The ACLU is stil upset about our border blogging series. You might be surprised to find, if you read the posts on the ACLU’s “Blog of Rights,” we actually agree on a good deal–including the importance of getting border security done right. The ACLU blog went so far as to “agree with him [that's me] that there is no single solution to difficulties that we face there [on the border], both in maintaining security and, hopefully, in respecting the human rights and dignity of all people.” Now, here is where we part company. The ACLU blog asserts, “Unfortunately, our nation’s track record is bad on both.”
I think condemning the United States is over the top.
The Border Patrol is a case in point. For example, one part of the Border Patrol you hardly here anything about is BORSTAR–the Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue Teams. The mission of BORSTAR is to respond to people in distress–often in life-threatening situations, often in difficult terrain under dangerous conditions. The primary recipients of BORSTAR search and rescue operations are distressed people illegally trying to cross the border who succumb to the harsh conditions or are victimized by the criminal elements that prowl the border traffic. Since their establishment BORSTARs have conducted thousands of missions and saved thousands of lives. Their operations reflect the highest standards of the American impulse to respect and protect the individual human rights.
I think respecting and enforcing the law is also actually good for “respecting the human rights and dignity of all people.” The Border Patrol combats smugglers and gangs who are as great a danger to the citizens of Mexico as they are to the United States. Getting rid of the criminal element at the border will make us all safer and freer. And, I agree with the ACLU, that should be done in a manner that is efficient and effective and respects the rule of law.
I am perfectly willing to join in a responsible discussion about determining the best means to secure the border–but simply demonizing border security doesn’t help the cause of the nation…or the ACLU.