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April 16th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

"Border czar" answer to illegal drug & immigration from Mexico?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As President Obama travels to Mexico, the U.S. continues to grapple with the spill over violence from Mexican drug cartels and the enormous problem of illegal immigration. So - in typical government style - the administration has decided to add another layer of bureaucracy in the hopes of solving these problems.

The Obama administration has appointed former federal prosecutor Alan Bersin to fight illegal immigration and deadly drug violence along the Mexico/U.S. border.

They've named a so-called "border czar" to oversee the efforts of ending drug cartel violence that killed almost 7,000 people last year; and slowing the tide of people illegally crossing north into the U.S. A border czar. Why don't they just close the damn border?

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano named Alan Bersin to be the czar. He's a former Justice Department official who worked on cracking down on illegal immigration in the 1990s. And judging by the number of illegal aliens in the country, that wasn't exactly a home run.

The Obama administration has promised to target border violence and work with Mexican officials to stop drug and gun trafficking. They've already committed $700 million in aid to Mexico and are sending hundreds of federal agents along with high-tech surveillance gear and drug sniffing dogs to the region.

If we want to get serious about fixing these issues, the answer is to secure the border, which remains open almost eight years after the 9/11 attacks; and enforce the laws that are already on the books regarding illegal immigration. And don't forget the huge appetite for illegal drugs in the U.S., which is fueling the Mexican drug wars.

More government bureaucracy is hardly the solution.

Here’s my question to you: Is a "border czar" the answer to our illegal drug and immigration problems with Mexico?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Edward writes:
How about rather than some politician/lawyer, we do what other countries do? Use our military. Guarantee if you put a general in charge, with troops to secure your border, the job will get done.

Judy from California writes:
I think it's a start. Our borders have been too open for too long. Drug wars or not, the problem has been ignored, and now look at us sitting on top of a powder keg waiting for someone to light a match. No, it's not enough, but we got here by doing absolutely nothing. Border security is a must and this is a start.

Adam from Thousand Oaks, California writes:
Jack, You don't get it. This and the expansion of the war on terror are jobs programs. Rational decisions must take a back seat to providing employment.

Steve writes:
The U.S. should legalize marijuana, which would eliminate 90% of the Mexican drug cartels’ money. Without that, the Mexican cartels will diminish severely. It would create large amounts of tax income potential that could then go towards prevention and treatment for those in need.

Wade from Phoenix writes:
Just what we need: another government agency. Since the U.S. Border Patrol is no longer an armed patrol, get rid of them.

Put our military on the border and shoot anyone who isn't crossing through a designated crossing point. In or out, I don't care which direction they are heading. That should put a real damper on the flow of people, drugs and guns.

C. writes:
Funny, nobody will address this issue head-on because they will lose the Hispanic vote. The Soviet Union put up a wall on a weekend that held for 50 years. The answer isn't tough. Then enforce the current laws: if you're illegal, over the wall you go. If you’re employed, get the employer. Wow, that didn't take long.


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. John from marquette, Michigan

    Jack,

    I commend you for your recent commentary addressing legalizing drug use. While using drugs in excess can be detrimental to a user of the drug, having them illegal does nothing but enrich criminal drug cartels. Three words to fix this: Legalize, Legalize, and Legalize!!!

    I believe the best way to go about this would be to legalize and tax the retail sales of marijuana while at the same time allowing for someone to grow their own at home without being taxed but it would have to be a non commercial grow. Also, we must decriminalize all drug use where the use of a drug will no longer be a criminal offense. And allow doctors to maintain drug addicts, if that is necessary(some folks just want to use drugs), we already do this with methadone but I think we should do it with all drugs. Britain allows their doctors to give heroin to addicts. Basically a harm reduction strategy, where we aim to reduce the harms associated with drug use, not believe the great myth of the last century, t'hat we can just outlaw drugs...and no one will use them.' We did that with the biggest drug of all, alcohol. Did we not learn anything from that?

    April 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  2. j/NJ

    Is a “border czar” the answer to our illegal drug and immigration problems with Mexico?

    America doesn't need border czar's or any czar for that matter, we have more than we can handle...on the other hand why has immigration become such a contentious issue since the Bush administration took office in January 2001?...

    April 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  3. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    Let's see, the chicken house has been wide open for eight years and you are getting your shorts in a wad now? Why didn't this come up before now? At least our new President is wading into the mess, more than I can say about our outgoing one. If the drugheads in the U.S got the drugs for free, that would settle the problem.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  4. Fed Up w/Gov't

    Is there anyone in America who honestly thinks that more layers of government bureaucracy will result in improving anything? Legalize drugs if you want to solve the drug problem. Let the government tax drugs and help reduce our deficit.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  5. Dylan from IL

    Although this definately won't solve our problems on the border with illegal immigration, it could definitly help by centralizing the issues and thereby allowing people to pay attention to one person, allowing questions to be directed towards one person who spends their entire time on those specific issues. Maybe it'll be kinda like the Marshall Plan of the late fourties and early fifties.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  6. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    No. The answer is stopping the largest consumers of illegal drugs in the world from using illegal drugs.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  7. patrick from NYC

    Hey guys by the way let us say we stopped all American guns from crossing the border do you think for a min that china and or Russian weapon manufactures and crime groups would not replace ever gun we stop from going there??? think again!!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  8. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    If only it would be enough. I am sure it will be helpful to someone in the Justice Department, but, really, the solution? It will take two solutions to solve our problems, a BOOMING economy in Mexico and legalization of marijuana.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  9. Roland - St George, UT

    Dear Jack,
    I think nothing will really get done about our border with Mexico until Islamic Jihadists start coming into the country by way of it. I regret the way this sounds, I don't mean any disrespect to the Muslim community at large, most of whom are law-abiding, respectful citizens. I'm simply pointing out the hypocrisy and bigotism of our US Government policy. It saddens me that our leaders apparently do not seem to put addressing drug violence on the same level with the "war on terror".

