2005 October 21 Friday
Texas Governor Perry: Border Enforcement First
Republican Governor Rick Perry of Texas disagrees with former Republican Governor of Texas George W. Bush on the importance of law enforcement on the US border with Mexico.
"Until the U.S.-Mexican border is secured to the point that we have substantially stopped the illegal trafficking of people and narcotics and terror, any discussion about a guest worker program is premature," Perry, normally a staunch Bush ally, said before returning to Texas after a two-day trip to Washington.
Perry also said he wants the federal government to declare the 2,000-mile border stretching from Texas to California a "high-risk threat area" to enable it to qualify for additional law enforcement money from the Homeland Security Department.
In response to the lawlessness of Nuevo Laredo Mexico and Mexican Zeta commando military deserters operating along the US border Governor Perry is allocating more law enforcement resources to the US-Mexican border.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry also announced last week a new security plan for the Texas-Mexico border, saying the state would "increase the law-enforcement presence in the border region, provide new investigative tools, improve communications among law-enforcement officials and make our border region more secure."
"I offer this plan, not because it is the state's responsibility to control the federal border, but because the state of Texas cannot wait for the federal government to implement needed border security measures," he said.
Build a wall. Round up all the illegals. Quadruple the size of the Border Patrol. The lawlessness could be stopped and the smuggling reduced by orders of magnitude.
We should protect ourselves from the Colombianization of Mexico. (same article here)
EL CENIZO, Texas - When he looks across the Rio Grande into Nuevo Laredo, Webb County Sheriff Rick Flores sees not the friendly Mexican border town he knew growing up, but the violent trappings of another country far to the south.
"It's a sad, scary sight," he said. "We are in the United States of America, and just across this border, the Colombianization of Mexico is slowly taking shape."
In describing the surging drug violence along the U.S.-Mexico border and elsewhere in Mexico, Flores and other law enforcement officials and analysts are increasingly referring to Colombia, where the Medellin drug cartel and other criminal organizations waged war on the government and killed hundreds of people during the 1980s.
Mexico has become the center of the drug war.
An estimated 1,100 people have been killed in drug-related slayings so far this year, and analysts say that the epicenter of the hemisphere's drug war has shifted to Mexico.
Effective border enforcement would reduce the level of violence and lawlessness in Mexico. We could cut off the ability of drug cartels to cross the border at will by building a barrier layer, quadrupling the Border Patrol, and increasing the number of inspectors at entry points. Then the drug money would stop flowing through northern Mexico and the place would become less corrupt (at least by Mexican standards) and less violent.
Update: Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison joins a lengthening line of politicians who are reacting to popular frustration over weak border enforcement and proposing legislation or ordering policy changes.
WASHINGTON — Saying the U.S.-Mexico border is "hemorrhaging," Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison filed a bill Wednesday that would give states, local law enforcement and volunteers the authority to enforce federal immigration laws.
The legislation mirrors an effort in the House that would create civilian militias to patrol the 2,000-mile border with an amateur force.
The political wind is blowing increasingly in the direction of immigration restriction.
Update II: Jerry Seper of the Washington Times reports that Texas sheriffs are outgunned and outequipped by drug smugglers and illegal aliens.
Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr., who has spent 30 years with the Zapata County Sheriff's Office and leads its 24-member force, said his outmanned deputies do daily battle with alien and drug smugglers who have better weapons, vehicles, radios, computers, telephones, Global Positioning Systems and night vision equipment.
"It's the federal government's responsibility to ensure border security, and I would think that after September 11, the government would be concerned about making sure these borders are secure," he said. "But I assure you, the border here is very, very porous. How can anyone honestly say we are doing our best to prevent another terrorist attack from happening?"
The United States government should not tolerate lawlessness on its border with a narco-state.
What are your thoughts on the drug war?
Would making smuggling more difficult, but still profitable, make the more ruthless cartels relatively more powerful?
I mentioned that I work in robots... particularly computer vision. Even more specifically, I am designing an automated pedestrian and vehicle detection system, for an environment like a parking lot. The technology is around a year or two away from commercialization, but not if the government decides to increase funding in earnest. You could easily have infrared cameras lining the entire border, and unmanned ground vehicles traversing the areas difficult to get coverage. Add micro air vehicles, and you can spot every single person and warm vehicle above ground. UGVs are 1-3 years from commercialization, depending on the autonomy needed.
The cost? Good IR cameras can cost $5-10K. The stationary platforms, besides the camera, needn't cost more than a good computer, but let's estimate $4K. 4 stations per mile means $112M. 200 patrol bots, each $100K [research bots can be $1M, but these would spread the R&D cost], $20M cost. Total ~$122M.
Add a cheap wall. Randall, how much does a 200 mile 20 ft. concrete wall cost?
