Last Thursday, the US Senate passed an expansive “immigration reform” bill. The bill’s Hoeven-Corker Amendment would increase the US government’s “border security” spending to $46.3 billion.
This money will be used to create what John McCain calls “the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall,” staffed by at least 38,405 Border Patrol agents. That’s a larger force than George W. Bush had stationed in Afghanistan when he left office. No wonder it’s been called the “border surge.”
Those agents will be armed with billions of dollars worth of equipment from America’s leading war profiteers. According to the Washington Post, the bill demands “among other items, six Northrop Grumman airborne radar systems that cost $9.3 million each, 15 Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters that average more than $17 million apiece, and eight light enforcement helicopters made by American Eurocopter that sell for about $3 million each.” As usual, militarization means obscene corporate profits at taxpayer expense.
Moreover, increasing “border security” funding means expanding an agency whose members routinely violate civil liberties and have even committed murder. John Carlos Frey has documented 10 instances where Border Patrol agents have shot innocent Mexicans on Mexican soil. In one case, 16-year old José Antonio Rodríguez was shot eight times when he went to buy a hot dog in the border town of Nogales. In another incident, Frey explains, “a husband and wife were celebrating the birthday of their two daughters. The husband got shot and killed, shot in the heart.” This is what Border Patrol agents do to peaceful people who haven’t even crossed the border.
When immigrants cross the border, they are subjected to further violence. ...