    Sincerely,
    Roland S. Burritt/St. George, UT

    April 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  10. chris

    what a shock anotehr position in the new era of big govt thsi won't deter the problems with our borders

    April 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  11. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    Why is there a demand for illegal drugs? Because there are no avenues for users/abusers to gain them lawfully (except for California cannabis). Prohibition against alcohol in the 20s/30s brought about big-time violence and organized crime in the U.S. and now prohibition of other drugs today is doing the same world-wide. If we regulate and control drugs within our borders, we will have helped the poor souls lost to it here at home, gained an incredible source of revenue to relieve U.S. taxpayers, AND we will have pulled the legs out from under the violent drug-trafficking criminals who are devastating so many innocents world-wide. You want to stop illegal immigration? Start throwing the business owners who hire them behind bars. These guys are criminals that destroy our society too! We don’t need no stinking Border Czar!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  12. Dan from Alliance, OH

    Get rid of the layers, just legalize the drugs here and the government can make a fortune selling the stuff to the junkies.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  13. mitchell, arkansas

    3rd attempt, jack. the 'mods' dont like me, or something.

    no. it is just another waste of time and effort, without a serious discussion on the failures of prohibition, and the benefits of cannabis legalization. As a huge Obama fan, I’m very disappointed in him. He has been condescending, stubborn, and ‘non-pragmatic’, on this issue, and I am afraid he is doomed to failure on it. I would like to support his other efforts on the border, but cannot , because i feel they will never work, without a comprehensive, realistic approach, to the ‘demand’-side of the problem.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  14. Joe From Woodbridge

    Jack
    We first need a Wall Street Czar. Is someone in the Obama administration looking for a job?

    April 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  15. Jay in Texas

    I agree with you on this one, Jack. We don't need more know-it-all bureaucrats, like a "Border Czar", to solve our problems on the Mexican border. Didn't we once have a "Drug Czar"? Yet, we are still whining about the drug problem while refusing to take the sensible steps of legalizing marijuana and selling it like alcohol with the same kinds of restrictions and taxes. As far as illegal immigration is concerned, the same principle applies to it as to drugs. Throw the employers who are caught employing illegal immigrants in jail and see how well that works. If there is no market for their drugs, the problem will be resolved. If there are no jobs to be had in the U.S., for illegal immigrants, that problem will be resolved too.
    Brownwood, Texas

    April 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  16. Marjorie Lominy

    Maybe he'll talk Governor Rick Perry of Texas from seceding...maybe not.
    Jorie
    NY

    April 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  17. Mobius

    We haven't had a single effective 'Czar' yet. Not one.

    Besides, don't these agencies understand what a Czar is?

    Historically they hardly represented 'American' values.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  18. Rob Murphy

    Dear Jack,

    I defended this country for 20 years in the US Navy. My question is why are we calling them "czars", when we're not Russian? I think it would be better to call them "captains" or "directors".

    Rob Murphy, PN1, USN(Retired)
    Amarillo TX

    April 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  19. Kevin Monticello Fl

    Enforce the Laws!! We can have Czars untill doomsday and they wont mean a damn thing unless we enforce this nations laws with zero tolerance. If you want to solve the Cartel violence...insert Spanish speaking special ops people to infiltrate then eliminate Cartels. Second step Close the Border to all illegal traffic. Who cares if Mexico gets a tad upset .......what the heck does Mexico make better than we do? Nothing.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  20. Ken in NC

    Secure the broders in any way needed. Send SEALs down there to deter those crossing the border that do not want to turn around and go back.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  21. John - Houston, TX

    The real answer for this problem Jack, is a government with a real interest in protecting our borders. By the way, why it's okay for us to use our troops to control and help countries on the middle east but it's not okay to use them to protect our borders???

    April 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  22. Wade, Phoenix

    Just what we need... another government agency.
    Since the US Border Patrol is no longer an armed patrol, get rid of them.
    Put our military on the boarder and shoot anyone who isn't crossing through a designated crossing point. In or out, I don't care which direction they are heading.
    That should put a real damper on the flow of people, drugs and guns.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  23. Adam in Thousand Oaks, CA

    Jack,

    You and CNN don't get it. This and the expansion of the war on terror are a jobs program. Rational decisions must take a back seat to providing employment.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  24. Happy in Arizona

    A Border Czar is rediculous. This Congress are brain-dead. They only want votes from the Spanish community and therefore will NOT secure our borders and ports, and want to legalize illegals as their easy way out. I hope the American people have learned their lesson and don't vote these idiots back in to office.

    Janet Napolitano was our Governor and she left us with a mess and will do the same now with a Border Czar. Another waste of taxpayers money. Enforce our immigration laws now, support Sheriff Arpaio, and stop this nonsense already.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  25. Nick D. Neighbour

    No! It's just another USELESS job, created by ALREADY top-heavy Government, to waste MORE taxpayer's money!
    As YOU said "FIX THE BORDERS"!
    Nick. N.
    Pasadena. CA.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  26. Michael Roepke - Dallas

    Our greatest fear is that a terrorist enters the US with a suitcase bomb and yet we can't stop bales of drugs being shipped into the US both through our port cities and across out borders. We certainly need something done and a "czar," if he has the same power as Ivan the Terrible will perhaps get something done.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  27. Carol Dixon

    No, but it will give us someone to blame if it doesn't work.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  28. Dina

    New name for CZAR – Scapegoat!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  29. Matthew Schmitz Oxnard, CA

    Nope the only way to control the illegal immigration and drug problem is for the economy to get worse and people won't want to come to the United States if there's no jobs and couldn't afford drugs.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  30. Eric - California

    Jack,

    Of course it is. Otherwise President Obama wouldn't be doing it. Right? RIGHT????

    April 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  31. Jason Vaughn

    Thats one job created...4,999,999 to go!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  32. arthur scott

    NO NO NO NO but hey here is an idea, deport those 12 million illegals and it will create 4 million jobs, its not brain surgery, well for washington dc, maybe it is

    April 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  33. Deborah in Blue Springs, MO

    If the U.S. and Mexico were to legalize cannabis and enact a special trade agreement between the countries, a legitimate industry would create jobs in Mexico, stemming illegal immigration.
    No drug czar will successful in thwarting border jumpers unless he can show viable job opportunities in Mexico and cut off at least half of the drug cartels’ income. Legalizing cannabis will do both.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  34. Christopher

    A border czar? What are we as one of the most technological countries in the world unable to talk to eachother that we have to put someone in charge to gather all the information into one coherent whole? I thought that with all the technology we have that it would be somewhat easier to do. Mabye we should just go back to using string telephones because at least that works.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  35. Louise in Alabama

    Hi Jack. Ah, Mexico. Another day. Another dollar. Or is that a few pesos. Maybe the Kalishnikovs and the Czars can make a deal with the Pirates of Somalia.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  36. John, Fort Collins, CO

    No, it is time to get realistic: the only solution is to legalize and tax both the Mexican immigrants and the drugs. There is way too much demand in this country for recreational drugs and cheap labor willing to do work shunned by American citizens to ever stop the supply from coming in. With a 1,951 mile border and the Pacific ocean that is nearly impossible to seal, there is no practical way to stop either.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  37. ann

    If a czar don't work maybe we could go back to sticking our heads in the sand. Maybe that will make everything all better

    April 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  38. Damon in Salisbury, NC

    NO. The only answer is to legalize Marijuana. That takes profit out of the equation. It's the only solution. Too bad Pres. Obama thinks it's a joke.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  39. shereebanduk

