A Note from the Editor - Fall 2000

By Wayne Lutton
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 11, Number 1 (Fall 2000)
Issue theme: "America's porous borders"
http://www.thesocialcontract.com/artman2/publish/tsc1101/article_143.shtml



Over the past two years, Douglas, Arizona, has been the hottest spot along the U.S.-Mexican border, with the Border Patrol apprehending 215,088 illegal aliens during the first six months of FY 2000. The Naco station, with 78,617 arrests through mid-June, has witnessed a 92 percent increase since last year. For the Tucson sector as a whole, there were 460,134 apprehensions from Oct. 1, 1999 through June 15, 2000, a 38 percent increase over the previous fiscal year total.

American property owners are threatened, as illegal aliens cross their ranches, cutting fences, scattering livestock, lighting campfires, leaving trails of refuse, and, on occasion, invading their homes. Local law enforcement agencies have been overwhelmed and the Border Patrol is stretched thinly over the distances involved.

The national media discovered that something is going on along our southern border only after American ranchers intercepted illegal aliens trespassing their homesteads and detained a number of them until alerted Border Patrol agents arrived. Too often, the ranchers were depicted as "vigilantes taking the law into their own hands." The Clinton Administration's misnamed Justice Department called in its Civil Rights Division, hoping to charge Americans with violation of the "rights" of the illegal aliens. When Mexican illegals are arrested, U.S. Justice Department officials contact the Mexican consulate. As Jose de Jesus Rivera, U. S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, informed the Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, "Every effort is made to facilitate the speedy return of any Mexican detainees to their home country. Most are returned within 48 hours."

The Winter issue (available on-line at www.thesocialcontract.com) detailed the little-known situation along our northern border with Canada, where illegal aliens and drug runners are entering with scant difficulty. America's southern border remains porous. And an estimated 50 percent of illegal aliens arrive through our ports and airline hubs, sporting tourist or student visas. They simply overstay, and we currently have no mechanism in place to track them once they pass into the interior of our country.

Immigration control is not impossible. After all, the U.S. Defense Department has managed to help secure the borders of countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia for decades. Ten years after the end of the Cold War, U.S. military forces are still stationed in 100 countries.

By contrast, there are 8200 members of the Border Patrol. The illegals who slip by them, or enter legally on short-time student, tourist, or business visas and decide to overstay, are basically home free. There are only 1900 INS special agents responsible for interior enforcement.

Control requires a comprehensive effort on the part of policy makers. Currently, the strategy is not to genuinely curtail illegal immigration, but merely to placate local and state officials when a crisis emerges.

The public at large needs to be informed about what is really going on, why it is important to our future, and what can be done about it. This is where we - and our readers - come in. We all need to get more involved.

Note:

The Constitution of the United States of America as it refers to "invasion"

Article I.

Section.8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States;...

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;...

Article IV.

Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

About the author

Wayne Lutton, Ph.D. is editor of The Social Contract

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