Monday, May 31, 2010

The war no one will fight

I shy away from politics. I really don't know that much about the issues. I read all about them and still feel like I know nothing, so I say nothing. The border is something I feel I know a little about and this has been budding inside me for a long time and I need to say it.

I live by the border and I love it. There is a Mexican flair here that is beautiful, tasty and the people are, for the most part, kind and genuine. There is a secret side of life at the border. It is less of a secret and more a matter of people not caring enough to ask. There is the drugs, murder, rape, sexual slavery side to the border that no one is talking about.

The people who live here are under attack everyday. The Mexican drug cartels bring the drugs and murder with them from their side of the border. They work through corrupt border patrol and Mexican Federales agents to move their products (human and drugs) and when that doesn't work, they fire upon AMERICAN border patrol agents, forcing them to call for the nearest backup. When the backup comes, the drug cartels move the drugs through the holes left by agents going to save their friends.

When the drugs reach American soil, who do the cartels seek to handle them? Men? No. They get heavy jail sentences if caught. Too expensive. The best people to do the work are the young teenagers and preteens. They seduce these children with promises of money and worldly possessions that most people working honestly in the Rio Grande Valley have little hope of obtaining. They get these young children to peddle and move their drugs, keeping their hands clean.

Is this really a problem? I think we have all heard stories like this, but it has never hit home. My husband is a 8th grade teacher at a local middle school. One day, while he was out ill, one student dealt drugs to his entire class and the entire class got high during class. Where was that substitute, I would still like to know? These drugs have infiltrated our cities and our classrooms and it needs to be stopped.

If there was a sniper sitting, waiting with his rifle, picking off one 13-year-old at time, the American people would be furious. They would demand action. How is this different? These children are being picked off one at a time, being degraded to lives of addiction, drug dealing, jail time and probably their death. They make the mistake of joining up when they are 13 and they are in for life. No drug cartel is going to let anyone walk away.

What ever happened to just say no? It is interesting down here to witness red ribbon week. There are no happy pep rallies that teach the kids to say no. There are gory videos from border patrol agents who tell our children that if they double cross the drug cartels, they will be murdered and so will their mom, their dad, their girlfriend and probably the family dog for good measure.

These children are having their childhoods ripped from them. Some students at my husband's school make more money a year than he does. We watch one of the poorest areas of the country be filled with the latest computers, iPods and everyone knows there is drug money involved somewhere.

The border patrol needs more man power, they need more help. The border is at war and they do not have the resources to stop it. Going up against the drug cartels could mean death, but doing nothing is certain death. Many down here believe we would be better in Mexican hands because the leaders of America have chosen to do nothing to protect us. My only hope is that the people in Washington realize what is happening before it is too late, before the cartels overrun the country, not just the border towns.

I am not anti-immigration. Immigration has made this country what it is, but the border, as it stands today, brings drugs, weapons, murder and gangs into our country. We need to protect our children because today it is a problem in the border towns, tomorrow it could be everywhere.

There is no simple solution to this massive problem. If we close down the border we lose all that trade with our neighbor. If we throw open the doors, we break the dam that has kept America from flooding with the same problems the bordertowns face. We need more man power to patrol the miles of border. We need more solutions for corrupt border patrol agents. We need help, but no one seems to have noticed, or if they have noticed, they sure aren't doing a thing about it. So now we are left with prayers that the cartels won't rip our country apart before the help arrives.


Shell said...

Wow. I'm blown away by this. b/c I live in my happy little bubble, away from the border, having no clue that things like this happen.

Sarah said...

I lived in Texas for 7 years in a rural area where a lot of immigrants had settled down, some less than "official." I knew many who were afraid to go back to Mexico to visit family because it has gotten so dangerous.

I don't think anyone has an "answer," but the war on drugs is not working. I am not necessarily pro-legalization, but common sense says that when you are not achieving desired results, change your tactics.

Hopefully this issue will be dealt with effectively, soon. It is sad that something so terrifying is happening in our own country, but so many other valid, pressing issues push it to the background. I have a feeling that someday soon we will all be paying more attention.

Lu said...

Good for you for speaking up! I think this is one of those issues that is so tricky to try to legislate for because the people who are causing all the big problems pay no attention to the laws anyway, so the laws can sometimes just cause problems for the people who are trying to follow the laws in the first place.

Shanel said...

loved this post because it gave me a whole new side of border patrol and immigration that I had no idea of... I mean I know that Dateline, 20/20, and some other news outlets do exposes on the drug cartels but you tell a different story because you are right there and you and your hubby see the effects of all this first hand.... this is definitely a war worth fighting and it needs to be discussed more... my heart goes out to all the children affected by it.

Bridget said...

Thank you for letting me know more about this. That is so sad about your husband's class and that these kids are the ones that are having to lose their lives to drug dealing and addiction. So, so, sad and I hope that our country can figure out something that will help.

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