    No, a border Czar will not help. We need to emulate countries in Europe and decriminalize drugs. Then use that money to provide rehab for those addicts that want help. Right now there is a two year waiting period for most affordable rehab centers. Also, you cannot close completely a border the size of the Mexican border. Just not possible.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  40. Rick - DC

    Jack, the Border Czar might just be the answer to the drug and immigration problem. That is, if the Czar can convince lawmakers to legalize drugs and close the border. Otherwise it's just the same wrong answer to the same tired questions.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  41. Nick - Holland

    The only way to stop your drug problem with mexico is to legalize the most popular drug – marijuana. Legalizing this will help even the US dominated Us/Mexico trade and benefit both states. Mr. Obama can tax the hell out of this as he is already doing on tobacco. This will also allow your police to focus on real criminals and stop wasting their time arresting experimental teenagers. For immigration sure – a border czar would help I guess, it would employ some people and shine more light on the already sketchy situation.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  42. Manuel

    I like to believe that a czar suggests a person with great authority, with which regards to immigration on one has had yet to accomplish. It should be more like Mr. Blitzer stated a "border bureaucrat."

    Manny

    April 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  43. David A Whitaker

    Jack this is just one tool,that could be used to hold someone accountable to the situation at the border. If this office doesn't have any teeth, then it is just another Czar

    April 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  44. Colby

    Jack,

    It's simple supply and demand. Americans have a high demand for Marijuana and Mexico is our man supplier. Legalize Marijuana , we create jobs in the US, Stimulate the economy, and oh yea Save Billions of dollars each year on our "Drug War". Happy 420!!!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  45. Joyce's Voice-Marshall, TX

    A border czar can concentrate solely on that problem and report and suggest changes to secure the borders better. Clearly what's been done so far hasn't worked. Building the fence doesn't resolve the problem of drug trafficking and gun trafficking. Taking the profit out of the illegal trade is one way but Mexico needs to take care of its citizens and offer better alternatives to success.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  46. lloyd

    Regardless of the title we DEFINITELY need someone to oversee what has been so blatently ignored for years.

    How about "Border Boss" What's in a title – we just need someone to take charge!!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  47. sentell U.S.D.A. at Mountaire

    The best solution is the one Obama said. We not gonna stop illegal aliens completely because of the system. Our own boarder patrollers is getting rich off of it so why will they cut theirselves out? We as in africans was forced to come over here and they want to so... Tough choices needs to be made. Immigration Reform!!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  48. Carol Jose

    Re: CZARS of any ilk: I thought this country was founded so that any person titled CZAR, EMPEROR, DICTATOR or KING would not ever be in charge of anything, let alone the American people. What gives with all these CZARS...pretty soon these guys will be thinking they get the perks that go with such a title...us! PLEASE, Mr. President, eliminate the word CZAR from your Administration! It's mostly associated with cruel, sadistic regimes in history!
    Carol Jose!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  49. simonsays/Orlando

    Building a very high electrified fence would make more sense.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  50. Matt

    It's absolute madness to think that appointing one man to deal with border security is going to change anything. A whole new "department of homeland security" was created to secure the borders and it couldn't stop these things from happening. So what's next? Toss in magical creatures called "czars" and everything will be better! Paaa-lease

    April 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  51. Steve

    The U.S. should legalize marijuana which would eliminate 90% of the Mexican drug cartels money. Without that 90% the Mexican cartels will diminish severely. It would create large amounts of tax income potential that could then go towards prevention and treatment for those in need.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  52. Mike Yamate

    The only answer to the drug cartel crisis is to decrease the demand. We must acknowledge the fact that drug abuse in this country is a national security issue. We must focus on drug abuse prevention.

    Heroin funds the Taliban to the tune of $20 billion last year as well. The war on drugs is a sham as long as it goes after supply and not demand. Attacking the supply just increases the price and the drug lords make even more money, and get more powerful.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  53. robert

    Enough already with the czar & czarina putin might think bush is still in office

    April 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  54. Ed

    What about the drug wars in every major city and through out rural America?

    April 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  55. Jeffrey Kyle

    What would be wrong with some type of oversight that has an individual or agency have in primary focus securing our border. Homeland Security role is too great as it is comprised of so many different agencies has not be able to do it alone. What could it really hurt? Or should we just do nothing and just let the all the critques come up with all the solutions they've brilliantly come up with thus far.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  56. Jared

    No border czar can do what drug legalization could do for this war against the cartels. Without the artificially inflated profits that drug prohibition creates, the cartels would not be able to afford to pay for their war against the Mexican government. If drugs were legal, there would be no gangs, no cartel violence, and avenues for addicts to legal go about treatment. I am still waiting to hear a reasonable counterargument to this common sense solution from Presidents Obama and Calderon.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  57. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: We need to do something. There is no magic bullet in solving this problem. If it does not achieve results it can be pulled. And as amazing as it might be, this might be another important Obama achievement.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  58. Rodney Dahleen

    Border Czar?? Drug Czar? Car Czar? We Have more Czars than Russia. Does this mean something? Just inforce the immigration laws that are onl the books now and be done with it. As to the drug problem–this problem is not just caused by our want/need for illegal drugs. Mexico has contributed greatly to the problem by turning a bline eye to the cartels in Mexico for decades. Time for Mexico to fess up to their culpability also.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  59. Will``

    I don't like the word czar either. We should have a more western style dictator name and call the new bureaucrat Caesar of the Border.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  60. TED from Little Rock, Arkansas

    A border czar is not the answer but maybe he or she could sit around and have coffee with the car czar. What if we brought home say 5% of our troups from around the world and let them guard the border? Tanks guarding the border would work a lot better than czars manufacturing red tape.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  61. tyquan from Harlem

    No. There is only one way to secure the border and that is to build a fence worthy of protecting us. High, strong and with no holes or gaps! We deserve that as tax paying americans holding on to our jobs. Mabe china could lend us the great wall instead of money.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  62. graham, LA

    Legalize Marijuana so it can be controlled, taxed(talk about stimulating the economy) and taken out of the hands of smugglers!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  63. Mogale

    How about we say Border Guru. Do you like that wolf?

