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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > S. TX Border Patrol agents move “border security” into colonia neighborhoods

S. TX Border Patrol agents move “border security” into colonia neighborhoods

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.

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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.

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Comment(13)

  • jamie ramirez
    August 4, 2010 at 7:20 am

    I live there, and I like the Border Patrol. We live in constant fear of the criminal element that comes across with other illegal aliens. The BP keeps the criminals out of the public places, making them safer. You talk from you ivory tower, Marisa, and don’t care whether citizens are safe or not, only that your precious illegal aliens feel comfortable in their presence in our communities. Our BP are Latinos like us.

  • Jake
    August 6, 2010 at 2:21 am

    If you don’t want to be treated like criminals, then stand up and speak out against criminal behaviour such as illegally crossing the border, aiding and harboring illegal migrants, etc. Supporting these illegal actions make you contibutors to the problem and breaking laws make you a criminal.

  • Marisa Treviño
    August 6, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Jamie, Doesn’t your police do what you say the BP are doing? I know BP are Latinos like us – I have a couple of family members who are BP. While you seem to like the BP in your public places, from the article in the Rio Grande Guardian, there are enough other residents of the Valley who don’t share your feelings. And speaking of “illegal aliens,” you obviously are biased against them because I’ve met more undocumented immigrants who were assets to their local communities than detriments.

  • Pomponio
    August 8, 2010 at 7:12 am

    I lived in McAllen for over twenty years, working, in fact, for the feds. Yes, the BP down there are mostly latinos. And, guess what, some of them are the most ojete and racist against the Mexicans, even though they have “el nopalote en la frente”. The residents are right in demanding an explanation. What if you don’t have your papers on you? Are they going to haul to jail all the narcos that live in the gated communities? Or the Winter Texans? They better screw parejo and if they don’t, grow some backbone, carajos, and protest.

  • Karen
    August 8, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Marisa, at some point Mexicans are going to have to stand up to their own government and fix their own country. The situation now is out of control, and Americans who are of Mexican descent are losing our rights.
    I know that the immigrants are hardworking and looking for a better life, but they have to come here legally.

  • arturo fernandez
    August 13, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Jake, here we have a case where the law doesn’t match what’s right. American business owners have welcomed illegal immigrants. They have done so with jobs, to give American consumers what American consumers have made clear they value. Keeping them out has been a mistake. It is a specially bad law now, as probably most crossing the border these days are deportees who need to come back to their kids. What would you do to come back to your kids if you were taken away from them?
    Your side is supporting criminal behaviors like theft, murder and rape. In Maricopa County, where sheriff Arpaio has made immigration his job, it now takes his department twice as long to respond to 911 emergency phone calls, giving more time to thieves, rapists and murderers to get away.

  • alvin cortez
    August 13, 2010 at 4:40 am

    Pomponio, maybe they’re just patriotic Americans who don’t like to see Mexicans walk all over the national sovereignty of this country. I’d like to see the reaction of the citizens of Mexico if Americans crossed into their country and made a travesty of their laws, giving them the equivalent of the middle finger.

  • jamie ramirez
    August 13, 2010 at 4:45 am

    Marisa, how do your family member BP feel about your undermining their efforts and giving hope, albeit false hope, to illegal aliens and abetting the efforts of the their advocates? You make a mockery of their work every day. I’d disown you in a heartbeat if you were a relative of mine.

  • Marisa Treviño
    August 13, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I can see Jamie that tolerance of a difference of opinion is not your strong suit. Thankfully, in my family we respect one another’s opinions. It’s not making a mockery of their work at all. It’s doing something they wish Congress would do — see the reality of the situation and address the presence of the people they keep rounding up and deporting and who keep coming back because they have their families here and create legislation that reforms this current system.
    Your criticism amounts to nada if you don’t offer a solution that is humane, and yes, unfortunately for you, it has to be a humane solution because we are a country based on principles.

  • jamie ramirez
    August 15, 2010 at 3:21 am

    “I can see Jamie that tolerance of a difference of opinion is not your strong suit.”
    Just as I don’t tolerate the opinions of child molesters on abusing children, I do not tolerate ideologues who would injure my country by their support for people who are in the wrong on the issue of immigration. One doesn’t have to tolerate the opinion of others especially when they are morally and legally wrong in their advocacy.
    I do offer a solution; repatriation under the auspices of the home country governments. Let Mexico offer it’s illegal migrants jobs and stipends to keep them afloat, for that’s what a nation does for its people. It’s criminal what’s happening to these people and the culprits are the indifferent Mexican people and their government which both lack any sense of shame of the social upheaval which is happening to their poor. Can we forget the amusement park of illegal immigration, whereby the middle class Mexicans can experience the hot breath of the park’s employees play acting as U.S. Border Patrol? The message of indifference is plainly seen, along with their contempt for their own people making light of tragedy. It’s easy to get the impression that the Mexican people feel more comfortable in blaming the U.S. for their tragedies, instigated by their government, which is more than happy to foist the blame on my country.
    I can see the economic disaster that you’re willfully blind to, of inviting millions of poor and illiterate into my country. It looms on the horizon, as potential welfare babies are born in this country to illegal alien Latin Americans every day. To think that their poverty stricken parents won’t ultimately claim them as welfare entitled citizens is either willful blindness, or having Machiavellian intent. It’s manifestly evident that granting amnesty and citizenship to such people which will only increase the burden inherent with importing poverty and ignorance. It’s a tragedy that more Latinos can’t see this coming, and speak out against it. Instead, they hear the race-baiters call that any opposition to illegal immigration is without merit and the result of xenophobia and anti-Latino sentiment. I dislike people like you, Marisa, because you undo decades of progress of Latinos who’ve shown individualism and success under our legal system. You debase them by your actions.

  • Virginia Marshall
    August 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I believe that the argument against AZ enforcing immigration laws was that it was the federal government’s responsibility. Now the federal government is enforcing immigration law and that doesn’t sit well either. Who exactly do you believe has the right to remove people who are illegally present? The truth is that the american taxpayer is paying somewhere between $3000 and $10,000 a year per household to support illegal immigrants and their families. That is a great deal of money to most families in the US. It is enough to fund their children’s college educations. Citizens of other countries do not have the right to take that at their discretion.

  • Marisa Treviño
    August 16, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Ok, Virginia. Where the heck did you get those numbers?

  • Marisa Treviño
    August 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Jamie, You write “one doesn’t have to tolerate the opinion of others especially when they are morally and legally wrong in their advocacy.” That is your viewpoint. Thank God, there are enough fair-minded people who don’t adhere to that baloney. In fact, this statement says a lot about you and people like you who have flooded this blog and others like it with your ideologue.
    You say you dislike me. I don’t believe you otherwise you wouldn’t be coming back on a daily basis – unless you’re being paid.

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