Friday, June 20, 2014

The "boarders"

That misspelling by too many pathetic conservatives is, sadly, now a haunting description of the current situation in South Texas.  And the proposed responses to the humanitarian crisis are getting more shrill.  Ted Cruz is squealing, Dan Patrick is shrieking... but fortunately for us all, Greg Abbott is still in hiding and Rick Perry is busy cleaning something off his new shoes (no boots for him anymore).

State Sen. Dan Patrick the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, joined some of his conservative colleagues on Tuesday in calling for “immediate action” to address the surge of undocumented immigrants crossing into Texas.

“The Texas Department of Public Safety has indicated that sustained operations along our southern border will require $1.3 million per week," Patrick said in a statement. "I am calling on the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House to immediately allocate $1.3 million a week in emergency spending for the rest of the year for added border security through Texas law enforcement."

That's a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.

There is going to be a horde of armed folks showing up with guns to play soldier. I can't think of a more dangerous situation. The border is a dangerous place to begin with. A surge only makes it worse.

Rick Perry should return to Texas and address this problem. A letter signed by state leaders in support of a surge is not a fix. An armed vigilante force is not a fix. A letter from the tea party is not a fix. I'm not sure that there is a fix, but this plan isn't it. There is no doubt that the situation on the border is serious. It is both a humanitarian and a demographic crisis. But it can't be fixed by politicians playing politics during an election season in an attempt to throw red meat to the base.

Rick Perry won't be fixing it, won't even be trying to.  Neither will Greg Abbott or Dan Patrick, of course.  It is, in fact, something that Barack Obama needs to take action upon.  More than likely, however, it's going to be a problem that Hillary Clinton -- together with Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte -- will have to address when they all are elected.  Hopefully.

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, Patrick’s opponent in the race for lieutenant governor, said that “partisan politics and fear-mongering” would not solve the problem at the border and called on federal lawmakers to turn their attention to what she said is the driving force behind the exodus.

“Washington must tackle the root causes of this crisis: weak governments, entrenched poverty and the growing power of violent criminal actors in Central America,” she said in a statement. “Texans have a long tradition of looking after our neighbors in times of need. These too are children of God. State and federal government should follow suit, and partner with our faith-based organizations, nonprofits, food banks, and health providers to help these children.”

ICE, as we know, is overwhelmed.  They are staying busy shipping migrants to Arizona and flying them back to their home nations, and still they come, fleeing the economic injustices in Central America that have left them sick and starving.  Even burying those who have died in transit has now become an American disgrace.

And, though he earns a share, you cannot blame it all on Obama.

(T)he only way to tackle root causes is for Washington to stop meddling in other countries’ affairs -- political and economic. The influx of kids mostly comes from El Salvador, Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala; all countries whose governments are or have historically been supported by the U.S. because they elected whom the U.S. wanted (or placed in power by coup), as our friends at Latino Rebels remind us. The Central American Free Trade Agreement and meddling in these countries’ elections has certainly taken its toll to the point where cash-rich criminal enterprises easily yield power. And let’s not forget that some of these right-wing governments are quite oppressive, as well, particularly toward the poor. What do you think is the socio-economic status of the kids coming over? So, if these governments are weak, we can definitely point to US Latin American policy as a root cause.

As things stand, there is a crisis and it’s growing. With 90,000 kids expected to come over and be apprehended by the end of 2014, facilities and manpower are already busting at the seams. As we heard recently, the Border Patrol was complaining about doing diaper duty and babysitting. If only the DPS dollars were for humanitarian aid, rather than a weak attempt at border militarization. Because all of this just seems to be another dose of Republican theater -- $40 million worth of bad theater.

Even Bill Clinton -- as far back as 2010, mind you -- has come to the realization that these free trade pacts turned out badly for everybody involved.  And for the record, Hillary needs to quickly get to the same public understanding about her role in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  The children streaming across the Rio Grande have exposed the naked greed and corruption associated with politicians of both parties currying favor with the diversified global conglomerates.

As bad as it is, our free-trade, cheap-foreign-labor Democrats still ain't got nuthin' on Republicans.

The chickens of NAFTA and CAFTA are coming home to roost.  And if we the people don't stop it, the TPP will eventually produce the same economic disparity and dislocation.  It's going to take much more critical thinking to apply some remedies to our hemispheric economy than a police surge at the Texas border can fix.

And let's establish that Republicans just are not capable of that much deep thought.

Update: Rick Perry writes a sternly worded letter.  I seem to recall television commercials from 2002, 2006, and 2010 suggesting Rick Perry was capable of taking more action about immigration than just writing a letter.  Conservatives, you've been played.


Greg said...

Regarding your claim on that misspelling:
How many conservatives, Perry? Can you provide some examples?

PDiddie said...

I count three in this picture. Which is three too many.

Gadfly said...

Well put. NAFTA plus the CIA before that.

When I was in suburban Dallas, the one elementary school in my suburb, for a story for the newspaper, invited me to the school. And, a bunch of first- and second-graders had a drawing contest's results on the walls, including listing where they were originally from. Unscientific sample, but at least 10 percent of those from outside the US weren't from Mexico, either - I saw multiples from Guatemala and singles from other Central American countries. A lot of relatively uninformed conservatives and liberals alike don't realize the difficulties Mexico has with "holding" its own southern borders.


As for Greg's comment, Perry, make sure you're not doing Rick Perry counting and forgetting someone. :)