Immigration: You know when you read a lead that starts off like this.
|TRAPPED IN THE VALLEY
Beefed-up checkpoints are disrupting the lives of undocumented residents, but enforcement advocates say that's part of the plan.
By JAMES PINKERTON
HARLINGEN - Stepped-up immigration enforcement in South Texas has made a long-standing predicament even worse: Increasing numbers of undocumented residents find themselves trapped, unable to get past beefed-up highway checkpoints.|
It's going to be a helluva a read.
|Agents say the interior checkpoints are an essential second layer of defense, part of a broader net that in 2005 snagged more than 1.2 million illegal immigrants and more than 1 million pounds of drugs.
And, enforcement advocates say, if the checkpoints are disrupting undocumented immigrants' lives, well, they must be working.
''The idea that if you break the law and put yourself and your family in that situation, that it's unfair for the government to take action against you, doesn't make any sense," said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federal for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, an immigration reform group that has nearly 200,000 supporters. "It's unfortunate when these thing happen, but you have to look at who created the situation in the first place."
In the Rio Grande Valley, many residents don't consider a lack of papers such a serious offense. It's traditionally been more of an inconvenience, a paperwork problem. And, they perceive the border to be more a blur than a sharp line.
So if there's a checkpoint, residents find a way to drive or walk around it.
But now, many residents say that's too risky. Not only are there two more permanent checkpoints in South Texas, there are roving tactical checkpoints to worry about, as well.|
I guess you will be taking a lack of papers showing you did not break the law a bit more seriously now. How am I supposed to be feel sorry with arrogance like that?