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10 more things I learned from Our 50 State Border Crisis by Howard Buffett

10 more things I learned from Our 50 State Border Crisis by Howard Buffett

    1. A physical wall is impractical because of the rio grande river basin and the fact that farmers need access to the water

    2. Being a border agent is a hard job

    Border agents and their family are deployed to a remote part of the world where they may have to commute for hours every day. It's a dangerous combination of long periods of extreme boredom punctuated by intense life or death situations. It is extremely stressful and leads many border agents to problems with alcohol and other escapes.

    3. Corruption in the border patrol is a huge problem

    Some hires already have connections to criminals and the money is tremendous: regular $10,000 bribes to someone that may be making $40,000 a year.

    when there are political pushes to hire thousands of agents it is hard to keep the quality and integrity high.

    4. border patrol stops are trivial for smugglers to avoid and tedious for legal residents

    5. There are Indian lands that span across the US and Mexico. They are independent nations (Sovereign States) and are used by smugglers.

    6. Instability and extreme poverty in parts of the world cause people to flee to the US to survive

    You can't just work harder at home to get ahead if your home is in Honduras. People die from malnutrition in many parts of the world. Howard Buffet is working to solve these food insecurity problems: that's why he owns ranches in Arizona so that he can experiment and create crops for Africa and India.

    7. Joining a gang can be a way to survive when there are few other options

    Some south American gangs will essentially kidnap teenagers and force them into the gang and even kill them if they resist.

    8. Gangs in El Salvador will go into the countryside and will shake down poor farmers for $1-$2 and steal their food


    9. Howard suggests the coast guard as a model for border patrols.

    They are a combination of military and law enforcement. They can do both. Military force can be necessary to deal with organized criminals that are trafficking in drugs or human beings but there also needs to be a softer law enforcement side for migrants that may just be trespassing.

    10. Using dogs for border security would be great

    They are mobile and highly trainable in sniffing drugs or chasing people that are running.

    The other alternatives have expensive lobbyists that push high tech solutions that frequently don't work.

    Coincidentally I met someone last week who had a rescue dog that used to work on border patrol. The dog was happy but the woman said the dog had been abused when working on the border. I did not ask for details but no solutions are easy.

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