Friday, July 2, 2010

Time for a new approach

For the past several years, we've watched a low-level civil war hit northern Mexico.   The Mexican army and police have been shooting at the drug gangs, the drug gangs shoot at each other, and sometimes the army and police shoot drug gangs at the behest of other drug gangs.  For the most part, we've been spectators.

That changed on Tuesday. Seven shots from the Mexican side of the border hit city hall in El Paso Texas.  Odds are they were stray rounds, but they were just as deadly as aimed fire.  Luckily only the building was hit, but the rounds penetrated to the interior, and it was only good fortune that kept someone from getting hit.  It could just as easily have gone into a neighborhood, or a shopping center, or a playground.

Mexican and Central American gangs are terrorizing our cities and rural areas.  Meth, cocaine, and marijuana are easier to get than beer in our schools.  The crime and social issues that come from the drugs and influx of illegal aliens are bringing our social safety net to its knees.

It's time for a new approach with our troubled neighbor to the south.

First, we need to let the Mexican government know that we are tired of their internal problems causing issues along our border and throughout our country.  They have to step on the neck of the narco-gangsters and keep pushing until they stop wiggling.  Failure to get control of this situation risks reaction by our country to lock down the border not just in the hinterlands, but also at ports of entry to restrict the trade of the traffickers.  Shutting off the tap of Mexican goods coming into our country and American dollars flowing into Mexico would probably go a long way to focus the attention of the Mexican government. 

Next, we need to militarize the border, both in the back country and in urban areas such as El Paso, San Diego, and Nogales.  We survey 200 feet back from the actual border, put up triple strand of concertina wire, and then put in a mix of pressure detonated CS gas mines and command detonated anti-personnel mines between the border and the fence.  We put guard towers at least every half mile along the border, and garrison them with both Border Patrol agents and Army MP's.  The Border Patrol agents are there to arrest anyone who makes it to the concertina and tries to enter the country but surrenders peacefully when challenged.  The MP is there to assist the Border Patrol agent in subduing or neutralizing anyone who resists.  To make this legal, we make the land along the border to a depth of 1/2 mile a military reservation, including in Indian reservations that butt up to the border.  One of the problems we have currently is that those who want to cross the border are sometimes more heavily armed than the law enforcement officers who encounter them.  We can fix that by arming the MP's with patrol rifles, their vehicles with M-2 .50 machine guns, and putting M240 7.62mm machine guns in the towers.  Somewhere in that mix is enough firepower to give them at least parity with the criminals who want to enter our country.

The local commander of these posts would have the authority to order his troops to return fire across the border if rounds come over into American territory.

In addition to these guard posts, there should be manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft watching the border 24 hours a day.  Stationary blimps should be used to provide round-the-clock monitoring of the borderlands.  

Those who put their hands in the air when they're caught crossing the border get to spend 5 years in prison, then are deported.  If you're caught again, you get 15 years then deportation.

Next, we need to shut off the supply of jobs for the people who are coming here to work.  We have to make employing illegal aliens expensive enough that US companies will start paying attention to our immigration laws.  If a company is caught employing illegal aliens in any way, they lose the ability to do business with the federal government.  If they are growing, processing, or shipping food, their product is not allowed to be purchased for military rations or commissaries, school lunch programs, or food stamp programs.  If the company is in the manufacturing business, the government won't buy those products or products from companies who do business with companies that hire illegal aliens.  If a construction company gets busted, then it cannot work on any project that is financed using any federal dollars.

Then we come to narcotics.    

We need to change our approach to illegal drugs.  We need to either legalize their use by adults, same as we do with tobacco and alcohol, or we need to get serious with discouraging their use and helping those who need help quitting.

If we legalize, we can regulate their manufacture, processing, and sale.  We take away the profit motive for smuggling narcotics when are legally available at the local liquor store.  It's cheaper to declare importation of a legal substance through a port of entry at Nogales than it is to pay someone to smuggle it in on the back of a mule through the Chiricahuas.

If we want to shut down use of illegal drugs through enforcement and treatment, we have to crack down on the parts of our society that import, process, transport, and sell this poison to our citizens.  If you're caught smuggling drugs into our country, you get to spend the rest of your life behind bars.  If you're caught processing or transporting drugs, then you get to spend 10 to 15 years at hard labor.  For a second offense, you get to join the smugglers getting old in prison.  If you're caught dealing, you get to spend whatever remains of your life turning large rocks into little rocks. 

If you're caught using drugs, then you get two chances at treatment to help you stop using.  After that, you go to jail for 5 years.  4th offense gets you 10 years.  5th offense gets you life.  By that time, we have to realize that you've had too many chances to get your act together and you're too stupid to be allowed to walk the streets.

These penalties are for citizens.  If you're an illegal and you get caught smuggling, processing, transporting, dealing, or using you get 25 years at hard labor, followed by deportation. Don't come into our home, do business in poison, and then expect a slap on the wrist.

And this isn't just for those who come across the Mexican border.  If you come in via Canada and break our laws, you pay the same penalty.  If necessary, we can militarize the Canadian border too.

As for those who are in the country illegally already, they get two months to get out.  If they have children who were born here and are citizens, the parents can either leave with them and the children can return when they reach 18 if they wish, or the children can be put in our foster care system and the parents can leave.  Either way, illegal aliens have to get out of our country. 

Illegal aliens who are identified in the country after the deadline get to spend 5 years in jail the first time they are caught and 15 years the second time.  Either way, they lose the ability to apply to return legally.  If you break into my house, you don't get to ask nicely to come in through the front door.

As for the so-called "sanctuary cities", any state, county, or municipality that refuses to turn over illegals caught in their area loses all support from the federal government.   If there's a base near the city or in the state, then the personnel on that base will be restricted from spending money off base.  All federal funding for schools, research, roads, or whatever gets cut off until the removal of illegal aliens becomes a part of day-to-day business in a "sanctuary" city. 

Will this ever happen?  Probably not.  A lot of this flies in the face of several parts of our constitution, and gives federalism a kick to the crotch.  Additionally, we'd have to abrogate the NAFTA treaty and probably several other treaties, including treaties with Native American nations who have reservations along the border.  We'd also have to provide a clear path for legal immigration to not only show that we do not reject citizens of other country who want to come here and be a productive member of our society, but also to allow for the healthy benefits that legal immigration brings to our country. 

This is an extreme solution, but I believe it would fix the problem of illegal immigration and drug smuggling.  What problems it would either exascerbate or cause remains to be seen.


ZerCool said...

5 to 15 in prison? Three hots and a cot? Clean water? Showers? Unless they're in a Maricopa County tent city, it's likely better than what they left behind...

DaddyBear said...

Well, I wasn't envisioning Club Fed. When I mean hard labor, I have "Cool Hand Luke" or "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" in mind.

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