Arkansas’s first environmental education state park interprets the importance of the natural world and our place within it.
I’ve been in Texas and New Mexico recently and found that their people are very concerned about the number of people who are slipping into their states across the border. Some are looking for jobs, others want to join relatives or friends already in the United States and some come to sell drugs and steal.
What’s most scary is that now some Mexican thieves are slipping across the Del Rio river at night and robbing homes and buildings and getting back to Mexico before sunrise so that the local police can’t catch them. Sheriff D.Wayne Jernigan in Val Verde County in Texas told the Dallas Morning News last week that these thieves are well trained and have switched from pistols and rifles to rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.
The FBI says there are three violent Mexican smuggling cartels causing most of the trouble. In a hearing in Washington Nov. 17, Chris Swecker, an FBI assistant director, told Congress that each of these cartels had “cemented ties” to Mexicans already in the U.S. and U.S. gangs. Manuel Morea, the new FBI agent-in-charge in El Paso, has said that these groups pose the biggest criminal threat for El Paso, the largest border city.
We should hope that President Bush has heard a lot about these things while he was in Mexico this week. Like the other presidents, Bush has done very little to stop the flow of illegal Mexicans to the United States He has handed to Congress a system that would allow these illegal immigrants to stay here for a while but must eventually go home. Then they can later come back if they do it the right way. Even wise people like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., have proposed plans that are almost as strange as the president’s.
Of course, all politicians want to get the votes of the Mexicans who live here. Many are also pals of big companies who like to hire people who will work for less money than most Americans. This Congress, one of the weakest in memory, has considered better laws concerning illegal immigrants, but none has passed. Nothing has been done to enforce the 1986 Immigration Reform Act that imposes penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants. In fact, illegal immigrants are working and cooking at several American military bases. They are the employees of businesses that have Defense Department contracts, and the military says this is OK because if troops had to do this work at the base, there wouldn’t be enough troops left to send to fight war in Iraq.
I just don’t think many Americans want to have more foreigners sneaking into our country whose ability and background aren’t approved by our government. Especially illegal ones.
The Census Bureau tells us that now that about 11.5 percent of Americans were born in some other country. It’s not been that many since 1930, but now it’s moving quickly toward the 14.7 percent we had in 1910.
Fifty percent of the immigrants are from Latin America, and one-third of them are from Mexico. Twenty-five percent are from Europe and Asia, and 14 percent came from Canada.
The big surprise now is that there are more illegal immigrants than legal ones coming into the United States. Since 2001, the number of legal immigrants was 455,000, while today the number of illegal immigrants is 562,000. Now, really, should we tolerate that?
The Bush administration has sent some more border patrols to the border, and some more fences are being slightly lengthened. Some of the states have spent tax money to enlarge their sheriffs’ patrols. Volunteers from other states who love to shoot their guns have gone to the borders, but one thing this country doesn’t need is another Ku Klux Klan. But these changes have barely lessened the number of people crossing into America.
The government should install more border cameras as a backup tool for agents. They can transmit to command stations that can quickly be seen by agents who can get in their cars and arrest them. The newest item in the Border Patrol is the Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, a four-cylinder, 36-foot long plane that flies with orbiting video cameras that provide pictures of what’s going on along the border to command posts.
Crossing the Mexican border has to be the easiest way for fanatical people to get inside and attack the American nation that they most despise — people like those who hijacked three airplanes and killed 3,000 innocent Americans. Our national leaders can’t allow it to be possible.
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