with fake birth certificates and social security numbers and the lack of background checks allowed them to work almost unrestricted. One of the “fired” agents was a three time convicted felon in the United States and released on treaty with Mexico only to have him come back and get hired.
Drug gangs could be acquiring weapons from contacts in drug rings operating on U.S. military bases near the border. Ongoing operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have made fighting drug use by soldiers a lower priority within the military. In addition, the constant flow of material back and forth between the U S and combat theaters has made it increasingly difficult to account for every piece of ordnance. With pressure to recruit more troops, standards have been lowered, which has opened the door to recruits with prior drug convictions. The Mexican gangs, then, could be involving in-house dealers in weapons-for-drugs schemes.
Laredo is increasingly becoming a sanctuary for members of Mexico’s various drug cartels. Nuevo Laredo drug gangs use Texas the same way the Taliban and al Qaeda use Pakistan: as a refuge from the fighting; a place where they- theoretically can rest, regroup and plan further operations. The gangs also use Laredo as a transshipment point for drugs going north and weapons coming south.
Economic Cost to Texas
A new report is out that shows the costs imposed on Texas taxpayers by illegal aliens. The report was released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The current estimates show there are 1.5 million illegal aliens in Texas. The costs, when broken down, come to a total of $725 a year per taxpaying household to cover the costs of education, health care and incarceration of illegal aliens throughout the state.
Education. Based on estimates of the illegal immigrant population in Texas and documented costs of K-12 schooling, Texans spend more than $4 billion annually on education for illegal immigrant children and for their U.S.-born siblings. About 11.9 percent of the K-12 public school students in Texas are children of illegal aliens.
Health Care. Taxpayer-funded medical outlays for health care provided to the state’s illegal alien population amount to about $520 million a year.
Incarceration. The uncompensated cost of incarcerating illegal aliens in Texas’s state and county prisons amounts to about $150 million a year (not including local jail detention costs or related law enforcement and judicial expenditures or the monetary costs of the crimes that led to their incarceration).
The fiscal costs of illegal immigration do not end with these three major cost areas. The total costs of illegal immigration to the state’s taxpayers would be considerably higher if other cost areas such as special English instruction, welfare programs used by the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens, or welfare benefits for American workers displaced by illegal alien workers were also calculated.
An award winning reporter has detailed an ongoing media blackout concerning a major issue of national security on the southern border.
Sara A. Carter, National Security and Pentagon reporter for the Washington Times, spoke to the Alex Jones show today regarding consistent incursions into the U.S. by armed Mexican troops aiding illegal smugglers.
Ms. Carter has won several national prestigious awards for her coverage of border issues north and south, including the 2006 Eugene Katz Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Immigration, presented annually by the Center for Immigration Studies.
“There are a lot of people who don’t realize how serious the situation is on the southern border.” Ms. Carter said. “Even to the extent when sometimes some of our own government officials choose to ignore it, even though they know it’s going on.”
“This is a very serious national security issue in many respects and it deals with an array from smuggling humans, to smuggling narcotics, and the whole mix up is that there’s many people within the Mexican government and military that have already been bought and sold out to the drug cartels.”
“It’s very difficult to distinguish between those that are really trying to do the job, and those that are sell outs to the drug cartels. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, I’ve been down in many of the same border cities, I’ve spent an enormous amount of time in Mexico working with intelligence officials and others, and I have many Mexican sources who had said ‘please get the truth out’.” Ms. Carter continued.
Ms. Carter pointed out that although such activity has been ongoing for years, there has essentially been a news blackout in America.
“It is a huge story. It is bigger than most of us even know, and people are afraid of covering the story. We hear reports but we don’t see in depth detail.” Carter said.
