Sunday, May 16, 2010

Droning on at the border

I have written more times than I can recall how high-tech border enforcement has never been as effective as people think/hope.  Many times, in fact, it is an abject and expensive failure.  No matter how overwhelming the evidence, lawmakers continue to push for virtual enforcement.  The latest example is using an unmanned drone in Texas.

This story revealed two things that I did not know.  First, Customs and Border Enforcement already has five such drones.  Second, drones have been patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border for a decade.

I don't have much to add.  It will be hyped.  It will be expensive.  It will do relatively little.


Vicente Duque 2:44 PM  

San Fernando Valley Sun : There are no passengers for Buses and Vans, as Fear Takes Hold of Arizona - Drop in transportation - "There won't be anybody left in Arizona,"

San Fernando Valley Sun
Urbanized valley located in Southern California

Fear Takes Hold of Arizona
by Alex Garcia, Sun Contributing Writer
May 6, 2010

Fear Takes Hold of Arizona

Some excerpts :

For years, Maria Hernandez has visited her daughter in Tucson, Arizona. But the Nogales, Sonora resident doubted whether to go ahead with a visit scheduled for this past weekend.

"I was afraid," conceded the 58- year-old. "I didn't want to come because I didn't know what was going to happen".

Like Hernandez, many people from Mexico are unsure of what the law means and are deciding instead to stay put, negatively impacting the economy of places like Nogales, Ariz., where business is definitely down, agreed residents and business owners.

"The business community is very concerned that the law will drive away visitors to Nogales. The Nogales-Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce is exploring ways to distance itself from the law and show its appreciation to tourists, visitors and Sonoran shoppers," said Olivia Ainza- Kramer, No gales-Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce President. "Sonoran shoppers contribute nearly two-thirds of the city's sales tax revenue.

"A lot of people are not coming to shop," he said. "We usually have long lines to come into the United States and we didn't have that and stores like Walmart didn't have a lot of clients". According to a survey conducted by the Mexican Consulate in Tucson in 2008, Mexican visitors dropped nearly $2.7 billion annually in Arizona.

One of the businesses that feels the impact of lack of Mexicans crossing into the United States to shop and visit family members are shuttle companies that transport people from Nogales, Ariz. to other cities in the state like Phoenix and Tucson.

"We used to have packed vans, now sometimes we leave with five people aboard," said Osvaldo Cota, a driver for Premier Shuttle which makes about 10 trips daily between Nogales and Tucson. "From Fridays through Sundays each driver would make three daily round trips. Now we make one," he added.

"Even though the law hasn't started, the word spreads from mouth to mouth and each person adds rumors and people start to fear coming here," said Cota. And what if the law does become a reality, as it's supposed to do in 90 days unless court challenges stop it? "There won't be anybody left in Arizona," said Cota.

Nogales, Sonora radio stations are heavily pushing for a boycott against Arizona on May 14-15, asking people not to cross to shop or visit the state, as a way to exert pressure to rescind the law. Some Nogales, Ariz. residents say they approve of the boycott, but also worry about the impact this will have on the local economy.

Vicente Duque

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