A few weeks ago I re-blogged a post about a new book titled The Coyote’s Bicycle by Kimball Taylor. Being a bicycle nut, I decided to read the story. I am glad I did. The Coyote’s Bicycle is a piece of history from the US-Mexican border town of Tijuana. The story is fascinating because it chronicles the life of a young boy who was abandoned by his parents. The parents and three siblings left their youngest behind to care for an aging grandfather while they escaped to San Diego for a better life.
The grandfather dies, and the kid who is a young teen has to fend for himself. Eventually, he migrates to Tijuana, Mexico. There, he lives on the street watching the actions of the many different kinds of people in the town. He winds up befriending a man who is in the business of escorting Mexicans across the border for cash. He studies the operation and begins to formulate his own ideas.
The border along this section has multiple fences, ground sensors, and a heavy concentration of border patrol people continuously scanning the border. In spite of all the fences, and the hi-tech sensors people are crossing into the USA illegally by the thousands. There is always a way to beat the many ploys of the USA trying to deter starving people from finding a better life.
What bothered me about this story is the amount of money these people pay to get into the US. As an example this kid who was left to his own devices invented a system and an organization that made him into a multi-millionaire. Why wouldn’t the Mexican and the US governments capitalize on this cash to invent an improved system that would allow the migration to occur legally? Why is it always so complicated when it comes to the rules it takes to allow people into the country?
In between chapters of the story the author adds pieces of history like the southern border problem began in 1962 when the temporary law written to allow a free flow of migrant workers into the country ended. The law President Eisenhower initiated was never renewed to allow the practices to continue. Meanwhile, the farmers were still growing crops and needed help, they continued to hire and never asked questions, and the workers kept coming. In other chapters he covers the migration of old tires, used bicycles, and training camps for the military.
Imagine how simple life would be had Congress taken the opportunity to revise and renew that law. Instead they continued to tamper with social programs to care for the immigrants who arrive here undocumented.
Getting back to the story. The kid studies the border situation by watching and listening to people talk. He learns that there are hi-tech sensors buried in the ground along the fences. They easily detect the clomping of feet walking across. He learns that there are many canyons crossing the border where it is too hard to build a fence. The canyons present a free shot across. He did his homework. Eventually, he builds enough nerve to begin his own business to get people across. He gives every person he transports a bicycle to ride across, and to beat the sensors. The bikes shorten the time it takes to get his customers from the border to a pickup point further in. The bikes are not detected by the sensors thus avoiding a signal to the Border Patrol.
I loved this story, it gave me a new perspective on the hardships of the people crossing over. They lead lives of desperation in their towns, and the Central American countries they come from. I began wishing there was some more humane way to get these people help. I am sure there is.
The one thing this stories makes clear is that building a wall will not deter the flow of hungry people into the USA. They will only use their God-given intellect to engineer new ways to make things happen, be they tunnels, or coyotes with new schemes to smuggle them in. There are enough dollars involved to incentivize almost anything.