Migrants entering the United States face an incredible array of personnel and technology. Beyond the standard local police, county sheriffs and U.S. marshals, they must also evade the Border Patrol.
Close to 20,000 border patrol agents stand between a migrant and the dream of living and working in America. Border Patrol trucks are everywhere in southern Arizona, some hauling horse trailers so agents can get to off-road locations. Checkpoints – permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary stop vehicles on roads and highways. Towers dot the landscape with motion and heat detectors. Once located, quickly dispatched helicopters locate whoever is walking in the desert. One must wonder how any migrant escapes their surveillance.
And what does it take to become a border patrol officer? A six-month course (only recently expanded from three months) and passing a test.
In Nazi Germany, many men failed the entrance exams to become soldiers of the Wehrmacht. Thousands joined Ordnungspolizei units – police battalions often stationed in the Eastern front. There they traveled from town to town rounding up enemies of the Reich and shooting them, filling mass, unmarked graves in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and elsewhere. Report of Ordnungspolizei brutality only came to light decades later in Daniel Goldhagen’s book Hitler’s Willing Executioners.
The Southern Borders Community Coalition reports 83 deaths of migrants in the past eight years at the hands of border patrol agents, along with many reports of brutal treatment.
One must wonder how these vast resources could be used in a more constructive, humane, and moral way.