Yesterday, the Obama administration amended their estimates of how many children are expect to be apprehended on our southwest border this year from 60,000 to 90,000. Last week, I wrote a post on the crisis on our borders for Her.Meneutics in which I urged readers to consider how we can provide assistance to the children crossing into the U.S. I still strongly believe these children need to be received with warmth and dignity, and we need to creatively discover how we can participate in providing aid to these children.
However, I want to address a point of criticism the article garnered, namely, the use of an anonymous source and what that source claimed about the types of people that are crossing our border. The critics claimed, first, that the use of anonymous sources is professionally negligent and ill-advised. And sometimes, anonymous sources are fabricated to advocate a certain viewpoint (such as Janet Cooke’s Jimmy) or provide an “inside scoop” from dubious “anonymous sources” close to some celebrity or other. But sometimes, sources must remain anonymous to protect their livelihood and the people close to them. Like Watergate’s Deep Throat, the pressure to remain silent or tow the party line is so strong that anonymity is the only means of protection. As the Society of Professional Journalist Ethics Committee notes, “Anonymous sources are sometimes the only key to unlocking that big story, throwing back the curtain on corruption, fulfilling the journalistic missions of watchdog on the government and informant to the citizens.”
This brings me to my second point, which is that information about what is really happening on our borders is being suppressed. What other explanation would suffice in the face of numerous reports of gag orders for border agents, border union officials, and medical personnel, when one U.S. congressman is denied entrance from a child immigrant facility in his own state, when a policy termed ‘Interim Protocol for Visitation and Tours,’ prohibit policymakers from carrying cell phones or interacting with immigrants or staff while touring detention facilities?
Since the purpose of my Her.meneutics post was to draw attention to these children and the need to provide aid, I was not able to include my full interview with the border agent. However, I believe that his perspective is important, and one that deserves a full hearing. Over his years of service, my source has spoken with news media outlets around the world, but given the “extremely political” nature of the topic at this time, he has elected to remain anonymous.
Describe your role and responsibilities on the border.
I was stationed in Rio Grande Valley area for a few years beginning in ’08 and my job was to patrol the Rio Grande Valley area in our helicopters and airplanes. Our primary responsibilities back then were to assist the local city and county agencies with whatever we could or provide other assets to these agencies that they did not have available. When not assisting the local agencies, we flew the Rio Grande River looking for any type of contraband crossing into the US illegally. Examples of the contraband we searched for included narcotics, weapons, terrorists, illegal aliens and cartel personnel involved in human trafficking and human smuggling. Most of our efforts focused on assisting the US Border Patrol ground agents with border activity such as the items listed above.
My perspective on what is happening on the border?
Honestly, the border is so out of control I don’t know that there is anything we can really do about it at this point. When I was stationed there back in 2009, we could fly over the river and “deter” or “push back” any illegal activity. Granted, as soon as we were clear of the area, the cartel would try again and probably be successful. Now, with the new immigration policy of writing “promise to appears” to undocumented aliens, they are basically given a two year amnesty somewhere in the US and promise to show up or “check in” with the local immigration office at wherever they end up. At the drastically increasing rate people are coming into the US illegally and how much of a toll its taking on the federal budget, I’m not sure how the infrastructure of the US can stand much more.
What do you think the media gets wrong about what’s happening on the border?
I don’t think the media is getting things “wrong”, the information is not being delivered to the people. You hear about border issues every now and then through a quick blurb or through a reality series like Texas Drug Wars or Border Wars. The border has always been an “issue” so people don’t put much thought into it. I am positive that MOST people in the US are unaware of how bad the border issue really is. The media portrays people crossing the border as “Mexican nationals wanting a better life for themselves and their family”. I agree, there is a lot of those people coming over, but mixed in with those people are drug cartels, terrorists from Islamic countries, weapon smugglers, human smugglers and human traffickers. People that want to infiltrate and destroy this country know that if they want to get inside our borders, they just need to get to Mexico and then walk across. It’s bad…
What people need to know about illegal immigration?
I answered some of this in the previous question but as far as being able to secure the border. I don’t want to sound like a heartless person but there are countries around the world that do not have border issues. There is a reason they don’t have border issues. They handle their border situation to where people are afraid to enter.
What is your perspective on the kids flooding the border?
I do sympathize with the kids coming over to the border. They are sent over by their parents, sometimes under false pretenses. The kids are interviews after we find them and they are told things about the US that isn’t necessarily true. I know people want to help all children as far and housing, finding caretakers, employment, etc. but the US infrastructure and economy just can’t handle it anymore. If we continue at this rate, like I said earlier, the US infrastructure will collapse. This country is already in a financial crisis and spending billions more just on the illegal children coming over, will surely ruin our credit and eventually our status as world power.
I hope these answers help you. This is obviously a topic I am somewhat passionate about since I was down there and saw first-hand what was going on. It’s a lot worse than people know and I honestly don’t seen an end in sight. The money we are pouring into border security is, in my opinion, is a waste. I hate to say that but I feel we are just spinning our wheels down there. This country has gone “soft” and this is the result.
I could sit down and talk about border issues and tell stories all day probably. When people do sit down and ask me questions, their eyes are so big by the time I’m done I can’t believe it. I’m glad your doing your part to inform people. I’m definately not against immigration, we just have to find a faster way to make it legal for them so they can start contributing to our “system”. This country has it’s work cut out for them.