« Home | Its Friday Video, Ese! » | Troops to be deployed at Border? » | Minutemen Show Their True Selves » | Texas' Faulty Elections: Will Democrats Finally Wa... » | Remembering Cinco de Mayo » | First Lady to Xenophobes - Get Over Yourselves! » | A Page in Untold Hispanic History » | MAY DAY - El Gran Boicot (Live Blogging) » | "El Gran Boicot" - La Raza, Silent No More! » | Torture is Un-American & Un-Human » 

Sunday, May 14, 2006 

Fortress America - Operation Gatekeeper

When the US is not hunting down immigrants, one thing America loves to pride itself is that it can describe itself as melting pot. One of the reasons, it has always attracted people who are in search of the "American Dream" from all over the world. Just talk to any immigrant, they will simply tell you, they came here to achieve the American Dream. However, the US is also schizophrenic when it comes to immigration, the US can turn on a whim, which it has; in certain time periods, US immigration policy has chosen that certain kind of immigrants will be allowed to achieve this Dream. And like many individuals with schizophrenia, it make things difficult for individuals and families to achieve that dream by turning it into their worst nightmare.

But who really cares about immigrants from South of the border? It's not like they really have any rights. They are just foreigners with funny accents who is simply just another "invader" only coming over here to take away American jobs, feed off the welfare system, mug old ladies in the night, steal your cars, or go on a killing spree, as Idaho’s Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez warns the nation about these invaders. (And Vasquez should know; he's a grandson of Mexican immigrants.) Or, worse yet, columnist and blogger, Michelle Malkin informs us that these dangerous multiculturalists are bent on destroying the English language, but its not just the Mexicans, it's also the Vietnamese. (And Malkin should know; she's a daughter of Filipino immigrants.)

Don't even waste your tears over those invaders or their Third World families, they'll get caught sooner or later and get thrown in some private detention camp. And if they've suffered, it's ok, it's for worthy cause, its to save an endangered species - the Republican electoral votes. So don't freak out if your favorite neighborhood Chinese restaurant shuts down, they most likely were hiring illegal aliens (not just Chinese, some of them are Vietnamese and Hispanic) and they are all mostly being hauled off to some federal detention facility.
Chertoff also said Homeland Security would open detention facilities in the next few weeks to house entire families of illegal immigrants who hope to bring their children along in order to avoid jail time. "It'll be humane, but we're not going to let people get away with this," he said.
We just don't have the time or the emotional capital to spend worrying about their freedom. We have more pressing matters to worry about, we have to worry about possible terrorism and our safety. The only way we can do this - declare war on immigration.

The battle plan is already under way. Throw more millions of dollars to continue building the existing McNamara Line along the Southern border? Who cares, money grows on trees! Force every American to carry a national ID card. Don't complain, it's been done. Force employers to check-in with Department of Homeland Security and their an employee verification system, before hiring? It's only fair, we have to save our jobs. They're stealing American jobs, remember?

And along the way, we will have some collateral damage, so sho cares if innocent families are ripped apart, it's war. And war is hell, Goddamn it! Besides every American should follow the chicken hawk motto: "We have to destroy a village in order to save it." ... click read more to continue ...

This is post-9/11, we should already be used to this type of military talk. We have have been at war, the "War on Terrorism" and the Southern border is just another front, in our war for security. Just recently, our Commander-in-Thief announced his plans for deploying the National Guard to be stationed along the border. But the simple truth, the government was quietly militarizing the Border Patrol and the border since the "Contract on America."

The idea of building a border fence began in 1990, when Congressman Ducan Hunter (R-CA) presented his plan, Four Achievable Victories, to President Bush. And later that year, the US began working on the supply roads and the construction of the fence.
Goals presented in the report include the building of a border road, the lighting of the twelve major smuggling corridors, the replacing of the chain-link fence with steel matting, and the use of the National Guard to build the roads and fence.

Click for larger image
And soon after the passage of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, the US Border Patrol has grown into the nation's largest uniformed law enforcement agency (11,000 agents) deployed along the 2,000-mile border. In a study conducted by the by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse TRAC found that despite the increase in the number of Border Patrol agents, the number of apprehensions, however, dropped by 10% from 1,324,202 in 1995 to 1,188,977 in 2005.

Although the number of apprehensions did go down, in another TRAC study, TRAC found that that the Bush Administration had adopted an across-the-board get-tough policy when it came to immigration. The Department of Homeland Security more immigration referrals for prosecution, more prosecutions and more convictions.

Click for larger image
The overall counts for the entire nation seem clear. Referrals climbed from just under 24,000 in FY 2003 to almost 40,000 in FY 2004 -- an increase of 65%. In the same period, prosecutions rose 82% -- from almost 21,000 to just under 38,000. And the increase in convictions was similarly up, 18,000 to 31,000.

Click for larger image
Interestingly, TRAC found that by subtracting the "skyrocketing enforcement actions" occurring in the Southern District of TX from the national counts, a totally different outcome occurred. TRAC found that nationally, the number of referrals for prosecution only went up by 8%, prosecutions went up 16% and convictions actually fell, down by 4%. How interesting that South Texas is the only district that raises the national average. And it is also interesting that Bush is deciding to deploy troops to along the border.