    Mogale in Ottawa, Canada

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  64. lou barneycastle

    The only way to solve the problem is to annex Mexico.
    No more border, cheap labor for the U.S., and a police force that is not corrupt.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  65. Carol, Melbourne FL

    All these czars confuse me. Can't we give them other titles? The border big kahuna has a nice ring to it.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  66. Edward Coyle

    Jack, since illegal drugs seem to be the reason that there is so much violence at the border, maybe President Obama should have taken the question at his online town hall meeting about legalizing Marijuana a little more seriously. Not only could it give us an economic boost, but it would destroy the black market for Marijuana in the United States and maybe put a stop to most of the violence. Illegal immigration is one thing, but in this situation we're talking about drug cartels trying to sell their products, not innocent people wanting a chance at the American dream.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  67. Sean in Dallas

    A border czar? I suppose we could call him B-Zar for short! Legalize marijuana and provide treatment for the rest of the junk coming over the border. It's our archaic prohibition laws that are causing far more destruction and bloodshed than the actual drugs that they prohibit.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  68. Conor

    This is just more bureaucracy, this is a job that has been done by others without a special title, our Second Amendment rights should not be taken away because Mexico can not hold there country together. You cannot buy fully automatic weapons and RPGs at any old gun show, I am sure most of these American guns were leftover CIA arms from the cold war in South America, and American arms shipments to Mexico's government that go missing because of corruption.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  69. Bill Carson

    A border czar (or even a border emporor) will be of no use. The real problem is the US deman. As long as it remains high, the drugs will flow beccause there is great profit in smuggling.

    The real problem is that it seems politically impossible for any official to blame the problem on the US middle class drug users – instead the blame always goes to some type of "foreign devils", assault waepons, etc – anyone or anything but but the real culprit – the guy next door.

    We learned this lesson almost a century ago with Prohibition – and how to solve the illegal smugling.

    We don't need a czar – only a leader with guts.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  70. Samantha

    They want to try anything but legalizing marijuana. There is no substantial reason to continue prohibition, yet no one in the government is addressing the issue straight-on. We know it is political suicide, yet we voted for change; staying safe and popular for a president is far from change.

    Change: get gutsy, go against the grain is it isn't working, legalize marijuana.

    OR, address the public calling for it's legalization. Tell us WHY you laugh at us, tell us WHY you are for continuing prohibition.

    If tobacco and alcohol are legal, there is no reason to keep pot demonized. The stress alone from hiding, worrying, sneaking is damaging to us, especially those of us who use marijuana for disabilities instead of (deadly) pharmaceuticals.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  71. Patty

    Jack, as a recovering Republican who worked hard with time and money to get President Obama elected, this is the one issue he and I part company on. Why not enforce the laws as they are now? Other countries enforce their immigration laws, and Mexico has some of the harshest penalties in the world if people cross their borders illegally. Build the fence as legislated and fine employers for hiring people who are working here illegally. We need the jobs back.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  72. Toni Spencer

    A Czar will only work if the Czar is a physician. Any ER Doc would tell you that before you can cure the problem, you have to first "stop the bleeding"! Seal the border, then we may work on the our country's diseases.

    Toni Spencer
    Woodburn, OR

    April 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  73. Kevin McKenzie

    No, a border czar is not going to solve any problems whatsoever and he is just going to be another leech reaching into the taxpayers wallet. If we want to undermine the Mexican drug lords we need to legalize drugs here in the United States, prohibition of alcohol led to the rise of Al Capone and his ilk just as prohibition of drugs is leading to these drug lords. We could solve our immigration problems by bringing our troops home from the over 160 countries they're currently occupying to guard our own borders. It's time to quit forcing the citizens of America to pay for the defense of Europe and Asia when we have our own problems here at home.

    Canton, Ohio

    April 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  74. livesensible

    The Obama administration's philosophy: A superhero for every problem! Doesn't always work...ask Hollywood.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  75. Robert

    Lock-it down – They put a wall up in Berlin to stop the migration from East to West – and manned it with armed guard towers – so it should be with Mexico. Nobody knows how many potential terrorist have crossed into this country through Mexico. ElPaso, Texas is right across the bridge into Juarez – so simple yet such a bureaucratic response. Thousands of people die each year from Smoke Inhalation yet they won't pass a law mandating the use of fire escape smoke hoods as they do with fire extinguihers or smoke detectors. How do you fight a fire with a fire extinguisher if you cannot breathe – duh.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  76. Rhett

    It is all a dog and pony show. It is like our leaders are in denial.

    We want an end to prohibition. Give it to us and the problem goes away. Continue to oppress the people and the problem will get worse and worse until the oppressors relent.

    Return liberty to the American people. No more oppression!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  77. Ron Paradis

    czar what a joke! why dont the u.s and mexican athorities get together and just burn the fields the drugs are grown in no drugs no problem
    then shut the border down and shot to kill those who cross

    April 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  78. charles lisnet

    the real solution is to curb our domestic appetite for these illegal drugs and their desire for our weapons. Let's face it , it is all about money.
    Maybe then we are able to close the borders.
    charles

    April 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  79. Olu

    Jack, No Border Czar or what other label that is given is not the answer to solving our boarder problem, the only answer is to CLOSE the boarder by fencing all its parameter so they come to the US through normal channels like you and me and the rest of Americans who are not native Indians.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  80. Brian

    Jack,

    How is a border "czar" going to be effect when Obama is in Mexico making speeches to appease the Latin vote? it seems the czar's hands are already tied by Obama to repay the Latinos for putting him in office. It is a typical message from Washington. "Were doing something, but what were doing doesn't work, it just for show to make you think we are doing something." There isn't any change. Americans have lost again.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  81. Curtis, KS

    No, this border czar will only continue the ineffective policies of the US for decades that expose this country to crime, terrorism, and increased social costs. A recent report showed that illegal immigration costs Florida $4B per year in increased costs of education, health care, and law enforcement – we really need to wake up and build the wall – NOW

    April 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  82. JB in Chicago

    It is time to make marijuana legal. Since the Regan era, there has been a war against this plant and it has cost more destruction and bloodshed than actually smoking it. Sure there is billions of dollars to be made in its prohibition but the United States could make even more if we legalized and taxed it.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  83. Alan - Buxton, Maine

    As you have pointed out the answer is to enforce the laws we already have and get the border under control. However many agents, national guard, marines and army personnel it might take to accomplish that goal is well worth the cost and effort.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  84. John

    Jack,

    What they need to do is take all that inferstructure money in the bailouts making roads to nowhere and hire Americans to build the borderwall. Then make everone who gets a drivers license, welfare and food stamp show their papers. If Your Ilegal your arrested and deported. Lests talk (politics) more action.
    John, Florida

    April 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  85. Randy, OR

    Hey Jack. Perfect solution, and it will work as well as prohibition has over the past 70 years or so. The results speak for themselves, don't they? Ok. The definitive answer is actually no, the solution is to legalize all but a few drugs, making them available through our medical system and with medical oversight. This would create a system of government regulation, which is what of course is mysteriously lacking now. People would shop the legal alternative, the drugs would soon be off of black market shelves, and we would actually start to make some progress in the right direction.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  86. Ralph - Missouri

