LULAC Decries Obama’s Militarization of the US Border With Mexico
May 26, 2010
Contact: Contact: Lizette Jenness Olmos, (202) 365-4553 mobile
Misuse of National Guard is Not the Answer to Solving our Broken Immigration Laws
Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest Hispanic civil rights organization in the United States, is firmly opposed to President Obama’s announcement that he would send 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.
“As we have seen time and time again, efforts to overhaul our broken immigration system have taken a back seat to dramatic escalations of border enforcement including placing troops on the U.S. border to serve in a function for which they have not been trained,” stated LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “What is shocking is that this escalation is coming at a time when border violence and unauthorized border crossings have declined. If we want to solve the challenge of undocumented immigration, it is clear that enforcement alone will not work.”
Over the last two decades, the United States has spent billions of dollars on border enforcement. Since 1992, the annual budget of the U.S. Border Patrol has increased by 714 percent. At the same time, the number of Border Patrol agents stationed along the southwest border has grown by 390 percent. Interior enforcement has expanded as well, and detentions and deportations are at record levels. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the violent crime rate in Arizona has been declining since it peaked in 1993. It is now lower than it has been since the early 1970s. In the Tucson Border Patrol sector, apprehensions of persons crossing illegally have fallen from 600,000 in 2000 to 241,000 in 2009.
“The fact is that the enforcement benchmarks that conservatives insisted on in 2007 have been met, unauthorized border crossings are down, violent crime is down, and the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States has declined,” stated Brent Wilkes, LULAC National Executive Director. “However, instead of following through on their promise of comprehensive immigration reform once the targets were met, we just have ever escalating calls for enforcement. While we appreciate that the President has called for comprehensive immigration reform, we are disappointed that he is trying to appease those whose thirst for border crackdowns and punitive measures for hard working immigrants can never be quenched.”
LULAC is calling upon its membership to oppose several amendments being offered this week to the supplemental war spending bill which will go even further than the President’s border escalation. Specifically we are asking our members to contact their senators to oppose expected amendments by McCain (SA 4214), Kyl (SA 4228) and Cornyn (SA4202).
The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.