Growing up on Rt. 666: Immigration Reform and Border Security

Just give me some border security, and the only other thing I ask is for Mexico to clean up the homeland a sufficient amount so their natives will remain there and enjoy their own beloved country.

Route 666I grew up on Route 666, the Devil’s Highway (thank the good Lord it’s since been renamed to U.S. Route 491). Rt. 666 ended in Douglas, Arizona, bordering Agua Prieta, in Sonora, Mexico. My three older sisters attended the local high school in Douglas, and praise God I got out of that hell-hole after 8th grade before I had to go there.

I remember in 1990 when U.S. Customs officials discovered the most sophisticated underground concrete tunnel between Agua Prieta and Douglas…responsible for the trafficking of many thousands of tons of cocaine and marijuana into the U.S., right down Rt. 666. I was gone by then, but not at all surprised by this discovery.

Back then, Rt. 666 was perhaps the greatest drug trafficking avenue from Mexico. We couldn’t put a stop to it then, and look where it’s got us. The drug cartel activity is reaching desperate proportions – do you recall the Cananea shootings last month? Just southeast of Nogales, AZ, nearly spilling over into border towns, were 50 out of control Mexican drug hit men, killing police officers and others who were targeted for betraying an agreement with a drug cartel.

My childhood crush was Ernesto Hermosillo, the cutest Mexican boy I knew, and the kindest and smartest boy altogether. I can honestly say I survived living in Cochise County, Arizona without a trace of racist attitude toward Mexicans, despite my incredibly racist father who rambled on about the “damned wetbacks” and refused to let me play with Marianne, the only black girl in the entire county. Maybe it was because we were so dirt poor (I literally lived in a shack with a dirt floor, until it was upgraded to concrete way before this was fashionable) that Ernie’s quonset hut looked really nice next to my shack.

So, the piece of immigration reform now on the table that relates to border security…that’s what I’m interested in. I have absolutely nothing against good Mexican people, and I still love Ernie, wherever he is, but I want legality, I want safety, I want zero tolerance for drug trafficking Mexican cartel thugs.

As my husband and I were just discussing this issue of immigration, he said the heart of the matter is really wages. We make all the illegals legal, and we suddenly have to pay them a fair wage. Can our country handle that? I said, why can’t Mexico just reform their country enough to make it nice enough to not want to leave it? Ah, here is the real issue. Mexico is corrupt. Too corrupt to reform its country.

We philosophized about why this is. To us, the answer is obvious. Nations that forget God will fail. We named several countries off the top of our heads that are corrupt and riddled with unsurmountable problems, that have forgotten God. African nations, China, Russia, Latin America, ….

Back to immigration reform and border security. There appears to be no immediate chance for Mexico to undergo an overnight no-corruption makeover. Do we want children of a corrupt father spilling over the borders? I don’t know, I had a corrupt father but does that make me corrupt? Do I want secure borders? Absolutely, and I’ll pay the price for it. If the Hermosillos are locked out, along with the drug lords, so be it. The current immigration bill would commit the most resources to border security in U.S. history, and that gets my vote. Rt. 666 has a new name, let’s give it a new image.

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5 Responses to Growing up on Rt. 666: Immigration Reform and Border Security

  1. Jane says:

    Well, I don’t know much about the whole situation. Here is Canada there is talk about legalizing pot to try to dampen the drug trade. Don’t think that is the answer, but it is a theory that lots hold too. Seems to be a Canadian thing, don’t fight things, just compromise!
    Is there any country that still remembers God? I can’t really think of any that really act like it as a whole.

    I am polling Americans to see how much they know about Canada off the top of their heads. Come visit.

  2. Jen says:

    Jane, I know, don’t get me started about how our own country – America – is not remembering God…

    Legalizing pot? How successful have countries been that have done it? Would you want to live in Amsterdam? Does Canada want a bunch of drug tourists flooding her streets? The Netherlands is a major port for drugs entering Europe, and France & Germany are up in arms over this. I can guaranteee that if Canada takes this step, US/Canadian relations will go downhill.

  3. Chris says:

    First, let me identify. I am the husband mentioned in this post. Now let me clarify. I’ll side step the whole drug/border control issue of this post and go to the really big issue on my mind, illegal immigrants. Here in the states we should be grateful for the millions of illegal Mexicans in the US. Without their contributions it wouldn’t be so cheap when shopping the produce aisle or when checking into a Motel 6 on one of our quaint family vacations. But, all of this has cost us something. To gain such niceties, we have been required to look the other way and in so doing, we have changed the whole of America’s economic underpinnings. While we have gained from the labors of these people we have also become dependent upon them. What keeps them going at such a pace of humility and low income is the fact that they are illegals. The law lurks and they must raise little noise in order to achieve their goal of making a little US coin without being deported. However, it is important to note that they are hard working illegals, very hard working, unlike a huge ocean of “citizenized” Americans who leach off the social safety nets at the expense of the average Joe. I am talking in generalities here, I know there are the bad apples that cost us socially, this goes for any inhabitant, citizen or not, brown, white, red, yellow or black. I am talking about the typical Mexican that comes to the US to find a better wage (or maybe just a wage) and quietly goes about their work.

