Mexico: the migrants’ path of peril

December 6, 2010

Mexicans are not the only immigrants trying to enter the United States illegally; many of them are from Central America. Most of those come by land, passing through Mexico on their way to the US. The dangers they face on the way, both from criminal gangs and Mexican authorities, is notorious.

In today’s Houston Chronicle, Dudley Althaus recounts the harrowing experiences of people who, in search of a better life, dare to cross the river of woes:

TECUN UMAN, Guatemala — Juan Bautista Castañeda stepped aboard a makeshift raft to cross the shallow Suchiate River into Mexico from Guatemala, the beginning of a more than 1,100-mile trek he hopes will end on the South Texas border.

And not in abduction, torture or death.

On two earlier tries, he has been attacked by thugs and arrested by Mexican immigration agents, Castañeda said. But nothing good awaits the field hand back in his El Salvador village, so he has girded himself for another, perhaps final, attempt.

Pushed first by war and then by want, Central Americans for three decades have poured through Mexico by the millions on their way to hopeful, if illegal, futures in the U.S. Making their way north by rail and road, many have been robbed and raped, kidnapped and extorted, maimed and murdered.

“You see it every day — how difficult it is, how dangerous,” Castañeda said. “But I’m going again. With the Lord’s help, I’m going to make it.”

The article goes on to give examples of the horrific things that have happened to migrants making their way to the US, such as the massacre of 72 Central and South American migrants that made worldwide headlines. Kidnapping and hostage-taking to extort money from relatives of migrants “back home” or already in the US is also common, with over 10,000 incidents in 2009.

This is a good article, worth one’s time to read, and there are a few points to take away from it:

While we are legitimately concerned about illegal immigration and our poorly secured southern border, and while we shouldn’t reward people who break our laws (other than to reelect them to Congress), we must never forget that behind the statistics are human beings seeking the same thing for their families we want for ours: a better life. Yes, hidden among them are criminals and agents of our jihadist enemies, but to treat all illegals as potential thieves is just as dumb as ignoring the problem, as the open borders crowd would do.

Once again, the Mexican government’s whining about the treatment their illegals receive in the US is shown to be a sick, twisted joke when compared to what happens to illegals in their own country.

And, finally, that people would attempt these journeys again and again, knowing the dangers involved and even after experiencing them first-hand, is an amazing testimonial both to human determination and to how bleak life must be where they come from, that they are motivated to risk everything to get here.

h/t Frank Smyth via Melissa del Bosque

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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What we believe: Immigration

November 14, 2010

In part six of his series of video essays, Bill Whittle examines what American conservatives believe about immigration, the rival concepts of the US as a melting pot versus a mosaic, and who the real racists are:

There are those who say that it’s difficult to balance openness to immigrants with laws that control immigration, to which I reply “nonsense.” While a nation of immigrants, we are also founded on the rule of law and equality under the law; as Whittle points out, how is turning a blind eye to illegal immigration and granting amnesty to those here illegally in any way fair and just to those who have played by the rules? And, in an age when terrorists actively wage war against us, can we be so foolish as to ignore the armed men who cross our borders nightly? Indeed, at the most basic level, how can a nation that cannot control its own borders truly call itself “sovereign?”

All of these issues and more have nothing to do with race or ethnicity, yet everything to do with whether American citizens, freeborn and naturalized, truly rule in their own land.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


No confidence

August 12, 2010

It can’t be a good sign when the union representing 7,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents unanimously passes a no-confidence motion against ICE management:

The union that represents rank-and-file field agents at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has unanimously passed a “vote of no confidence” for the agency’s leadership, saying ICE has “abandoned” its core mission of protecting the public to support a political agenda favoring amnesty.

The National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 7,000 ICE agents and employees, voted 259-0 for a resolution saying there was “growing dissatisfaction and concern” over the leadership of Assistant Secretary John Morton, who heads ICE, and Phyllis Coven, assistant director for the agency’s office of detention policy and planning.

