Clinton also oversaw the birth of the militaristic Operation Gatekeeper along the urban edges of the California border with Mexico, directly resulting in illegal immigration patterns moving out to rural areas in the Arizona desert and elsewhere.
Since then, more than 2,000 migrants have died in their desperate attempts to reach jobs in the U.S. and send money back to their impoverished families. The same type of walls that today divide San Diego/Tijuana and other binational urban centers are being proposed along 370 more miles of U.S. border to Mexico.
Wondering about all this, I asked Murguia to address the consequences of NAFTA and Operation Gatekeeper and the rash of migrant deaths. Murguia sighed for a moment: “As long as we share a border with another country, you’re going to always find members of Congress who feel that one part of the solution is building a fence or building some sort of wall. I don’t believe that that’s the most strategic use of our resources .?.?. Our best argument is to tell these folks that it’s not the only answer.”
Meanwhile, the drumming from the street continued. It kept going even as Villaraigosa helped himself to the brunch buffet while the local news cameras dutifully documented the story: Mayor Eats Chorizo and Eggs, Smiles.
“Oh, yeah,” an NCLR official in a smart business suit was overheard saying as reporters were clamoring around Villaraigosa, “this is the place to be.”