Sunday, June 15, 2008

Border Patrol announces zero tolerance policy - what they were kidding before?

"Operation Streamline" will prosecute migrants crossing the border illegally.  The program has been successful in rural areas of the Texas and Arizona, drastically reducing illegal entry into those states.  

The plan has been criticized for possibly overwhelming federal courts.  The program will be implemented along a four-mile stretch of Cameron County's border with Mexico.  Undocumented immigrants who are arrested will be sent to court and could face jail time of up to 180 days and then be deported. 

Before the crack down, first-time offenders were given the choice of voluntary deportation.  They were processed, placed on a bus and were home in Mexico within hours of their arrest.

The thinking is that the unpleasant experience will discourage people from returning, and they're warn others not to cross the border.

A few years ago, my daughter's boyfriend came to visit during the Thanksgiving holiday.  Mexico was one of the places he wanted to visit before he returned home.  While we were walking across the bridge into Mexico, we spotted three people floating across the Rio Grande on inner tubes.  When they reached the banks of the U.S., they took off running.  This all happened in broad daylight.  There was nothing sneaky about their crossing.  I wonder what happened to them.  Did they make a clean break and find jobs up north.  Do they celebrate every Thanksgiving to mark the anniversary of their entrance into this wonderful country?  Or were they caught, processed and sent back home within hours, after enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner courtesy of the Border Patrol?

Some Mexicans enter the U.S. in luxury sedans.  Wealthy Mexicans pump millions into the Rio Grande Valley economy.  Stores in the local mall consistently rank among the highest grossing stores in their appropriate chain.  

No comments: