Wednesday, March 19, 2014
The books I've read recently regarding drug cartels, illegal aliens, and sex trafficking have widened my view of what is happening along the southern border of the United States that we share with Mexico. It is a large and troublesome problem. In my opinion, throwing money at it or granting "amnesty" or burning a few fields of marijuana growing in remote sections of Mexico will not even begin to solve the problem. The problem is multi-factorial.
The popular idea of who is crossing the border illegally is a poor Mexican-- with or without a pregnant wife-- looking for farm work in Texas, Arizona, California, or perhaps Florida. Poor Mexicans who are desperate for work and wages and crossing the border illegally does not even begin to cover what is happening. Yes there are poor Mexicans doing that. But there are also Mexicans and Central Americans who get on the migrant route and attempt to cross the border illegally because they have been threatened with death by members of their local drug cartel. And there is an increasing number of people from India using the migrant trails leading up through Mexico.
Illegal aliens pay coyotes to bring them across the border. Even so, some of the aliens die when they are scraped off of train roofs or when "criminals" shake down the illegals for their money while on the trains. Some coyotes talk or force their group of illegals into being drug mules, others hike up "what is owed" and then sell their illegals into slavery, still others kill them. And then there are the drug cartels and gang members who have certain economic stakes into the drug trade and other underground businesses being conducted in the United States. The cartels and gangs [and some percentage of coyotes] form a cross-section of individuals and groups which are prone to violence wherever they are found.
Central American cartels have become increasingly creative when it comes to getting drugs across the border. Subs are being built in the jungles and then used to transport cocaine and other drugs that United States citizens are enamored with. Legalizing the growth and use of marijuana would take some profit away from the cartels but it would not solve the whole problem. Americans still like cocaine, MDMA, and other drugs and are willing to pay for them. How many users of Mexican tar heroin, for example, think to themselves that they ought to switch their drug of choice because of cartel violence? I'm pretty sure that the answer is close to zero.
I am in favor of the legalization of marijuana and for laws that permit users to grow their own pot plants. I remain against any form of amnesty for illegal aliens. My grands came over here legally from their countries of origins, learned to speak English, and were delighted to be able to work in America. They were proud to become Americans. Illegals come over here and tax the Medicare system, take jobs from citizens [even in Chicago, people complained that the illegals were taking well-paying construction jobs away from them, personal trip 2007], and produce babies which we must render aid and assistance to.
I'm sorry that there is so much poverty and violence in Mexico. I think it is horrid that the Mexican economy-- one that we suppose depends upon tourism-- would fold if it were not for the drug money and money sent back to Mexico from illegals working here. This should not be our problem. I am horrified that the cartels and foreign gangs are making their presence felt in American cities. I cringe when I read that the best that ICE agents can hope for is a modicum of control at the wall separating Mexico from El Norte. I don't like the idea that illegal aliens from India as well as Pakistan and other places are using the 3000 mile border with Mexico as a hopping over point.
I don't know how we can work on educating the American public about what their use of hard drugs is delivering to the cartels in terms of profit and why they should care. I don't know what to do about illegals who come here and take advantage of Sanctuary Cities that exist here, get identity cards and drivers' licenses from states that allow that, receive tuition grants from states that allow that. I'm pretty sure that any proposed "amnesty" for illegal aliens will not fix this.
For every illegal that is of Mexican or Central American origin who is here to escape violence threatened by the cartels, how many illegals who used the Mexican border as their entry points are here who have connections with extremist Islamic groups? And how many illegals cross over the Canadian border? How many enter via our airports or boat docks?
We have immigration laws on the books. Why aren't we enforcing them in a uniform manner? There should be no exceptions. If you are being persecuted by cartels, then apply for asylum either here or in some other country. If you want to work here, there are legal channels to go through. And please learn English.
Please do not hold up a sign in Phoenix Arizona stating that Texas is actually a part of Mexico. That battle was lost by your government. Please do not talk about what we "owe" you. No one owes anyone a living. You are not entitled to a silver spoon or to happiness because you came over here illegally. Sneaking through a tunnel from Mexico to Texas makes you a criminal. Swimming across the Rio Brave or the Rio Grande makes you a criminal. Hiding in a car or truck makes you a criminal. You are committing a criminal act.
We have an overflow of Americans who feel entitled as it is. Americans who think that the government owes them. Americans who are not willing to work for what they want. Americans who resent us for having a thing that calls itself a car in our driveway. Americans who believe that because I have five radios, I ought to give away four of them. We do not need any more people here who feel entitled. And we certainly do not need any more terrorists here.
To those who are here legally, determined to create a honest living, I salute you. To the rest of you, I think you should go away. We are not responsible for solving your problems.
Anything that is worth having is worth working for.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Several decades ago at a bar, a drinking buddy made a proposition to me. "I have sex with businessmen for money. Sometimes a man wants two women. Do you want to be the second woman?"
I was quite drunk. Even so, I had the sense to say no. I wasn't interested.
Drinking buddy never brought up the subject again.
I've been getting educated via books and an acquaintanceship with a human trafficking victim who was recently rescued from slavery. And I've been learning things that I have never thought about before.
Victims of human trafficking can be men, women, children, whole families. They may be foreigners, here legally or illegally. They may be citizens of the United States. They may be from cities, towns, villages. They come from all socio-economic classes and all races and places. They may be involved in working for substandard to no wages and not free to leave or communicate with whoever they want to-- labor trafficking. They may be involved in commercial sex-- sex trafficking.
Male prostitutes are sometimes called "rent boys"-- especially if they are younger.
Child virgins fetch a higher price than non-virgins.
A human trafficking victim may be fearful of police or other authority figures. He or she may have rags for clothing and few personal possessions. He or she may not know the language or the culture. Or if they are native to the country, they may be in a different part of the country. Child slaves are probably not enrolled in any local school.
Illegals who cross the Mexican border with coyotes are sometimes trafficked instead. They are told that they must pay back any additional monies by working for the coyote or his or her associates.
Slaves may be found in houses acting as domestics, in brothels, walking the streets as sex workers held captive by a vicious pimp, in factories and restaurants, laboring on farms and in fields, working as strippers or pole dancers in clubs, working at a hotel or motel...
We have to open our eyes and observe what is happening around us.
Children from rural places [like villages of huts] who were living in extreme poverty often cannot return to their village. Their parents may sell them off again. Some parents may not understand what their kids will be going through. Others may understand but do it anyway.
Whole families have been forced into work trafficking because they were given small loans. When they are unable to pay it back-- plus steep interest-- the family is taken to a compound and put to work in a factory or a rice field. The debt is never paid off.
Within the first twenty four hours or so, the human trafficking victim may be beaten and/or raped and/or experiences other forms of extreme violence. The captors may tell him or her that the family back home will be killed off if there any attempt to escape.
The TIP reports are biased in favor of countries that the United States is friendly with and against countries that the United States is not friendly with.
Some N.G.O.s [non-government organizations] have been suspected or accused of skewing stats or using false stats in order to show that their area, city, town, or state has "more" slavery than other ones do.
Sometimes a woman (rather than a man) will approach a target and offer the lure of quick money in the commercial sex industry. The woman may be a sex worker or a madam pimp or a bottom. The favorite or most trusted woman prostitute is called the pimp's bottom.
A pimp may pretend to fall in love with his target and then boom, spring it on her.
The Superbowl is also an opportunity for sex workers to ply their trade. [N.B. I have nothing against adult sex workers who are prostituting of their own volition and unattached to vicious pimps, there of their own free will, and able to keep most or all of their earnings... What I don't like are sex traffickers who force men, women, children, teens into prostitution].
The aftermath-- after a slave/human trafficking victim is rescued from their plight-- is very difficult. A multitude of services are required. A vic will need counseling, a safe place to live, a visa [in some cases], replacement of identification cards and personal papers, training and/or services to obtain a job, education, clothing, food, friends.
Those are some of the things that I have learned within the past week.
What follows is a list of websites and phone numbers:
Call 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733). Call them to report any suspicions of human trafficking, if you are looking for escape yourself, or if you want training. 24 hours, anywhere in the United States.
Polaris Project list of signs that someone may be a slave:
Stop Modern Slavery also has a list of signs:
Free The Slaves has an easy to understand fact sheet:
and a glossary:
End Slavery Now has a list of ideas for taking action:
The F.B.I. has some info too:
Here is a list of phone numbers for other countries:
radical sapphoq says: Slavery still exists today.