Op-Ed: U.S. border killings evade justice. An international commission can change that.
In an increasingly dangerous world, people are killed at the border by either the U.S. government or the border agent themselves. While those incidents get little attention in the mainstream news, they are deadly, and they are being ignored by authorities.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claimed there were 1,927 deaths as a result of violence at the U.S.-Mexico border. This number was widely challenged by a report by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism that claimed that Border Patrol agents caused more than 1,000 deaths, while other sources claim to have found that Border Patrol agents or agents of other federal agencies were responsible for an additional 100 deaths.
What is wrong with the border, and what does it take for us to do something about this issue?
The border is not only unsafe, but dangerous and needs to be secured.
In order to fully understand what is going on, we need to go back to the early 1970s and the start of Operation Gatekeeper, the largest border patrol effort in U.S. history. Between 1971 and 1974, the Border Patrol and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) created the Immigration and Naturalization Enforcement (INCE) Program. This program was based on an immigration enforcement model used with great effect in the Southern United States in the late 1930s and 1940s.
The INS made it very clear that it saw itself as a national security force, and that it had the right to intercept and conduct security operations at the border. Agents had the authority to “interdict at will” and to “intercept and deport” those crossing the border. This policy, called “interdiction,” would be used to increase security between 1972 and 1986, and it created the concept of a large-scale