Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Hard Truth From Orlando

The family of Mexican youngster Sergio Adrian Hernandez
Huereka, 15 years old, are mourning the loss of their son, who
apparently put himself in harm’s way when he and some
buddies decided to hang out near the border between Mexico
and the U.S. and throw stones at U.S. Border Patrol officers
apprehending persons crossing over the border illegally into
the U.S. A U.S. Border officer shot back when the
rock-throwing didn’t stop and Sergio died. That’s the
simple situation as reported. An unsupervised kid was
where he wasn’t supposed to be, doing what he shouldn’t
have been doing, and he died for it. It was an entirely
preventable tragedy.

But the political and legal fall-out and cross-agency finger
pointing from this incident of teenage stupidity might go
on for months, if not years. President Calderon publicly
deplores the increasing violence being exercised against
Mexican citizens who illegally cross into the United States,
but he and his government do little or nothing to stop his
citizens from routinely breaking U.S. law and the conditions
of treaty between his country and the U.S.

There’s not going to be a quick-fix for this in the big
picture. Border Agents are the first line of defense against
the drug lords of Central America and the tidal wave of
illegal immigrants who are flooding the U.S. social support
systems and draining tax dollars from a system to which
they were never entitled. And lest we think we’re alone in
fighting a battle against hordes of immigrants for which we
were not prepared, one needs only to look at the news out
of Europe ’s impending elections. There are two big issues:
economy and the underpinning immigrant flood into the
industrialized nations with the inherent problems of
under-employment, cultural clashes, poor education,
poverty, crime and the drain on social services. Gosh,
that sounds familiar.

But the root of the problem is decades of non-enforcement
of immigration laws by the federal government. This has
given rise to the porous Mexican/American and Canadian/
American borders, the casual disregard for local law
enforcement and the hitherto nearly nonexistent
consequences of violating those laws. But what we have
now is the backlash of local communities’ law enforcement
against federal non-response in the form of Arizona’s law
(with other states following suit) and local municipalities
paying to have their officers cross-certified to enforce
immigration laws and not have to wait on ICE or Border
Patrol when an illegal immigrant is apprehended in their
community. The so-called Tea Party movement is
galvanizing to support Arizona ’s call to immigration
enforcement and federal response is to increase security
and personnel along the borders.

Well, in the words of the old song, it’s tightening up time.
We can anticipate confrontations and violence increasing as
we tighten up border security. And resistance is inevitable
in the face of near non-existent enforcement for so many
years, where complacency and disregard were the norm for
generations. No one likes it when they have to change what
they’ve taken for granted. Things aren’t going to get better
for a long while; they will get worse.

But for those of us at Ground Zero, who live with the dirt and
grit on the ground reality, we can keep ourselves and our
families safer by practicing some very basic concepts, like
not going where bad things are happening, knowing where
your children are and what they’re doing. Sergio – well,
he’s paid the price for being more testosterone than brains,
like the rock-throwing adolescents in Palestine who become
casualties of Israeli bullets, like the rock-throwing rioters in
Thailand , the street-roaming kids in inner-city U.S. of A
– and on and on and on.

Mothers, if you cherish your sons, keep them home. Lead
and live the example for your children. Kick their butts if
you catch them putting themselves in opposition to law
enforcement, hanging out with idiots, and make it clear
you are NOT on their side when they deliberately put
themselves in confrontational situations. Be a parent now
and you’ll live to see yourself a grandparent, and let the
politics sort itself out.

Florida Cracker

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