Monday, July 5, 2010

Life in a Southern Border State

This morning's news, if you read through all the BP oil eruption stuff, mentioned the growing turf war among the drug lords in the Nogales area.

Nogales is a border town with part of it in Arizona and part in Mexico. It has been a relatively quiet area of the northern border of Mexico. It is one of those gateways to the south that US snowbirds take to their winter homes on Mexico's Gulf of Baja coast. It is also one of the routes used by drug lords for exporting drugs to the United States. Oh, and the coyotes use the same routes for bringing illegal immigrants to the US.

Running of drugs and illegals is money. And in the currently impoverished northern Mexico states money is something to fight over. And they see the border between our two countries as a small obstacle that has to be breached so they can make money to send home.

Because of the US economy with the construction industry slowed to almost a standstill we are using less migrant workers legal or otherwise. They have no money to send home across the border. Some are going home and some are finding other work in illegal drug trafficking. Mexico drug gangs have set up distribution centers in Albuquerque. They add a whole new twist to gang wars because they come after the innocents - and violently.

A lot of people have said a lot of negative things about the new Arizona law against illegal immigration. They are people that do not live in a border state. They know illegals that have tried to appear as citizens, people that have opened businesses and integrated into the community. These people without documents are different than may of us who live in border states know. They are not the hardworking landscapers and construction workers you can hire in southern months to do the work you could not afford to have done by licensed US contractors.

I think there are many problems with the Arizona law but they had the guts to run it up the flagpole and see who shot at it. It is a cry for help. Something has to be done about our southern border. The states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California bear all the cost and consequence of not doing something. And the situation is creating some strange bedfellows. I found myself agreeing on this issue with my friend that listens to Rush Limbaugh.

Oh, and making them all US Citizens is not the answer any more than Arizona's approach.