Some days I don’t know why I read the NYT. More often than I’d like something America’s paper of record prints just annoys the crap out of me. Today is no exception. But I keep reading mainly because, for the most part, I learn something interesting in each article.
Today’s big news? The federal court injunction against Arizona’s immigration enforcement law. I’m not going to get into the right or wrong of the law except to say that, at the federal level, it needs to be changed and changed soon (like now). While I’m know I’m not in favor of an amnesty/citizenship program, I definitely think a massively expanded guest worker/rigorous enforcement program is needed.
Getting back to the point, the NYT had a fascinating article today about a little known aspect of how the immigration issue impacts the border counties in Arizona (and, I'm guessing, Texas, New Mexico and California).Because enforcement has been stepped up along much of the border – the more easily crossed sections – it turns out illegal immigrants are now forced to traverse the less hospitable (read scorching desert) sections of the U.S.-Mexico border. This has led to many, many more illegal immigrants dropping dead on their journey to America. Their bodies are now filling the morgues in the border counties up to overflowing.
Like I said, an interesting article. The problem I have with it is the following section:
Human rights groups say it is the government’s sustained crackdown on human smuggling that has led to more deaths.
“The more that you militarize the border, the more you push the migrant flows into more isolated and desolate areas, and people hurt or injured are just left behind,” said Kat Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the Coalición de Derechos Humanos in Tucson.
Yes, of course. It’s the government’s fault for enforcing the law that these people are dying while they break the law. I can see the logic in that. This is the kind of crap that pisses me off. Why is the United States (and other industrialized nations) not allowed to protect its borders and keep illegal immigrants out?
No one has a right to just come here. And, if you’re not trying to break our laws by illegally entering our country, well, then you don’t have to worry about risking a horrible death from exposure by walking across the Sonoran or Chihuahuan desert.
Truthfully through, I can respect the effort. I am the grandson of immigrants who descendants have, in two generations gone from the desperation of the Irish potato famines and civil war, to masters degrees and upper-middle class living.
That’s why we need to fix our broken immigration system. Anyone willing to walk across a burning desert for a shot at a better life is someone who will put in a hard day’s work to better themselves and their children (unless they're a terrorist trying to sneak in and I hope you die screaming in pain under a scorching sun). And that’s the kind of spirit America was built upon.
That's the spirit that makes and keeps America great.