Back in May 2019, I wrote an article about the number of bailouts, chases involving stolen vehicles and signs of human smuggling and concluded that South Texas was under siege.

In talking with law enforcement and local officials now, you get an alarming realization that things are so much worse than they were back then.

If we don’t start to get a handle on things, what kind of chaos can we expect to unfold over the next few months, not to mention the next two years?

I understand that people want to come to America in search of a better life, but if we don’t protect our borders and respond to this overwhelming crisis unfolding around us, the chances of that better life being passed down to the next generation looks pretty bleak.

I have relatives from Houston who volunteered at the border two years ago to help alleviate some of the suffering seen among those seeking to make a new start in America, so it’s not as if I have no understanding of the plight of immigrants. And some of the law enforcement officials I have talked to have also told me – without me even asking the question – that they are sympathetic to the trauma that many immigrants are facing.

But those same officials have expressed a disdain for the criminal elements seeking to exploit any weaknesses in our policies and lack of manpower to handle this overwhelming issue. 

In many cases, those who smuggle drugs use the chaos created by bailouts and chases to slip through, knowing that law enforcement will have their hands full and will not be able to catch everyone or stop everything.

Many local residents see the policies of the federal government as opening the floodgates into South Texas and other areas on the U.S. southern border.

The state’s response has been to seek relief from the federal government. So people are turning to our county and city leaders for answers and for help and hope, knowing that outside assistance will be slow to come at best and woefully inadequate or practically nonexistent at worst.

On a weekend in late April, there were reports of at least eight bus loads of immigrants going through a processing facility in Karnes County, held just 72 hours and then sent on their way. A short time earlier, that facility had been used as a more long-term transitional shelter for legal immigrants to work toward adjusting to life in the United States.

Whatever system had been in place seems to be broken, and although Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said it’s not the policies of the current administration that have created the mess, they certainly haven’t done much to resolve it, either. In fact, it was the President’s policy of curbing deportations that led many illegal aliens to conclude the border was open.

There have even immigrants quoted saying they are coming because “Mr. Biden wants us here.”

There are many wonderful stories of legal immigration, but we definitely have to get a handle on the current surge. Otherwise, the same chaos and crime that gripped the nations that many have sought to flee will be so rampant here that for both citizens and immigrants, the promised land will simply be the perilous land.

•josborne@mysoutex.com•

 

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