Saturday, March 11, 2006

That's a lot of money

I was just reading an article (click on the title to visit it) about next year's budget allocating $4 Billion more to border security. BILLION! It will go towards hiring 150,000 new border agents and building more detention facilities. Obviously, the Rio Grande Valley is not the only border area. We have to share that $4B with the rest of the border. However, think about the economic impact such an allocation would have for us. Of 150,000 new agents, let's say we only get about 2% from Brownsville to the farthest reaches of Starr County. That gives us 3,000 agents. Let's say they earn $40K, which is lowballing it because after overtime and such, they make more. That means that the Rio Grande Valley captures about $120,000,000 from these agents' income (they are likely to spend most of it).

You also must factor in detention facilities. The construction or expansion of detention facilities would mean money for that purpose. Once the facilities are up and running, there would still be a need for staffing and supplying the facilities. Of course, we can't have all the new agents on foot, so we would need new vehicles for them to use. Those are open for bid, so that won't influence us much. However, maintenance is certainly something our economy can provide for the new vehicles. We'll definitely be providing new tires and collision repair to agents frequently.

Tighter border control is a good thing for the Rio Grande Valley, economically. We should probably demand more enforcement of our borders to see how much money we can get out of Washington. The money the agents earn doesn't just go into their pockets. They buy homes, cars, groceries, go to the movies, and basically live in the RGV. On top of that, they will slow down illegal immigration and possibly curb the inflow of drugs from Mexico. If we had a wall built along the border, I would take the same stance. It's money! So what if the idea is stupid and doesn't work? Somebody is willing to pay money for a wall, we have people who will build it. You may ask, what about the humanitarian concern? Humanitarian concern my foot. People always drag this old thing out of the closet for the sympathy factor. If you want to do something humanitarian, adopt a Mexican, Salvadoran, Colombian, or other family and send them money. In the meantime, don't stand in the way of the locals making some money.

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