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The "Other" Side of the Mexican Border

For all of the articles written here about the dangers and security threats of the Mexican border and the on-going drug wars, there is another side of the issue.

Dozens of families have fled the Mexican side of the border to seek asylum in the United States. Some seek political refuge because of the positions they have occupied in the government or in business. Others are "simply" leaving because they are caught in the middle of the violence of the drug wars raging in Mexico, and the fact that adults and children alike are tired and traumatized by the overwhelming brutality of the cartels as they battle for dominance of the drug trade.

The killing is often for no reason other than witnessing things that occur in the streets. Children of families involved in the drug trade have been threatened, even as they now live in the United States. But the exodus is nothing but striking in some areas.

In El Paso alone, the police estimate that at least 30,000 Mexicans have moved across the border in the past two years because of the violence in Juárez and the river towns to the southeast. So many people have left El Porvenir and nearby Guadalupe Bravos that the two resemble ghost towns, former residents say.

Actual grants of asylum are few and far between with only 183 requests for asylum being granted of over 9000 applications by U.S. immigration judges since 2007.

There is a humanitarian side of the Mexican drug wars and our border security. But it could easily be argued that the Mexican government is doing little to quell the violence even after the last years of President Calderone's deployment of force to fight the cartels.

It is argued by some that American's romance with illegal narcotics and the availability of guns and ammunition are fueling the drug wars. However, no matter how valid that might be, there is also no doubt that the plight of the Mexican citizens is functionally a problem caused by the government and by the corruption that plagues the country.

Of course, there are others like an unarmed man driving a pick-up truck an unarmed man who was shot after he tried to avoid being sent to a secondary check point at San Ysidro crossing.

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