12 Aug 2010

Federal Government Deploys “Strike Force” and Unmanned Drones…in America

Big Brother 9 Comments

[UPDATE below.]

I don’t lie:

The Senate agreed Thursday to add $600 million to the effort to stop the flow of illegal immigrants across the U.S. Mexican border.

The money would be used for such purposes as adding 1,500 new enforcement agents and deploying unmanned aerial drones to improve border surveillance.

Incidentally, I heard Senator Schumer use the term “task strike force” on the radio; that’s what prompted me to Google the news story for you here. There was also talk of “boots on the ground.”

You know, the same language that we previously used when talking about countries that we had just invaded.

Let me just state the obvious: The country will not turn from a moderately free place, into a military dictatorship, overnight. Before we can have predator drones patrolling New York City, hunting down the people who dare to blog against the regime in DC, we first have to deploy those drones in far-off places filled with brown people with funny names. And then when the American public gets used to that, we can deploy the drones in far-off places (to most Americans) with the ostensible purpose of keeping out brown people.

It doesn’t really matter whether “illegals” are good or bad for the economy. The question is, do we really want Chuck Schumer and his pals telling Americans that they are deploying unmanned drones in the US–to thunderous applause from “conservatives”?

UPDATE: When I first typed this up, I wrote “task force” which doesn’t sound so bad. But that’s because I goofed and plugged in a much more innocuous term. What Schumer actually said was that they were going to send a strike force to the border, to keep us all safe. For example, check out this news article to see the terminology:

The money will pay for 1,000 new Border Patrol agents to form a special strike force to be deployed where needed; 250 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and intelligence analysts; 250 new Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry; new communications equipment; and unmanned aerial drones to patrol the U.S. side of the border.

And this makes me feel warm and fuzzy too:

A legislative framework unveiled last spring by Schumer, Reid, and other Democratic leaders called for increased border security, an overhaul of the visa system, a biometric database that would allow employees to ensure they hire legal workers…

One last thing: Technically the Senate has just approved this; it’s not yet a done deal. But I believe Obama supports this. So if the Democrats are behind it, I will be pleasantly shocked if the Republicans oppose it.

9 Responses to “Federal Government Deploys “Strike Force” and Unmanned Drones…in America”

  1. John Goes says:

    There are of course much simpler solutions if people want to get serious about immigration, that don’t involve militarizing the border. Libertarians probably won’t like any solution, though.

    • Ricardo Cruz says:

      What do you have in mind? Harsh punishments for illegals?

  2. Not Bob Murphy's Love Child says:

    If they are going to do something, building a fence seems much more appropriate, less creepy, and less expensive than drones and strike forces.

    Though, if they do build a fence, I am buying stock companies that make shovels and buckets.

  3. John Goes says:

    Punishments for illegals, willingness to deport, fines/criminal charges for businesses that knowingly hire illegals. This coupled with a program of subsidized voluntary return would work quickly.

    • bobmurphy says:

      Don’t we have all this, already? You will presumably say, “But they don’t really enforce the laws with vigor.” That is the same thing drug warriors say though.

      What do you mean by “work quickly”? It would reduce the number of illegal immigrants, or that it would eliminate the perceived problem?

      Could you come up with a similar plan to keep cocaine in Colombia?

      • John Goes says:

        We don’t have the willingness to enforce the law. This is not analogous to the drug trade, illegal aliens are not all that valuable to society or most individuals. Obviously there will always be people getting in, but you only get tens of millions when the authorities are turning a blind eye, letting them take social benefits (school, medicine, etc).

        Illegals have been removed from the US before by the Eisenhower administration, with great effect. If you have a complaint about immigration enforcement, its efficacy shouldn’t be your target.

        • Briggs says:

          “illegal aliens are not all that valuable to society or most individuals.”

          That is quite a contention. I think you have a pretty heavy burden to support such a statement.

  4. Briggs says:

    I’m quite surprised the Dems are willing to sacrifice the Latino vote. Anyone have any guesses about what the strategy is here?

  5. Michael J. Green says:

    I’ve been reading David Hume’s Essays, and as luck would have it, I came upon this quote shortly after seeing this post: “A large government is accustomed by degrees to tyranny; because each act of violence is at first performed upon a part, which, being distant from the majority, is not taken notice of, nor excites any violent ferment.” (“Of the Rise and Progress of the Arts and Sciences”)

    I don’t know if there is much motivation or political strategy beyond increasing the government’s own discretionary power and redirecting money toward legislators’ friends. Whatever the motivations, it’s more reason to hope the house of cards collapses sooner rather than later: the government will be too broke to subject us to a full-fledged police state.