The resolution said ICE leadership had “abandoned the agency’s core mission of enforcing U.S. immigration laws and providing for public safety,” instead directing its attention “to campaigning for programs and policies related to amnesty and the creation of a special detention system for foreign nationals that exceeds the care and services provided to most U.S. citizens similarly incarcerated.

“It is the desire of our union … to publicly separate ourselves from the actions of Director Morton and Assistant Director Coven and publicly state that ICE officers and employees do not support Morton or Coven or their misguided and reckless initiatives, which could ultimately put many in America at risk,” the union said.

Be sure to read the whole thing, and check out Power Line for good analysis. Meanwhile I’ll leave you with this: the Executive Branch, starting at the top with the President, is charged with seeing that the laws of the United States are faithfully executed. What does it say when the rank and file of a law-enforcement agency accuse the Executive of not just failing at that duty, but positively refusing to do it?

And no, before anyone asks, I’m not indulging in an impeachment fantasy. It’s a stupid idea for many, many reasons. (For starters, “President Biden??”) But clearly the ICE management targeted by this resolution are following Obama administration policy preferences: they do not want illegal immigration controlled and they do want some sort of amnesty, whether granted by Congress or through (illegal?) administrative fiat. Cynics would say that’s because they assume illegals put on a path to citizenship would be likely future Democratic voters. That’s not impossible, as this is the most politically cynical administration I’ve experienced since Nixon’s.

But the way to stop them is not through self-indulgent cries for impeachment. Instead, we have to take Congress away from the (Social) Democrats. At least the House, and preferably the Senate, too. Then, with the power of the purse and the brakes applied by a divided government, we can throw light on the derelictions of this administration and lay the groundwork for electing a Chief Executive who will see that the laws are faithfully executed, rather than a President who thinks he’s still 12-years old.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Leftist nitwit: US Border Patrol same as the KKK

June 24, 2010

I’ve got a few words in mind for Elena Herrada, but I’d have to ban myself if I used them, so I’ll let this “activist” speak for herself.

(via Allahpundit)


The Mexican president is a rank hypocrite

June 21, 2010

On his recent visit to the US, Mexican President Felipe Calderón took several occasions to sanctimoniously lecture Americans about the “evils” of Arizona’s SB 1070, a law the directed state law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law. He even did so in an address to a joint session of Congress:

The contentious issue of Arizona’s immigration law has been a key issue for Calderon during his U.S. visit. The measure, which will allow law enforcement officers to ask for proof of legal residency of anyone who is being investigated for a crime or a possible legal infraction, has drawn widespread criticism in Mexico.

“I strongly disagree” with the measure, Calderon told members of the House and Senate. “It is a law that not only ignores a reality that cannot be erased by decree,” but also introduces the “terrible idea” that racial profiling is acceptable.

Calderon also had a message for undocumented Mexican migrants currently in the United States: “I want to say to the migrants — all those who are working really hard for this great country — that we admire them, we miss them, [and] we are working hard for their rights … [and] for their families,” he said.

And their remittances, which are Mexico’s second-biggest source of revenue. Funny he didn’t mention that…

Anyway, what makes our distinguished visitor such a stinking hypocrite is Mexico’s treatment of its own illegal immigrants across its southern border. William Booth of the Washington Post has the story:

As the Mexican government condemns a new immigration law in Arizona as cruel and xenophobic, illegal migrants passing through Mexico are routinely robbed, raped and kidnapped by criminal gangs that often work alongside corrupt police, according to human rights advocates.

Immigration experts and Catholic priests who shelter the travelers say that Mexico’s strict laws to protect the rights of illegal migrants are often ignored and that undocumented migrants from Central America face a brutal passage through the country. They are stoned by angry villagers, who fear that the Central Americans will bring crime or disease, and are fleeced by hustlers. Mexican police and authorities often demand bribes.

