Posted by: bklunk | February 12, 2007

What an Important Issue!

I found this post on IR Spring 2007. In some ways it is hard to think of a more important issue. President Bush and Congress basically punted immigration reform last year. It’s an issue that really splits both parties and nobody wanted to face the fallout in the fall elections. Bush and the Democrats have just about 10 months to do something here before the 2008 presidential election shuts down the policymaking process again.

Death on the U.S.-Mexico Border

On Thursday night, three men were killed in the U.S. near the border of Mexico.  According to an article on, “Mexico wants a full investigation by U.S. authorities on Friday into a shooting on the U.S. border that left three illegal migrants dead and two injured.”  This has been an on-going theme and Mexico is upset that its citizens are being killed at our borders.  People in the U.S. are starting to take the border control into their own hands.  “U.S.-Mexico relations over their 2,000-mile (3,200-km) border have been tense since gangs of U.S. vigilantes who call themselves Minutemen began staking out the border area in 2005 to hunt for illegal Mexican and Central American immigrants.” 

Many Americans do not want illegal immigrants allowed in the United States because they go to schools, receive medical benefits, and take jobs but do not pay all the taxes associated with it.  Many people have come across the border from Mexico to work illegally because the wages are much better in the U.S.  The U.S. is unable to stop all the illegal immigration because there are so many people coming over.  At the same time, no people should take it in their own hands to uphold what they feel is justice.  These vigilantes have no right to kill illegal immigrants crossing the border.  They can lock them up or show the law enforcement where they are, but they should not kill other human beings.  Mexico has a right to want these killings to be investigated because these people did not deserve death.  The U.S. and Mexico must cooperate at the borders because there is such a large area to cover and because there are so many people involved.  They need to keep peaceful relations because they are so close and intertwined economically.


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  1. I agree that illegal immigration and the proper patrolling of our southern border is a major issue. I respect the fact that the Minutemen believe that by taking matters into their own hands they are helping the problem, but as seen here, it may actually be creating a bigger problem. The men and women of the National Guard and the border patrol are being trained and paid to do what they do and I think that the securing the border should be their job. That being said, there is always a chance that a border patrol agent will shoot and kill an incoming illegal immigrant, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally. It’s incredibly unfortunate that these people lost their lives or were badly injured, but when they decided to take the risk to cross the border that is known to be dangerous and they unfortunately have to live with those consequences (whether being shot trying to cross the border or later being deported after it is discovered that they are here illegally). However, I’m not sure if there is necessarily a way to keep the vigilantes from taking matters into their own hands (The banning firearms brings up an entirely different issue).

    There needs to be a discussion between Mexico and the U.S. (and also maybe some of the Central American states) in order to get control of this problem. Though the primary role of patrolling the border is securing our homeland, Mexico should also be concerned with the fact that these immigrants are leaving Mexico for some obviously important reason, not just to visit. There is a reason that this is such a problem and until both sides are able to communicate their concerns and objectives in the situation, I don’t see how the border control issue can be properly dealt with.

  2. While I understand that we cannot just allow every Mexican person who wants to make more money in to the United States, I do think that people make too big of a deal out of their being here. I work in a restaurant here that employs many immigrants from Mexico and Central America and, even though these are among the nicest jobs illegal immigrants can hope for, I can say confidently that they have no competition for these jobs from United States citizens. Americans complain that we have our own unemployed citizens, and that these immigrants are taking jobs away from them, but I disagree with this. I see just about every application that comes into the restaurant, and I have never seen an application for a dishwashing position come from a citizen of the United States. Americans are simply not willing to work such low quality jobs for such a small amount of money. However, this small amount of money is so much more than the immigrants could be making in their own country, so of course they want to come here. Most do not even want to stay here, but simply to work for a few years and save money so that they can live comfortably when they move home.
    I definitely think that increasing the number of border patrol officers is a pressing matter, however not just to monitor illegal immigration. One of the biggest reasons to have more officers at the U.S. – Mexico border is that we need people to monitor the U.S. citizens who are trying to take matters into their own hands. Whether they think they are helping or not, these “Minutemen” need to understand that it is illegal to kill people in this country and allow our government to handle the problem.

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