I guess I should have titled this entry “Security II.” During my travels I met more than a few river residents who expressed concern about the Wall not for the unpalatable signal it sends to our neighbors in Mexico, or for the eco impacts, or simply the waste of taxpayer dough. The concern of these few was over which way the fence was really leaning. Is it to keep Mexicans out or the rest of us in?
Several I met with, including growers in Presidio, the brave folks at Fronteras Unlimited, and Mayor Chad Foster in Eagle Pass, talked about the impact increased security effort had already had in their communities: Farms left fallow for want of labor, Mexican communities without resources locked out, and guest and undocumented workers fenced in.
Foster told me:
The fence will fence those 12 million in. That is what happened. Those 12 million, the vast majority of them have historically been migratory. They would come to the United States, they would work for several months, and then they would go back to Mexico. They were very proud Mexicans. They do not want to be gringos. They never intended to stay here. But when pressure was put on the border, it interrupted their migratory flow and they were hung in the U.S., and so now here comes the family.
The NAFTA punchline — Mexican farmers who find the removal of protective tariffs on beans and corn impossible to navigate — is guaranteed to increase migration efforts to enter the U.S. workforce. It seems to be an engineered humanitarian disaster.
But what about those camera towers, chipped passports, and security pledges?
It’s not a stretch for those who already have to check in or out of their home communities each day at U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints to feel that the Wall is intended for us. A wall is a wall, whichever side you stand on. A wall controls movement and doesn’t differentiate between Mexicans and Americans, that role goes to the Gatekeepers.
I thought the video I was forwarded a few weeks ago was hopelessly conspiratorial in the eternally-speculative-never-proven way of things, but one element, the micro-chipping of U.S. passports, seemed plausible. So, maybe, I thought. There would be GPS capabilities and more, certainly.
Then while I visited with folks in the Valley, a was handed an interesting article from the Del Rio News Herald. Seems the port of entry there will be the first outfitted with a passport reader that allows those at the gate to read your vital signs before you even pull up to the window. Hey, it’s expected to ease the stop-and-start of cross-border traffic, but at what cost to privacy?
Somewhere out there is a new U.S. passport waiting to telegraph your personal data to Data Control. Are we safe now? How about free?