Friday, May 6, 2011

California-Mexico Border

Border Issues Staying Prevalent in San Diego
By Desiree Colson

As the risks at the California-Mexican border increase, lawmakers are doing their best to make sure the border is not a threat to U.S. citizens. Most San Diegans are aware of the incidents and problems that occur at the Californian-Mexican border. With the border being so close, it is hard for most to ignore the issue. Among many issues that concern San Diego is the passage of drugs across the border into the United States, as well as the members of the Mexican drug cartels and gang members coming into the country. Just recently, a group of lawmakers that consists of both Democrats and Republican has been saying “no” to a law that President Obama is trying to revive. This law states that according to the Free Trade Act, both American and Mexican commercial trucks should be able to cross the border freely. However, some think that Mexican drug cartels will take advantage of this law and pass drugs into California. The lawmakers against the program state that their main concern is the safety of Californian highways and the possibility of illegal drugs being brought into the United States (Hawkins, San Diego Union-Tribune).

Because drugs often bring more violence to a city, it is obvious why some might not want Mexican trucks to easily cross the border without thorough inspection. However, there is an important issue that is often overshadowed by the issues of illegal aliens crossing the border, drug cartels and gang members crossing the border, etc. Innocent human beings who do not belong to drug cartels, gangs, or have no affiliation with violent Mexican organizations are sometimes killed at the border and the incidents keep increasing. Many people shot at the border are indeed affiliated with the drug cartels, but there are also many that are completely innocent or the patrol officers. Last year alone, there were at least 106 deaths of U.S. residents which were related to the Mexican drug wars ( The main problem with this is that many of the deaths are not recorded—almost as if they never happened. Because the official death toll is not as high as it should be, it may not seem nearly as important to citizens as simply focusing on the drug and gang wars themselves. This is certainly a tragic side effect of the conflict at the California-Mexican border and something must be done about it.

There are many sides to take with this issue. Many Mexicans should be allowed to cross the border as long as they plan on returning to their country. But with the Mexican drug and gang wars becoming out of control, it is difficult for U.S. lawmakers as well as Mexican lawmakers to come to an agreement about what should be done. U.S. and Mexican lawmakers cannot seem to come to an agreement about the future of U.S.-Mexican relations and the border issues, especially if this drug war keeps getting worse below the border.

The Crime Plaguing our Borders
By Chandra Charette

With every passing day Americans experience a growing sense of anxiety and fear concerning the conditions of our borders. As more people flood into our country we find ourselves faced with a constant battle of securing our safety. Although many immigrants illegally enter our country seeking work and relief from perpetual poverty, there are many who solely enter our country to bring crime and corruption.

Our border patrol agents are in the constant battle of securing our borders, and its readily apparent that we are failing. It is reported that, “Federal investigators believe that as much as 2.2 million kilograms of cocaine and 11.6 kilograms of marijuana were smuggled into the United States via the Mexican border in 2005.” [Homeland Security] And if that isn’t bad enough, “The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports that the Mexican drug syndicates operating today along our Nation’s Southwest border are far more sophisticated and dangerous than any of the other organized criminal groups in America’s law enforcement history.“ [2006 study by the House Committee on Homeland Security]

Along with drug cartels bringing poison into our country they are also threatening our national security. “The drug cartels are also smuggling non-Mexican (OTMs) aliens into the United States, often charging between $45,000 and $60,000 per person to do so. Since 2001, border apprehensions of “special interest aliens” are up 41 percent. Indeed, FBI Director Robert Mueller has alerted Congress that “there are individuals from countries with known al Qa’ida connections who are changing their Islamic surnames to Hispanic-sounding names and obtaining false Hispanic identities, learning to speak Spanish and pretending to be Hispanic immigrants.”[Taylor]

As if bringing terrorists into our country isn’t bad enough, cartels have been known to kidnap children of American citizens and take them back to Mexico where they’re held for ransom and killed if their parents cannot provide adequate funds. Farmers along the border are selling their land because people cross the border to steal their cattle and crops. And those who choose to remain on their land are afraid to travel alone on their property.

The crime that is taking place along our borders must be a concern for everyone. Drugs are filling the streets, children are disappearing, and our national security is at risk. It is time to make a change; it’s time for the long forgotten concepts of comfort and safety to be brought back to life.

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