Mexico detained and deported more than 64,000 illegal migrants last year, according to the National Migration Institute. A few years ago, Mexico detained 200,000 undocumented migrants. The lower numbers are the result of tougher enforcement on the U.S. border, the global economic slowdown and, say some experts, the robbery and assaults migrants face in Mexico.

The National Commission on Human Rights, a government agency, estimates that 20,000 migrants are kidnapped each year in Mexico.

While held for ransom, increasingly at the hands of Mexico’s powerful drug cartels, many migrants are tortured — threatened with execution, beaten with bats and submerged in buckets of water or excrement.

“They put a plastic bag over your head and you can’t breathe. They tell you if you don’t give them the phone numbers” of family members the kidnappers can call to demand payment for a migrant’s release, “they say the next time we’ll just let you die,” said Jose Alirio Luna Moreno, a broad-shouldered young man from El Salvador, interviewed at a shelter in the southern state of Oaxaca.

Luna said he was held for three days this month in Veracruz by the Zeta drug trafficking organization, which demanded $1,000 to set him free. He said he was abducted by men in police uniforms and taken to a safe house with 26 others.

Read the whole thing and keep it in mind for the next time some unctuous Mexican official tries to lecture us about our treatment of illegals. Hell, illegals who make it to the US should be given a prize for surviving Mexico.

(via Fausta)

RELATED: How Mexican law discriminates against even legal immigrants.


Twisted propaganda: Linda Sanchez and the AZ immigration law

June 15, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about California Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, who asserted quite seriously that White supremacists were behind the controversial Arizona immigration bill, SB 1070, with the implication that those who supported it were also White supremacists, or at least sympathetic to White supremacy. For that, I was accused of “twisted propaganda.”

At PJTV, former Leftist Joe Hicks looks at the origins of Sanchez’s brain-dead assertion, tracing it back to wild claims made by the race-hustlers at the Southern Poverty Law Center:

(Click the image to watch)

Hicks’ arguments illustrate the point I tried to make earlier: that by smearing moderate and conservative opponents as racists regardless of their arguments, race-baiting groups such as the SPLC, La Raza, and MEChA, or individual race-hustlers such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, are attempting to stifle their concerns by making them afraid of being labeled as racists themselves while encouraging others to dismiss them as such.

The only point on which I’ll disagree with Joe is his possible implication that Sanchez was just a stupid tool mindlessly repeating smears she read elsewhere. She may not be the sharpest tack in the box, but she’s too experienced a politician not to know that her race-baiting words would be used to bully into silence foes of illegal immigration in her heavily Latino district.


The majority of Americans are White supremacists

June 3, 2010

Nearly 60 percent of the country, that is, if you believe California Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-Race Card) who said, when asked about the recent Arizona immigration law:

“They’re not accidental or one person’s crazy idea,” she said of the law. “There’s a concerted effort behind promoting these kinds of laws on a state-by-state basis by people who have ties to white supremacy groups,” Sanchez said.

“It’s been documented. It’s not mainstream politics. (Legislators) are being approached by folks, who are front organizations for white supremacist hate groups. They propose the language of these bills and get people to carry these bills in the state legislatures,” she said.

Emphasis added.

I really think we need a corollary to Godwin’s Law covering cries of racism, rather than Nazis. Brain-dead comments like Sanchez’s just illustrate the intellectual bankruptcy of the pro-illegal immigration Left; they can’t win based on the facts, so they have to fling charges of racism at their opponents in the hope of intimidating them into silence. Only they (from the President on down) are playing it so often that the public is wising up to their game, and it isn’t working nearly as well as it used to.

And, to the shock of none, Sanchez has so far offered no proof of this Vast White-Supremacist Conspiracy.

What’s truly sad here, aside from Sanchez’s resort to race-baiting and her smear of people with legitimate concerns about illegal immigration, is that her district is apparently represented by a dishonest fool who (again, like the President and the Attorney General) probably hasn’t read the bill or, worse, has and doesn’t care. Either way, she’s doing her constituents no favors.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to pick up my white sheet and hood from the cleaners.

LINKS: More from Sister Toldjah.