If there was ever a more pressing reason to get serious about border control, I’d be hard pressed to think of it. Illegal immigrants are perishing in the Southwestern U.S. deserts at record levels. So for, 130 illegals have died.
Forget all right-wing arguments about Mexican emigres tying up health care and welfare, and changing the face of Southern California. Forget even the important issue of controlling terrorism along the southern border. This is now a humanitarian issue.
Liberals had now better join conservatives in demanding border control. Better these people remain alive in Mexico than bake to death in the Arizona wilderness.
Humanitarian group Humane Borders have posted notices on the Mexican side of the border announcing, No vaya! No esta digno de el sufrimiento! (“Don’t go! It’s not worth the suffering!”)
Another humanitarian group, No More Deaths, has set up camps to help illegals. Beth Sanders of the project says, “Each of these individuals has dignity, and we need to recognize that.” I couldn’t agree more.
The illegal immigrants often start off with nothing more than a Thermos of water and a plastic bag on which to sleep. When they run out of water, that’s where problems begin. If the blistering temperatures don’t finish them off, coyotes will. Despite Spanish-language media campaigns warning them from undertaking the dangerous adventure, these Mexicans still cling to their dreams of employment.
This latest crisis in Arizona underscores the government’s weak attempt at controlling the border. In the 1990s, concentration focused on California and Texas; soon thereafter, urban areas along the border received much of the attention. Now they come in through Arizona and New Mexico.
A comprehensive plan to control the entire border must be put into effect, and no agency would be better prepared to take the initiative than Homeland Security. But Bush continues to smirk and say “Ah, what wonderful, down-to-earth people!”
Mr. President, these people are now dying. Let’s get tough with Border Control, covering as many bases as we can. Consider it tough love.