LatinaLista — While Sarah Palin may say the President doesn’t have the cojones to deal with border security, colonia residents in South Texas would beg to differ.
According to some of the residents who live along the Texas/Mexico border, they feel harassed by the Border Patrol agents because the agents have decided to widen their patrol area beyond the border, and about 150 miles inland, around shopping centers and the colonias (unincorporated neighborhoods).
Rumors have it that the Border Patrol is doing this, though they deny it, because no immigrants are crossing the Rio Grande since the waters have been so high and reportedly contaminated. Yet, in an odd twist, the residents say the Border Patrol agents aren’t racially profiling people but profiling them by their economic class.
They say that the Border Patrol are targeting stores in the low-income areas of town.
“One thing is very clear to us: CBP is profiling local residents, not by race but by class. They certainly have not been bothering people in North McAllen. Perhaps we should tell folks to shop there,” Juanita Valdez-Cox, executive director of LUPE, said.
The residents plan to ask for a meeting with the sector chief of the Border Patrol and ask why the agents are coming into their neighborhoods.
It’s a valid question and one that needs to be answered in the face of National Guard troops being sent to the border as well.
The assumption in most people’s minds when border security is mentioned is that agents are to stay along the physical border to guard it — not patrol the neighborhoods or grocery stores in the hopes of catching someone undocumented.
When that happens, it not only usurps local law enforcement but gives the area a militarized feeling that is bound to make local residents uneasy, regardless of their citizenship status.
And if people don’t have proper ID with them?
Then the agents will cart them off to detention until they can prove their citizenship status — an unnecessary action that no citizen should have to undergo, let alone fear happening to them.
The colonia residents don’t deserve to be subjected to what they must already deal with: an increasing military presence at the border, the building of a fence that has disrupted their way of life for generations and the lies from politicians who, in an effort to politically promote themselves, have lied about safety conditions along the border to the point that everyone north of the U.S./Mexico border sees it as a lawless frontier.
Border security should not include patrolling neighborhoods and stores — and making everyone feel like criminals.