So-called immigration reform = real militarization
Over at LatinoPOV.com, Jimmy Franco Sr. did an analysis of Senate Bill 774, the so-called immigration reform bill. He said, “Characterized as primarily being an enforcement law as the aspect of actual reform and family reunification were relegated to a secondary role in this legislation. The 2008 promise of immigration reform is still pending.
“Nine months after the election a military-enforcement bill is born. The Senate Bill designated 46 billion dollars for enforcement and militarizing the border. The bill does not pertain to actual immigration reform, rather it primarily focuses on a massive increase in police enforcement and militarization of the border.” [LaBloga emphasis] Go here to read the entire article.
Debating pros and cons about the bill’s value reforming immigration, when it in fact is “a militarized war on undocumented laborers,” as Franco calls it, might be as useless as citizens of Nazi Germany debating the architecture and energy efficiency of gas ovens constructed to liquidate the communists, socialists, union leaders, gypsies and Jews.
It might be better if the eyes of latinos and all Americans focused on how this militarization can and will later be turned on any American. German citizens failed to do this or sufficiently oppose their government’s militarization. What will happen here?
According to a Todd Miller post, How to Turn the U.S.-Mexican Border into a War Zone, Homeland will have “a staggering multitude of ways to monitor, chase, capture, or even kill people, thanks to modernistic arrays of cameras and sensors, up-armored jeeps, the latest in guns, and even surveillance balloons at the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“The Senate bill provides for the hiring of almost 19,000 new Border Patrol agents, the building of 700 additional miles of walls, fences, and barriers, and an investment of billions of dollars in the latest surveillance technologies, including drones.
“Calling this immigration reform is like calling the National Security Agency’s expanding global surveillance system a domestic telecommunications upgrade. It’s really all about the country that the United States is becoming -- one of the police and the policed.
“Approximately 700 miles of walls, fences, and barriers already cut off the two countries at its major urban crossings and many rural ones as well. Emplaced everywhere are cameras that follow you -- or your body heat -- day or night. Overhead, as in Afghanistan, a Predator B drone may hover.
“On the U.S.-Mexican border, there are already more than 18,500 agents (only approximately 2,300 on the Canadian border). In counterterrorism mode, they are paid to be suspicious of everything and everybody. Some Homeland Security vehicles sport trailers carrying All Terrain Vehicles. Some have mounted surveillance cameras, others cages to detain captured migrants.
“Checkpoints 20-50 miles from the international boundary serve as a second layer of border enforcement. Stopped at one of them, you will be interrogated by armed agents in green, most likely with drug-sniffing dogs. If you are near the international divide, it’s hard to avoid such checkpoints where you will be asked about your citizenship -- and much more if anything you say or do, or simply the way you look, raises suspicions.
“Even outside of the checkpoints, agents of Homeland Security can pull you over for any reason -- without probable cause or a warrant -- and do what is termed a “routine search.” As a U.S. Border Patrol agent said, within a hundred miles of the international divide, ‘there's an asterisk on the Constitution.’
“Although unauthorized border-crossings have slowed down in recent years, tens of thousands continue to cross into the United States annually from Mexico and Central America, thanks in part to the continued havoc of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which left more two million Mexican farmers unemployed.
“The bill would come close to doubling the number of Border Patrol agents to 40,000 -- a small army -- stationed every 1,000 feet along the 2,000-mile border. To put that in perspective, the Border Patrol, created in 1924, took close to 70 years to reach 4,000 agents. In 2006, at 10,000 agents, it had its first major hiring surge, doubling its numbers.
“Senator Marco Rubio laid out the following list that Homeland expected to order if the bill passed: 86 integrated fixed towers, 286 fixed camera systems, 232 mobile surveillance systems, 4,595 unattended ground sensors, 820 handheld equipment devices, 416 personal radiation detectors, 104 radiation isotope identification devices, 62 mobile automated targeting systems, 53 fiber-optic tank inspection scopes, 37 portable contraband detectors, 28 license plate readers, 26 mobile inspection scopes and sensors for checkpoints, nine land automated targeting systems, and eight non-intrusive inspection systems.
“Four unmanned aircraft systems, six VADER radar systems, 17 UH-1N helicopters, eight C-206H aircraft upgrades, eight AS-350 light enforcement helicopters, 10 Blackhawk helicopter 10 A-L conversions, five new Blackhawk M Model, 30 marine vessels, 93 sensor repeaters, 90 communications repeaters, two card-reader systems, five camera refresh, three backscatters, one radiation portal monitor, one littoral detection, one real-time radioscopy, and improved surveillance capabilities for existing aerostat.
“Homeland plans to have 18 drones in flight by 2016 and 24 in the years to follow patrolling over cities such as San Diego, Tucson, El Paso, Seattle, Detroit and Buffalo.
“Some drones will be equipped with the VADER “man-hunting” radar system used to detect roadside bombers in Afghanistan. Now, even more of this technology will be put to use. Recently declassified documents also show that CBP has been considering upgrading its drones with “non-lethal” weapons to be able to take down “targets of interest.”
Go here to read Miller’s entire article. I’m not sure where you go to do something about it, but it doesn’t seem we have a lot of time to prevent our southern border area from becoming a Constitution-Free Zone that's unsafe to cross at any speed. Even if you're from here.
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