Monday, November 13, 2006

Border Patrol Checkpoint Politics

About that police state that doesn't exist?
Kolbe's replacement — newly elected Democrat Gabrielle Giffords — said this week that she plans to support the restrictions on permanent checkpoints. Constituents in Santa Cruz and Cochise counties have complained about delays caused by the checkpoints, she said.


The local chapter of the Border Patrol's union, the National Border Patrol Council, said a combination of permanent and roving checkpoints would be ideal. Most importantly, agents want legislators to leave decisions to Border Patrol officials, which Kolbe didn't do, said Mike Albon, spokesman for Local 2544 of the National Border Patrol Council.

"The Border Patrol should run the Border Patrol, not some congressman whose constituents don't like to be stopped on the highways," he said.

Permanent checkpoints protect the safety of agents, their dogs and illegal entrants, Rod-riguez said. They also offer agents many of the same high-tech tools available at the legal ports of entry and better communication with law enforcement resources such as the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, he said.

I'm glad to see that Gabrielle Giffords will be supporting Jim Kolbe's stance on this issue. It is one of the few examples of the local population successfully using its leverage to oppose window-dressing efforts to deal with immigration reform.

We don't need more checkpoints, we need an honest assessment of what our economic policies have done to destroy the ability of working class people on both sides of border to survive. It's instinctive to follow prosperity - we're really not all that different than the Hohokam, Mogollon or Anasazi.

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