• The Daily News, Bowling Green, Ky., on borders:
It’s no secret our southern border is in chaos with all of the illegal immigrants coming into this country and not nearly enough is being done about it.
President Barack Obama has done nothing but turn a blind eye to the situation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said with a straight face that our southern border is secure. The only person who has shown any type of leadership on the issue is Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has sent 1,000 National Guard troops to the border.
Individuals are subject to arrest, prosecution and jail time when they commit crimes while being in our country illegally.
Some serve their time before they’re deported and pay a minimal fine. Others just vanish into the population only to defy our laws once again.
Once these lawbreakers serve time, they cause a major problem by coming back - illegally - again. Some commit violent crimes when they return.
The latest such example involves the murder of a U.S. border agent in Texas. Two illegal immigrants, Gustavo Tijerina, 30, and Ismael Hernandez, 40, are charged with the first-degree murder of border patrol agent Javier Vega Jr.
They have confessed to killing Vega, who was off duty when he was murdered by these two thugs.
The fact Vega was murdered by these men is a tragedy, but the fact they showed no mercy in killing him in front of his family shows what ruthless, uncaring people they are.
They wouldn’t have been here to kill Vega if this country had secure borders as Reid attests.
What is so outrageous about this case, besides the murder of a U.S. citizen, is the fact that they both men have extensive records of being deported and again illegally entering our country.
Tijerina has been jailed and deported on four separate occasions dating back to 2007 prior to this murder. The first three times he was in jail, he paid a $10 fine for breaking our laws. On Dec. 15, 2009, Tijerina was indicted by a grand jury on charges of entering the U.S. illegally yet again by crossing the Rio Grande River.
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Hernandez had been deported twice.
It is quite clear these two men have no respect for our laws or human life. Those who respect our laws and want to come to this country to reside don’t tunnel their way in, jump fences or use whatever means they can. They go through the proper legal channels to enter our country.
The U.S. public still hasn’t received adequate answers on that tragedy from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Obama, Holder and Reid obviously don’t care what is occurring on our southern border. Their inaction is proof of that.
• The Post-Intelligencer, Paris, Tenn., on U.S. stance in Iraq:
Is it right to kill in order to prevent greater killing?
A “yes” answer to that question was behind the atomic bomb decision that ended World War II. It is a common dilemma for those who can order troops into battle.
Now President Barack Obama has authorized “targeted airstrikes” if they are needed to protect the lives of Americans in Iraq. The president also approved airdrops of food and water to religious minority groups who are trapped on an Iraqi mountaintop by Islamic militants.
“Today, America is coming to help,” is how Obama put it.
Calling the airstrikes “targeted” makes them sound precise, almost surgically clean. But bombing, like any tactic of warfare, is never clean. It’s always a messy business, and we can be prepared for repercussions.
The Obama decision marks a significant escalation of U.S. involvement, one which the president has been pondering for weeks. But he took pains to assure us that it’s not the first step toward a new ground war in Iraq.
U.S. congressional leaders of both parties expressed support for Obama’s action.
On Thursday, USA Today reported, three low-flying U.S. military cargo planes dropped meals and water to trapped civilians facing dehydration and starvation. They were escorted by two fighter jets.
Civilians trapped on the mountaintop apparently were trying to reach a Kurdish region to the north.
Airstrikes will depend on whether militants directly threaten U.S. personnel and facilities, Obama said.
The U.S. decision to act points to the growing strength of militants in the region. The political entity known as the Islamic State has become “a formidable force,” one military analyst said.
• Kansas City Star on Michael Brown:
The scenes and reports coming out of Ferguson and some of the other hardscrabble parts of north St. Louis County are ugly and surreal, like something happening in another time or a different part of the world.
This urban swath of Missouri has suddenly come to resemble a military zone, as heavily armed riot police face off against civilians, many of whom stand their ground with hands in the air and rage on their faces.
The fury that began on Saturday when a Ferguson police officer shot an unarmed teenager, 18-year-old Michael Brown, has manifested itself in demonstrations in the days since.
Some looting and vandalism have occurred, which only serve to detract from the urgent need to find out what happened.
But police must not make a bad situation worse. Reports of officers using tear gas and rubber bullets on citizens who were doing nothing more than trying to make their way home are extremely concerning. Police in Ferguson and north St. Louis County have a lot of hard work ahead to repair relations with citizens. They need to keep the peace and protect people’s property but with the least show of force required.
Also very worrisome are continued demands to name the police officer who shot Brown. An Internet vigilante group on Tuesday threatened to release information about the whereabouts of family members of the Ferguson police chief if the name of the officer continued to be withheld.
It is true that Michael Brown had no choice but to be named as the latest unarmed young black man to be killed by a law enforcement officer. But the quest for justice in his name will not be served by further violence. The identity of the police officer will come out in due course; right now the volatility of the situation justifies the decision to withhold it.
Brown, a recent high school graduate, is being described by his teachers at Normandy High School as a “gentle giant.” He was to have started classes at a technical college on Monday.
Based on reflections by people who knew him, there is little in Brown’s background to square with the accusation offered by Ferguson police that he reached into a police cruiser and struggled for the officer’s gun. Brown’s companion has offered a disturbing version of events that portrays the officer as the aggressor. Whatever the truth, it is safe to say that Brown should not have died on Saturday.
There is little reason now for Brown’s family or many people anguishing over his death to express faith in the rule of law. But it is the best hope for recourse that we have in America. Attorneys with the civil rights division of the U.S. Justice Department are working with the FBI on an investigation separate from a probe underway by the St. Louis County police. If Brown’s death was as unprovoked as his companion’s account suggests, the officer involved must be brought to trial.
Meanwhile, we must listen to the people who have raised their hands in solidarity with Michael Brown. He is not an isolated incident but yet another symbol of the indignities and dangers that black people continue to face in America. The nation ignores those voices at its peril.