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Border Problem Worsens

  • The federal government has done little if anything to assist local communities trying to cope with the masses of illegal immigrants who steal across the U.S.-Mexico border daily. The sheer number has so overwhelmed several small U.S. towns' resources that local officials are publicly admitting they can no longer stop Mexicans from sneaking into the United States.
Exclusive to The Spotlight
By Mike Blair

Starting July 1, officials in three Tex as border counties will halt their cooperative effort with U.S. officials to prosecute Mexican aliens in county and state courts, particularly those involved in small-scale drug cases.

El Paso County District Attorney Jai me Esparza told federal officials that the counties do not have the resources to continue prosecuting thousands of illegal Mexicans.

The Clinton administration has failed to provide the counties along the Mexican border with federal assistance to cover the cost of incarcerating and prosecuting the Mexicans who are arrested, Esparza said.

According to Esparza, the courts and jails in the border counties are overflowing with Mexican illegals and drug-traffickers who have violated various state laws and that their prosecution is bankrupting his county.

He gave high marks to the Border Patrol for its work in trying to stem the tide of Mexican illegals as well as drugs.

The Mexican government, he said, is not taking measures on its side of the border and is not cooperating with the U.S. to stem the tide of illegal aliens and drugs pouring into the United States.


The problem with Mexico has worsened since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAF TA), according to officials concerned with the border problems. They point out that NAFTA has made the border even more porous than in the past. Under NAFTA regulations, Mexican trucks are allowed to pass through border check points with scant attention and inspection by U.S. customs agents.

The border problems represent only a small part, though perhaps the most dangerous for U.S. national security, of troubles caused by NAFTA.

Hundreds of thousands of American jobs have been lost because of NAFTA. U.S. manufacturers continue to relocate their industries and factories across the border to take advantage of cheap Mexican labor.

In addition, Mexico is flooding American supermarkets with thousands of tons of uninspected produce heavily contaminated with pesticides and germ-laden waste, while officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who carefully inspect American-produced fruits and vegetables, look the other way.

The late Rep. Sonny Bono (R-Calif.) championed legislation in Congress to require the labeling of the origin of foreign-grown produce. No one on Capitol Hill has continued his efforts since Bono died in a skiing accident in 1998.


Tensions continue to mount along the border, where recent attacks by Mexi can Army troops making incursions into U.S. territory and firing at Border Patrol agents have heightened concerns unequaled since 1915, when Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa and his "Villatistas" attacked U.S. towns along the border.

It took Gen. John "Blackjack" Per shing in 1916 to go into Mexico with a detachment of U.S. Cavalrymen to stop Villa's Mexican border raids.

The clashes with heavily-armed Mex ican soldiers on the U.S. side of the border have been described as "an act of war" by Reform Party presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan.

Buchanan recently returned from a fact-finding mission to the border, where he conferred with Border Patrol agents. He said he believes American soldiers should be used to seal up the porous boundary, through which hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens flow into America every year, along with illicit drugs.

Buchanan is the only presidential candidate addressing the border crisis. Texas Gov. George W. Bush, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, remains silent about the growing problem with Mexico, despite the fact that many of the border problems occur in his state.

A Border Patrol agent told The SPOTLIGHT that he and his fellow agents stationed along the border and American ranchers and others who are leery about the increase of illegal immigrants and drug trafficking appreciate Buchanan's interest and concern in the border problems.

Bush and VP Al Gore, who seeks the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, have long backed NAFTA. They also approve of other international trade agreements, including the granting of permanent most favored nation trade status to Red China, which Buchanan strongly op posed because it would cost U.S. workers their jobs.