Friday, April 6, 2018

It's All Backwards: The US-Mexican Border

I don't get into politics here as a rule but now that I live within a half hour of the Arizona-Mexico border I can see and feel the truth. I studied border issues in the late 1990's and wrote a book and screenplay based on my research. Before moving to the area last year I studied it carefully. Times have changed. I wanted to make sure I was making a good decision.
www.visittucson.org
I learned that the crime rates in Tucson are far higher than the crime rates in Nogales, the nearby shared bordertown. The U. S. Border Patrol here covers many bases. The highway check stations, the many miles of wilderness roads and pathways. I see their vehicles everywhere. Even on off-road treks. No doubt they have their own drones to do the initial scouting for them. Drugs are an issue yes. They are an issue everywhere. Drugs aside, border crossers are an issue, yes. Most of them are looking for a cup of water, a place to lay their head, or a new pair of shoes en route to their hope for a better life. Do we really need the military? A kazillion dollar wall? The National Guard? At what cost? 

Granted, there are longstanding issues of uninsured motorists, children of illegal immigrants, babies born on this side of the Rio Grande who are automatically citizens (and many good ones!) and drug trafficking issues. Language barriers, comprehension barriers and "Press 1 for English".  There are many issues that need to be sorted underlying the debate of walls and caravans. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons
As a Clinical Social Worker I have coordinated outreach services for over 30 years for people who are in dire straits physically, financially, emotionally. In my experience, the government programs have typically responded in 24-72 hours to a referral; a call for help for someone in need. They've always been wonderful. Now there is often a Wait List for first response. One week, two, six weeks. Their hands of advocacy are tied because of budget limitations.


I remember clearly a care facility in Cottonwood AZ years ago when the workers went on strike. The facility had to meet the needs of its residents somehow. Few of the unemployed locals wanted to do that kind of work for minimum wage. The facility ultimately hired Mexican workers who were more than happy to work for minimum wage and care for the residents as "familia". The facility was never a happier place, albeit temporary. I witnessed it firsthand.

Please pray for our leaders and their decisions, which currently seem to be undoing the things that took many years and others before them to put into place. Our own people are in need while debt money is directed elsewhere. We need funding for our own people, not for military to stand guard when, as I see it, there is more danger in our own schools and U. S. cities than there is at our borders.


Life is the school, love is the lesson. 
Politics builds walls that love tears down. 
Politics issues orders while Love works together 
to find common ground and compromise. 
A wall doesn't keep the others out, it actually keeps you in. 
God Bless America.  Ego says, "We've Got It Covered, Lord" 
While Love says, "Come! We need You now!"
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