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Illegal immigration testing our humanity

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If there was ever a more pressing reason to get serious about border control, I’d be hard pressed to think of it. Illegal immigrants are perishing in the Southwestern U.S. deserts at record levels. So for, 130 illegals have died.

Forget all right-wing arguments about Mexican emigres tying up health care and welfare, and changing the face of Southern California. Forget even the important issue of controlling terrorism along the southern border. This is now a humanitarian issue.

Liberals had now better join conservatives in demanding border control. Better these people remain alive in Mexico than bake to death in the Arizona wilderness.

Humanitarian group Humane Borders have posted notices on the Mexican side of the border announcing, No vaya! No esta digno de el sufrimiento! (“Don’t go! It’s not worth the suffering!”)

Another humanitarian group, No More Deaths, has set up camps to help illegals. Beth Sanders of the project says, “Each of these individuals has dignity, and we need to recognize that.” I couldn’t agree more.

The illegal immigrants often start off with nothing more than a Thermos of water and a plastic bag on which to sleep. When they run out of water, that’s where problems begin. If the blistering temperatures don’t finish them off, coyotes will. Despite Spanish-language media campaigns warning them from undertaking the dangerous adventure, these Mexicans still cling to their dreams of employment.

This latest crisis in Arizona underscores the government’s weak attempt at controlling the border. In the 1990s, concentration focused on California and Texas; soon thereafter, urban areas along the border received much of the attention. Now they come in through Arizona and New Mexico.

A comprehensive plan to control the entire border must be put into effect, and no agency would be better prepared to take the initiative than Homeland Security. But Bush continues to smirk and say “Ah, what wonderful, down-to-earth people!”

Mr. President, these people are now dying. Let’s get tough with Border Control, covering as many bases as we can. Consider it tough love.

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About Nightdragon

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Mark, back in April, I posted an article about the MinuteMen Project. In that article, I linked to a comment on the right wing Free Republic website.

    The person admitted this (you can click on the provided link for verification):
    “Nine days of blockade has begun to result in desperation. We believe 500-700 illegals and their coyotes are bottled up in the Huachuca Mountains at present. They are running out of food and water. We have also figured out the system used here for putting out food and water caches and have been routinely using them to add some variety to our dogs’ diets. Our canine companions are most appreciative.”

    Since the Huachuca mountains are in Arizona, I should say that this increase in deaths from dehydration and sweltering heat comes as no surprise to me, it would also be impossible to tell if these deaths are the result of murder, wouldn’t it?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    If someone breaks the law, and dies in the commission of this crime, I shed no tears.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>But Bush continues to smirk and say “Ah, what wonderful, down-to-earth people!”<<

    President Bush does have an actual plan for immigration, unlike just about anyone else you name except some hardcore right wingers like Tom Tancredo. He wants to control the border and create a guest worker program, eliminating the need to cross the border illegally. That seems like the best of both worlds to me.

    Oh, and Steve. Despite your quote, the MinuteMen have been documented to have provided water and shelter to hundreds of illegals during their time on the border.

    Dave

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    that’s great, Dave!

  • erle

    I was just reading an article today that a survey taken of Mexicans revealed that half of Mexicos population wants to come to the U.S. and 1 out of 8 of them would do it it illegally. Isn’t that something to look forward to. Arizona congressman JD Hayworth says 4000 a night are crossing the border and calls it an invasion. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that drastic measures are needed to stop it.

  • http://lagunasite.blogspot.com alpha

    Did anyone notice that these illegals want to come to work and prosper and probably return to Mexico and their families? They work at jobs Americans won’t do. Our own population is either too rich or too happy on welfare to bother being maids, gardeners or fruit pickers. Who will gather your food when they are gone?

    Is this post really concerned with the loss of life of poorly prepared, poor and innocent “illegals”? Or worried that people of color are entering our pristine country?

    Perhaps less punitive measures and isolationism and a well controlled, humanely thought out program to allow a number of people to enter as “legals” would be better than John Birch Minutemen and the excesses of Homeland Security.

    Is there valid worry about terrorists entering from Mexico? Absolutely. They once hassled me at the Texas border and stuck a poor dog’s nose in my gas tank but forgot to ask for my passport. The customs and border patrol people are badly trained and unschooled in the Constitution. I was threatened with arrest for carrying my cardiac medications. Their ability to psych out terrorists is probably equal. The bad guys may come in from JFK and Logan and Canada too. God knows they could enter flight schools in Florida and no one would notice.

