Friday, December 19, 2008

I - When People Are Afraid They Invent Enemies

dreamacttexas could write all sorts of philosophical stuff about immigration and xenophobia... but what we write won't have the impact (or distribution) of an article from
Just because most of the national news is on the economy does not mean the immigration polemic has gone away.  
There are still people who hate immigrants and think we are being run over.  Some say that the economic downturn will increase xenophobia, lets hope not.

DECEMBER 19, 2008 11:30AM
Xenophobia From the Comfort of Your Own Computer Chair
December 19, 2008
by D.B.S.

A few days ago, Fox News ran a news segment focused on a new website, BlueServo, a joint partner ship between the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition and BlueServo that seeks to utilize "innovative real-time surveillance program designed to empower the public to proactively participate in fighting border crime."

Simply by providing your email and answering a few questions, one becomes an honorary "Virtual Texas Deputy" and gains access to a number of real-time, live streams from surveillance cameras located on the US-Mexico border. Under each live feed is a button labeled "Report Suspicious Activity." Ostensibly, if while monitoring the camera feed, a "Virtual Texas Deputy" sees something that they feel is suspicious, they can click the link and report it to the authorities so that it might be adressed. From the comfort of one's own computer chair , then, anyone can do their part to "protect their own homes, neighborhoods, and families from criminal acts."

Let's cut to the chase here: this website - and values, sentiments, and discourse that have created it - says something deeply disturbing about our nation. This website is portrayed as a tool to fight drug smuggling and criminal activity, but its actual motives are quite transparent, as it clearly intends to contribute to the notion that we must vigilantly guard our border against the so-called "illegal aliens" that seek to cross our borders.

Through the approach that federal, state, and local governments have taken in the wake of 9/11 to address the issue of immigration, immigration has become inextricably linked with two "wars": the war on drugs and the war on terror. In the days immediately following the terrorist attacks of September 11, then Attorney General Ashcroft announced that immigration control and enforcement would play a primary role in combating future terror attacks on US soil. Concomitantly, regulations on immigrants have become exceedingly severe, the border between the US and Mexico has been militarized and fortified (despite the fact that none of the 9/11 attackers arrived in the US by crossing the border, but through legal visas), and deportations and indefinite detention in immigration prisons have become widespread.

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