There is a deep history behind Mexico's current horrors of crime and impunity that only Mexicans can deal with. A weak state, the informal economy and lack of accountability because of a low tax base all play key roles -- but U.S. drug and gun policies are also responsible.
It's in this context that the emotional flare-up over undocumented Central American children crossing the southern border by the thousands took place. In fact, without the process of militarization, that "debate" -- with its discussion of "invasions," "surges," "terrorists," and "tip of the spear" solutions -- makes no sense.
Building a bigger fence may play well around the cable-TV studio desks where pundits gather to yak in faraway New York and Washington. But down in El Paso, it's a foreign concept.
The U.S. is paying a terrible toll for our hubris in thinking we could reshape the globe (thanks neocons) and the rhetoric condemning Obama for not caring simply ignores reality.
Both sides have valid points with undeniable realities that result from their divergent positions. Equally as real is the future of the foundation of which we built this country - which currently hangs in the loop.
I beg the American leadership, the American people, to reconsider their position and to hearken back to those words on the Statue of Liberty, for if we do not, then we might just as well take down that beacon of freedom and store it away someplace very dark where it will never be seen again.
It's hard to recall a time when the world presented more crises with fewer easy solutions. And for the Republicans, all of these woes have a common genesis: American weakness projected by Barack Obama. People in the Middle East, former Vice President Dick Cheney said recently, "are absolutely convinced that the American capacity to lead and influence in that part of the world has been dramatically reduced by this president." He added, "We've got a problem with weakness, and it's centered right in the White House." Really? It's instructive to ask: What exactly would a Republican president advised by Cheney do in each of these crises? Let's take them one at a time.
The floor felt like solid concrete with no softness or give. The room was long and narrow, angling to a point at the end. The ceilings about 12 feet high. Suddenly, one of the sleeping men lying below the bench pushed my blanket away.
When I was a 3rd year law student at Georgetown, I represented dozens and dozens of clients, argued motions, did pleas and sentencings, tried many bench trials, and a jury trial for a client charged with carrying a deadly weapon. My work did not cost the taxpayers a dime.
"Give me your tired" and Republicans demand President Obama meet them at the border. Give me "your poor" and Republicans demand they be sent back immediately.
The lesson to learn from the "Carmen Rodriguez Story" is that through hard work and dedication you can achieve your personal goals. Though life may hand you obstacles, you can turn them into opportunities.
When it comes to immigration, Obama is like a deer in headlights. He doesn't know which way to turn or whom to appease.
As we confront problems in society, the lives of children in this country and across the world would improve if we would more often just ask and answer one simple question: is it in the best interest of the child?
The Southwest is a place of great opportunity, enchantment, and grandeur, and yet, also a place of poverty and inequality in the United States. Through its children, it is also a place that will play an expanding and critically important role in either the successes or failures of our nation.
No matter what we call the shared space between Mexico and the U.S., cross-border communities are different from others in their nations. The U.S. must remember that the prosperity of both countries depends on the well-being of our borderland "third nation."
After two decades of emphasis on high security of the U.S.-Mexico border, brute-force policies have left America with costs that are too high, and benefits that are too little. As immigration continues to permeate American political debate, alternative solutions must be explored.