July 23, 2005

Volunteer agencies and border security

Editorial: Why not enlist civilians? (link)

The U.S. Border Patrol won't be looking for a few good civilians any time soon.

After Robert C. Bonner, Customs and Border Protection commissioner, said Wednesday that the agency, which plays a prominent role in Cochise County life, is looking at ways to involve citizen volunteers, a Border Patrol spokesman said on Thursday the agency wasn't planning any volunteer organization.

We think there is a place for civilians in helping the Border Patrol, but not by going out and detaining people along the border.

Recent civilian activities along the border, including the Minuteman Project that has spread its activities from Cochise County and Arizona to New Mexico and California, are what spurred this comment in the first place.

This has created greater debate on the security of our border and illegal immigration.

We think a Border Patrol civilian auxiliary, similar to the Arizona Rangers or the Coast Guard Auxiliary, would be a good outlet for many civilians looking for a way to participate in the ongoing battle against illegal immigration. The Coast Guard Auxiliary, for example, helps with non-law enforcement programs such as public education, vessel safety checks and safety patrols.

The civilians in a Border Patrol auxiliary would need to be trained to help the everyday agents, and they need to go through background checks. They couldn't carry weapons, but they could help do some jobs, on a volunteer basis, that may free up more agents to tackle the border situation.

Duties could be helping with education campaigns or paperwork. Maybe they could help be eyes and ears in neighborhoods that request extra assistance due to problems with illegal immigrants.

We don't think auxiliary members should be actively pursuing illegal immigrants. That needs to be left to the Border Patrol agents who are trained to deal with illegal immigrants.

Beyond the ability to help free up more agents along the border, we think this is an opportunity for the Border Patrol to reach out to people who think they're doing a good job but are overwhelmed by ongoing illegal immigration.

We think it is an opportunity for Americans to feel like they're playing a role in helping protect their nation's border.

Speaking of immigration... this guy Tom "Nuke Mecca" Tancredo is starting to peak my interest.

Watch out for this guy if he is truly serious about seeking the 2008 GOP Presidential nomination. His condition was that if nobody in the GOP seriously addressed the issue of illegal immigration, he was going to run and do something about it...

So again, watch for him during primary season.

Posted by Kyer at July 23, 2005 12:09 PM | TrackBack