Look both ways before crossing
Last week I wrote about how the governor of Texas announced that the state will install a barrier made of buoys along a section of the Rio Grande where people often wade or swim across the treacherous river from Mexico seeking refuge in the US, as the state committed $5.1 billion towards ramping up plans to thwart border crossings.
At a press conference he showed a line of large red buoys floating in the center of the Rio Grande and said installation would begin almost immediately.
Of course, it took only seconds for the protesting to begin.
Abbott said the huge buoys, which are four to six feet high, “will allow us to prevent people from even getting to the border”.
“We can put mile after mile after mile of these buoys” in different areas, Abbott said. There will be webbing underneath the buoys to prevent people swimming under them”.
Those that started to condemn the plan said that the barriers were chilling reminders of extreme measures used throughout history against those not regarded as human beings by elected officials.
Before this goes much further, I think that these folks need to slow down and do some research. These barriers will float in the middle of the river right over the actual border between Mexico and Texas. These buoys are HUGE and will be able to be seen from the Mexican border. Anyone on the Mexican border viewing these buoys will know immediately that they need to find another point of entry.
According to Texas officials, the buoys will be first deployed in Eagle Pass. That stretch of the Rio Grande is incredibly treacherous: last September a local fire chief reported that about 30 bodies a month were being recovered from the river at that location.
Folks, the buoys are not a challenge to immigrants to see if they can climb the spinning rubber buoys in the middle of the river. They are being placed to stop them entering the river at all. There are no large buoys at the legal ports of entry. Please see the map below to view the number of open port locations. None of these entry points require strapping your kid to an inner tube and attempting to cross a dangerous river.
While it makes for good news and amazing soundbites, stating that there is no place to cross would be an absolute lie. Arguing that placing the buoys will only deprive immigrants of more chances to enter the United States is also a lie. There are no buoys being placed over ports of entry.
This is one of the first logical solutions I have seen at the border to date and the idea of keeping people from even entering water that could kill them makes a lot of sense to my emergency management mind.
Look both ways before crossing. There is an entry to your left and one to your right.