Tuesday, January 19, 2010

National Geographic Channel Profits from Humanitarian Crisis


by John Carlos Frey

On Jan. 10, 2009 The National Geographic Channel premiered its new series entitled, Border Wars to the highest ratings in the history of the channel. That seems like a victory and an important milestone for National Geographic but unfortunately it comes at the expense of the worst humanitarian crisis occurring on U.S. soil today. According to National Geographic Channel’s Border Wars,

“Over the past few years the Border Patrol has raised the stakes for anyone attempting to cross. They are daily adding to their arsenal of high tech cameras, ground radar and cutting edge unmanned predator drones.”

What the show fails to mention is that “raising the stakes” has deliberately and inhumanely forced migration over deadly terrain resulting in the death of thousands of migrants on U.S. soil. Conveniently, Border Wars also fails to mention that current border policy and security infrastructure is not working. According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report recently featured on 60 Minutes,

“Three years and a billion dollars later, the "virtual fence" that is eventually supposed to secure America's entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico still doesn't work as it should.”

The multi-billion dollar project was supposed to be completed in 2008 and now is scheduled for completion in 2016 if at all. If that is not the most shocking evidence of a failed border security strategy, the GAO goes on to state,

“…despite the price tag authorities have not found a way to determine whether it is helping to halt illegal immigration.”

Billions of dollars, tens of thousands of border guards and horribly, thousands of dead migrants later, the National Geographic Channel’s ratings darling, Border Wars, forgets to mention the border policy they are glorifying in their program is deliberately forcing people to cross deadly terrain and may not be “halting illegal immigration.”

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