Thursday, February 28, 2008

Trial Points Up Border Violance

It doesn't take this year's Academy Award winning film, "No Country For Old Men", to remind us that the U.S.-Mexican border can be a violent place. A trial beginning in Tucson, AZ, of a Border Patrol office accused of murdering an an unarmed undocumented man within steps of the border underscores it. (See NY Times article.) Some anti-immigrant groups have rallied to his defense, as they had previously made the conviction of two Texan Border patrol officers for shooting a drug dealer a cause celebre. Human rights and immigrant advocacy groups have complained about the growing violence along the border, and they argue that an acquittal would signal an official tolerance for increased violent enforcement.

Only last week Michael Chertoff, Secretary for Homeland Security. lauded the progress of Project-28 or P-28, the demonstration "virtual" fence being built by Boeing in Arizona. Now the Government Accountability Office, which is independent of the Bush administration, says P-28 not working. As a consequence, the project will be delayed. There were short-comings in the very design of the project and experience has revealed others. (See Washington Post article.)

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