    We need to enforce the laws already in place – not add another bureaucrat to the swelling ranks. These illegal aliens are criminals the minute they cross the border and should be treated as such. I'm tired of the whining about their rights. What about my rights as an American citizen. Put the Reserves on the border and enforce the laws. Mexico has bullied us long enough into taking their rejects.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  87. T.J. Ledoux

    Thorold, Ontario Canada
    Jack
    Another Czar? The drug Czar has done nothing but spend money and the drug situation has only gotten worse!
    Seems that the Border and Immigrationn is a failure too. Maybe it is about time to beef up the existing service rather then create another buraucracy that will flush tax dollars away as the top Czar builds his own kingdom.!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  88. Dave Michon

    So now we'll have two Drug Czars. Brilliant. Everyone knows the only way to turn this around is to repeal Drug Prohibition, everyone, that is, who doesn't have a personal stake in the continuance of this massive boondoggle. Czar, from Caesar...a title that has no place in a Democracy. End Drug War on Americans!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  89. Jean

    Why don't the people who are supposedly smart enough to run this country realize that by taking care of the illegal immigrant situation they would take care of so many of the problems that this country is facing – unemployment, gangs (drugs and violence) and health care. This is a great opportunity for the republicans. All you have to do is take the illegal immigrant situation seriously and you will have the vote from blue collar America come next election.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  90. Danny Dwinell

    Enough is Enough! Close the border, forget the Czar. If you want to control something... legalize and regulate it. The people who want to use drugs are using them; the gov't CANNOT stop it. So, be pragmatic, legalize, regulate, tax, and take away the Drug Cartels revenues. Let's talk about it and VOTE; after all, this is SUPPOSED to be a DEMOCRACY!

    Danny, Seattle, WA

    April 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  91. Jim S Gardendale, Alabama

    Jack, who knows the answer to this delimma? I don't think anything is going to be effective until and if the Government and the INS becomes dead serious about securing the border with fencing and electronic survellience equipment, accompanied by an increase in manpower and getting rid of the corrupt border guards;. That would be a good beginning. Next, serious immigration reform needs to take place and long waiting periods for legal immigrants needs to be shortened and immigration standards and limits need to be implemented. It's probably impossible to completely secure the border but these actionos would make it far more difficult and dangerous for any illegals to enter the country without being detected and deported. With the world becoming as dangerous as it is, U.S. residents need to have a "tea party" of sorts to get this message to those idiots in Washington.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  92. Brent

    The answer is simple – we need to not hand the drug market to violent foreign gangs. Choosing to remove the legal domestic market for drugs has directly caused the border problem. The way to fix the border is not to try and fight a ground-war, but to remove the funding that caused the problem in the first place. Put the drug-markets back in the hands of hard working Americans, and watch the drug cartels evaporate overnight.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  93. brittanicus

    Build the border fence according to its original construction, which was two-tier fence and a twin lane highway in between to expedite border patrol vehicles. The senate secretly cut funding as they did with the E-Verify illegal immigrant verification workplace system.

    Make E-Verify permanent and everybody should be checked. Make 247 (g) police enforcement a mandatory law., including the Real ID act. And honor the 1986 Simpson/Mazzoli Immigration & Control law.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  94. Kevin L. / Omaha, NE

    If...If is the big word here. If the "Czar" can separate the different issues and put everyone on the same page of FACTS, then tackle each individual issue(s). The right balanced answer(s) will show itself. Sort of a referee, umpire, or offical over seeing proper procedure and process of those answers.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  95. Michael kirkwood

    A so called Border Czar is an obvious political attempt to attach a face to the responsibility of border control so that any failed policy or action on that issue can be laid at the feet of someone only loosely tied to Obama's cabinet. It is nice, however, to see the President extending such a clear, respectful, and public arm of diplomacy to the Mexican government. At some point in time it will become clear that such a huge border cannot be policed from one side alone. While US border officials struggle to keep illegal drugs on the Mexican side, Calderon's government must work to block the cash and weapons flowing south that fund and arm the suppliers. Or the easy way out would be to just legalize it already.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  96. Dan - Las Vegas, Nevada

    Not only do I think this idea is absolutely absurd, but I think that Mexico is almost being sort of labeled (not directly, but in portrayal) in this situation as the source of all of America's drugs. However, attempting to stop the flow of drugs from Mexico will not do anything for our problems with drugs like Heroin, and other opiates, are all being exported from Afghanistan, along with massive amounts of marijuana. And the methamphetamine trade will most likely internalize with the disappearance of Mexican meth. If you think about it, the main reason that there aren't a higher number of methamphetamine labs in the US is because they cannot compete with the imported methamphetamine from Mexico. In the end, what I'm saying is that, as far as drugs go, If we stop them from being imported from Mexico, they will simply come from somewhere else.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  97. Pablo

    Middle class task force. White House office of health reform. Border czar. These are just some examples of how Obama is expanding our government to dangerous levels, wasting taxpayer dollars. People need to realize that each of these new offices requires new staff, new office space, new computers, new printers, new secretaries, new assistants and aides, etc. Why not use existing government bureaucrats and resources to tackles these issues, which have existed for years?

    April 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  98. David Barklow

    its an utter and complete waste of time. i'm a democrat but it doesn't mean they're necessarily any brighter than the other bunch. in this case the "border czar" will be little more than a "border janitor" who's little more than a human suggestion box for actually addressing the underlying problems.

    dial down the demand for drugs, actually have a fence that works, put up a triple decker customs checkpoint so vehicles can be adequately inspected without backing-up traffic to costa rica, and pick a timeframe when to start enforcing the immigration rules are all things some schmuck from chicago already can suggest, so what is a "czar" going to accomplish before those things are done?

    if we could have addressed ANY of the above list effectively, or had a random clue how to address them in the first place, we would have already. another new guy is just another new guy. think of michael douglas in "traffic".

    maybe they should just leagalize the drugs. see if more people get shot, busted, jailed, or otherwise run afoul of the law when they're legal than we have now. people would really have to freak out on legal drugs to clear the bar we've set with the social chaos we have with illegal ones. remember, running numbers used to send people to jail, until the gov't figured it out, called it LOTTO, and started building schools with the same money they used to seize.

    just a thought.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  99. David P. Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – The announced program is another move in the wrong direction, attacking the symptoms of the "problem along the border" instead of root causes. The border is there, it is long, and in many places it is featureless. It is technologically infeasible to absolutely secure it. It is ridiculously expensive to try to do so. The problems are driven by social forces within the respective countries on either side. No solution that ignores the problem of drug prohibition and the problem of feudal rural economy will succeed. The present approach is progressively more counterproductive. The problem of the border goes away when drug prohibition goes away, when land reform finally comes to rural Mexico, and when trade is pursued in mutual rather than special interest. The solutions for that are in the respective legislatures and capitols, not on the border.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  100. Michael Sullivan from Lafayette, California

    Hi Jack - The "Head Honcho" in charge of supervising our border with
    Mexico will do no more than add another layer of bureaucracy to this
    violent situation - what we need is to help improve the standard of living
    of the Mexican people by not undercutting the farmers' way of making a
    living when we sell our cheaper corn on the Mexican market - this, at least, would be a beginning - let's give the Mexican people an alternative to joining cartels and selling drugs!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  101. Ronald Brown

    I'm glad to hear that immigration is back in the news. I don't know what to think about a government that will pull an 89 year old, bed ridden man from his house with intentions of deporting him, and offer amnisty to 12 million (or more) illegal aliens. Can neither party run this country?

