A Short Note On Our Border Policy

Rio Grande

“La migra,” is what I shouted every time I saw the Border Patrol while out in West Texas. What I should have said each time was, “stop the insanity!”

Having passed from Ojinaga to Presidio the day before yesterday I am simply appalled, but more importantly, I’m terrified at what American has become. I do not exaggerate when I say that America is standing on the razor’s edge, tipping inexorably into a fascist surveillance state. Most people, much less those politicians who grandstand about ‘securing our border’ will ever make this border crossing. Everyone in America, however, should be forced to endure it. And I mean make the crossing, not some VIP jaunt across the border and then back with customs agents and Border Patrol officials in tow. They should be forced to sit in a car for three hours and then be interrogated at the US side of the border like everyone else passing through.

I then defy anyone who has passed through the border from Ojinaga to Presidio, or Laredo to Nuevo Laredo or Del Rio to Ciudad Acuna, or Piedras Negras to Eagle Pass and tell me me our policy is not insane. There are literally ten video cameras for each car, collecting ‘evidence’ all day long, every day of the year. The questioning is not only unnecessary but humiliating. The searches are utterly pointless, K-9 units, bomb testing materials, pulling grandmothers from cars, all the while allowing trucks to transit via a fast lane. Citizens are punished, but commerce must go on!

“Keep those fucking Mezcans outta Amurika, no matter what, but make sure my lawn gets done and my dishes get washed!”

The reason: ignorance; the cost: insane; the fear: baseless; the results: minuscule.

I’ve flown into Russia and Iran and immigration and customs there are easy and polite, especially as compared to what occurs every day in our airports.

I have crossed land borders from Kyrgyzstan to China, Turkey to Georgia, Nepal to China, Vietnam to Cambodia, Costa Rica to Nicaragua, Belize to Guatemala, Greece to Bulgaria, Macedonia to Bulgaria, Georgia to Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan and many others besides: not a single one is as terrible, intrusive, rude or humiliating as returning to the US either via air or land. None of them compare to the punishment meted out to the average guiltless American citizen. I thought airports were bad.

I have never in my life crossed any international border so over the top draconian, where you are treated as guilty of something. We have thrown up literal and metaphorical walls between us and the world and we are paying a terrible price for it.

Here’s to freedom fries!

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