Of all the immigration proposals, the one supported by a majority of white Americans is, “securing the border.” According to proponents it is because, “illegal immigration threatens America’s quality of life, is linked to terrorism, drug smuggling, human sex trade, murder, and other crimes that threaten the safety of (white) Americans.” The real reason (in my opinion) is because the issue has been historically misidentified to white Americans by U.S. political/corporate interests and the news media. Defined as an immigration/criminal rather than a labor issue? Other reasons are historical…white supremacy, nativism, and the inherent racism of white Americans. For decades Americans have been bamboozled by 2-bit politicians, corporate interests & the news media. Especially influential have been white supremacists TV & radio right wing talk show personalities such as pin head Bill O’Riley, dope addict Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Shawn Hannity, Glen Beck, etc. Daily they spoon feed white Americans claptrap from the ridiculous; “a farmers cows not producing milk because, illegal aliens are sleeping in the hay,” to the absurd; “illegal aliens are responsible for air pollution, forest fires, national debt, etc.”
Politically, from the Democratic Party (Obama’s administration) declarations, “Today, we have more agents and technology deployed to secure our southern border than at any time in our history.” To Republican Party’s presidential candidate white supremacist, narcissist Donald Trump’s asinine comments that, “I will build a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border, and force Mexico to pay, so nobody will comes in illegally anymore.”
The 2015 Obama’s Administration budget statement on immigration policy states, “There are 3,000 additional Border Patrol agents (40,000 totals) along the Southwest Border, unmanned aircraft, and ground surveillance systems that have more than doubled since 2008.” The Department of Homeland Security is supposedly responsible for, “securing the border” 2015 budget is $39.2 billion with over 58,000 personnel, 16,875 vehicles, 269 aircraft, 300 watercraft, 300 camera towers and has fenced off over 651 miles at the 1,969-mile U.S./Mexico border.
Since 1986 the U.S. has spent over $187 billion that includes drones at a cost of $180 million. The question– after wasting billions of taxpayer’s money — is the U.S./Mexico border secured? The answer is obviously NO, with politicians demanding additional funding every year, & Democratic & Republican presidential candidates clamoring for the U.S./Mexico border to be secured.
The question for naïve persons/organizations calling for “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” is what border are policy makers referring to…the southern Mexican or the northern Canadian border? Obviously it’s the U.S./Mexico border. Even though the U.S./Canadian border is twice (3,987 miles long) the size of the 1,933 mile long Mexican border, that according to a 2011 Government Accountability report is 99% unsecured? Homeland Security states, more terrorists and more people have been arrested connected to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah attempting to come into the U.S. from the Canadian than the Mexican border? So if border security is such a pressing political national issue why haven’t politicians called for militarization of the U.S./Canadian border?
Proponents & supporters argue that a secure border is needed to: A) Stop terrorism (a military problem) even though the US State Department’s Reports on Terrorism stated, “No known international terrorist organization had an operational presence in Mexico, and no terrorist group targeted US citizens in or from Mexican territory” B) Stop drug cartels from smuggling drugs (a law enforcement problem) that supplies the epidemic demands of America’s drug addicts. C) Stop the 257,473 non-Mexicans refugees (a foreign policy problem) basically mothers and children from Central America.
What then is the Chicano historical political position on “secure the border?” A) That the undocumented Mexican workers that pick America’s food, clean their hotels/motels/homes, baby sit their children etc., is not an, immigration/law enforcement/military, but a labor issue. B) That politicians continue to manipulate U.S. immigration policy to maintain the historical exploitation of Mexican workers. C) That the lumping of undocumented workers is a policy ploy to systemically criminalize Mexican workers to guarantee they have no rights. Finally demographics, “secure the border,” to many Americans has become a code word to attempt to keep America white?
Many persons question if the U.S./Mexico border will ever be secured. Maybe, if the U.S. declares war on Mexico? Other than that, NO WAY! Why? A) The U.S. addiction and greed for “cheap labor” as witnessed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce 2014 $50 million amnesty campaign demanding workers. B) The Obama’s proposal for importing millions of “foreign workers,” and average white Americans picking up Mexican workers at Home Depot. Finally (think about it,) Americans would die of hunger if the border was to ever be “secured.” Why? Simple, who would pick their food?
Herman Baca is a resident and business owner in National City and the longtime President of the Committee on Chicano Rights. This is one of a six part series:
Part 2 — Amnesty: A Path To Citizenship?