Ummm…You Can’t Record What You Don’t See.

Some members of Congress are now demanding that the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) release data for the number of migrants who are turned back before crossing the border illegally and the number who evaded the Border Patrol and thus were able to successfully enter the U.S. illegally.

Say what?

Am I the only one who sees the flaw in this logic? How exactly is the DHS to accurately determine that information? One might as well ask how many stars haven’t yet been discovered. Sure, we know how many UFO sightings have been reported, but how many didn’t we see? How many Sasquatches haven’t been seen?

DHS and the Border Patrol report the number of apprehensions by agents. In addition, ICE (Immigration and Customs Service) reports the number of deportations. But it’s extremely unlikely that they would be able to accurately track the number of migrants who are discouraged from crossing the border upon seeing Border Patrol agents. And it would be impossible to track the number of migrants who cross the border unseen by agents.

As for those spotted, but elude capture, it would be possible to cite a number. But many are likely captured by other agents and law enforcement personnel. So what is the purpose of collecting the data?

We now have more than 17,600 border patrol agents assigned to the 1,954 miles of border with Mexico. That’s more than 9 agents per mile! And the Senate Immigtation Reform bill calls for adding 20,000 more!

Apprehensions of illegal immigrants are at an all-time high. Deportations are at an all-time high. Illegal immigration is now at net zero. Yet, Congressional Teapublicans accuse former Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, of engaging in a cover-up for failing to report the number of “turn-backs” and the number of “got-aways.” They claim this information is needed in order to determine whether or not the border is secure before voting on Immigration Reform.

Here’s an idea. Since Congress spends less than 3 days a week at work, they have plenty of time to go to the border and collect the data themselves.

Grand Old Party Of Hate.

After last year’s failure to elect a president, you would think that the GOP would stop trying to be the stupid, anti-minority, anti-woman, anti-poor party.

You’d be wrong.

Confirming that the Tea Party Parasites are firmly in control of the GOP, red states across the country are refusing to expand Medicaid making it difficult for the working poor to get access to healthcare. Many states are also using bullying tactics and tricks to pass legislation that not only takes away a woman’s right to choose. The same legislation is forcing women to pay for ultrasounds they neither want nor need; to eliminate women’s health clinics; to limit women’s access to contraceptives.

Already this year, Speaker John Boehner has stated that he will not bring forward the Senate’s immigration reform bill. GOP legislators are, once again, trying to suppress the voting rights of minorities. And GOP legislators and congressmen are still trying to deny gays and lesbians the right to marry.

What all of these issues have in common is that they are attempts to deny rights to individuals.

Instead of following their oft-stated goal of limited government, GOP leaders are trying to use the government to discriminate against large segments of our population. And they’ll continue their politics of discrimination and hate until voters make them pay. Not just for a single election year, but for three or four election cycles. Long enough to force a permanent change in the party.

Visit To The Border Exposes The Complexity Of Immigration.

My wife and I recently traveled to the border town of Douglas, Arizona. Along the way, we passed dozens of Border Patrol pickup trucks and two checkpoints. Upon arriving in Douglas, we were greeted by an imposing wall stretching along the border and a town in visible decay.

You see, Douglas was once a shopping destination for Mexican families. Many drove for miles to purchase items that were difficult to find or too expensive in their own country. Many walked across the border to work. Families lived on both sides of the border. All of this is readily confirmed with a quick glance at many of the business signs, which are in Spanish. Not English. After all, this land was owned by Mexico long before it was transferred to the United States.

Unfortunately, much of that cross-border commerce seems to have come to an end. Many of the storefronts are empty and many buildings are boarded up. It is now much more difficult to cross the border and there are far too many incidents in which Mexican citizens have been detained or threatened. It appears that many Americans have also avoided the area.

These are just a few of the consequences of our failed immigration policy.

Other consequences include the blight of our modern day “Great Wall” or “Iron Curtain.” It’s nearly as expensive and no more successful. The wall has reduced the number of migrants crossing the border illegally. And it has blocked the traditional migratory patterns of wildlife, maybe speeding some desert animals on their way to extinction. But it hasn’t stopped the traffic of illegal drugs. It has simply funneled them into a concentrated area which has posed a danger to ranchers and other residents in the area on both sides of the border.

This is no way to deal with immigration.

If we’re to get a handle on the issue, we must pass legislation that creates work permits. We must create an effective national ID system. We must make it easy for businesses to verify workers before hiring them, and we must make it easy to prosecute businesses who hire undocumented workers. We must create a path to citizenship for those who are already here, especially the “dreamers” (those who were brought here at an early age by their parents). And we must stop our large agribusiness corporations from dumping subsidized corn into Mexico and Central America, making it impossible for small farmers to make a living and forcing them to seek employment elsewhere.

Perhaps, most important, we should decriminalize drugs and make them available with a prescription from pharmacies. That would take the profit out of the illegal drug trade and force the drug cartels to find a new occupation. It would depopulate many of our prisons, saving billions in taxes. It would also eliminate the need for “users” to deal with criminals and to commit crimes in order to purchase their drugs.

Well, I can dream, can’t I?