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Militarization of the US Mexico Border By Joan J Jaimes June 22 2000 Corranle all viene la migra translated into English this means Run there comes immigration This is what illegal immigrants shout everyday when they are about to cross the Rio Grande in search for better lives Unfortunately not many get through alive because of the militarization that has developed on the US border with Mexico Operation Rio Grande continues a process put in motion over a century ago by the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo It tries to erase the reality of a social geographical order that defies neat national divisions and impose a narrow notion of citizenship on people on both sides of the international boundary In the process the US like all countries to varying degrees elevates national citizenship to a position of primacy and lessens the inherent humanity of those on the wrong side of the social and territorial boundaries Operation Rio Grande launched in August 1997 in Brownsville Texas was a special multi-year operation designed to gain and maintain control of specific border areas through a combination of new technology and additional staffing At the start of the operation 69 Border Patrol agents were detailed to Brownsville to intensify existing enforcement effort In September of that same year the Border Patrol deployed special response teams to those ports-of-entry where increased numbers of fraudulent entry was expected In the Fiscal Year of 1998 260 new Border Patrol agents were added to the McAllen Sector and 205 to the Laredo Sector An important feature of Operation Rio Grande has been the integration of a broad range of INS enforcement operations Studies show that the crime rate in Brownsville alone dropped by more than 20 in 1998 US INS The origins of the US Mexico boundary are to be found in the imperial competition between Spain France and Britain for possessions in North America Lack of agreement
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