Important policy issues are taking a back seat.
Among them is securing our borders. It’s the topic that got The Donald through the primary and onto the presidential stage. Hillary didn’t make much of a deal about it. Let’s face it; a big, beautiful wall (Donald’s words) paid for by Mexico is a bit much to comprehend.
The issue here is not about the 12 million illegal aliens already in the US. They are integrated into our economy and culture. That’s way too complicated for me. What’s not complicated but just as important are the daily incursions across our borders. They include illegal immigrants, drug smugglers, and sometimes human traffickers.
It’s a dangerous situation for Border Patrol agents and for illegals. In fiscal 2015 violators assaulted 378 Border Patrol agents.
It happened on Oct. 31 in Calexico, Ca. A Border Patrol agent saw someone climbing over the fence. When he tried to arrest him he got punched in the face. It also happened a week earlier. A Border Patrol agent tried to arrest a man coming over the fence. Someone on the Mexican side threw a chunk of concrete hitting the agent on the shoulder.
It’s not all scuffles and handcuffs.
Agents rescued 2,183 immigrants during 2015. Another 240 died. Heat stroke, dehydration and hyperthermia are the top killers. Agents scouring the desert in a helicopter recently rescued a man bitten by a venomous snake and suffering from heat exhaustion. He recovered.
Some are lucky. Take for example a 4-year-old El Salvadorian girl shot last August. She and her mother traveled through Mexico toward the U.S. border. A Mexican pistol-wielding robber stopped their train. The robber’s pistol discharged and struck the girl in the shoulder when he pistol-whipped another victim.
She did get patched up but spent the night in a filthy “stash house” along the border. Luckily, U.S. Border Patrol agents spotted her and took the girl to a hospital.
While most of the news about illegal incursions is along the southern border, incursions also come from our coastal and northern borders.
The Border Patrol apprehended 337,117 people coming into the U.S. illegally in 2015. The Border Patrol listed 148,995 of them other than Mexican.
It also seized a variety of drugs:
•1.5 million pounds of marijuana
•11,220 pounds of cocaine
•8,282 ounces of heroine
•6,443 pounds of meth
•158 pounds of Ecstasy (mostly along the U.S./Canadian border)
•101 pounds of “other” drugs.
The last category included the powerful synthetic opioid painkiller known as Fentanyl.
Agents also stopped 375 guns and roughly 14,000 rounds of ammunition from coming into the U.S.
So, while our country remains split over who is the least offensive presidential candidate, people are dying in the desert, agents are being pummeled with rocks, and for every pound of illegal drugs stopped at the border, you can be sure another pound is making its way to the U.S. heartland.