Sunday, June 7, 2009

Not Good Injuns

One of the little known aspects of the illegal immigration issue is the role that Indian tribes play in border security and alien smuggling. The issue has come up again along the northern border, where alien smuggling is big business in the areas where Mohawk reservations are located. In Canada, the Mowhawks have seized a Canadian border post and shut down traffic across a set of bridges that link their Candian island with both Canada and the U.S.

While this has occured in Canada, it does reflect on serious issues that the U.S. government and the several States have with the Mowhawk tribes. Basically the Mowhawk tribes exist only for smuggling. It used to be alcohol, but after Prohibition was repealed then cigarettes became the major item to be smuggled. Otherwise Mowhawk men went to the big cities, like New York to work in highrise construction. However, honest work was not enough for this tribe and alien and drug smuggling has become the employment of choice. When the women did honest work, it was casino work, but even that is now dominated by Hispanic illegals, especially in the hotels and other low end service jobs. And who better to supply the need for labor that the Mowhawks will no longer provide even on their own reservations, but Mowhawk smugglers.

Combine this with the racist nonsense of the American Indian Movement and the ridiculous claim of sovereignty by Indian tribes, and you create a chain of events that has led to Mohawk and other tribes, mostly on the southern border, to claim that they are free to ignore and interfere with the exercise of control of America's borders.

In the above event, the Mohawks seized a Canadian border inspection post, ostensibly over the plan by Canada to arm its border inspection agency, the Canadian Border Service Agency. However, the real issue that Mohawks have is that armed Canadian officers will no longer be intimidated by armed smugglers. And the Mohawks indirectly admit that, as their second complaint is stepped-up inspections of Mohawks and the refusal of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to accept the Mickey Mouse tribal identification card issued by the local Mohawks as identification, as such cards are routinely sold to or provided to illegal aliens to enter the U.S.

Of course, in the U.S. most Indian tribes claim sovereignty, but, in practice, none are. Since 1924, all American Indians became American citizens. Before that, many tribes were dependants of the U.S. government and had some legal sovereignty, but always in a dependant fashion. No tribe issues passports, exercises law enforcement powers not supervised by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and are subject to federal law. Actually, in most areas, Indian tribes just exercises limited immunity from State law, but not from federal law. Casinos are the best know example.

However, the issue of alien and drug smuggling has brought more attention to the ridiculous claims of sovereignty by Indian tribes. The Mohawks are the worst example, as they actively interfere with U.S. Border Patrol operations and work closely with Chinese and Muslim smuggling organizations along the northern border. Along the southern border, much is the same, with the tribes being both the perpetrator and the victim of smuggling. Most of the Tohono O'odham Nation has been destroyed by smugglers and their refuse, but the tribesmen work on both sides of the battle, many employed as scouts for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, though they should be returned to Customs and Border Protection as ICE has no patrol authority over the southern border. And the Tohono tribal police are subsized and trained by BIA and CBP. However, the Tohono are less hostile to border security than the Mohawks, despite the failure of CBP to build fences on the Tohono reservation.

But, in the end, the myth of Indian tribe sovereignty is a continuing and dangerous gap in our border security, especially in the Mohawk areas as shown by their attack on the Canadian border post. The close contact between the Mohawk tribes and smuggling organizations could be the source of the next 9/11 as other parts of the border become more secure. It is time that the United States exercises its sovereignty by taking control of all areas of the border dominated by Indian tribes, especially in the Mohawk areas where the tribes are a danger to national security and have a tendency to violence.

Obviously, the best way is to end the myth of tribal sovereignty by dissolving the tribes, forcing the tribes to privatize their property either through return to individual tribesmen or form a private corporation. The reservations should come back under the authority of State governments, which the tribesmen already vote in despite the fact that their land has State law immunity. This will have the effect of increasing border security and forcing tribes to use their land for employment opportunities and business development that has been avoided for years because of the fetishization of Indian culture. And, in the future, Indians who fight against sovereignty could get the same treatment as the Confederates got. In any event, since the passage of the 14th Amendment and the naturalization of all Indians by the Act of 1924, the Constitutional basis of Indian sovereignty has no basis.

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