Aside from Carter herself it has been left entirely to the alternative media to expose the reality of the situation on the border. The mainstream media cautiously began reporting on the issue two years ago when Sara Carter uncovered Department of Homeland Security documents and maps showing that Mexican military has crossed into the United States 216 times in the past nine years. In the documents U.S. officials claimed the incursions are being made to help foreign drug and human smugglers into the United States. Those of us that work the border know that this is a crock of 24 carat BS. The efforts at strengthening the border and the efforts at getting the word out are, once again, being completely stifled. Any United States Military officer risks his career when voicing his thoughts and letting out information that is not “cleared” through Erik Holder and the Justice Department……………in violation of military protocol and rules. There is no freedom of speech and there is no right for the public to know in the minds of our current administration.
Many incidents have seen Mexican troops fire on U.S. border agents and our rules of engagement do not allow us to fire back. (That is as the rules of engagement for FEDERAL troops.) The State National Guard is under the command of the Governor until activated by Federal Order. President Obama is not the Commander in Chief of National Guard units exercising under state authority. Texas is the ONLY independent National Guard Unit in the United States (meaning that it does not “round out” active duty units. It stands alone) and the Texas Governor does not give up jurisdiction. The rules of engagement are completely different for the Texas National Guard. The Governor has the right to declare a State Emergency and, hence, National Guard Units can defend themselves in open combat….even when fired upon by Mexican Military Units. The state of Texas now employs armed drones, infra red detection equipment, ground patrols (utilizing ranchers with night vision support), intelligence operatives in Mexico, and armored units allowed by private land owners to patrol the more rugged areas.
This is, by far, the most despicable event that is happening on the entire Mexican border, but the El Paso area is the roughest so far. Most people think of human trafficking in terms of “coyotes” infiltrating the United States with hordes of illegal immigrants. It used to be this way….not anymore. A seldom reported fact are the abductions for ransom, prostitution, drug running, and slave trade from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, and even the border areas on the United States side. The worst of the areas on our border is Juarez, across from El Paso. Known as the city of “Femicides”, from 2005 through 2009, it is estimated that over 5,000 female deaths (ages 12-22) have occurred. The latest find was on a ranch 12 kilometers outside of Juarez in Northern Chihuahua province, wherein one mass grave, 612 female bodies were discovered….tortured, burned, sexually abused, and dismembered. Average age…..16 years old.
It is common knowledge that families “sell” their off spring to human cartels for food money. Scores of children are abducted from immigrants traveling to the United States seeking work and hooking up with “coyotes” who, in turn sell them at the border. Open borders are an invitation to “take a chance” to travel to Norte America and play into the hands of the criminal element.
The latest personal observation was July, 2009 on a remote stretch of road outside of Del Rio, Texas. A refrigerated van was stopped at a remote unmarked check point. After a shoot out with the drive and its escorting vehicle, the 18 wheeler was transporting 32 young girls to Chicago, Illinois and New York City. Their ages ranged from 8 years to 16 years for use in prostitution and sweat shops. Despicable!!!! (For the record, the driver of the truck and the escort did not survive the gun fight).
Today, our great American nation is being invaded by millions of illegal immigrants who are fundamentally changing American society. Notably, a massive influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America is changing the face of the American Southwest. For some Mexicans, the motivations in this migration are pure – to secure a better life in a better place. However, not only is this illegal immigration illegal to begin with, it is also precipitating a host of problems for the United States of America. This influx is bankrupting state and local governments, hospitals, school districts, prisons, and social services across the Southwest. The influx is also fueling a wide range of criminal activities in the United States, from the simple, such as the hiring of illegal aliens by American companies, to the serious, such as drug running, human trafficking, organized criminal activity, gang activity, weapons violations, burglaries, auto thefts, etc., etc. In addition, terrorists from overseas nations are gaining entry to the United States through our porous borders.
