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Monday, May 6, 2013

The Required Dehumanization of Border Patrol Agents

In response:  http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/may_june_2013/features/over_the_line044512.php

Thank you to John Carlos Frey for bringing attention to these alarming USBP shootings.

As a retired US Border Patrol/INS/ICE agent, I am of course not surprised that this happens. Yet the increased frequency of these shootings that appear to be cold blooded murder is very alarming.

My work experience has shaped my perception of border issues. I have always been disillusioned about our country's approach to illegal immigration and the realities of the border insanity that our young agents must face.

I had troubling questions as a young agent that I still have now:

Why do we chase people around at night like animals when many of those same people are the very people US farmers pay to harvest our food? What causes these people to leave their homes and risk sneaking into our country? Why does our government fail to give us (The US Border Patrol) the required or necessary resources to stop the problem? Are there some type of underlying reasons that would explain why our leaders really do not want illegal immigration effectively stopped?

My understanding today: the bi-national elite (US/Mexico) profit off of illegal immigrants and pass the costs and consequences on to the US taxpayers. Those elite have created and institutionalized corporations that not only profit from illegal immigration, but profit from the ineffective enforcement of illegal immigration too.

Back to border shootings. Border Patrol agents have to shut off common sense, rational thinking and human feelings in order to do their jobs. They know that the vast majority of the people who they catch are honest, hard-working people trying to make better lives for themselves and their families. If these agents can feel at all, they have to feel extreme frustration when one country pushes its poor here, and our country allows those people to be pushed here.

My disillusion with the above system increased ten-fold once I saw not only a young undocumented kid die, but I saw one of my co-worker my friends get murdered from this work too.

Back to border shootings. Ultimately the responsibility lies with the agents who break the rules. What also must be taken into consideration are the conditions created by an entire system of bi-national greed that requires the dehumanization of not only the agents who perform its duties, but the undocumented who are the pawns of that bi-national system too.

As with our US soldiers, who can say if the conditions which our government creates and puts our young agents in does not profoundly increase the probability that these young agents might snap?

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