The Texas crackdown faces a number of hurdles. It must overcome Attorney General Gonzales' resistance to the use of local law enforcement, and a Memorandum of Understanding with Mexico.

Under the Memorandum of Understand, the U.S. must " ...provide any individual detained by migration authorities with notice of his/her legal rights and options, including the right to contact his/her consular representatives, and to facilitate communication between consular representatives and their nationals. Both Governments will endeavor, consistent with the relevant laws of each country, to ensure that specific notification to consular representatives is given in cases involving the detention of minors, pregnant women and people at risk."

As a result of the MOU, the Border Patrol does not, technically, arrest Mexicans; it "detains" them for voluntary removal. If they actually arrest them, the Mexican has and will use this MOU to tie up Border Patrol resources. The media should be on the lookout for this kind of chicanery.

Also, the U.S. Attorney has a great deal of prosecutorial discretion, as does Customs and Border Enforcement. In Arizona, for example, an alien must be removed voluntarily fifteen times before being charged with a misdemeanor. If the Justice Department tightens enforcement, there is no doubt the Mexican government will invoke the MOU.

In addition, without significant changes in border technology such as the use of the Predator B UAV, and/or a major increase in Border Patrol manpower, aliens will continue to penetrate front-line defenses.

Finally, how will be know if the crackdown works? The Border Patrol has resisted independent evaluation for years.

(Posted by American Patrol on December 28, 2005)