“William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, states that this is “the end of America as we know it. At least 10 million illegal immigrants are in the U.S. now, and that’ll double in five years.” (Dallas Morning News, Rancher in border case backs Minuteman, 04/03/2005) FOXNews.com reports that “public health care in Los Angeles is on life support, where sixty percent of the county’s uninsured patients are not U.S. citizens. More than half are here illegally. About 2 million undocumented aliens in Los Angeles County alone are crowding emergency rooms because they can’t afford to see a doctor.” (L.A. Emergency Rooms Full of Illegal Immigrants, 03/17/2005). The National Research Council estimates that the net fiscal cost of immigration ranges from $11 billion to $22 billion per year, with state and local governments bearing most of the costs. California’s tab is estimated at $3 billion alone. Richard D. Lamm, former governor of Colorado, writes in the Denver Post that “illegal immigration today isn’t cheap labor, except to the employer. The average family of illegal immigrants has two to four school-age kids. It costs U.S. taxpayers more than $7,000 a child just to educate them in our public schools.” (There’s nothing cheap about immigrant labor, 04/03/05) In the end, the American taxpayer pays many times the amount the cheap hourly wage was worth to a vagabond American company.”
But one has to figure that these costs are just a drop in the bucket. The Arizona Automobile Theft Authority for example reports that there were 56,222 stolen vehicles in Arizona in 2003. These thefts in many cases are tied to a host of other problems, including smuggling, illegal drug trafficking, human trafficking, burglaries, fraud, and drive-by shootings. The costs to these associated problems are immeasurable, both in dollar amounts (auto insurance, law enforcement costs, etc.) and in terms of general personal security.
In Dallas, Texas, we are witness firsthand to some of the problems associated with illegal immigration. Business owners in predominantly Hispanic areas are scared for their safety. Recently, a member of a family that owns several local restaurants was kidnapped in broad daylight, held for ransom, and then killed. The perpetrator fled back to Mexico. Mexican graffiti covers everything from houses and fences to businesses and highway signs. The City of Dallas, at great costs – up to $2,000 per sign, is currently either cleaning or replacing graffiti-marred highway signs across the area. One bridge overpass colorfully says it all: “Welcome to the Barrio, Bitches.” For Dallas Public Schools, Spanish proficiency for teachers is almost mandatory in many sections of the city. The enormous cultural and budgetary problems associated with educating children of illegal aliens denigrate the education of our American children.
Fed up by the deluge of trespassers and the lack of attention by the U.S. Government, ordinary Americans are now fighting back. A host of organizations, some listed on this page, are sprouting to deliver information about this travesty. Other organizations, such as Ranch Rescue, and the Minuteman Project, are taking a more proactive approach such as patrolling ranches and borders.
As wide-ranging as the problem of illegal immigration is, the solutions are simple.
First, we as Americans have to make it where it is not worth coming to America. We can do this by legally requiring proof of citizenship or legal residency for jobs, education and benefits. Unable to obtain jobs and services in America, many if not most immigrants would stay at home. As part of this effort, penalties would be more severe for American companies and organizations that knowingly provide jobs and services to illegal immigrants. In a way, providing jobs to illegal immigrants is treasonous.
Second, America needs a comprehensive guest worker program. This program would be funded primarily by Mexicans wishing to work in America and by American companies who can prove they need foreign workers because American workers are not available. In such a program, Mexicans (or American companies) would pay a processing fee to the federal government, instead of a smuggling fee to the Coyotes (human smugglers).
Third, America needs to physically secure its borders. We must get the Southwest region of the United States under control. Either we need a beefed-up Border Patrol, or we need the military to patrol the border in sufficient numbers, or both.
And fourth, eliminate the automatic United States Citizenry to children of undocumented and illegal immigrants,
The time to act is now. Each day, 5,000 to 10,000 new illegal immigrants enter the United States along the Mexican border. Each day, the costs associated with this influx escalate.
Lastly, do not play the race card on this one. It matters not what nationality these illegal immigrants are….it only matters that they are here in violation of our laws. There is no “natural right” or no “natural law” that justifies such illegal activity.