Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Best U.S.-Mexico border defense is a better economy

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Originally published on on Thu, 03/26/2009 – 2:35pm

Occasionally, we succumb to bad television, one guilty pleasure we don’t normally admit we watch. No, it’s not “Dancing with the Stars” or “Lost” or any reality show on E! (Seriously, who the hell are the Kardashians and why should be keeping up with them?)

My guilty pleasure is “Homeland Security USA,” well until it was put on hiatus two weeks ago. This was a 13-part series of 1-hour episodes on ABC about the inner workings of the border patrol and its various related ventures, ICE, CBP, and other fun acronyms.

I started watching it for the Canadian-U.S. border crossings, being something of a fascination of mine. But the show is mostly devoted to people and things crossing between the United States and Mexico.

You realize that you watching propaganda disguised as entertainment. As you watch the program, you see drugs caught every time, shot after shot in the Arizona desert of helicopters with night vision, capturing all the allegedly illegal aliens every time.

In the show, we see the dogs who sniff out the drugs. We are told they are trained to pick up multiple drugs by their sense of smell, and we see the crafty and not-so-crafty ways of smuggling drugs into the country. Yet, they all get caught every time.

But if reality reflected the program, there wouldn’t be problems with drugs and guns between the United States and Mexico.

The program is propaganda — entertaining on some level, though — but the current reality is far graver. But having grown up with 55 years of television where the bad guys are always caught, we don’t often get to see the reality.

When you watch the show, you certainly get the impression that it’s very difficult to get things across the border that you shouldn’t, especially drugs, guns, and people. But somehow, it happens — a lot.

Thought it will never appear on “Homeland Security USA,” it would be intriguing to have a TV show on how these items do get across the border. The nay-sayers would say that it would only encourage people to smuggle guns and drugs across the border, but it’s happening right now anyway without the cameras.

Somehow, a lot of stuff goes across successfully. Maybe they aren’t crossing at the car lanes at Ciudad Juarez or Tijuana. But somehow the items make it to the country of choice.

No matter what extreme tactics we will take, border crossings are an imperfect science. An improved economy on both sides would help. The fact that the gun violence is escalating now is no coincidence; desperate times call for more desperate actions. Economic revival can reduce gun violence and drug trafficking, another reason why President Obama needs to keep doing the multitasking.


Written by democracysoup

March 26, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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