I'm not huge on following politics, but it's a reality that our elected officials in the southwest states have much to do with border security initiatives. I don't live in California anymore, so I wasn't following the races there very closely. However, I took a look at the races in all four southwest border states, and saw some interesting results that I want to briefly comment on here.
Analysis: Let's start with the governors' races. In California, Jerry Brown - a liberal Democrat - defeated Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate, to take over Arnold Schwarzenegger's job in January. In Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, the three Republican candidates won their races, with Rick Perry in Texas being the only incumbent staying in place. Moving to the House of Representative races, most of them in all four border states were won by Republicans. However, one of the two border districts in California, both border districts in Arizona, and three of the five border districts in Texas were won by Democrats. John McCain, a Republican, won the Senate race in Arizona, and Barbara Boxer, a Democrat, won the Senate race in California.
Now, obviously the responsibilities of the border governors and members of Congress are mostly different when it comes to border security. However, they do cross paths when it comes to funding and introducing border security legislation. I'm sure all the winners in yesterday's border races want a secure southwest border, but they may have different ways of getting there based on their personal beliefs and pressures from their political parties.
For example, the three Republican border governors are likely to skewer the Obama Administration for not doing enough to secure the border. They'll complain that not enough National Guard troops have been sent to their states, that they don't have enough federal funding to complete sections of border fences in their states, and that their police departments and Sheriff's officers are undermanned and ill-equipped to deal with current threats posed by DTOs in Mexico. They may also begin efforts to enact stronger anti-illegal immigration laws in their states á la SB 1070 in Arizona, depending on how the federal appeals court review of the measure goes.
Moving to the weapons trafficking issue, you'll likely see the three Republican governors pushing to prevent the reinstatement of the expired assault weapons ban, whereas you may see Jerry Brown and the Democratic congressional representatives pushing to enact much more restrictive gun laws as an answer to the trafficking problem. With a Republican-controlled House, it's extremely unlikely that any new federal firearms measures will be introduced, much less pass, but that doesn't mean that the public rhetoric can't increase.
Democratic representatives may also push to ease restrictions placed on illegal immigrants, which could affect the ability of law enforcement to suss out DTO members or other criminals mixed in with illegals just looking for work in the US. Again, with a Republican-controlled Congress and three Republican border governors, we probably won't see too many changes in the immigration system. This is a shame because we all know it needs to be fixed; just no one in DC is going to be able to agree on exactly how it should get fixed.
I was mildly surprised to see Proposition 19 in California get defeated, although at 54% against and 46% in favor, it was relatively close. President Calderón in Mexico is breathing more easily, as is President Santos in Colombia. I don't know that legalizing marijuana in only California would have made much difference to the DTOs' financial bottom line. If Prop 19 had passed, Mexican DTOs would have faced stiffer competition from domestic growers. However, there would have been and still is a huge market for Mexican marijuana in the rest of the country.
So overall, I see the three Republican governors joining together to be very vocal in the general direction of Washington, DC regarding what they feel is necessary to secure the border, and I see the Democratic representatives trying to introduce some liberal firearms and immigration measures, but not meeting with much success.
Again, I'm not a political analyst, so this is all just speculation. As always, I welcome any intelligent comments that fall within the realm of civil discourse.