Early this morning, a possum met an untimely death with my car while I was heading east on Highway 44. Returning home later that day, it had become an unrecognizable mess. The buzzards had not even come to clean up the carcass as too much activity on the road.. This "mess" reminds me of the border crisis which is unrecognizable from only a few years ago. The border patrol has not been able to clean up the mess at the border.
A few years ago, we were building a wall which would allow more security at limited entry points. Crossing the border at southern Arizona, migrants must cross the Sonoran Desert where temperature can reach over 100 F. Many die due to heat and dehydration. A wall would deter desert area crossings. In April 2021 the border wall project funded from the Defense Department accounts was cancelled. Since over 2.76 million are now crossing the border, Arizona placed shipping containers as a temporary border wall. This was met with a lawsuit from the Justice Department against the state as trespassing on federal lands.
The "Stay in Mexico" policy has also been met with hurdles. It was felt that many would not show up to their asylum hearings if allowed in the U.S. However an 11 year study by the U.S. immigration courts shows 83% compliance in court appearances. The Mexico policy (2019-2021) expedited cases because the migrants usually stayed in Mexican border communities. Today, migrants can be in the U.S. for years before their first court date.
Title 42 allowed restrictions on immigration during public health crises, such as COVID. Today the crisis is Fentanyl overdose deaths: 71,000 Fentanyl deaths out of 108,000 overdoses (2021). Most migrants are good people seeking the American Dream. But some migrants are bad and along with the cartel are responsible for these deaths through illegal drug smuggling.
Now back to the possum: Do you know why the chicken crossed the road? To show the possum it can be done. We can get things done if we resort to common sense policies that will allow those migrants seeking a better life to find an easier way to "cross the road". Yet we need to be able to secure our border against the bad elements and drugs. Time for cooperation on both sides of the aisle in Congress.