    The anti-terrorist forces could try to use some sense and create intelligence agencies that worked rather than hassling every 5th person while the terrorists make sure they are the 3d and 4th. And vigilante groups should be forced to see The Oxblood Incident.

  • Visiting Scholar

    “They work at jobs Americans won’t do. Our own population is either too rich or too happy on welfare to bother being maids, gardeners or fruit pickers.”

    As regard our need for immigrant workers, it’s elementary, my dear Alpha: Economist Thomas Sowell: “What we ‘need’ depends on what it costs and what we are willing to pay….Leaving prices out of the picture is probably the source of more fallacies in economics than any other single misconception. At current wages for low-level jobs and current levels of welfare, there are indeed many jobs that Americans will not take. The fact that immigrants — and especially illegal immigrants — will take those jobs is the very reason the wage levels will not rise enough to attract Americans…. It is elementary supply and demand. Yet we continue to hear about the ‘need’ for immigrants to do jobs that Americans will not do — even though these are all jobs that Americans have done for generations before mass illegal immigration became a way of life.”

    Visiting Scholar

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Have you ever employed an illegal, VS? I have – unknowingly and indirectly – and I know people who employ them regularly. They earn considerably more than minimum wage, paid in cash, so your argument that they bring wages down is spurious.

    Dave

  • Joey

    Don’t have a problem with legal immigrants. Obviously Mexico does. With a goverment rife with corruption, people cannot secure the necessary paperwork, nor afford the countless bribes to make the trip happen.

    This leads to desparation, which leads to desparate measures.

    Anyone here own land around these zones to immigration? Anyone been sued or held libal yet, for illegal immigrants getting hurt on your property?

    Anyone ever run over an illegal immigrant passed out on the road, in the dark of night after a LONG workday?

    Anyone ever come across a dehydrated corpse while out riding your horse or walking your dog?

    I know lots of people down here in AZ who have experienced all those things and more.

    Some of them were even taken to court, sentanced and their livlihoods escaped them. We live in a free country, which allows for crap like that to happen, and when we try to protect our own citizens and those who peril themselves by making arduous journeys into harsh wilderness climates, guided by unscrupulous organized criminals. It’s time to bring some (alot) of control to the situation.

    Are people dying? Yes.

    Why? Lack of effort on our part?

    What backgrounds do some of these people have? Dunno? Hmmm, shouldn’t the U.S. with sovereign borders, be a bit concerned with that?

    If the pressure is on, and patrols are stepped up, or if minuteman projects (Neighborhood watch) are initiated and the perps or coyotes (or whatever) decide to mitigate the risk of detection by hiding out until they expire; can we control that?

    Blog on, it’s easy from the comfort of your leatherback office chair. Come on out, where a typical summer day runs into the 100’s or 110, where there is no cover to speak of; where the water is very scarce; where a person will expire within a day, without proper equipment and more than adaquate amounts of hydration. It’s an unforgiving, harsh, desolate, howling, wasteland. It always has been.

    Could intervention be also considered prevention.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Illegal migration is a symptom of larger problems. Any measure that addresses only the symptom and fails to address the causes will just make the problems worse, no matter how well intended it may be.

  • http://homepage.mac.com/donfrancisco864/iblog/index.html alpha

    Joey. Happily or not my blogging chair was made here in Mexico and it is, indeed, about 100 F outside. Many Mexican acquaintenances speak to me of their desire/need to go to the US to earn money and, no, it is not easy here to get the permissions — due to problems on both sides of the red tape border.

    I explain that America sounds good and they will earn 10 times what they earn here and there are jobs. But they will pay 15 times more to live crowded into barrios and meet intense racial discrimination and xenophobia. I ask if it would be worth it to them and many try it. Most return or are returned.
    Is there a border problem. Obviously. Does the Melting Pot of the world need such tight “sovereign borders”? In the modern world, maybe. Maybe the silly statue in NY harbor should be buried in AZ or used for spy cameras on the border.

