NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS
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Foreign News Report
The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis. You are free to disseminate this information, but we request that you credit NAFBPO as being the provider.
Correo (Leon, Guanajuato) 8-23-10
“The Train of Death” – A challenge
Tierra Blanca, Veracruz – AFP – The afternoon sun falls upon the streets of Tierra Blanca and dozens of Central-American migrants head for the station to board “The Train of Death” on their route to the border of the United States. It is a journey full of dangerous bands of kidnappers and extortionists.
This freight train station in the Mexican State of Veracruz is the place to find undocumented migrants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua who are headed to the United States, their final destination.
Nearby is a shelter for migrants where they can be fed, get blankets or simply be secure for the night before embarking aboard the enormous and intimidating train.
In this place fear runs between the neighbors and the migrants because the migrants know they can be assaulted, or worse, be kidnapped by a group of Zetas.
“What they experience is difficult here in Tierra Blanca, for this reason our governments must work together to see that their human rights are respected,” said Salvadorian Government official Hugo Martinez, after visiting the train station.
Martinez inaugurated a bi-national consulate with El Salvador and Honduras in Veracruz to look after the rights of migrants from both countries.
There are no specific figures of how many kidnappings of migrants that have occurred in this region, but the locals say there have been around 20 to 30 instances.
“Here it is a daily occurrence that people who are headed North to the United States get kidnapped by Zetas who come here in SUV’s and take them away, also there are bands of thugs who take away what little money they have,” said Camilo Jaramillo, a worker at the station.
Security in Tierra Blanca is the responsibility of the municipal police although there is a presence of federal police and the Mexican Army.
“It is hard to just watch the kidnappers take the people away but you can’t do anything about it because if you interfere, the kidnapper will kill you,” said Jaramillo.
Sitting on the railroad tracks are bits of food left by the migrants as a group of Central-Americans with backpacks watch attentively. They are hoping that at any minute a train will come so they can board it toward the Mexican Capital City.
“Yes it is dangerous to board a train, but all the methods to get to the United
States are dangerous,” said Honduran Jairo Serrano.
Serrano, 35 years old, said that he wants to go to California where his two brothers live. The brothers sent him almost 2,000 dollars to make the trip as an undocumented traveler.
A worker at the shelter for migrants, Eugenia Martinez, explained that between 200 to 300 migrants arrive into the area daily and that frequently people fall from the train and suffers multiple injuries.
The wounded are treated at a small hospital locally and after recovery, some are deported. But others chose to remain in Mexico and pursue their American dream.
La Prensa (Managua, Nicaragua) 8/22/10
Illegal immigration and lack of common sense [Op/col by Carlos Alberto Montaner, titled as shown]
The word “immigrant” hides the truth. In no place of the world, except to exploit them, does anyone want the foreigners, the different ones. The Athenian democrats called them “metecos” [foreigner, barbarian] and denied them almost all their rights. The Spartans expelled them from their city regularly by means of violent raids they called “xenelasias.” The Jews were placed into ghettos until Napoleon freed them. Marginalizing, assaulting and even killing the “others” is an instinctive reaction in almost all species. The human bug is no different.
Joe Arpaio, the judge (sic) of Maricopa, Arizona, who heads the round-ups in that state, is hated by the Hispanics, but the major portion of Anglos and Afro-Americans back him. Politicians, who are usually great opportunists, end up leaning in the direction the electoral wind blows.
Today, it’s sad to see John McCain backing a hard line against illegal immigrants, when, some years ago, together with Edward Kennedy, he proposed a generous amnesty for the undocumented. The same happens with Bill McCollum, the Republican candidate for governor of Florida. He wants to win showing himself as the tough among the toughs concerning illegal immigrants.
It’s true that every nation has the right to control its borders and that every society must be able to decide who resides or visits their territory, but that rule coincides with another principle from logic: it lacks common sense to demand from the authorities, or to demand from oneself or from others, that which is impossible to bring about. Simply, it’s impossible to deport eleven million undocumented immigrants, unless Washington declares a police state, the Congress dictates laws against the spirit of the North American constitution, creates massive prisoner camps and sets in motion a dictatorial and abusive mode to confront this problem.
More than eighty percent of these illegal immigrants come from Latin America: 57 from Mexico and 24 from Central America; the other 19% comes from the rest of the planet. Is there something to be learned from those numbers? Yes, if they are looked at a bit in depth. There are two Central American countries whose inhabitants don’t emigrate clandestinely to the United States: Costa Rica and Panama. They are two democracies in which societies have generated a reasonable life style with sufficient opportunities, and in which there is a social mobility that people need in order to keep from taking the uncomfortable and distasteful step represented by abandoning the place where we are born, our family and friends, forever. Costa Rica and Panama are two relatively poor countries, but in each there is the hope of economic advancement, stability and security: why emigrate to the United States?
The United States has two efficient ways of combating illegal immigration: one, very uphill, is to try to strengthen the economic development and the Rule of Law in the societies where those persons come from, so that the population does not escape; the other, more expeditious, is boosting legal immigration instead of hindering it.
It makes much more sense to massively facilitate work visas, to demand that immigrants arrive in the country with private medical insurance for a number of years and, if necessary, to have them pay for the education of their minor children, than to rush them into the arms of abusive mafias who control the fragile lives of clandestine immigrants.
There are already more than 200 North American cities where the Mexican cartels operate. These criminals prefer to rely on undocumented immigrants. This is the atmosphere where they operate best. The perfect means to evade justice. Doesn’t it make much more sense to bring the immigrants out in the daylight, to demand that they pay taxes and to allow that they earn a living cleanly and with an honest job?
When, in 1986, Ronald Reagan proposed the greatest amnesty in the country’s history, benefitting three million persons, he did it by a mixture of common sense, compassion and concern for the wellbeing of all his fellow citizens, not just that of the immigrants. It was the least bad solution about a concrete problem that affected the whole country.
Where was the error? The error was to not facilitate legal immigration from that time on. Ninety-five percent of today’s clandestine immigrants would have preferred to go to work in the United States legally, even paying a high price for it, to struggle to reach their “American dream.” It’s much better to pay the American agencies than the coyotes.
(End of op/col)
[Following the article, a reader calling himself “asies” commented as follows]
Information and knowledge of the U.S.’s system is lacking; they really don’t need the police and that can be seen in several states; the pressure on the employers is the key to force departure from the country. If there is a combination of the IRS, Social Security, Immigration and OSHA, the illegals leave without being mistreated physically. They’ve already proved it and it has given results. The migrants’ country must seek a solution, not the receiving country. Perception makes the difference.
-end of report-