None of this gun-toting and totally predictable violence along the border is addressing the issue of illegal immigration. Just as people will risk death by packing into airless shipping containers, climbing into aircraft wheel-wells, or clinging to the undersides of trucks in order to sneak into the US, we will have people braving American guns to sneak across the long Mexican border, as long as opportunities to scratch out a living and send money home to struggling families back home exist in the US, a country vastly more wealthy than adjacent Mexico. Until the US accepts this reality and decides to tackle the issue both helping Mexico to genuinely solve its economic problems and by ending the drug war by drying up demand in the US (probably by legalizing and licensing drugs the way it is handled in much of Europe), we are going to have illegal immigration.
The least we can do at this point is to recognize the problem as a social and economic one, and not a criminal one, and stop making the border area a war zone. Agent Ivie was a potential killer who was cut down by a colleague before he hit his mistaken mark. Had he been shooting at immigrants instead of other Agents, he might just as easily have shot a desperate woman or child trying to find a new and better life, and we probably wouldn't have even heard about it.
We need to seriously address the issues of poverty in Latin America and of ending the Drug War, so that we don't end up with the Mexican Border becoming a North American version of Korea's 38th Parallel, a reverse version of the Berlin Wall, or worse.
DAVE LINDORFF is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper. His work, and that of colleagues JOHN GRANT, LORI SPENCER, LINN WASHINGTON, JR. and CHARLES M. YOUNG, can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net
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