Thursday, July 24, 2014

Border by; Leon C. Metz- a book report

This book was recommended to me by a close friend who knows of my continuing concern about border issues. This is an outstanding compilation of facts, people and the continuing struggle at the border since the beginning of both countries existence. The author presents many names and provides great detail of events. For me I have to slide over to get the gist of what happened without attempting to know the names of people involved. For anyone with the desire to have a better understanding I highly recommend reading. He does not provide only from the perspective of America but also Mexico. Beginning with America’s war of conquest we took large amounts of land that had been theirs. Desperately poor we were able to purchase the Gadsden strip for a paltry sum in order to provide easier rail service to the coast. I would be writing in Mexico if that had not occurred since Tucson was included. We have taken advantage of their cheap labor when needed and discarded when not. Poor living conditions where prevalent in the early years. Mexican leaders on the other hand have not done their job in proving working conditions and wages forcing the poor to take extraordinary risks to enter America in search of opportunity when none exists in their home country. He doesn’t mention the effect of NAFTA but I will. With tariffs reduced to zero the poor farmers could no longer make income sufficient to support their families, which was the major impulse for the surge beginning in the 90’s. The border throughout our history has been a scene of conflict from marauding Indians to banditos. Water concerns and pollution were constant problems to be resolved. Some were accomplished but much more needs to be done. He did mention many times that employer sanctions if ever put into effect would end illegal immigration in a heartbeat. Although legislation was enacted in the 80’s it has been riddled with loopholes and not effective. Our insatiable need for drugs has made drug running a major operation which the Border Patrol has not been able to stop nor is there any hope that they will. Only reducing the demand or legalization will stop this scourge. I learned a lot by reading, you will also. Jack B. Walters July 24, 2014

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