Posts Tagged ‘U.S.-Mexico border’

Just links for tonight because it’s getting too late, but I’ve got two articles–one on U.S. military deserters in Canada, another on Barack Obama’s Race to the Top program–picked out and ready to go for tomorrow. Coverage to come as soon as I get back from work.

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With the Arizona immigration bill fresh in our minds, Marc Lacey of the NYT published two solid articles on the contemporary situation at the U.S.-Mexico border today.

The better article is this one, a piece on the changing atmosphere of the border in the past century up til the present. The one thing that I didn’t like about the article is that it relies on a false narrative of violence increasingly plaguing both sides of the border, when the reality is that Juarez may be a shooting gallery, but its cross-the-border neighbor El Paso is comparatively safer than most American cities. It’s incredible to think that the border was open enough until recently that communities on either side of the border could have communal parades back and forth, whilst Tijuana and San Diego could even share a park. The draconian measures didn’t just start with 9/11, either. It seems like a lot of the intensification was done on behalf of the stupid drug war and the illegal immigration “problem.” Of course, the only thing better than keeping adults from freely choosing where they would like to apply to work and what chemicals they will put into their bodies is restricting those choices by limiting another fundamental right, freedom of movement. (more…)

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NYT reports that Obama is asking Congress for $500 million more to be spent on more security along the U.S.-Mexican border. The price tag doesn’t include whatever it’s going to cost to make his cockamamie idea to send 1200 National Guardsmen to the border a reality. The stated reasoning for it:

Concerns about drug smuggling and illegal immigration have emerged as potent issues in Congressional midterm campaigns, particularly in Arizona, where a rancher was killed in March in a crime with suspected links to drug smuggling. In April, lawmakers there enacted a state law intended to deport illegal immigrants.

Yep, there’s nothing more important than going even deeper into debt so we can keep out human beings who just want a chance to work and substances that could be used by consenting adults to get high. Especially when keeping out those substances requires supporting an all-out war in Mexico that is killing people like it’s going out of style. It’s best of all when you are doing it to save your political butt.

So much for being the change.

If Obama really wanted to change things and get this country back on the human rights railroad, he would make immigration completely legal for anyone who comes in through an official border crossing, passes a health screening and registers with the government. You know, like we did for however many years at Ellis Island. He also would end the prohibitions on consenting adults using substances arbitrarily defined as narcotics and stop encouraging the drug war in Mexico. Don’t hold your breath.

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