Monday, February 29, 2016

A Different View of the Border Patrol - One We Should All Agree On

I will not support Trump for the GOP Presidential nomination .   But I have recently  had an epiphany about another way to look at border protection.  It is important to remember that Border Patrol saves lives of those who would cross the border illegally; sometimes with something as simple as a bottle of water .  

In the 15 years between 1998 and 2013, there were over 2700 bodies of humans found in the Arizona desert- many are just skeletal remains, others "naturally" mummified.  Rarely can the bodies be identified beyond a possible age and sex from the bones that remain.  They are in all age groups- from children to seniors.  The vast majority appear to die in perhaps the most horrific way possible here--- dehydration. But others die from being drowned partially buried in the bottoms of arroyos, being caught in flash floods during the monsoon season.   

And those are just the ones that are found.  Each year hundreds are found.  Thousands of more remains go unfound, the victim laying under a bush  to seek shade, not realizing that shade alone cannot protect one from searing desert heat... Worse, nothing can protect one from a lack of water.

When Coyotes walk people across from Mexico into the US, the Coyotes say it is only a one day walk from Mexico to their destination, when really it is a minimum of a three to five day walk.  Only rarely can anyone survive more than a couple days in the Arizona desert without water, especially in summer.  

Water stations have been set up on established routes through the desert, but these are sometimes avoided for fear of being caught- believing Border Patrol may stake out the water stations (wether they really do or not).

There are some years where interdiction numbers decrease that are attributed to few crossings... Presumably there are fewer deaths those years but on one really knows for sure.  

The point of Border Patrol that is forgotten is that they do save lives... Interdiction or not, the Border Patrol provides water and has officers who can start an IV if needed for more severe dehydration. No one deserves to die of dehydration in the Arizona desert (ok, I might make an exception for Gary Gene Tison getting what he deserved).   

We are a country of laws and those laws must be enforced.  We are also a country of dreams, and people will risk their lives for the chance of the dream.   No mater how many are allowed into the country on immigrant visa's others will still try to cross illegally. 

As long as people will continue to try to cross the Sonoran Desert  to seek a new life- without always fully understanding the serious risk to their lives or their children and grandchildren's lives, we must have border protection.   Not just to protect our border, but to also protect the lives of those who would illegally cross the border from themselves and from the desert they cross.