Monday, August 17, 2015
Mexico's Version of Border Woes Trumps
By Jerry Brewer
Virtually no one is shocked to
hear that U.S. border security is once again a hot topic in partisan politics as the presidential election cycle kicks in
Again, a great wall
that would cost multi-billions of dollars across 1,941 miles of the U.S. and Mexico border is the cry of some.
One overly energetic candidate simply believes he can force the Mexican government to fork over the billions for the
massive cost of the wall.
Many give factual reasons as to why a wall would do more to divert the wind than to stop ambitious
border crossers from entering the U.S., and those in a hurry to supply a US$80 billion drug demand. Too, southbound felons
running the border must get their billions of dollars across, under or over the border.
After all, the massive illicit revenue must move south quickly before
more people have to die. Mexico and the northern tier of Central America know that misery well with some of the highest homicide
rates in the world.
We keep hearing opportune, popular and boisterous shouts of “we must secure our border!”
The political candidates know this is a popular theme, but several savvy candidates are careful, as are many that have to
work enforcement along the border, knowing that a border cannot be fully “sealed or secured.” Many promising to
secure the border do a disservice in the true sense of the statement, possibly to pacify those who do not fully understand
the true dilemma.
is that walls and fences are needed in manageable sectors of the border where they can be monitored realistically, especially
near cities and towns and where heavily transient movement is popular. Yet, even police holding hands from Brownsville, Texas
to the Pacific Ocean could not fully “secure” the border. Again, what goes over and under will get through, even
So what should be done to end the decades of handwringing and frustration? More decades of indecision?
We must all face the historical
fact that a little less than 2,000 miles of the U.S. southern border with Mexico has never been secure to begin with! A tough
pill to swallow, but healthy to understand what must be done to “manage and control” this border from both sides
of the Rio Grande.
Many realists and those of us who have served in enforcement venues in these border sectors know that
this border represents far more than just a dividing line between two neighboring nations.
The complex border security problems require a commonsense approach
to manage and control the border, devoid of prejudices, misinformation and partisan politics. Irresponsible or ignorant attacks
against, in this case our neighboring country of Mexico, completely distorts the true rationale for effective border security.
Moreover, the unfocused urgency to fix with what may be insurmountable expectations does a disservice to all concerned.
Some of this
misinformation and confusion by unscrupulous reporters and pundits is clearly seen in the fact that since 1990, the number
of Central American immigrants in the United States has nearly tripled. “This immigrant population grew faster than any other region-of-origin
population from Latin America between 2000 and 2010.” Since 1992, “undocumented immigrants from Mexico made up less than half of those apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”
The reality is that about 40 percent of those people came
in on an airplane, with a legal visa, and just overstayed their visa and have never gone home.
It is hoped that candidates for
the high office of president will stop trying to simply define the problem, and instead know the “who” and the
numbers to accurately define the true border issues and the real enemies to the U.S. This in order to effectively
and proactively propose and implement the strategical engagement and interdiction methodologies necessary to better control
and admitted weakness, is also with critical problems with its own unsecured southern border of 514 miles with Guatemala.
The border with Belize is another 156 miles of concern. Both the U.S. and Mexico must find a coordinated regional strategic
plan in the areas of border security, control and development to prevent their borders from sliding further out of control.
to be balanced against reality, why may that be more important to Mexican interests than to the United States?
Besides having some of the highest murder rates in the
world, a continuing campaign of unspeakable brutality is morphing through Central America’s northern tier of nations.
Thusly, estimates are that over 500,000 undocumented Central Americans illegally cross the border annually into Mexico, with
the majority traveling through the country en route to the U.S. And among them are a diverse mix of terrorist-like
organized criminals and gang members.
Those borders should be the first line of defense for both Mexico and the U.S.
Former Mexican "immigration czar" Humberto Mayans said last week that Mexico has allotted US$75.3 million to modernize its southern border, with 187 projects. He added that
bringing order to the region “will take around three administrations (18 years) in order to give continuity to the actions
of modernization carried out.”
Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a global threat mitigation
firm headquartered in northern Virginia. His website is located at www.cjiausa.org.