This kind of system would act as a force multiplier, making the more expensive human personnel much more potent. For half the cost of the 'bridge to nowhere' and 1/2300th the cost of the recent highway bill, you could give a fat shot of adrenaline to the already hot robotics industry and make salient gains in border security.
some good links:
Drug war: Geez, can't answer that in 25 words or less and at the moment I'm busy writing FuturePundit posts. I've written about drug addiction and my view of what it says about human nature at FuturePundit. In a nutshell: Humans are not evolved to handle drugs. Hence the addiction, brain damage, criminality, neglect and abuse of children, fetuses damaged from drug exposure, etc. Looked at from a biological perspective the libertarian position for drug legalization is nuts, unempirical, ignorant, and folly.
Cartel profits: My concern is to make the southwestern part of the United States a more civilized place. Building a barrier so that drug cartels don't run drugs through and do not get into gunfights with Border Patrolmen will make the area more civilized and lower crime greatly. Will the cartels look for other ways to get drugs in? Of course. But they'll be left with ways that do not turn the southwest into a big drug war zone.
Wall cost: I'm using the Israeli West Bank barrier as a basis for cost. Different published cost info on the West Bank barrier put a US-Mexico 2000 mile barrier cost at $2 billion to $8 billion.
Such a barrier of course includes sensors and cameras. Digital image processing algorithms could help automate the detection of human movement. The goal would be to make the barrier (which could be fences and walls with barbed wire in layers) take so long to cross and require so much equipment that the sensors would allow dispatch of border patrol to catch the crossers before they'd gotten very far.
I'm all for the wall and the increased manpower, but I want to reemphasize that the immigration problem needs to be addressed on the demand side as well as supply. Employer penalties need to be made so harsh that none will even think of picking up a day-laborer without solid documentation, and, in fact, a database can be created to help them.
"a database can be created to help them."
A database of all people allowed, or not allowed?
What are the thoughts here on a national ID card? Seems useless to me. To these folks too:
"A database of all people allowed, or not allowed?"
Obviously of all those allowed to work in the US. A database for those not allowed to work in the US would have to include the overwhelming majority of the world's six billion people.
>>In a nutshell: Humans are not evolved to handle drugs.
Humans are not evolved to handle light bulbs, jet aircraft, cellphones, or computers either. But we manage to get by.
Our humanity is inextricably linked with our ability to adapt to new situations and transcend our current limitations. Perhaps with future advances some humans will be able to be high all the time AND be productive and healthy. Certainly most mind-altering drugs are in an "early-alpha" stage from a product design standpoint, but I bet they won't be like that for very long.
>>Looked at from a biological perspective the libertarian position for drug legalization is nuts, unempirical, ignorant, and folly.
It's almost as crazy and unempirical as the libertarian position on birth control. :-)
Clearly people who use drugs have to be stopped from attacking others. Beyond that, though, state involvement interferes with self-ownership. I'm not interested in sacrificing my self-ownership so that other people can have a "more efficient society." I will resist such attacks with my last ounce of strength -- though it may ultimately be futile.
>>Employer penalties need to be made so harsh that none will even think of picking up a day-laborer without solid documentation, and, in fact, a database can be created to help them.
"Your papers, please."
You believe that you will be able to control the machinery of coercion and direct it towards what you believe to be noble ends, the good of the "nation" and "society." I believe that all this police-state machinery will ultimately turn on you and eat you alive. We'll soon see who's right, at which time I'll likely be somewhere else.
Those other things do not cause brain damage.
There's a simple flaw in the libertarian self-ownership argument for recreational drug legalization: You are recognized as a rights-possessing being in the first place because of your assumed abilities to A) respect the rights of others and B) carry out duties needed to maintain a free society. But drugs impair ability to do both these things both through acute effects and through brain damage that leaves lasting effects.
Look at drug addicts who get pregnant and then give birth. They've already violated the rights of their offspring by the time of the birth. The kids are already less able to build their own lives and be successful. The kids are already at greater risk for violating the rights of others and less able to fulfill their duties in society.
Think of it from the standpoint of a contract. If you get addicted and damage your brain you are, in effect, breaking a contract that makes you eligible to be treated as a rights possessing human being.
Libertarianism always assumes the existence of freedom if only government does not interfere. I think that assumption is very obviously wrong.
To whom it may concern,
I am an independant contractor for (HRSO) high risk security operations, stateside as well as overseas. Does anyone know who has the security contract for the border? If not how I can find out who does, or where it will be posted (what web site). Thank you for you cooperation...
Mark Carozza - To deploy to Afghanistan for force protecton at the US Embassey in Kabul on the Great Mousard Rd with Armor group April 2010. This is a Wpps State Dept position. PSD and mobile protection will be mandatory. Located next to ISAF
Mark Carozza, Security Lead for Blackwater USA, Dyncorp International. Will be deployed to Jahalabad, Afghanistan for both PSD and force protection for 2011 - 2012 WPPS contracts. Please forward and contact info here to this site or "LinkedIn.com"