Operation Gatekeeper
In 1994, Operation Gatekeeper was introduced with the purpose of reducing the flow of undocumented migrants into San Diego County by sealing high-traffic urban zones and forcing migrants into harsh, hostile terrain. In 1995, similar projects were introduced in Texas (Operation Hold the Line), and in Arizona (Operation Safeguard). Supporters hoped for prevention through deterrence.

Gatekeeper was developed from the 1994 U.S. Border Patrol Strategic Plan. The plan recognizes that
illegal entrants crossing through remote, uninhabited expanses...can find themselves in mortal danger... [and] the influx will adjust to Border Patrol changing tactics.
Instead of deterring unauthorized crossings, Gatekeeper only deterred those crossing the border from using the regular crossing routes to finding newer ones — migrants started avoiding the secured urban areas and began pouring into more unsafe desert and mountain landscapes to cross the border. The repercussions were tragic: migrants inundated ranches, farms, and small towns; human trafficking activity surged; and death tolls along the border soared.

In 1998 the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of San Diego & Imperial Counties filled a petition with the Organization of American States' Inter-American Commission on Human Rights regarding how the United States was in direct violation of international human rights law by directing immigrant paths that can ultimately be fatal.
The Border Patrol's blueprint for Gatekeeper itself says that the environment to which the migrant traffic was to be channeled — places where "the days are blazing hot and the nights freezing cold" — posed a "mortal danger" to illegal entrants. Three hundred and sixty migrants, including women and children, have died at the California border since the start of Operation Gatekeeper in 1994, most of them from exposure in the Tecate mountains and dehydration in the Imperial desert. Increasingly, migrants are drowning in the swift currents of the All American canal that cuts across Calexico and Mexicali, in attempts to avoid long treks across the desert.
Other forms of terror and abuse can be attributed to the Border Patrol and other U.S. agencies. Operation Gatekeeper has also been condemned by Amnesty International:
The allegations of ill-treatment Amnesty International collected include people struck with batons, fists and feet, often as punishment for attempting to run away from Border Patrol agents; denial of food, water and blankets for many hours while detained in Border Patrol stations and at Ports of Entry for INS processing; sexual abuse of men and women; denial of medical attention, and abusive, racially derogatory and unprofessional conduct towards the public sometimes resulting in the wrongful deportation of US citizens to Mexico. People who reported that they had been ill-treated included men, women and children, almost exclusively of Latin American descent. They included citizens and legal permanent residents of the USA, and members of Native American First Nations whose tribal lands span the U.S.-Mexico border.
The brutality and disregard displayed by the Border Patrol has enabled and encouraged vigilante groups such as the Minutemen Project to act out against the migrants.

According to the LA Times, in 2004, a total of 460 migrants have died crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. And according to the US Customs and Border Protection, in 2003, 340 people died trying to cross the Mexican border into the United States.

Like Father, Like Son: Military Joint Operations
During King George I reign of terror, then-Secretary of Defense and now Vice President Dick Cheney, announced the activation of Joint Task Force Six (JTF-6) at Fort Bliss, Texas. JTF-6 is
the Joint Forces Command component that provides Department of Defense counterdrug support to federal, regional, state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the continental United States.

Military support is designed to assist law enforcement in their mission to detect, deter, disrupt, and dismantle illegal drug trafficking organizations. All military support to counterdrug operations is based on a valid support request from a law enforcement agency.
JTF-6 grew out of George Bush I's National Drug Control Strategy and was used under the Texas version of Gatekeeper, "Operation Alliance."
Operation Alliance prepares border control strategies and coordinates drug enforcement activities of 17 federal and numerous state and local law enforcement agencies combating drug smuggling. The primary smuggling route across the southwest border is by land. In spite of law enforcement agencies' efforts to counter drug smuggling, the flow of drugs between the ports of entry along the southwest border continue due to vast open areas and a relatively low law enforcement presence.
The last joint operation between the military and the Border Patrol was in 1997, when marines killed an 18-year-old US citizen, Ezekiel Hernandez in the border town of Redford, Texas.
On May 20, 1997 a U.S. Marine shot the then-18 year old to death near his Redford, Texas home as he tended his goats.

Then-U.S. Marine Cpl. Clemente Banuelos said Hernandez threatened him with a rifle during joint U.S. Border patrol and military drug surveillance missions, Brownsville Herald archives show. Banuelos was cleared of wrongdoing.
King George I justified the militarization of the border by linking illegal immigration with the "War on Drugs" — a process that began during the Reagan years. In a 1996 article written by Jose Palafox, "Militarizing the Border," in Covert Action Quarterly, most of the drug trafficking comes through ports of entry with the help of corrupt government agents.
Over the last twenty years, hundreds of customs and border patrol agents have been indicted for taking bribes to allow smugglers to bring over not only people but also drugs, cocaine.
In Arizona, DHS indicted a Border Patrol agent for "harboring an illegal immigrant" after exposing DHS’s abuses on undocumented immigrants. Ephraim Cruz, a Douglas Border Patrol had blown the whistle on U.S. government abuse of undocumented immigrants.
A U.S. Border Patrol officer who lodged complaints about alleged illegal immigrant abuse has been indicted on five charges of transporting and harboring an illegal immigrant.

