Joaquin “El Chapo” (“Shorty”) Guzman is confirmed to have escaped from Altiplano prison, Mexico’s highest security prison, on Saturday night. This was his second escape.
Guzman is known to be one of the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, a drug-running group, originating in the Mexican State of Sinaloa, which is known to traffic drugs from Mexico to the Southwestern United States, and eventually to the East Coast of the United States. The Sinaloa Cartel is considered to be the most prominent drug trafficking organization in Mexico, the country the United States drug trade relies on for the majority of her illegal marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamines.
Many suspect that Mexican government officials are corrupt and are receiving money from the Sinaloa cartel or other drug trafficking organizations. In fact, Guzman was #67 on the Forbes list “The World’s Most Powerful People” in 2013, before he was arrested in 2014.
Americans should let El Chapo’s escape as a reminder of the corruption of some Mexican officials and the plight of the immigrants. The United States Department of State has issued the following travel warning regarding Tamaulipas, the state which most illegal immigrants now pass through to enter into the United States:
“Throughout the state violent crime, including homicide, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault, pose significant safety risks. State and municipal law enforcement capacity is limited to nonexistent in many parts of Tamaulipas. Violent conflicts between rival criminal elements and/or the Mexican military can occur in all parts of the region and at all times of the day. Violent criminal activity occurs more frequently along the northern border.”
To have the desire to pass through such a state as Tamaulipas, these illegal immigrants are proving that they are truly desperate. In many cases, the people crossing the border are escaping crippling drug violence or poverty in Mexico, as well as in other Latin American countries, especially Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Often, these immigrants are children, whose parents instruct them to travel thousands of miles to reach the American border towns to find a better life.
The state of affairs in Tamaulipas, indeed in most of Mexico with the escape of Guzman, should also open up the eyes of those refusing to admit that there is a need for border security, as the international drug trade is violent and extremely dangerous, not just for those involved, but for everyone who happens to be nearby. In order to stifle the flow of drugs into the United States, the border should be much more secure.
The USCCB supports immigration reform which allows for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants of good moral standing, as well as an increase in lawful ways for immigrants to enter the United States. They do not deny the legitimacy of the role the government has in intercepting those who try to enter the country illegally.
Americans should vote with their consciences by supporting candidates who do not deny the necessity for border security, nor the necessity for the United States to aid the millions of refugees of poverty or drug war who have entered the country illegally in search of a better, safer life. Ideally, the United States should be open to all immigrants who want to enter the United States legally, provided there is no reasonable suspicion the immigrants have ties with the cartels or any other corrupt group.
We are a country of immigrants after all.