Last year, 412 migrant deaths were recorded on either side of the border, up from 398 a year earlier. This despite the number of attempted border crossings falling dramatically, according to the United Nations’ migration agency.
Placing immigration centers far from medical facilities is a plan, a design and this week, 2 young children died on our side in our care. Putting kids/families in centers built away from urban centers (and hospitals) to segregate and isolate is a plan/design. Trumpeting how people will die in our care as a tactic to scare away immigrants is a plan/design. Killing people of color to make a point, plan/design. Trump announcing he wants immigrants from Nordic countries is a declaration of white superiority/supremacy.
I am so sorry for every immigrant locked away, separated from family and in need of clothing, comfort and safety because our policies are intended to demonstrate disdain for people south of our border. It is not a way station, it is incarceration. Arrival here is not escape from tyranny. It is arrival into the arms of a new tyrant.
I have watched Wackenhut, private security buses at checkpoints, loading the captured immigrants to deliver them to the “centers”. Armed Border patrol agents are lined beside them with AR-15s. Border patrol get so used to bullying folks they do not know how to act around citizens. I walked into a buffet in Arizona and freaking BP agents were pushing people aside to get to the food. Either they thought it was all donuts or they were rude. I so hate the long vehicle lines I encounter at checkpoints on Interstate 10 where every agent fancies dark sunglasses, and German Sheperds sniff every vehicle.
We militarized our border, spending $14 billion for 2018 to employ 59,178 men and women including law enforcement and trade personnel:
» 23,079 CBP officers
» 2,423 CBP agriculture specialists
» 19,437 Border Patrol agents
» 610 air interdiction agents (pilots)
» 337 marine interdiction agents
» 256 aviation enforcement agents
» 883 trade personnel
Then ICE, a separate agency, has another 20,000 law enforcement and support personnel in more than 400 offices in the United States and around the world. That agency has an annual budget of approximately $6 billion.
Overall 2019 funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection of $14.2 billion and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of $8.3 billion is 22 percent higher than the FY 2017 enacted level. That is $22.5 billion spent annually and we have not yet started on the 1,000+ more miles of border wall. (Numbers taken from White House Budget Fact Sheet.)
Obama built 700 miles of wall along the 2000 mile border. Building an additional 1,000-mile wall could cost as much as $40 billion, according to an analysis published in the MIT Technology Review. Maintenance of barriers along the southern border will also be costly. The Congressional Research Service estimated in 2009 that double layer fencing would cost an estimated $16.4 million to $70 million per mile over 25 years, depending on the amount of damage sustained.
An aside, on the subject of money and personnel, thousands of medical jobs at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country remain vacant because VA leaders contend they can’t find qualified candidates who want them, an agency report released Thursday revealed. Directors for 140 VA hospitals reported a total of 3,068 staff vacancies that they are struggling to fill. On average, it takes the VA 110 days to hire a nurse, 177 days to hire a nurse practitioner, and often even longer for a physician.
But I digress. I wanted to make the point that you really have to be dying to get in to our country to be willing to die to get in.