Border Policy Needs Clarification
February 05, 2007
During the past few weeks a debate on the relevance of our nationís border policy has been brewing, all stemming from an incident on January 3rd of this year between National Guard troops and a group of paramilitary illegal aliens from Mexico. This debate has put the spotlight on just how poorly crafted our nationís border protection policies are, and raises questions about the effectiveness of deploying National Guard members to assist in sealing the borderís gaps.
On January 3rd, a group of commando-style illegal aliens moved on an outpost manned by National Guard members. The National Guard members, per their instructions, fled their position and revealed to all that in fact, they are not there to prohibit entry by illegal persons into the U.S., merely to dissuade them from trying.
According to rules created by the Department of Defense and governors of states in which the Guard are posted, Guard members are not to stop, arrest, or shoot armed illegal aliens, only report their presence to Border Patrol agents. As stated by Maj. Paul Aguirre, spokesman for the Arizona National Guard, "We don't apprehend. We don't detain. We don't transport."
If this is truly the extent to which the National Guard are being used, and will be used, then it is hardly accurate to say that they are protecting the border when they are prohibited from even standing their ground. If we are going to utilize members of the military -- pulling them away from their jobs and their families -- and provide them with training and weapons and sophisticated detection tools such as night vision gear and surveillance equipment, shouldnít they be given more useful authority in preventing waves of illegal aliens and drug runners from entering our country?
CapitolWatch believes that if we are stationing troops along the border, that they should be trained in tactics and procedures designed to truly prohibit the crossing of illegal aliens, illegal weapons, and illegal drugs into our country. We urge all of our members to contact their elected officials in Washington and demand a clear and concise policy that explicitly spells out the goals of and steps needed to ensure a safe and secure border.
Another incident of note involving illegal immigration revolves around the two border patrol agents currently in jail for shooting an unarmed illegal immigrant as he was running from them. As it turned out, unbeknownst to the agents at the time of the shooting, the person shot was trying to transport ~750 lbs. of marijuana across the border into the U.S.
Unfortunately, the details surrounding this case have been kept out of the news in favor of the more catchy headlines about how these two agents are being unfairly punished and are the victims.
What has been left unsaid by the media, and what most who are petitioning for their release are unaware of, are the facts surrounding the case. While we appreciate the hard work of law enforcement agents everywhere, none of us are above the law and must act within its confines; something that the two agents in jail did not do. It is for this reason that neither our organization, nor many others, including the White House, support granting pardons to these two individuals. We invite you to read a summary report of the incident written by the U.S Department of Justice, and armed with the facts, draw your own conclusions.