links for 2011-05-25

  • "Over the last few years, the organization I work for has developed a pretty comprehensive understanding of the area we cover, which at times has been one of the most heavily traveled sections of the entire border. We’ve formed a fairly clear picture of where traffic starts, where it goes, how it gets there, where it’s busy and where it’s slow at any given time, where the pinch points are, and so on. I honestly believe that if I worked for the Border Patrol I could basically point at a map and tell them how to shut down the whole sector. It’s really not rocket science. Keep in mind that all of our work has been done by untrained civilian volunteers, armed with low-end GPS units, a few old trucks, run-of-the-mill mapping software, cheap cell phones with spotty service, and a very limited budget. Does it seem logical that we could figure this stuff out while the government of the United States of America cannot[?]"

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  • inkst

    I see your point, and my guess is that if you pulled aside your average border patrol agent, or even a supervising officer and asked them, they would honestly tell you that they want to stop illegal crossings and are working hard at accomplishing that goal. I don’t think they are all in their briefing rooms plotting what the author of the article details here.

    However, what she points out just makes sense. These could easily be policy decisions from a certain high point in the hierarchy. Not necessarily a grand conspiracy theory, but simple pettiness and greed. Similar, as the author points out, to drug trafficking. 

    So many people profit from drug and human trafficking that it makes sense to maintain a certain control over the situation. And yes, there was profit from the border before the traffic shift, but the hardline policy, the fence, the increase in tech, that all dates to the time of shifting traffic. Part of her point is that they make it harder to cross. This prevents folks from returning to Mexico or further south in the off season. The crossing is so stressful, expensive, difficult, and dangerous that no one wants to do it more than once, so they stay, and they can be exploited even more, and that´s the key. You make a virtual slave labor market even more vulnerable and even less likely to stick its neck out.

  • inkst

    What an article. Not much to say at the moment except thanks for the link. Truth to power…