Immigration, Border Security, and the Rio Grande Valley
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The New York Times is reporting that for the first time in more than a decade the battle over securing the border has shifted from Arizona to Texas. According to the story:
Now the Rio Grande Valley has displaced the Tucson enforcement zone as the hot spot, with makeshift rafts crossing the river in increasing numbers, high-speed car chases occurring along rural roads and a growing number of dead bodies turning up on ranchers’ land, according to local officials.
“There is just so much happening at the same time — it is overwhelming,” said Benny Martinez, the chief deputy in the Sheriff’s Department of Brooks County, Tex., 70 miles north of the border, where smugglers have been dropping off carloads of immigrants who have made it past Border Patrol checkpoints.
This will surely have an impact on public policy in Texas, and not for the better. It will provide Rick Perry with a ready-made issue for his next political campaign, whatever it might be. We may see a renewed emphasis on sanctuary cities laws and other Arizona-style anti-immigrant legislation, and, of course, criticism of Obama for failing to do the impossible, which is to secure the border. The timing is bad for South Texas, which should be looking toward a bright future with the new UT Medical School and other advances in higher education.
AP Photo | Eric Gay