I grew up a little bit on the border. I had a long-time high school sweet heart that I later married, who had relatives and family friends that lived in a small border town. Flacon Lake is beautiful in the blustering heat at the southern border. I learned to cook Mexican food there, with a woman whose name is ironically Concha, Spanish for Shelly. She had the most beautiful daughters and she was one of the kindest most tolerant people I knew.
Before I had kids, I used to love stopping in this po-dunk hole in the wall shop for some jack cheese sticks and deer jerky to finish off the ride. Yeah, somebody hunted it, and yea I ate that. After we arrived and got settled in, we usually spent the night at my ex father in law’s place, or in some fishing huts owned by a family friend. They had the finest quality and service at those huts. They were the drabbest color of blue, but the view was killer in the morning, and the people were great.
In the morning we would roll on over to the local café, another po-dunk hole in the wall, and eat some breakfast tacos, with beans on them. Yes, I was shocked that there were beans on the eggs the first time I went there. In northern Texas, it was always potatoes on them. We took photos at the border monument there by the lake, and even went back and forth into Mexico shopping and having a good time. Once, we were just rolling around and some random Mexican guy had a stand set up with watermelons and unlabeled bottles of tequila with a worm in the bottom of it. Later, I learned the term for that kind, was Mezcal, the moonshine of Mexico.
Those memories made me love that place, and the people in it. Later, after I had kids. I remember getting ready for our yearly trip to visit and getting a no-go from the FIL. He sent us some videos of cartel guys firing directly across the border at journalists and police, told us they were nabbing up women and children, and that a good friend of his had been killed. Later, in the news several other bodies were found in the lake. Then there were the Mexicans, who tried to swim across the lake and drowned. They were being spotted more and more, trying their best to make it to the land of the free. The father in law advised us not to come that year, with everything going on. I was sad.
When I think about immigration, asylum, caravans and immigrants coming over, whether its to visit or to stay, I am always brought back to the chilling voice on the other end of the phone. “The cartels have taken the whole town over, I think it’s best you stay home this year.” While I can understand the outrage at the statistics about how immigrants are not committing crimes, and how the caravans are just people coming to apply for asylum, I can’t deny one simple fact. The immigrants in our country are not committing the crimes, and that is true. What is not true, and what could be misunderstood is that these are foreign nationals who are in the country illegally, who are criminals. We do not have open access to the information and backgrounds of foreign nationals who have not given us their information or applied for asylum or a visa. We do have information and stats on those who are registered in our US systems.
If terrorists can get into the country legally, as is argued from 9/11, then how many do you think are bypassing the system if they can just simply walk in? Foreign nationals in the country illegally are not the same as people who are immigrating. This is even dis-counting the fact that overwhelming numbers of immigrants are flooding the systems with asylum applications at our borders. And real reform to the immigration statutes would aide this problem. Not everyone who has immigrated here is a criminal, for sure. The reason they are being detained is because some of them could be criminals hiding out, and that is the point. We would never know until it was too late.
.The southern border isn’t well manned, at least not from what I saw. I could come and go to Mexico as easily as some of them pass over the border into the states. I don’t really support an actual wall or structure, but I honestly don’t think we are talking about the great wall of USA being built either. Reform is necessary, border security is necessary. Why is it so bad to support both causes? We can have a good secure border and take asylum applications. We need to look at reform, we need better statutes, and every time this becomes an issue (with each republican president since George W Bush) people focus on only “The Wall.”
In my mind, I picture those gates that block off restricted areas in national parks. Or maybe some sort of wooden barrier. When I think even further, I see that the border patrol and the authorities are requesting these items. If the meteorologist tells us what tools he uses to read weather patterns, we do not complain. The doctor chooses the best medical equipment he needs to operate, we do not complain. Our teachers ask for supplies, they need to teach our children, we do not complain. Border patrol is asking for barriers, so why are we questioning so harshly and so judgmentally what they need? They are professionals, and if they think some sort of barrier will help, then I say let them have it.
Call it what it is, but in this country, I think we can support both border security and immigration. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a cop out or a wink at the Donald, I dislike him. He is not my idea of a great leader. The issues at the border are worth a second thought when we take a good look into the bigger picture.