If it weren’t so deadly serious, it would be comical.
At a recent conference of border mayors from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, a group of Mexican mayors essentially laid blame for the recent increase in border violence at the feet of the United States of America, arguing that our policy of deporting illegal immigrant felons from the United States to border cities in Mexico has heavily contributed to the conflict.
From a September 29 Fox News piece:
Ciudad Juarez Mayor Jose Reyes blamed U.S. deportation policy for contributing to his city’s violence, saying that of the 80,000 people deported to Juarez in the past three years, 28,000 had U.S. criminal records — including 7,000 convicted rapists and 2,000 convicted murderers.
Those criminal deportees, he said, have contributed to the violence in Juarez, which has reported more than 2,200 murders this year. Reyes and the other Mexican mayors said that when the U.S. deports criminals back to Mexico, it should fly them to their hometowns, not just bus them to the border.
Okay, so now the United States of America is suddenly Southwest Airlines, making all local stops? Ridiculous.
The thing is, despite reassurances from the Obama administration that border crossings are down since the Bush years–a byproduct, by the way, of an economy and employment picture hardly as tempting to prospective illegal immigrants than in years past–violence at the border is reaching a fever pitch.
Back in February of 2009, if you recall, Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano was doing her best impression of Baghdad Bob, insisting that violence in Mexico simply had not crossed the border into the United States. This, despite drug cartel hits being carried out throughout the Sun Devil State, and despite Arizona’s largest city having the dubious honor of being the kidnapping capital of the United States, and No. 2 only to Mexico City worldwide. Well, she was wrong then, and she is wrong now. Consider, for example, a September 29 piece from the Houston Chronicle:
“It’s looking more and more like Colombia looked 20 years ago, where the narcotraffickers controlled certain parts of the country,” Clinton told the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. In some cases, the trafficking “is morphing into, making common cause, with what we would consider an insurgency,” she said.
Mexican officials took offense to the comparisons with Colombia and the use of the word insurgency. But while the situations may be different, the violence is no less well organized.
Some may argue with the use of the term insurgency, but visualize a similar situation in Southeast Texas. What if two television stations in Galveston had been attacked and a local journalist killed? What if 100 people were found massacred in Pearland, and the police chief and a detective were murdered shortly thereafter? What if all the cartel members held in facilities at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice unit in Huntsville escaped? What if the mayor of San Antonio were kidnapped and then found dead? What if two car bombs had gone off in Houston and San Antonio? What if the mayor of Wharton were assassinated? What if an investigation determined that the cartels were operating in Texas state trooper-cloned vehicles and wearing Texas state trooper uniforms? What if raids turned up arsenals of weapons, including military-grade weaponry? What if a major gun battle broke out in front of an elite private school, as security attempted to prevent an attack on or kidnapping of the children? What if 12 simultaneous cartel roadblocks appeared in Houston, while firefights broke out among cartels across the city? What if Southeast Texas experienced 20 grenade attacks? And what if all this occurred since the beginning of August? This is what the Mexican states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon have experienced. The scenario does not include the horrors experienced in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.
Mexico is moving to the tipping point, if it has not already passed it. Earlier this year, the mayor, city secretary, city council, two department heads, chief of police and 60-man police force resigned in the town of Tancitaro, Michoacan, after months of threats from the drug cartels culminated with the kidnapping of the elderly parents of city leaders. In just the last few days, the president of Mexico’s National Action Party, Cesar Nava, has advocated government pacts with the criminal organizations (although the party later denied the statement), and the press has been pushed to the point of surrender. The recent Houston Chronicle editorial “Cry from Juarez” (Page B8, Sept. 22) accurately described the horror Ciudad Juarez is experiencing. As mentioned in the editorial, a photojournalist for El Diario, a newspaper in Ciudad Juarez, was killed, and the paper was compelled to publish an editorial to the criminal organizations stating:
“You are, at present, the de facto authorities in this city, because the legal institutions have not been able to keep our colleagues from dying. We do not want more injuries or even more intimidation. It is impossible to exercise our role in these conditions. Tell us, then, what do you expect of us as a medium?”
While we are indeed less than six weeks out from November’s mid-term election and focus should indeed be hawk-like on the economy, it’s worth noting that this administration’s incompetence on the border issue is worse now than ever. Only about two weeks ago, Napolitano told reporters during a lunch meeting that “this is a civilian border” and that “the National Guard is not designed to be a substitute for civilian law enforcement.” From Politico, on September 17:
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on Friday warned against militarizing the U.S.-Mexico border and insisted that, despite a public outcry over illegal immigration and violence in the area, security along the nearly 2000-mile-long dividing line with Mexico is actually improving.
“This is a civilian border,” Napolitano said during a lunch Friday with reporters in Washington, responding to a question about sending more U.S. National Guard troops to beef up border security.“The National Guard is not designed to be a substitute for civilian law enforcement,” Napolitano said. “Civilian law enforcement is being ‘plussed-up’ at record rates. And it’s being ‘plussed up’ all along the border. It’s being backed up by state of the art technology and it’s being backed up by infrastructure and that’s the way you have a secure border area.”
First, it is worth a reminder that if there is any marked improvement in security and crossing numbers along the border, it has less to do with the immigration-related actions of this administration or the past administration and more to do with this administration’s economic policies. With true unemployment in this nation exceeding 16 percent, with banks tightening lending standards and with the ever-present specter of total financial disaster, Mexican would-be workers likely find themselves underwhelmed at the prospect of risking and spending so much for an uncertain future in the United States of America. Heck, another two years of an Obama-led White House and Democrat-led Congress, and U.S. Border Patrol agents would likely be chasing Americans scrambling to leave this country for Mexico.
Second, does anyone else find Napolitano’s focus on civilian law enforcement absolutely, frighteningly maddening? Not only is “plussed-up” not a word so far as I can tell, but her focus on civilian law enforcement being the key to securing the border and turning the tide against illegal immigration completely and totally belies the fact that this administration actually has filed suit against the state of Arizona for–you guessed it!–trying to better secure the border and turn the tide against illegal immigration through civilian law enforcement.
Unless “plussed-up” in this Obama Unabridged Dictionary means “actively undermined,” Napolitano must be completely out of her mind to even suggest that the federal government is assisting state agencies in any tangible way, shape or form. For crying out loud, it was Napolitano’s own Department of Homeland Security which released a new set of internal rules that essentially created what Republican senators called “a possible backdoor amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.” The idea that DHS and this administration is doing anything but actively looking to undermine immigration laws currently on the books is asinine.
No wonder the Democrats brought in Stephen Colbert to talk about migrant workers last week. How they have addressed the border issue has been laughable at best — they might as well have called in a professional.