    We need a reasonable policy worked out with both governments. Both of which are laboring under serious problems at this point. The US could drop its old “drug war” which would lower violence at the border and police its border police. The Mexican government could make some changes (but as a legal non-immigrant it is not my right to point those out). As an American I can say anything I like of the US problems. Or I could before the current administration and failure of internal constitutional guarantees. Now I don’t know the rules. Obviously, like the plaque under that old stature, the rules have changed.

    Is there overpopulation in the developing world? We need not discuss it. Luckily the US has sophisticated birth control and the right to abortion; but that is not true all over. So borders are spilling over. Do you have a solution?

  • Anthony Grande

    Alpha, why do you think they are called “illegal Immigrants”. That’s right, they broke the law coming here.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “They work at jobs Americans won’t do.”

    That is simply not true. Americans will gladly do those job – if you pay them enough.

    Illegals are just willing to do those jobs for much, much less money, so they are more “competitive” than actual legal residents of this country…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “worried that people of color are entering our pristine country?”

    This country hasn’t been “pristine” since, like, ever…

  • alethinos59

    >>>The fact that immigrants — and especially illegal immigrants — will take those jobs is the very reason the wage levels will not rise enough to attract Americans…. It is elementary supply and demand. Yet we continue to hear about the ‘need’ for immigrants to do jobs that Americans will not do — even though these are all jobs that Americans have done for generations before mass illegal immigration became a way of life.”

    Visiting Scholar<<<

    Visiting Scholar(should we mention you’re no doubt taking jobs away from American scholars… Unless of course you’re doing scholarly work American scholars won’t do…?)

    Let’s try to remember that those “low wages” didn’t simply appear out of nowhere… There wasn’t a “year” where suddenly all the farmers, etc., said, “well, we’re gonna drop the wage from ‘b’ all the way down to ‘k'”.

    Things “evolved” to this stage. Let’s also remember who DRIVES down prices – Corporate America. If you have an economy that is heavily dependant on CONSUMERISM than you’d better find a way to drive the prices down, down, down. Especially if your BONUS is dependant on share price.

    Corporate America (and its off-shoots of Corporate Europe, Corporate Asia) will continue to look for the lowest common denominator.

    Some day thought those kids in Bangladesh are gonna say, “to hell with this” and strike for higher wages…

    And it will begin to all run in reverse…

  • http://president-george-w-bush.blogspot.com/ Mark Catanzareti

    I strongly feel that President Bush should grant citizenship to all illegal immigrants. He can do this to avert all of the potential disturbances to the economy which would result with continuing protests and walkouts by millions of immigrants around the country. Now I realize that there would have to be an accountability policy whereby illegals would have to claim that status with a representative from His country as a witness, and with an American as a reference. I also realize many would slip through the cracks, and bring a rise to the crime rates through drug dealing or through other illegal activities. But time will correct that temporary problem.

  • http://nightdragon.diaryland.com Mark Edward Manning

    Sorry, Mark, but granting instant citizenship to those who’ve blantantly broken the rules would be disastrous. Besides, how many immigrants can America continue to absorb? Yes, even today, we still have a lot of space – but should we just give that all up in favor of even higher immigration levels?

    I’m in favor of legal immigration. Immigration for those who’ve followed the rules. As for illegals, well, the idea for allowing some of them to claim amnesty might work, but to just award them with citizenship would encourage almost no-one to emigrate through the legal, honest manner.

    Plus, it’d be nice if these immigrants who love the U.S. so much would bother themselves to protest in English … that would impress me a lot more than telling me how important they are to my economy. Frankly, and this point has been made before, there’d be no massive illegal immigration if there wasn’t massive illegal hiring.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Sorry, Mark, but granting instant citizenship to those who’ve blantantly broken the rules would be disastrous.

    ‘Instant citizenship’ being defined as waiting for years for citizenship, learning English, passing a test and paying a substantial fine – at least according to the last version of the immigration reform bill.

    Let’s not be disingenuous here. No one is seriously proposing ‘instant citizenship’ or absolving illegals of their responsibility for having been illegal. We’re certainly not talking about amnesty here. What’s being addressed is our need for labor and their desire for a better life.

    Calling the establishment of a process through which these people can become citizens ‘amnesty’ when it includes punishment and stringent qualifications for citizenship is just plain dishonest.

    Dave