    April 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  102. Mike McKibben, lady lake, Fl

    Just having the title of "Border Czar" means nothing if you don't do anything more than stand behind the title. We have a border with Mexico..............secure it! We have immigrations laws established in 1987.................enforce them! We have drug laws..................enforce them!. We, the US, has as much culpability in this mess as does Mexico. It will take efforts from both countries to clean up this mess.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  103. Bryan Sutherland

    Jack, if President Bush said he was establishing a Border Czar, I wouldn't trust the motivation or have any faith in a positive outcome, but because it is President Obama, who I have learned to trust and have faith in , that with americans help, the United States can accomplish what needs to be done for the majority of Americans long-term interest. You too, Jack, should give him the benefit of the doubt by now.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  104. Craig Bock

    while the border czar might be of some help, all one needs to do is tour the border towns, witness the poverty across the border, see the temptation to cross illegally whether with or without drugs and understand the despiration of so many. If the drug crossing problem is to be solved the appetite and demand for drugs must be resolved on the United States side. Our whole social structure must change its values of immediate escape and gratification to faith based values whether they are from Christianity, Jewdism, Islam, Hindu, Buddist or whatever recognized relegion which addresses one's soul and morals.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  105. Arturo Tinoco - Portland, OR

    It's not an oversimplification that illegal drugs in general create an illegal market. It's been decades since we declared this “War on Drugs” with only miserable and violent results making the history books. And given this economic criss, I believe it's time we start focusing on regulating and taxing, certain drugs instead of hemorrhaging more tax payer money into ineffective policies. Or as Mr. Obama may better understand, more of the same.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  106. Peggy Langford, Santa Cruz CA

    Hey Jack! Here's an idea. Give Texas back to Mexico. That might solve the immigration problem.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  107. Rich Switzer

    Using the past lack of success as a barometer, why not try something new? Prohibition didn't work in the 20's. Why not solve this very serious problem by totally legalizing all "illegal drugs" and use our pharmacies to control the sale of the DRUGS. All People would benefit. Drug prices would fall. Addicts could seek help. Addicts could afford their drugs and would no longer have to steal to support their habit. So much harm comes when the local sellers give drugs away to get people hooked to create future customers. We would save millions if we let the "harmless" convicts out of our overcrowded prisons not to mentions the millions we would save on drug enforcement

    April 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  108. Dan Lowe

    Jack, I sent this idea to Senator Nelson a couple of weeks ago but he has not responded. There are over one million deer hunters in Michigan. Most of them unemployed and all of them have guns. Why not send them to the border and let them end the violence. Pay them like we used to do with wolves. $100.00 for a right ear. I will bet this would be less expensive than giving the mexicans millions for their bank accounts.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  109. Jim Blevins

    Even the Iron curtain couldn't totally control the border and it didn't expect billions in legitimate trade to cross the border. A good border Tsar can allow for the orderly transition of goods and people who choose to respect the law. He may require more organized crime to get the billion of dollars of drugs and arms and people across the border illegally.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    April 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  110. Dennis, Columbus, Ohio

    The "Border Czar" can only br effective if he has the full backing of the administration and, most importantly, the congress. Recomendations must be acted on.
    There is nothing that can be done that will be popular or easy no matter how needed it is.
    Then there is the cost and no one on the right wants to spend anything because, as the say, if you leave it alone it will resolve itself.
    Good luck fixing any problem with Mexico unless we sell Texas to them. :)

    April 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  111. Nate

    Legalize Marijuana is the only practical solution to the drug problem, it will take 60%+ profits from the cartels, it will make marijuana harder to get by putting age restrictions on it just like Alcohol and Tobacco. Have we learned nothing from our failed prohibitions of the past? Marijuana is safer than Alcohol and Tobacco, it's time to change the failed policy. Louisville, Kentucky

    April 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  112. Robert

    Jack,

    A border czar is a brilliant idea in my opinion. And, for the record, a jolly fat guy slides down my chimney every year on December 24th, a large bunny just left me a basket with colored eggs and candy, and the tooth fairy left money when I lost my baby teeth but not when the permanent ones started falling out.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  113. Deborah in Blue Springs, MO

    Clearly, the general consensus is to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis. If only our elected officials would take action on this issue with the same urgency they showed during the bank bailouts instead of laughing at supporters. We are more than 30 million strong and we're RIGHT on this issue.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  114. Lou, Vancouver

    Give Alan Bersin the benefit of the the doubt... You gave George Bush and his Small Government philosophy every chance to secure the boarders but they either couldn't afford to build a wall or didn't give enough earmarks to enough congressmen to vote for it! Give this new guy his fair chance for a border solution. Who knows... maybe Big Government can afford to actually build a wall.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  115. Mike, FL

    Mr. Cafferty A border czar is not the answer to this diabocial, and please dont get confused that this problem will ever be solved. Last time I checked we have a military to defend foes foreign or domestic...I remember taking that oath, the real question is... Why isnt that being implamented?

    April 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  116. Allan Palmisano

    $700,000,000.00 MORE of American taxpayer dollars??!! Hundreds of American agents. Why does our government think we have unlimited money and resources??!! Thank you for being the voice of reason Jack. Just close the damn borders!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  117. Dan Haag

    Jack: Why did the czar say that it was unconstitutional to put troops on the border? I don't see why it should be illegal and I think it is the thing we should be doing.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  118. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Ok Jack, you win. This is just window dressing. Close the borders and tell all of the major corporations that they have 90 days to move all of the jobs back to the US from Juarez. This would be the best thing that we have done in many years. Create jobs, reduce drugs and send a message to the world that enough is enough and we will not tolerate this kind of behavor any longer.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  119. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    Anyone who has a brain knows that the answer to the problem is to close our borders and enforce our laws. The problem is that they don't want to do it, because they're afraid of losing votes in the next election. They're more worried about staying in their jobs than they are about the welfare of our country. Enough czars!! We have a President. He needs to support our laws! Bush ignored any law he wanted to. I hoped Obama would be different!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  120. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    A border czar is bigger than the drug lords aka drug kingpins. Closing our borders or using military force against these lawless thugs would only embolden them and make us look incapable of enforcing our laws.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  121. Brenda in Lexington

