Part 7: The Border + Eric S. Commits a Federal Crime

From Topawa, we headed down to the Mexican-American border with Peter and the class. Of everything we had planned for the trip, I was most intrigued to visit the border. All I’ve ever seen, as I’m sure most folks in the class relate to, is what the media has portrayed about the border, so it was interesting to actually be there, face to face, with the Mexican border.

I think the topic is rather interesting, and of course, it’s something that we should be thinking about today, given the border’s relevance in modern politics. For the O’odham, I see how the border must be a frustrating reality. For the entire country, the Mexican-American border is a frustrating reality, though perhaps less directly pertinent given you or I’s little interaction with the actual border.

I think it’s safe to say that all or most of us agree that border security is important, no matter how stringent or not that security is. The question for the United States is: how can we maximize national security while minimizing hardship for immigrants and citizens? And for the Tohono O’odham, the question is the same, except they might add the question of how to preserve sacred, long-standing culture in border protection as well.

The question is long held and will likely be debated for years to come. Personally, I think the United States needs to legalize pot and deal with its opioid crisis if it has any hope of stunting drug smuggling and crime along the border. As for illegal migrant crossings, I couldn’t tell you what the solution is. I can, however, recommend ample communication and planning on the part of the United States government and the Tohono O’odham Nation.

In other words, Eric S. crossed the border in broad daylight and then hopped back into the US. Is he a federal criminal? Comment down below.

6 Replies to “Part 7: The Border + Eric S. Commits a Federal Crime”

  1. Yes Eric is a federal criminal and I’ll alert the authorities.

    With that cleared up, I also found it very interesting and almost awe-striking to be at the site of the border as well. The issues surrounding the border that are so heavily polarizing and a major talking point in America were right in front of us(besides the ports of entries of course), and it was cool to see the amount of security and how it was actually handled with less of a polarizing, charged look through the media.

  2. You made some interesting points about drug use. I see the benefits in legalizing marijuana; (the ability to generate tax revenue, a safer substance, less business for drug smugglers) however, I also understand why people want it to be illegal. Given the fact that marijuana is a gateway drug which changes the mind in the long-term, I view legalization as a message to society that the substance is less harmful than previously thought. I’m largely undecided on the issue of legalization, but I do believe that simple possession should absolutely be de-criminalized (less penalties). Would you like to share what you think of the matter?

    1. Look, all I’m saying is that legalizing weed would be epic if done with great care. You wouldn’t want that stuff getting into the hands of the wrong leader. Instead, bring the (you know what) to the people and we might all become free loving willy’s like some of us once were in this Great America we call home and spirit.

  3. I think Richard Saunders or someone else said that drug trafficking in pot has gone down since California legalized it. This just makes sense. The media, and certainly our elected officials, are simply not a reliable sources for getting the straight dope (so to speak) on what is going on at the border. In the first place there is so much of it and the issues vary from location to location. I know after the course I have a much better picture of TO border issues and what various people living on the Nation think should be done about them.

  4. On the question of whether state legalization in places like Colorado and California have altered the marijuana market and stemmed the flow of pot from Mexico, I think the answer is clearly yes. I’ve made this claim to a few of you during our trip and I offer a source here which more or less backs it up…

    Basically U.S. production is way up and the quality of California grown pot is typically superior to foreign grown weed, so the incentives for bringing it to market in backpacks on foot across the desert has been seriously diminished.

    I don’t want to suggest that legalization has been all good.
    Its a complex issue, but it has demonstrated the benefits of not always seeking knee-jerk pure supply-side policy solutions to problems. In other words, when people see a problem like “too many illegal drug crossing the border” , there’s a tendancy to say we need to stop it by directly stopping people from transporting it across the border, when oftentimes more effective solutions come out of asking “where is the incentive to bring drugs across the border coming from?” In the case of drugs, that incentive was coming from high U.S. demand and low U.S production. States that are attempting to legalize and regulate the marijuana market are succeeding in closing the gap between domestic production and consumption – though some may object that they are doing it by increasing both and there are clearly many kinks that need to be worked out with those policy particularly those related to public safety and health concerns.

    For the record, I’m going with “no”. Eric didn’t commit a federal crime. The vehicle barrier is on U.S. soil and set some distance from the border. I’m going to assume that Eric didn’t actually cross into Mexico. The thought does make you realize how stupid and frustrating the border can be though. We are making a federal crime out of what is often harmless or even beneficial activity. The EU is essentially a collective realization of this and Brexit, I think, is deomonstrating just how idiotic it is to go back to having borders. Personally I don’t want more “border security” per se. I just want security on both sides of the border and I hope that one day we can get rid of our borders in North America.

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