A distant warning from Tijuana

By JERRY BOYD May 25, 2010 09:01 am

From 1981 to 1991 I served as Chief of Police in Coronado, California. The southern limits of that city were just one mile from the international border with Mexico. The problem of illegal immigration existed then, though it pales by comparison to what exists today.

Because my city was impacted by the downsides of illegal immigration we met regularly with Mexican officials, including the Tijuana, Mexico, police chief and Mexican federal officials to discuss the issue.

In the mid 1980s, Tijuana was blessed with a very well-educated, ethical and professional police chief who was quite knowledgeable concerning crime problems in his country, demographics, and what the future might hold in terms of the illegal alien problem. In our conversations he made a number of predictions, many of them dire, and most of which have come to pass over the years.

What the Tijuana chief predicted is something we should all take note of and, in so doing, should press our elected officials for immediate action.  The optimum time for action on the illegal alien problem was years ago and we failed to act. A small window of opportunity for action still exists but if we let it pass we will have lost the battle forever. Dealing with up to 20 million illegal aliens today is difficult enough. Dealing with twice that many in 10 years because of Mexico’s economic and government collapse will be impossible. It is this realization and the many crime and security problems attendant to illegal aliens that undoubtedly have motivated Arizona to act legislatively.

Here is what the Tijuana chief predicted:

First, that absent a strict immigration policy backed up by technological and physical border barriers and a real commitment to enforcement, states like California, Arizona, and Texas would eventually find that over 50 percent of their residents would not be citizens. We are approaching that. 

Second, that those millions of illegals would drain our economy severely. Look not only to nearly bankrupt border states to verify the accuracy of that prediction but look at our own state of Oregon and what illegal immigration is costing us.

Third, he predicted that while the majority of illegal aliens would be law-abiding and prefer to live below the radar seeking only a better life for themselves, a growing number would be violent criminals who would victimize our nation at every turn.

Look at the population of state prisons in many states and you will find the majority of inmates incarcerated for serious and violent crimes are illegals.

Look at the composition of most of our most violent street gangs, such as MS 13, and they too are heavily populated with illegals. Oh, and by the way, those gangs are no longer a problem only in border states. Oregon, Washington, Idaho and states in America’s heartland are home to MS 13, “Florencia” and other illegal alien-based street gangs as well.

Fourth, he predicted that the extreme violence associated with Mexico’s drug cartels, including beheadings and mass murders of both innocent citizens and government officials —common place in Mexico — would spill over into the United States. We are very, very close to that becoming reality.

Fifth, he predicted that Mexican drug cartels, which now operate extensively in Northern California, Oregon (including Baker County), Idaho and Washington, would become ever more brazen and violent. Last “growing season” illegal alien grow tenders shot it out with law enforcement officers in Northern California (Lassen and Shasta counties). Assault rifles are now commonly found when large cartel operated grows are raided. Look no further than a grow last year in adjacent Grant County for verification.

Finally he predicted that the very drug cartels which have corrupted and controlled government in Mexico would do the same here.  They will do it by bribery first, and that has happened. Both elected officials and even some law enforcement officers in Southern California have done the bidding of the cartels because they have been bought off.  When bribery doesn’t work intimidation is the next step. That too has influenced decisions of elected and appointed officials in some states out of fear of injury or death inflicted by the cartels.  And when bribery and intimidation both fail violent attacks will be used as they are, daily, in Northern Mexico.

What is the point? The point is that many states are very close to where Arizona now finds itself. The point is that given federal inaction, Arizona (and they won’t be the last) has felt the need to take action on its own to deal with an ever growing problem.

I would add that the illegal immigration problem is not entirely Hispanic based. A recently completed, but minimally discussed, report to Congress cites the many illegals from terrorist nations such as Iran, Syria, and Yemen who have been detained in the act of illegally entering the United States.  Some have proven to be members of known terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah. Such people are not entering this country seeking a better way of life.  They are entering to destroy this country.

There are a number of legal immigrants who work in Baker County, some on farms and ranches, and some in other professions and occupations.  The key word is they are legal. They are generally productive, responsible members of our community who contribute to our county in positive ways.  It is patently unfair to them, who have played by the rules and acted responsibly, to allow others to act criminally.

I encourage everyone to contact their elected officials at all levels of government and urge immediate and effective action to deal with the illegal alien problem. Do it now, before other states become like Arizona and before the problem finally reaches the point of being insolvable.

Jerry Boyd is a resident of Baker County and a 43-year veteran of public safety service