Both of these articles appeared on Friday March 4th on the same page in the Seattle Times. The first article entitled Obama Lifts Ban on Mexican Truckers essentially talks about how the current ban on Mexican Truck drivers has been eliminated so now these Mexican licensed commercial drivers can freely cross onto US Highways. I am all for free trade but I certainly see the possible safety issues that are connected to this. In addition all of the work that these guys do are jobs being taking away from the American truckers. In addition there are environmental concerns but frankly those don’t carry much weight around here.
However this is the part of the article that really grinds my gears,
The agreement was the only substantive take-away of a meeting between the two leaders. Calderón has complained in recent weeks that U.S. efforts in the joint fight against Mexican drug cartels have failed to curb the American demand for drugs or stem the flow of weapons into Mexico.
Obama praised the “extraordinary courage” of Mexicans and pledged to remain a “full partner” with Calderón.
Calderón expressed sadness for the slaying of Jaime Zapata, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Mexico, and pledged to bring those responsible to justice. But when Obama said the United States had filed a formal extradition request asking Mexico to turn over Zapata’s suspected killer, Calderón said he was not willing to comply.
So basically Calderon complains about how America is what is making Mexico a third world nation, then goes onto say that although he is terribly sorry that one of our federal law enforcement agents was killed he is not actually willing to help us out. So what is Obama’s response? He gives in and makes concessions on American commercial vehicle rules. Now I fully believe that an agreement could have been reached where we allow at least a limited number of trucks and truck drivers on American roads but I don’t feel that it was the proper response to Calderon saying that his countries problems are all the fault of “The Great Satan”
The second article, Border Fence Leaves some Texans in No man’s land explains how the new fence along the Mexican border isn’t actually along the border in at least one area. Traditionally the Rio Grande river has been the international boundary and like many rivers it wanders from time to time but at least according to this the reason the fence was built so far on the US side was to avoid building in the flood plain of the river.
The once-swift river now could be crossed with little more than a leaky inner tube. Still, there was comfort in knowing that, on the map anyway, the Rio Grande marked the international boundary. Nowadays, Taylor isn’t so sure.
The Homeland Security Department last year put up a tall steel barrier across the fields from Taylor’s home. The government calls it the border fence, but it was erected about a quarter-mile north of the Rio Grande, leaving Taylor’s home between the fence and the river. Her two acres lie on a strip of land that isn’t Mexico but doesn’t really seem like the United States either.
So on one hand we have the US Government giving in and making concessions on Highway policy to Mexico and on the other hand we have the US literary putting Americans on the Mexican side of the fence. While I fully support the border fence I am certainly not happy that it is not actually on the border. I certainly think that this could have been done much better.
Finally I must take issue one one specific section of the article
Heightened U.S. enforcement efforts, Taylor said, have bred a meaner, more desperate class of illegal immigrants. Some banged on her doors and windows last week, possibly seeking help. She can hear the “booms and bangs” from the drug wars in Matamoros, and Mexican military helicopters have strayed over her house, she said.
“We’re not afraid, but we do realize that Matamoros could spill over here,” said Taylor, who keeps three assault rifles loaded. The guns give her a sense of safety, she said, unlike the fence: “It’s not providing security for us, and it’s actually shutting us out of America.”
I really don’t see what this adds to the article, first of all it seems entirely reasonable that a family in Texas living on the border would have a home defense plan. Of course using the term assault rifles without any information to back this up is not only crappy journalism but just plain bullshit if you ask me.