    The border czar will be as worthwhile as a farmer standing with out-stretched arms to stop a stampede, with the casualties spreading to the american public who is disenfranchised. Actively securing the borders without potential sanctions to border patrol is the ONLY solution as illegals have NO rights.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  122. Peter

    I know you couldn't stand the cut in pay Jack, but you should be the "czar". You gave the solution when asking the question.
    Peter
    Aldergrove BC Canada

    April 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  123. Matt, Canoga Park CA

    No but a giant moat filled with alligators and a wall would be.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  124. JB

    It won't be popular but legalize pot and amp up the penalties on drunk driving/crimes involving alcohol. 6000 deaths in Mexico in a year gets a lot of press. Why aren't people out in the streets against the alcohol outrage. The Dept. of Transportation says that 36 people die every die from an alcohol missle...13,140 dead people every year and way too many people lives ruined by it. In May, the deaths this year from drunk driving will equal all the deaths to date in Iraq. Pot is just self induced stupidity but I would rather be on a freeway with a guy going 7 miles an hour than seeing a drunk come at me the wrong way at 70.

    JB
    Sandy OR

    April 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  125. Jeff Brannigan

    Yhe US should legalize marijuana and see if it helps slow some of the problems on the Mexican American border I am sure the US could raise millions of dollars by taxing it and it would also reduce the amount of money the Justice Dept. spends in our courts that are sending thousands of Americans to prision each year, just for growing , selling and using marijuana.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  126. Roger

    Hey Caff,
    I don't think adding a "Border czar" will help anything unless they begin to, transparently, connect the dots that have created this problem. We, the United States Government, are similar to a child who is sitting too close to a large television. Unless we step back, ignore self interests, and simply look at steps we can use to radically reform our drug laws, relations with Mexico, and regulations on weapons worldwide. More of the same will not fix this and conservative steps will only hinder our success; whatever that may be. American's appetite for drugs isn't something that can be looked at with our great grandfather's eyes. We need a new fresh perspective. Our "War On Drugs" has the same goal that the drug cartels have. That is, to keep drugs illegal. The US has it's reasons, keeping drugs away from its citizens. The drug cartel's theirs, keeping all drug profits tax-free and within itself. We need action, so I hope this "Border czar" has some answers instead of just more paperwork.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  127. Shoukri Cherif

    If the Goverment is serious about fixing the borders, just 10% of our military based in South Korea or Germany would take care of the problem for good. Cheap and simple.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  128. victoria

    i dont understand why the drug war on the border has to mix up with illigal immigration,,,the media seems to like to create hate please see the situation with open mind everybody illigal or not love this country

    April 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  129. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    Statistics have shown that they are not coming over for jobs anymore, just to transport drugs here and firearms back to Mexico. Putting a 10 foot wall should dramatically slow down the illegal traffic. Maybe legalize pot too, that should help. Time to do something substantial!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  130. Ron Kepics

    Hi Jack:

    When Alan Bersin was Superintendant of San Diego city Schools, his "BLUEPRINT fo SUCCESS" didn't work. I'm wondering how having him as ""Border Czar" would fix what has been ignored for the past 50 years.

    Ron Temecula, CA

    April 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  131. joe wetzel

    the biggest problem is that the present laws are not enforced.if a border guard lets a car over the border he can get more money than he makes in a year.it only amounts to greed.my nephfew was aagent at the san diago border and said it was a joke.he would aresst someone, send him back and aresst three days later.these people should be detained for as long as it takes. ;thank you

    April 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  132. Marion

    Jack,,,whats Napolitano doing? we need to closed the border,and enforce our immigration laws,and stop the lying about American weapons flowing across the border....Where is Mexico's Army if they are going to do anything let them stop the flow of cash and weapons.Let us stop the flow of Illegals and Drugs.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  133. jeff czareneski

    It just hasn't got bad enough yet. Some action will trigger an action by our government. That action will then cause everybody to wonder why it happened. Hopefully that action will not be VIOLENT. I met a Mexican American born in McCallen Tx. just last weekend and he told me he is going to leave and head north. He can't stand all the problems he sees from illiegle Mexicans in his hometown. That is the goal he is working for. Sad isn't it, I hope I never have to leave my hometown.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  134. djsmith ukiah ca

    To have a border enforcer (tzar) will exacerbate the problem, especially if he tries to enforce the border or stop drug trafficking. These Mexicans trying to sell their pot in North America will not back down unless government just leaves them alone, and maybe takes a tax payoff once in a while. Government should not forget that the U.S. is a seller's market for pot and other drugs, some of which may be put under control, if the feds work it right. But to stop all the violence and murder at the border will require the government to back off.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  135. Jim Peltier

    Jack, The United States has been fighting drugs for quite some time and so far it has not done any good. Complete the border fence or start shooting from the air and maybe we will get there attention.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  136. Curtis, KS

    Let's see... we have a Secretary of Defense, a Secretary of Homeland Security, a Secretary of State, Governors of border states, Police Chiefs of border towns, Sherrifs of border counties, an Ambassador to Mexico, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director, ATF Director, and an FBI Director. Clearly we need yet another bureaucrat – that'll fix everything!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  137. bill

    only if he is independent of politics, which in this enviornment, is virtually impossible. There are very powerful and wealthy forces at work to make sure this flow of cheap labor is unimpeded. The dems want to get them into the system to reduce exploitation of them. The republicans allow a certain number of their pols to fire up emotions to get some of them elected or re-elected, but not enough to actually sway the outcome, and the electors keep buying into it, instead of throwing them all out until some of them finally get the message and ENFORCE EXISTING LAW!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  138. Kyle Dickerson Statesboro, GA

    Jack,
    As long as smuggling drugs across our border is profitable it will continue to be a large reason why people do it. Take away the profitability of smuggling and you eliminate that portion of border crossers. As for stopping illegal immigration completely I do not think that it is possible. Some people in Mexico will always be willing to cross the border as long as the grass looks greener on this side.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  139. Matt-Baltimore

    A Border Czar? That's just laughable Jack. With what money will we pay and what will be the duties of this Czar? So one guy can figure out the answer that majority of us already know?-ENFORCE THE LAWS, expand Border Patrol, REQUIRE (not promote) EVerify, etc. Two decades of trying to figure out a problem that I hear the same solutions to everyday. This is either an idiotic solution to the problem, or this is an idiotic PR solution to the attention given to the problem. Jack I only have a Bachelor's degree, but where can I sign up to be the administration's "Protector against bureaucratic idiocy"? I'll accept a much lower pay, promise.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  140. Scott - Dallas, TX

    The only solution to the illegal drug problem is the one that worked in the 30's with alcohol prohibition. Prohibition must be repealed in favor of regulation, control, and taxation. It is the only way, and has been the only way for many decades.

