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The Increased Militarization of Our Southern Border: Is it worth the cost?

June 10th, 2010 · 10 Comments

By Pablo Manriquez

The Hill reports that “Instead of pushing for comprehensive reform,” [some pro-immigration groups] “will focus on smaller proposals that could have more bipartisan support.”

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan to move energy legislation in July has cast a pall over the chances of comprehensive immigration reform.”

Energy legislation is, no doubt, more-significant than immigration legislation as the 111th Congress unfolds.  Indeed, there may be no greater moral responsibility humanity has ever faced than the fight ensure the future of our human species on this planet.

However, it’s important to note two things about Harry Reid’s move away from comprehensive immigration reform in light of the mid-term elections coming up in November:

  • Energy legislation connects lawmakers on both sides of the isle with some of the deepest-pocketed campaign contributors operating on Capitol Hill.
  • Only the enforcement side of immigration reform connects lawmakers with the various unions, defense contractors, and homeland security contractors that can swell their campaign coffers in any significant way.

Regarding the second point, last week the president approved the deployment of 1,200 National Guardsmen to the border at an estimated cost of $500 million.  Additionally, The Hill reports that “Predator B aerial drones, which have proved successful fighting insurgents in Afghanistan, were deployed this week along the border between Texas and Mexico.”

“It is estimated to cost between $20 million and $30 million to set up a Predator drone in Corpus Christi to focus on the Texas border.”

Note that our military escalation at the border comes at a time when “violent crimes reported in Arizona dropped by nearly 1,500 reported incidents between 2005 and 2008. Reported property crimes also fell, from about 287,000 reported incidents to 279,000 in the same period. These decreases are accentuated by the fact that Arizona’s population grew by 600,000 between 2005 and 2008.” (hat-tip: National Immigration Forum)

The implication here is twofold, and severe:

1.  We are wasting money.

2.  The militarization hysteria Senators John McCain and John Kyle have fomented may be baseless.

Do you live on or near the border?  Is the situation a war zone, as many of our lawmakers would have us believe? How has the military buildup effected you?  Help be our eyes and ears in the region in what is increasingly becoming a crisis obscured — an perhaps, created — by partisan politics.

Webmaster’s Note: The militarization of the border will become an increasingly salient topic especially in light of the fatal shooting of a Mexican teen by the U.S. Border Patrol. Democracy Now! had a pretty good segment about the shooting of 15-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereka:

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Tags: Barack Obama · Environment · Immigration

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anna // Jun 11, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I can’t believe that president is putting drones on the border. What an incompetent fool. I wish another Democrat would challenge him for the nomination. Wishful thinking, I know…

  • 2 Chicano future tense // Jun 11, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    “The Increased Militarization of Our Southern Border”

    “The Past is prologue to the Future”

    1848- American military forces invade Mexico.American flag flown over Vera Cruz and then the capitol Mexico City.

    2012- regional police action breaks out at the border between Mexico and the United States.American military intervenes,invades and occupies northern Mexican states within one week in a lightning type blitzkreig action down through the northern Mexico corridor..
    Racial conflict,social chaos in America.Internicene conflict between anti-imperialist Latinos and those Latinos supporting and participating in the American military invasion of Mexico..
    Cities with large concentrations of Mexicans and Latinos will become destabilized and hotbeds of anti-War anti-American imperialism unrest..

    2013 and beyond..
    vietnam style guerrila warfare becomes the style of warfare Mexicans fight American forces in Mexico..Mexico is the “North Vietnam” of anti-American warfare..
    In the large cities of the USA with large Mexican and Latino presence civil disobedience,demonstration and riots, urban warfare turns Americas cities into occupied fortresses.. they become zones of military urban control by military units,police forces,white and some Latino and black civilian forces become deputized armed agents of the US military command and control of urban areas..

    those in the cities opposing and fighting the imperialist invasion will become the Viet-Cong of anti-american imperialist warfare..

    Occupation in Mexico then Occupation of Americas largest cities..

    You can laugh if you want,stick your head in the sand like the ostrich, stay in denial and pretend and (pray) that this can never happen..
    but guess what ..
    It’s happening right before your eyes today..the beginnings of a future war between Mexico and the USA and a civil war in the USA between significant sections of brown and white people in the USA ..
    it’s starting to happen now and Latinos find themselves frozen with fear,denial and confusion at the nightmare that awaits them..
    it will happen…

  • 3 Reyfeo // Jun 12, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I live in Southern AZ now…and no it doesn’t look like a “militarized” zone (Colombia is a militarized city not AZ, I’m pretty sure I can say that)…need to hop on a plane Webby and be your own eyes and ears so you stop this insane chatter.
    But to the question, the answer is yes it worth it…your stats are correct, but where are the ones from 2008 to 2010…Phoenix is the kidnap capital of the US and Second (maybe third) to Mexico city and Bogota Colombia (Where I find myself this week BTW). If that doesn’t tell you we have a problem in a AZ, then you are simply putting out spin. Why don’t you quote the latest stats on crime from AZ? Probably b/c they tell the true story. Illegal Immigration is to blame.

