LatinaLista — A report over the weekend provided the statistical documentation to show that the increase in border security is working.
The only problem is those same statistics provide an even stronger case as to why a border fence is not the answer.
Government officials from both the United States and Mexico are crediting the tougher and more vigilant security measures at the border as working.
According to wire reports, U.S. border agents detained 55,545 undocumented immigrants between October and June â€” down 38% for the entire border compared to last year’s figures during the same time frame.
Officials are saying it’s because of the National Guard troops, remote surveillance technology and drone planes.
The biggest decrease — 68% — is in the Yuma, Arizona region.
However, around Nogales, AZ, officials are finding more dead bodies of immigrants than ever before. In an effort to bypass the strict border enforcement, these desperate immigrants are going into more dangerous areas of the border that eventually claim their lives.
In eastern Arizona, there has been a 23% increase in immigrant deaths from last year.
There’s only one area along the border that has actually seen an increase in border crossings (where people have lived to talk about it), and that’s the San Diego sector.
It’s rather ironic since that happens to be California Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter’s backyard.
Congressman Duncan Hunter
Reminiscent of Al Gore’s famous line of taking credit for the Internet, Hunter has been hitting the campaign trail bragging that had it not been for him the fence in San Diego would not have been built.
In fact, Hunter showed up to a meeting with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register last month still proud of being responsible for the steel barrier in San Diego.
He pulled one out of his pocket to show a stretch of steel, double-walled border fence built as a result of legislation he wrote in the 1990s, “not these little scraggly fences on CNN with people hopping over them.”
He represents a border district, and his other main issue, immigration enforcement, is also a career-long focus. He spearheaded building the first sections of fence between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, to stop drug smuggling and gang crime.
The fence was built with steel mats that are pieced together to form landing strips, military surplus that his staff scoured up on bases from Guam to Guantanamo. “There’s a lot of stuff you can find on military bases, if you look for it,” he said with the grin of satisfaction and twinkle in his eyes that appeared when he told stories about making things happen.
He wrote provisions of the bill approved last fall to build hundreds of additional miles of fence.
But what goes unopposed in San Diego is causing all Hell to break loose along the Texas-Mexico border.
Regular readers of Latina Lista know that there is an organized resistance to the proposed border fence that Congressman Hunter is pushing.
In all the data that has been released by the Department of Homeland Security, it is interesting to note that the areas reported to have the most crossings and deaths are outside the state of Texas.
Maybe it’s because people in South Texas have a historically different and stronger connection to their Mexican border counterparts than can be found anywhere else along the 1,951-mile U.S.-Mexico border.
Yet, Hunter thinks everyone feels the same way.
That’s what happens when elected officials don’t know, or care about, the will of the people.
It’s times like these when democracy has very little meaning for the very ones it was intended to champion.