Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Borders/Auxiliaries/Volunteers - Conflicting Attitudes?

Here I am, retired as a National Staff Officer, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, and never did it occur to me the connection that is made at The Immigration Blog. The opposite positions of our administration/government to volunteers related to port/harbor/water safety vs that of volunteers for land-based borders.

Spot On!

I spent hundreds of hours as a USCGA Coxswain (aboard my own beloved flybridge sportfisher "Reality" & with a highly-trained crew of two-three additional Auxiliarists) patrolling the Port of Tampa and other smaller port areas in Tampa Bay. Our charge was to observe for the less-than-terror-oriented spills, leakages, etc. AND to observe strange and/or unusual activities such as ships being met by smaller vessels, people aboard vessels who seemed out-of-place, people sneaking ashore, etc.

When we operated we were issued orders by the Coast Guard, and operated under their rules...in uniform, and with identifying flags/signs on our vessel. There was no mistake about our connection to the Coast Guard!

We were, as the land-based volunteers along the Mexican borders, operating sans police powers. We were watchers and observers. Infractions and/or strange events prompted a radio call for full-time "Coasties" to intervene! They carried the authority & the weapons.

How different is this from the efforts of the land-based volunteers? Well, the only thing lacking is a spot of training and some identifiable uniforms, etc. I am sure these pilots/volunteers are as observant as were we.

I'd like an explanation from Mr. Bush as to why this would be different....oh, I am sorry, I forgot the fact only cheap labor comes across the Mexican border....Yeah! Right!

Thanks for the eye opener Immigration Blog!

Duke of DeLand, BC-MSN, USCGA, Ret.