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31 May, 2010 03:21

Mexicans assault the American fortress out of despair

Mexicans see no salvation from joblessness and drug cartels, but on the other side of the Mexican-American border, they are ready to risk their lives in the quest for a better life in the U.S.

Mexico’s border town Ciudad Juarez is one of the most dangerous cities in the world, but every day thousands cross the border to go to work in El Paso in Texas, the second-safest city in the United States.

According to Jesus Diaz, who lives in Ciudad Juarez, American salaries are better and safer than Mexican paychecks.

“Juarez is terrible, you never know what can happen there. It's too violent,” complains Diaz. “But here in El Paso you can work and be safe. I am afraid of living in Mexico, but I don't have any alternative than to come and go.”

And just like Jesus, thousands of Mexican nationals cross the border, legally and illegally, no matter the cost. Sometimes it can cost them their lives.

On top of the many challenges and dangers undocumented immigrants face while crossing the border, some are faced with the Minutemen. They're a civilian border watch group who voluntarily patrol areas near the U.S.-Mexico border in search of immigrants.

In many recorded cases Minutemen members have confronted and even harassed undocumented immigrants.

According to a Minutemen spokesperson in Texas, Mexico's drug wars have brought criminal activities into the U.S.

“If you come here you need to come here legally. Yes, it is painful to go through all the paperwork and everything, but if it’s worth it to you, you do it. We cannot fix Mexico or South America,” announced Terry Troutman, the spokesman of the Minutemen of Texas.

From marijuana to cocaine, Ciudad Juarez is a border town that provides open doors for the Mexican drug cartels.

These criminal groups have invaded entire cities in northern Mexico and the drug traffic is a daily reality for the Homeland Security officers at the El Paso port of entry.

“We concentrate a lot on enforcement. Our officers' number one priority is the safety of the U.S.” said customs and border protection officer Ruben Jauregui.

The El Paso port of entry between Mexico and the U.S. is one of the most popular because a person does not need to pay a toll, which normally one pays at other points of entry. However, there are more than 35,000 vehicles and up to 16,000 people on foot crossing the border to conduct their business daily.

But as violence and drug cartels increase their power in Mexico, more and more people suffer the consequences and they attempt to cross the border to save their lives and their families.

According to a report from the Human Rights of the Mexican Government, in the last 13 years more then 5,000 people died or were murdered in Ciudad Juarez.

Professor Noam Chomsky says the problem along the U.S.-Mexico border will not be easy to solve, especially because the U.S. government is ignoring the real cause of the problem.

“There will have to be some kind of immigration reform, but it's going to have to cut a very delicate line. This is a business-run society, and business wants the immigrants – they want the cheap, exploitable labor,” explained Chomsky.

For the moment, people like Jesus Diaz and other families will have to continue their travel and pray for their safety when they return every night to their home in Ciudad Juarez.

Recently, a wave of protests swept across the U.S. against a crackdown on immigration in Arizona.

A new law set to come into force there in July would give police power to question anybody they think is an illegal immigrant.

Thousands took to the streets in Arizona and other states saying the law targets Hispanic people and could lead to racial profiling.

Similar protests have also been held outside the U.S. embassy in Mexico City.