$310 million gone to waste

Jose Soto, Entertainment Editor

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently said there are 20,000 “dangerous” drug-related gang members in the Houston area earlier this month. He said this after he signed a bill that will allocate $310 million to help secure the border with advanced technology and training.

Do you know where Houston is, Governor Abbott?

The Texas-Mexico border has always been a touchy subject with politicians, law enforcement and the community. You’re either on one side or another.

I, for one, don’t agree with the $310 million going toward securing our borders. Abbott has always been very vocal about border security, stating that he will do this and that to ensure no illegal immigration or drug trafficking occurs, but that is all dream talk–in other words, in your dreams, Abbott.

That amount of money could be used for other logistical and substantial needs: education, road construction, the list goes on and on.  Border security? Has that not been discussed before?

The reality is that the border is it’s own entity. It harbors it’s own dilemmas and situations, and it’s kind of like an island in the middle of our town. Yes, El Paso is a border city, but the border itself has it’s own existence.

Allocating millions toward border security is not going to fix anything. It hasn’t before and it doesn’t seem like it ever will. Abbott’s and the legislature’s contribution is one of the largest monetary investments in Texas history. Will it do any good? We will see, but it doesn’t seem like it will.

Three-hundred-and-ten-million dollars will be spent to enforce border patrolling. This includes southbound checkpoints that will look out for guns and cash transits.

Has that not been happening already? What were we patrolling for before? Yes, southbound regulation is a new aspect to the game, but does it require three million to do so? We already know what goes down into Mexico. This seems like a lot of money to invest into re-figuring that out.

Security here on the border is an on-going situation. Should it rely on that much money? Should it not be a continuous cash flow? State funding has proven to fail in halting the illegal transit of drugs, weapons, money and people. There is obviously more of an underlining issue here than security.

Not only will House Bill 11 “improve” border security, it will also fund a facility that will monitor border activity–in Hidalgo County. That is almost 800 miles from El Paso.

Yes, Hidalgo County is a border community, but wouldn’t it make sense to place such facilities in a town where jobs and income could be generated? We do have $310 million to make up for.

However, Hidalgo County is the area that sees a influx of undocumented immigrants. What are they fleeing from? What is the reason that they eagerly want residence here in the United States? We should be implementing that money into social causes to prevent or aid that cause instead of preventing it. These people are already here and more are to follow. It makes more sense to financially look into adjusting that social issue instead of spending money to prevent it.

Three million seems ridiculous. We already have a federal border security system set in place. Why not simply implement more training and procedures to the people who are already knowledgeable on the matter? Adding that amount of money to already implemented protocol seems absurd.

Furthermore, the border itself is an entity on it’s own. It doesn’t need additional security funding. What the border needs is research. We need to understand the social phenomenon that it is. It doesn’t need security. What it needs is understanding. How could we figure out the way and reasons why people are crossing it every day. It’s not a matter of funds, it’s a matter of knowledge.

There are thousands of undocumented immigrants who are currently working, attending school and investing in our economy. They are already an instituted portion of society. It is much easier-­—and smarter—to invest in their development instead of resisting their existence. Three million could go a long way for social causes instead of using that to cause social issues

Jose Soto may be reached at [email protected]