Saturday, April 8, 2017

Border Patrol and Drugs: Lesser of Two Evils

Per Andrew's presentation, it is clear that the protection of urban border areas has created a funnel of illegal immigration and drug smuggling directly onto the Tohono O'odham lands. The injustice caused by the redirection of drug activity is indisputable, but hindsight is 20/20. The problem the reservation now faces seems to have two polar consequences. Border Patrol and the Tohono O'odham have an obviously strained relationship, and the increased presence of border protection will only complicate any diplomatic ties the officers and residents try to maintain. However, the rampant increase in drug use on the reservation and tribal involvement in the transportation of narcotics is obviously a detrimental effect of poor border management.

The Tohono O'odham law enforcement cannot be expected to deal with this problem on their own. Furthermore, given the amount of illegal activity trafficked through the reservation, Border Patrol have the full responsibility to keep the illegal activity from permeating outside of the reservation. As with many issues facing the tribe, this seems like another issue between a rock and a hard place. Tribal relations with the Border Patrol are incredibly hostile (for good reason, and owing to no fault of the TO people), but the prevalence of illegal trafficking through the area cannot be accepted. As suggested in Andrew's presentation, could these issues be agreeably resolved via federal funding for the Shadow Wolves? If grants were given to the Tohono O'odham law enforcement to beef up security along the border, is it possible that on-reservation law enforcement and the benefits accompanied with geographic knowledge allow for the decreased presence of Border Patrol agents within the reservation?

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