Friday, December 05, 2014

McCraw: Terrorist threat at Texas border a myth, or, In favor of reality-based border-security policy: A minority view

The dumbest part of Texas' border "surge": There are no, none, zilch, zero viable metrics for measuring success. It's a truism in public policy of any sort that one cannot solve a problem one cannot measure. A Dec. 4 Austin Statesman story said DPS claimed this week that the surge worked because of increased illegal-immigrant apprehensions. but Rep. Donna Howard called them on this particular line of bullshit, pointing out “that officials also have claimed success when the number of apprehensions is down, which she said has been described as a sign of deterrence. That makes it difficult for lawmakers to figure out 'how much money to appropriate for this activity,'” she said. That's an understatement!

It's not that data-driven policy isn't possible. The McAllen Monitor recently offered thoughtful, incredibly detailed suggestions for fixing federal immigration courts that made loads of sense. (Read them, a summary won't do them justice.) Problem is, at the federal level neither party is advocating an approach that actually processes cases faster. These are good ideas, though, showing the problems are not insoluble if politicians actually wanted to resolve them.

Instead, the state plans to add 4,000 cameras along the border, another initiative that Grits considers a complete waste. There's little evidence cameras work even in crime-ridden inner-city hotspots, much less out in the boondocks along hundreds of miles of border. Then you have to pay people to watch them as well as waste manpower on responding to lots of false positives.

Finally, in a rare moment of (post-election) candor, DPS Col. Steve McCraw affirmed to the committee what anyone with access to Google already knew: That "there is 'no credible information that a terrorist has crossed or will cross' the Texas-Mexico border." I'd add one caveat: There's no evidence that terrorists are coming from Mexico to the United States to do harm. There's evidence that Texas prison gangs crossed the border south to work as soldiers in the Juarez cartel wars and may be responsible for hundreds or even thousands of murders there. Whether one considers them "terrorists" is a political and semantic question.

Otherwise, Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick and other state officials should adjust their rhetoric to reflect acknowledged reality from the state's top law enforcement official. Perhaps it would help to stand before a mirror each morning and recite McCraw's words aloud three times before the day begins - there is no credible information that a terrorist has crossed or will cross the Texas-Mexico border. (In particular, perhaps Breitbart Texas editors would benefit from such an exercise.) Barring that, I don't know what it will take to get Texas politicians to stop telling lies about border security threats.


Anonymous said...

You nailed that one on the head Scott. The terrorist are not coming north on the border, but heading south. They are not being bred in terrorist camps in the Middle East, but in our own Texas prisons.

Barrio Azteca was founded at the Coffield prison in East Texas. These Texans are responsible for the bloodshed of thousands in Mexico acting as the hit men for the drug cartels.

People fail to realize the money from illicit drug sells is being made here in the United States where a good portion of it is kept. The Mexican drug cartels are just the middle men. Texas prison gangs are running the market on the inside and outside of the prison walls.

Our politicians really need to pay attention on how ISIS was started. They were founded in an Iraq prison operated by AMERICANS. Texas prison gangs are more dangerous due to their geographic operations and the potential for extreme acts. Why place thousands of officers on the border, along with thousands of cameras, when these officers and cameras are needed in Texas prisons to protect inmates from being forced to join these extremist groups.

Anonymous said...

Pearl Harbor, 9/11 attack on trade towers... there usually is a large amount of credible information --- UNFORTUNATELY THERE SEEMS TO BE TONS OF CREDIBLE INFORMATION AFTER A TRAGEDY OCCURS. Those who fail to learn from History are doomed to repeat it.

Phelps said...

Arrests are a terrible way to gauge effectiveness. That's a basic Peelian principle. Measure policing by a lack of crime, not number of arrests. Are the numbers of illegals arriving increasing or not?

In any event, the real damage being done by illegal immigration is being borne by the poor, especially poor blacks. They are being priced out of the market by people willing to work under illegal (by American standards) conditions, who don't incur the additional expense of income and social security taxes.

Anonymous said...

Look for McCraw to be fired over this real soon. Statements like this undermining his boss's campaign agenda aren't conducive to a long career. Especially in the politically charged atmosphere of DPS. (There was once a time when DPS wasn't so easily manipulated.)

Anonymous said...

Fear (in this case fear of terrorists slipping across the border) is simply a tactic used by politicians the get the public to increase funding.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that this will be at all helpful to the conversation.

Texas has a history of contributing murderers and other terrorists to conflicts beyond our borders, as well as to those within Texas.

During the Johnson County range war in New Mexico, Texans were hired by the Principals to raid and kill. They may have been deputized to do so. Texas Rangers were hired: They left their Ranger badges at home, probably, and went into New Mexico to be hired killers. When they went back to Texas, they probably put on the Ranger badges and became LEOs again.

Texans, including renegade LEOs, also participated in the Salt Wars near El Paso, during which many civilians were murdered.

And of course, there were the Texans who joined with one of America's most famous and beloved aggressors -- Teddy Roosevelt -- to bring murder and mayhem to Cuba.

rodsmith said...

it's not just Texas. Sorry the the US has always created its next enemy.

right now everyone is so busy watching ISIS not worrying about the real enemy in our land. Our Current Government!