    And yes, Anna, its politics for this President, and guess what we get to suck it up. Energy is another Tax plan disguised as “good for the environment” bill (that’s how Al Gore made is Billions BTW) and it’s how NObama is going to try and pay for this insane Obamacare (which is now being amended to pay doctors else its worthless) and every other bail out he needs to buy the next election.
    And stop calling it comprehensive reform, it is far from it if you’re not going to listen to folks like me and you disguise it as another amnesty bill.

  • 4 Reyfeo // Jun 12, 2010 at 9:04 am

    …and (almost forgot) as for Chicano Futre Tense, you really need to stop smoking the bad weed…one, you’re getting wierd with the Mexico war thing, and two, your supporting the very people who come across the border illegally to rape, kill and kidnap the good people of AZ.

  • 5 Anna // Jun 12, 2010 at 11:04 am

    I think you’re being a bit dramatic. But the best way to counter this is to vote. I know that Obama is huge disappointment and probably the reason that turnout for the midterm elections was so low, but he won’t be there forever. (Some of us figured out during the primary that Obama was a fraud. Too bad the rest of you couldn’t see it. Our country could have been on a totally different path. )

    Vote for Jerry Brown for Governor and for the democratic nominee for Attorney General. If we stay home, Whitman and Cooley will win, and that will be disaster for the whole state.

    The CA GOP cannot win unless they get 30% of the Hispanic vote. Don’t let that happen.

  • 6 Chicano future tense // Jun 12, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    I get a kick out of good ole mr Reyfeo..

    ..he solemnly urges us (with a straight face)..
    ..” listen to folks like me “…
    I’m simply in awe and absolutely amazed at the intellectual brilliance of our precious mr Reyfeo who in his scholarly wisdom has rewritten the geography books by proclaiming..”Colombia is a militarized city not AZ”.

    excuse me,excuse me Mr Reyfeo..got a news flash for ya..Colombia is a nation not a city..Arizona is not a city ,it is actually a state believe it or not….ok mr Reyfeo.

    and for keerist sakes mr reyfeo..it’s “Chicano future tense” not “Chicano futre tense”..sheesh!
    and it’s “weird” not “wierd”..but if you insist mr (“listen to folks like me”)reyfeo ..

    ..just to make you happy we will listen to geniuses like you..ok??

  • 7 Reyfeo // Jun 13, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Ahhh, as always I have touched a nerve…but just so you know it’s hard to post from Bogota (yes the city) as in the internet here, despite being very good, has of lately failed me a couple of times…but yes, I meant to say State and not “city”.

    That said, are you still prophesying a war with Mexico? B/C it’s your mumbo-jumbo that scares those more illiterate then I…yes I know, there may not be more stupid than I , but still you would do the rest of the Latino world a favor and stop the elite pompous gibberish talk and spew out something, oh I don’t know, like a SOLUTION.

    Until this President gets a clue and stops trying to buy the next election with all the bail outs, someone has to protect the citizens of Az…a new law (which you all hate) and 1200 troops (which is not enough) is a good start…finish the wall and fix the laws which allow for more work Visa’s and a more controlled entry and exit of those immigrants who want to follow our laws. And demand that every SOB that breaks the law be ousted of any chance to come back. What say you CFT? Got a solution or are you going to go silent like always?!?

  • 8 Chicano future tense // Jun 13, 2010 at 9:42 am

    me thinks our resident genius mr reyfeo must be on r&r to Colombia..
    wow!..he blames the internet for changing around his words and faking all those ignorant statements in his name..must be a communist conspiracy to control the internet!!
    …..mr reyfeo takes a vacation..a holiday vacation ..he’s chosen to take a grand guided tour for his own relaxation,enjoyment and edification.

    …let’s take a look at what’s on mr reyfeo’s itinerary brochure:
    1.tour of Colombia’s capitol.home of a corrupt right wing american lap dog CIA controlled government which carries out the US’s dirty work in S. America…(breakfast will be served at 8:00AM)
    2.tour of Colombian right wing death squad cells who routinely kill human rights activists,union organizers and left wing critics..(lunch will be served at noon)
    3.guided tour of Colombia’s very own sr pablo escobars old neighborhood ..former mecca of narco traficantes and narco terroristas..(deluxe dinner and salad bar open at 8:00PM)
    .. well anyway mr reyfeo you picked a good holiday travel destination to help you unwind and relax and get away from the USA where there are way too many freedoms for and too much protest from Mexicans and other rabble protesting for such silly things as justice,civil and human rights….

    mr reyfeo would of course love the USA to model itself after his ideal role model fascist Colombia..that is shoot down,kill and imprison protestors,critics,Mexicans and undocumented workers…
    enjoy your vacation mr reyfeo!

  • 9 Bruce D. // Jun 14, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Any money saved in border control will be saved by what would be spent on the over burdening of the social system. Also Mexico is out of control now with violence and drugs. It has been spilling across the border to American cities. Many of these drug cartels think nothing of getting underage children on drugs and actually target them. Stoping the abuse of young children is well worth any money spent at the borders.

  • 10 Seneca: Pondering the Sinking Immigration Discourse // Jun 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    [...] that could result in positive action for illegal aliens. Moreover, the current Administration is militarizing the US-Mexico border while faintly apologizing over the recent shooting of a Mexican teen by the [...]

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