Every time I return home from a trip to El Paso or Las Cruces, it happens. I’m profiled. You see, there are border patrol checkpoints just outside of Alamogordo, NM, the place where I call home. Set up to stop the flow of illegal aliens and illegal drugs into our country, all vehicular traffic traveling north on U.S. 54 from El Paso or East on U.S. 70 from Las Cruces must stop at these checkpoint. No exceptions.
While these roads are not as heavily traveled as some others in the U.S., there are enough vehicles that have to stop at these two checkpoints to create a long wait for cars to pass through. However, the wait is hardly ever more than a few minutes.
You might be surprised at how efficiently the Border Patrol Agents are able to keep traffic flowing. Almost every time that I stop at the checkpoint, I am asked if I am an American citizen. My standard answer is a simple “yes.” I do not have to show my drivers license or any other identification, which would obviously slow down the process. I am the waived on through.
The last time I stopped at the checkpoint a few weeks ago after returning home from picking my brother-in-law up from the hospital in Las Cruces, I was not even asked any questions. The Border Patrol Agent looked in my minivan, saw my mother-in-law in the back seat and my brother-in-law in the front seat, and motioned with his hand to keep on moving. That was easy. Why?
Because I, like every other driver who stops at the Border Patrol checkpoints, was profiled. My race, while not the only component of the profile, is certainly included in the mix. And, I’m glad that it is. Otherwise, the line of cars and trucks would be backed up for miles and it would take hours, not minutes, to pass through the checkpoints.
I don’t know what factors make up the profile of a person trying to smuggle illegals — aliens or drugs — into the country, but I’m quite sure that the Border Patrol Agents are well-trained in what characteristics to look for. That’s why they have been successful at interdicting illegal aliens and illegal drugs. You see, a little common sense goes a long way.
Which brings me to the complete lack of common sense found in our nation’s airports. The Transportation Security Administration continues its heavy-handed and inefficient approach to airport security. Because of their glaring failure that allowed the “underwear bomber” to get on a plane on Christmas Day, the TSA now wants to have every passenger be subjected to a “naked” body scanner or an invasive pat down.
However, instead of having some passengers go through extra screening, all passengers will go though this extra screening. There will be no exceptions, even for religious reasons. Do we really need to pat down Catholic nuns who are boarding an airplane? I mean, if Catholic nuns fit the profile of folks who would blow up planes, then I could see that. But, funny thing is, I haven’t heard of any radicalized Catholic nuns flying planes into buildings anytime
in the recent past ever!
Who flies planes into buildings? Who blows up subways? Who hides bombs in their underwear? These questions are not hard to answer. But, according to a recent editorial in the Washington Times, TSA’s enhanced security measures stem from the Obama administration’s failure to recognize that we have a problem with radical Islam.
The Transportation Security Administration’s demeaning new “enhanced pat-down” procedures are a direct result of the Obama administration’s willful blindness to the threat from Islamic radicals. While better tools are available to keep air travelers safe, they would involve recognizing the threat for what it is, which is something the White House will never do. (full article here)
Why does this Administration seem so blind to the threat that radical Islam poses to this country? Why are Americans subjected to intrusive scanners or pat downs when better security screening is available? And, before some get all wound up, I do not think that every Muslim or Middle Eastern-looking person should automatically be subjected to additional security just as every Hispanic-looking person is not subjected to enhanced security at Border Patrol checkpoints.
I am not concerned with the Muslim family of four who are carrying Disney World bags onto the plane in Orlando. I am concerned about a young, Middle Eastern man whose flight originated in a radicalized country (i.e., Yemen), who is improperly dressed for the time of year and who is acting suspicious. Why can’t our TSA agents be trained to profile high-risk passengers who are attempting to board a plane? Why must 70 year old nuns be subjected to an invasive pat down or “naked” body scan? It is simply absurd and most people know it. That’s why more and more Americans are beginning to rebel against these insane “security” procedures, even calling for an opt-out day on one of the busiest travel days of the year.
But, this is the world that we live in. Unless effective, efficient common sense rules are restored to our nation’s airport security, people will continue to opt out of flying. I’m so glad that, as of now, common sense profiling is being practiced at our Border Patrol checkpoints. If the TSA’s non-sensical rules were to take hold at the various highway checkpoints throughout the country, then folks might also opt out of driving. Just one more way the Obama Administration can help restore the economy!