    Now the idea of restricting these workers from entering our country means labor supplies will also be restricted. This will mean farmers, fast food restaurants, hotels and a plethora of other industries will have some serious labor pool shortages. The answer? They’ll have to pay more money to fill positions that many “legal” Americans don’t want. We’re snobs that would never stoop so low as to change someone else’s bedding or pick fruits and vegetables out of fields. After all, there are social safety nets and too many doctors willing to diagnose us with the latest ailment, mental or physical, no matter how obscure, so we can dip our fingers into some of that “free money.” The reality is that if we really crack down on illegals, it will cost us. Your new home will be more expensive, your dinners out will be more expensive and your grocery store will be more expensive. In other words expect inflation if you want to deport them all for the sake of “Saving American Jobs” (I can hear the national anthem playing). In short, the companies who use illegals are going to have to cover their higher labor costs and that will cost you.

    So the other option, proposed by Bush, is to go ahead and recognize the contributions of this section of our workforce and society by making them legal, even if only for a little while. Sounds good, but again there is a cost. As it is, illegals do not cost us much when it comes to social services. They just work and if they can’t find a job the next day, tough bologna. They have no right to housing services, unemployment, welfare, Social Security or any of the other bloated, tax funded federal and state monies that go to help (ideally) the “down-on-their-luck” folk of this here great nation of ours. So the question is, will the large majority of legalized Mexicans continue at their same pace of low wages and humble and meek living conditions or will many of them evolve into social leaches who abuse the system. One advantage to legalizing is that these workers will now pay taxes into the system and thus help pay for all of our wonderful government funded amenities like paved roads, public schools and so forth. Of course, it makes you wonder how the farmer will feel when he has to now pay and track taxes, unemployment, workers comp, etc., etc. I think many will just opt for the good ol’ days and hand out cash from the back of the truck at the end of the day.

    I would bet that if illegals are made legal they will become more than low income earners. You would see them working assembly lines at Intel and in banks taking your deposits and ever higher echelons of corporate office. I say this not naively as if legal Mexican Americans aren’t already doing this, but that the illegal workers here now have more drive and work ethic than many legal Americans. It is simple in my mind to envision the beauty and mechanics of our free market economy slurping up these hard working individuals who don’t let pride get in their way on the road to the pursuit of happiness. As a business owner for the past 10 years I can’t tell you how hard it is to find good loyal employees. As an employer, as an employer who is a Christian especially, I do not believe my employees should be married to their jobs/careers or that they shouldn’t move on were a better opportunity to present itself. However, more often than not the situation is that employees are just looking to get something, not so much an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. The American worker is more about an honest day’s pay.

    So, the question becomes do we want Mexicans here in America, whom we have had no problem with as long as they are changing our beds, picking our fruit and diggin’ our ditches? Do we want them to be equal with us? I say YES, YES, YES. What America needs is a good swift kick in the butt when it comes to labor. We’re snotty nosed little rich kids who have pampered ourselves with our father’s money and set up all sorts of trust funds and insurance policies that guarantee we will never be for want. We’re wrong, aren’t we? I know there are a lot of honest, hard working “legal” Americans in this country, but you have to agree there are also a lot of people who are costing us. We need to learn to roll up our sleeves again and get the work done. By infusing a huge pool of “good labor” into the labor pool, it will only raise the bar – at least in the short run. Who knows what will happen when that good labor turns into lazy labor 50 years down he road, but that’s another debate and the need now is obvious.

    Legalizing one of our most vital workforces will not fix America’s social woes, but it will be a damn good shot in the arm. I believe in simple principals, hold up and reward those things you admire and respect so that they prosper, and be agents of change for others. To continue to deny working illegals citizenship is to deny the fiber of who they are and what America once stood for – humility, hard work and a fair wage.

  4. Jen says:

    My dear husband, thanks for great comment. I have a concern about how legalizing millions of illegal immigrants will change the political landscape of our country. Now that they would be paying into our tax system, voting in our elections, and more invested in this country, with a suddenly powerful political voice, I just wonder…again, another issue for another discussion.

    And when you said “The American worker is more about an honest day’s pay,” did you mean the illegal American worker? Sorry, I put this comment through for you before final edit since you were on a looong conference call, before you took a last look at it!!

  5. Great Site or Articale on Douglas Arizona, I remember the events as to route 666 and the Douglas drug tunnel, I too got out of there prior to that happening.
    Graduate of 1984

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