What a disaster. For weeks, the American news media were filled with dire headlines about the growing migration of thousands of people from South and Central America headed north to the U.S. border.
I have no doubt those news writers and reporters didn’t care a bit about the reasons those people were on the move, nor about their welfare.
Their only concern was that the mass movement of people was a perfect weapon against Donald Trump. He had, after all, promised a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, but it hasn’t happened yet. To the media, those people headed north promised to be a real embarrassment for the president – something the media relish.
Yet if you listened just below the headlines about the caravan, you also heard the leftist media, especially in talk radio, accusing Donald Trump of exaggerating the “threat” of the invasion and how the whole caravan issue was nothing but a PR ploy. I even heard speculation that after the election, the “threat” of the caravans would go away.
For anyone with a grain of sense, the whole scenario was more than crazy; but with our biased media being what it is, the contradictions of the reporting were ignored.
And then those thousands of people actually arrived at the border – not at Texas as had been reported, but Tijuana, at the California border, the San Ysidro Port of Entry. And that turned out to be a human disaster.
I remember San Ysidro. Years ago, it was the place years ago I first crossed the border into Mexico. It was just a friendly visit for an afternoon. It was a sleepy place then, and I admit I wasn’t terribly impressed (except for the fact that liquor prices were so cheap!). I was younger, but still thought something was “off” that this place was actually the line between two major countries.
My only other experience seeing the “border” was driving along a country road that parallel a broken barbed-wire fence. I remember asking friends if that actually was “the border,” and they said yes. The fence seemed pretty useless to me. As it has turned out, it was and still is.
Keeping in mind those experiences with our “border” took place more than 25 years ago, it really is a pretty sad reflection on the attitude of our government concerning the “security” of our boundary with Mexico.
Yes, we have a Border Patrol and yes, every county has a sheriff and yes there are police jurisdictions for cities and towns but still … a broken-down wire fence at the border between our country and another? Please. I don’t believe it’s accidental.
It’s not only an embarrassment; it’s a betrayal of the sovereignty of our nation. It doesn’t matter that we are not at war with Mexico. It does matter that the United States has an obligation to honor and respect our border, to protect our land and to protect our citizens.
San Ysidro is different now. It is one of the largest and busiest border crossings in the country, with thousands of crossing daily. They are supposed to be legal crossing, but there are also the illegal entries. American officials do their best to keep control of the situation, but it’s almost a losing battle.
When the caravans hit the area, the city of Tijuana was swamped – literally – with people and the problems they brought. It wasn’t just the issues of where those people would stay, eat, defecate, and try to survive until they could get across the border. It soon grew to such enormous proportions that the residents of Tijuana revolted and fought back against the invasion of their city.
The city soon declared they could not afford the expense of providing minimum amenities for those people in the asylum centers.
And then there’s the issue of disease. With so many people of unknown backgrounds living in unclean conditions, disease reared its ugly head. In addition to head lice being rampant (especially among children), there have been cases of tuberculosis, chicken pox and even HIV, along with measles, hepatitis and chagas.
Any semblance of public health control is almost a dream. The concern of officials in the U.S. is that as any of these people cross the border, they bring the illnesses with them, exposing our population to contagion.
So far, President Trump has maintained his plan to keep the military at the border to reinforce the Border Patrol. The latest plan I’ve seen is they will remain until January at least. Keep in mind that in the San Ysidro area, there is a wall, even though illegals climb it and cross.
Making matters worse, President Trump is now saying that Arizona is bracing for a surge of “immigrants” across their border, and there is NO wall there – just remnants of that old barbed-wire fence.
The Border Patrol reports that arrests on the Mexican border jumped 78 percent in November since last year – 25,172 family arrests since last year. But overall, there were 51,856 arrests just last month. That’s a lot of illegals, and it appears it’s just the beginning.
I spoke with Mark Dannels, sheriff of Arizona’s Cochise County, which has 83 miles of border with Mexico. He said security will benefit from the military presence and it may act a deterrent. He said his agency will continue to work with their federal partners to ensure protection of their communities.
Sheriff Dannels told me we have to do better in terms of security, and rural citizens in the area “truly embrace the military/border security.”
There’s no question in my mind American citizens living in border counties in several states know the danger we face. They live with it every day.
Now if we can only get the politicians in Washington to get off their political high horses and do the right thing: Protect our country before it’s too late.