The indictment charges that Douglas agent Ephraim Cruz, 32, knowingly brought into the country an illegal immigrant, Maria De Socorro Terrazas-Orozco, on Jan 22 (2005).

Last year, Cruz complained in several internal memos obtained by the Tucson Citizen that migrants were going up to 24 hours without food and were unnecessarily crowded into cells.
And according to the Douglas Dispatch:
Ephraim Cruz is the same border agent that filed a memorandum to his supervisors that outlined his concerns about mistreatment of illegal immigrants and health and safety issues on March 21, 2004.

The memo stated that "aliens in our custody are not being fed. On one occasion, a juvenile (was) feeling week and broke out in large red bumps throughout his body, allegedly due to lack of nutritional sustenance. That young boy had been here nearly twenty hours without a meal."

The memo further stated that ... a young teenage girl had been granted humanitarian voluntary return after complains of feeling faint.

"That girl had been here three shifts also without a meal," the memo stated.
As for the criminal element, according to a February 2000 Office of Inspector Report, Border Patrol Efforts Along the Northern Border, Evaluation and Inspections Report, it is the Northern Border that is more likely to encounter "an alien" smuggling weapons and drugs and high levels of human trafficking:
Border Patrol sectors on the Canadian border face significant law enforcement challenges, even though the volume of known illegal alien and drug trafficking is much less than it is along the Mexican border. Between FY 1993 and FY 1998, the Border Patrol's eight northern sectors apprehended 81,285 deportable individuals, including 5,704 smuggled aliens. In addition, the northern sectors apprehended 4,384 non-deportable individuals--legal permanent residents and U.S. citizens--for criminal activity (e.g., alien smuggling). These statistics quantify the successes of the Border Patrol. However, they do not provide an indication of the nature or extent of illegal activity that goes undetected due to limited staffing and resources.

Although the numbers of incidents is low, BPAs in the northern border sectors experience organized criminal activity more often than BPAs along the southwest border. According to Border Patrol workload data ... for FY 1993 through FY 1998, the BPAs in northern border sectors were 14 times as likely to encounter an alien involved with smuggling weapons and 9 times as likely to encounter an alien involved with smuggling drugs when compared to BPAs in southwest sectors.
The current Bush Administration's support for immigration reform has been half-hearted, which is no surprise. The continuation of the militarization of the border has to make one wonder if this is Vice President Cheney's subtle way of completing a job he couldn't finish, while King George II plays the puppet. It should be noted, one of the main issues addressed in the report is the high levels of "illegal immigration" from three groups, Chinese, South Koreans, and Mexicans.
INS's 1997 Anti-Smuggling Strategy document states that "[i]ntelligence information suggests that use of the Northern border by smuggling organizations is on the rise." ... Northern Border Patrol sectors have identified trends in illegal immigration and alien smuggling operations, including an influx of nationals from China, South Korea, and Mexico crossing the border illegally.

In December 1998, a joint operation, led by INS investigators and involving law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada, broke up a smuggling ring that for two years had used the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory in New York to smuggle approximately 3,600 undocumented Chinese nationals into the United States....

South Koreans and Mexicans are not required to obtain a visa to enter Canada. Consequently, increasing numbers of citizens of both countries are traveling to Canada and later illegally entering the United States.
The report also mentions that the original plan that created Gatekeeper, Border Patrol Strategic Plan 1994 and Beyond, calls for four phases, not three, for controlling the US borders, including the Northern Border.
  • Phase I - Control San Diego and El Paso Corridors
  • Phase II - Control South Texas and Tucson Corridors
  • Phase III - Control Remainder of Southwest Border
  • Phase IV - Control all the United States Borders/Adjust to Flow
Phase IV is meant to control the Northern Border, yet, there are no set date. But the subtle signs of the Bush Administration beginning to expand Gatekeeper to the Northern border are there. Beginning next year, all US citizens are required to have a passport for all air and sea travel to or from Canada.

Are you awake America? Do you care now? Your fear of the brown invaders spreading throughout this country, has now shut you in. Your fear has allowed Bush and Cheney to create the ultimate roach motel. And like the roach motel, Americans check in, but they don't check out.

"Even the new world order cannot guarantee an era of perpetual peace. But enduring peace must be our mission." - King George Bush I

Hat tip to Arcturus for bringing this up.

Technorati : , , , , , , ,


About me

  • I'm XicanoPwr
  • From Tejas, United States
  • Un Xicano who is tired of the current status quo.
My profile

Freedom Fighters

Cost of the War in Iraq

(JavaScript Error)


Email me:
Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates
Today's Gas Prices