Immigration Reform Examiner
In 2005, the Bush administration used U.S. combat troops to patrol the borders which define Iraq. In fact, at the time, he announced that there would be a complete lockdown on Iraq's borders during that nation's elections. Obama is now using our troops in that same capacity, as well as in providing border security for Afghanistan.
While protecting the borders of foreign lands has been a priority for both Presidents Bush and Obama, neither has ever shown a portion of that commitment to their own country.
Rather than sending a few hundred National Guardsmen to the nearly 2,000 mile-long border, functioning under orders to step aside when confronted with those who cross our border illegally (Even when they are armed drug smugglers.), the way Bush did, we should send 30,000 troops to the U.S./Mexican border immediately.
If that number of troops, along with their tanks, helicopters, and U.S. Air Force over-flights were utilized along the border, illegal entries would come to a sudden, screeching halt.
Where would the personnel come from?
We could simply take the troops from Germany, where 30,000 of our troops are stationed, or from South Korea, where a similar number now work for the protection of the Korean peninsula, rather than for that of the American southwest.
Between Iraq and Afghanistan, we now have about 200,000 troops deployed, with many of those soldiers on their fourth and fifth tour of duty. Despite the death of 5,300 U.S. soldiers, any reasonable American would be hard-pressed to explain the achieved benefits to this nation, in either of those two countries.
Conversely, the benefits from using our military to defend our border with Mexico would be immediately visible, particularly by this country’s police officers.
Units of the Mexican military regularly cross the border into this country. The well-armed units escort drug and human smugglers and even fire upon U.S. Border Patrol agents. It is estimated that Latin American drug cartels spend more than $500 million annually, paying off high-ranking Mexican military and police officials.
Former Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) said in a 2002 interview: "There's no doubt Mexican military units along the border are being controlled by drug cartels, and not by Mexico City. The military units operate freely, with little or no direction, and several of them have made numerous incursions into the United States."
In January 2008, the Department of Homeland Security reported that since 1996, there had been 278 known incursions by the Mexican military into the United States. They are often seen providing armed escort to drug smugglers. Incredibly, the Mexican military now enters our nation at will, with no response from the U.S. government.
Illegal aliens account for 29 percent of our total prison population. Many more Mexican criminals still roam our streets. The 18th Street Gang, and MS-13 have already taken over the streets of Los Angeles, now they are staking-out territory across the country. One million Mexican criminals is the equivalent to 50 divisions of enemy soldiers within this country.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has stated: “International drug trafficking organizations pose a sustained, serious threat to the safety and security of our communities. We can provide our communities the safety and the security that they deserve only by confronting these dangerous cartels head-on without reservation.”
Holder’s statement was made during a press conference following a February 2009 nationwide raid, which netted 750 drug cartel operatives.
A 2009 Justice Department report identified 231 U.S. cities in which the cartels now operate. The list stretches from Tucson, AZ (Federation, Juarez) to Buffalo, NY (Gulf Coast).
While it is not surprising that drug cartel activity is occurring in American cities close to the largely unprotected U.S-Mexican border, it may be shocking to some that the Atlanta, GA area has become the site of major operations for the drug cartels.
According to the Justice Department's National Drug Intelligence Center, more than one cartel has adopted Atlanta as their principal distribution center for the east coast.
During 2008, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized $70 million in cash in Atlanta, which surpassed every other U.S. region. By March, over $30 million had been seized in Atlanta for 2009, as compared to $19 million in Los Angeles, and $18 million in Chicago.
Jack Killorin, head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy's federal task force in Atlanta, recently told USA Today: "The same folks who are rolling heads in the streets of Ciudad Juárez are operating in Atlanta.”
The Mexican border could and should be made a permanent duty station for U.S. troops. This would allow the Border Patrol to fully staff the official entry points, which would dramatically reduce the amount of drugs and number of criminals coming into this country through those checkpoints on a daily basis.
We have the resources to defend this nation, we need only the political will to do so.