    The solution for illegal immigration is equally succinct. We must enforce the laws that we have on the books; simple as that. The minute our government stops turning a blind eye to business interests who want to import cheap labor, and actually does their job of enforcement the gig is up.

    Do I get czar's paycheck now? One month would do, my family could use a bailout.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  141. Marie

    Close the borders. Enforce current laws. It is a simple solution that no one wants to talk about. Make E-Verify manditory in all states. Lets be done with this already!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  142. Bob Lara

    Jack I worked in Colombia in the late 50s. We gave the Columbian goverment millions of dollars, military training,equipment. half century later,drug problem is just as bad. We have given Mexico millions of dollars, alot of military equipment in the past 20 ,`30 years,what has changed. Nothing.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  143. judy Knight

    Jack,
    It doesnt matter what we call it we have to do something to help these people. Howfar would you go if your family was living in poverty and hungry?
    We blame our government for not telling us what is going on but when it does we dont want to hear it, we dont listen.
    The situation with Mexico is growing into the same situation with the borders in the far East.
    This country is made up of imigrants what is the difference here?
    We just need to make sure they are paid the same money for their work as we are so there wont be any resentment toward them. People keep saying they are doing the work we wont do. I think it is they are doing work that we wont do for the price they are paying them to do it.
    Rick Sanchez gave us the story now we need to find a way to fix it. Help them to find a way to want to fight for their country. so they are able to live there and make a living. J.K. in Boise , Idaho

    April 16, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  144. txkboy 220 miles from the Mexican border

    Jack,

    Here we go with the American answer: Throw money at it and hope it gets better. Hasn't worked so far, and probably never will. Bersin will wind up being the scapegoat, when all is said and done. $700M will be divided between the cartel bosses, corrupt policitians (on both sides of the border), and corrupt law enforcement. Let's not forget that some of the Mexican military also needs to be paid off. They are still shadowing drug routes, then claiming they didn't know they had come over to the US side of the border.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  145. Ron - Toronto

    Jack:

    Until the insatiable appetite for drugs from the LARGEST market on the planet along with relatively easy access to Guns from the LARGEST manufacturer of firearms on the planet goes through a drastic change, the drug cartels will continue to thrive and the so-called border czar will be spending their time just LOOKING at the border.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  146. Dee in Palm Coast FL

    No, a border czar is useless.

    The problem can be solved easily.

    First, buy Mexico. Then we will not have a problem with the border. All Mexicans will be legal AND then they will all pay TAXES. (Well, except for the rich, like already happens in this country)

    Second, legalize drugs and TAX them. That will (1) pay for buying Mexico, (2) pay medical and burial costs for those who just have to have drugs and (3) probably balance the budget!

    It's insane to try to stop the drug trade. As long as there are BUYERS there will be SELLERS. To continue trying to stop that is to act out the definition of insanity!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  147. Carlos

    This new position of border czar is a step in the right direction. The sudden interest of the situation in the international borders of the United States is long over due. New thinking is in our midst and for some reason a good portion of our fine citizens still fight progress every step of the way. Our way of thinking needs to change whether it be about our economy, our transit system, or our border security. You cannot have change with permanence without a little pain.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  148. Joey in Belize (CA)

    Is he going to to do anything about the millions of Americans who want/need the drugs supplied by the cartels? If not, then no.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  149. Gustavo NYC

    Jack the man that was choosed to be the border czar is not qualified to be for anything useful. Epecially when was appointed by Miss Napolitano that did not do anything either when she was Governor.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  150. kenneth jehling

    Well Jack, you finally got one right-inforce the law-oh wait a minute, wouldn't that be right wing extremism? Don't most people who support this position go to church, support the troops, have a gun and pay taxes? Better find a different position Jack, inforcing the law sounds awfully conservative and subversive to me.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  151. David Martin

    Well done Jack! You've hit on the perfect solution! Simply close the border. Why hasn't anyone thought of that before?! Just one detail: How do you do that? Troops? A gigantic alligator pit? Barbed wire? Machine gun nests? "No trespassing" signs? Grow up, Jack! It's one thing to say for the thousandth time, "Just close the border." It's another thing to accomplish it. If you have such great insights, how about laying some real-world details on us?

    David Martin,
    Sacramento, California

    April 16, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  152. Ruben in New Mexico

    A border czar isn't going to help combat the war on drugs, it is just another big government salary that the American tax payer is going to salary.

    To get results, every American city needs to crack down on drug users in their communities. When America can reduce the addicts here in our own cities then the need for drugs will reduce putting the cartel out of jobs. It is an illegal economy the cartels own and they are making billions of untaxed dollars and paying border agents big monies to allow shipments of drugs to cross.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  153. Rick Brown

    I think a Border Czar is a good start but if we want to really get tough we need more than just another bureaucrat in the loop. Possibly form a committee (2 would be better) and have some congressional hearings. If all else fails we need to convene a summit. If the murderous drug Lords reallize we're "serious" they will snap to in a hurry. So sad!
    Rick
    Torreon, NM

    April 16, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  154. Deb

    You got it Jack...
    Enforce current laws & secure our borders is good start, anyway. Herd up & deport all illegals, E-Verify, & read our 14th Amendment as written, which doen't justify "anchor babies". Jurisdiction is the key word.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  155. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    This has been going on for eight years? Shouldn't this have been taken care of by Bush and associates? At least this President is going to try to get it straightened out. As for the drugs, put them in over the counter in the pharmacy's. This might take care of it.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  156. Potter

    No. If they actually wanted to close down illegal immigration and
    stop drug trafficking, they'd CLOSE THE BORDER. Take about a
    month, outside, and plenty of muscle. But that is ALL it would take.

    God help us, we're going to be smothered to death by beaurocracy
    and stupid, stupid, STUPID politicians. They've got to be stupid,
    right? I mean, otherwise we'd have to assume that they are
    deliberately trying to destroy this country. And why would they want
    that? This is the last place left.

    Potter
    Morgan County
    Indiana

    April 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  157. Karl from SF, CA

    We need more then a czar, we need a good, well lit fence and gun towers manned 24/7 and enough border agents to patrol between them. We've been Mr. Nice Guy at the border for too long. It's time to get serious. If a Border Czar can do this, then so be it. If not, then forget it.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  158. LaVonne

    Unless we get a person who knows SOMETHING about diplomacy
    this won't work. Can't we find people who have worked around
    the border to be a DIRECTOR?

    April 16, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  159. Jack from NY

    It's just more money thrown away. Enforce laws already on the books and quit coddling illegals, they would quit comming if they were deported and the businesses hiring them were stripped of their licences to do business.

    April 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm |