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3/4/2005 - editorial on Arizona's Minuteman Project...April 1005...

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  • Al Soto
    El Paso Times 3/4/2005 Opinion, Our views Border peril: Minuteman Project assaults human dignity Email – cedgren@elpasotimes.com There is a pending
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2005

      El Paso Times


      Opinion, Our views

      Border peril:  Minuteman Project assaults human dignity

      Email � cedgren@...


                      There is a pending situation along our southern border that could easily get out of hand and maybe even cause deaths.

                      Stop it.

                      On this side of the border are 500 volunteers, who�ve joined the �minuteman Project,� and come April will attempt to stop illegal immigration from Mexico into Arizona.  They contend they�ll be helping the Border Patrol.  They were not invited to do so.

                      Call them not Minutemen, but just plain �vigilantes,� as does U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D_ El Paso.

                      On the Mexican side, activists say they will show migrants ways to avoid this unofficial army so they can more safely meander toward their seasonal employment in the United States.

                      Meander illegally.  These, for the most part, are undocumented migrant workers.

                      This is taking on the human aspects of a fox & hound video game.  Only this time it�s real-life danger.  There�s real-life peril..

                      The Minutement Project is headed by retired accountant and Vietnam War veteran Jim Gilchrist..  The 500 volunteers plan to patrol an 83-mile stretch of the southeast Arizona border from both the goround and air.

                      All signs point to this being a hunt.

                      Francisco Loureira,  who manages a migrant shelter across the border from Nogales, Ariz. Said, �The least we can do is prevent them from crossing where these anti-migrant people will be.�

                      It will be a cat-and-mouse type of hunt.

                      Stop it.  This is not the Old West.  But we do need somebody to stand up, as did Jimmy Stewart in �The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,� and yell, �Everybody in this country [is] kill crazy?!�

                      �This is dangerous,� Reyes said.  �When there are opportunists out there, for the thrill of it, or the patriotic fervor, or whatever their motivation, they are allowed to be vigilantes.  That speaks volumes about our inability to control the border, which is a federal responsibility and obligation.

                      �I spent 26 years with the Border Patrol and when you�re out there, and it�s dark, you sometimes run the risk of mistaking people for something they�re not.  The possibility, or potential, of having gunfights is going to be very high.  Normally, when drug smugglers are trying to bring in narcotics, they know we have a policy of not shooting first.  That�s not the case with people who are not trained.

                      �In this whole mix there are going to be innocent people, whose only crimes is to enter this country surreptitiously seeking a better life, and they are going to be in the cross-fire,� Reyes said.

                      Yes, sneaking into the U.S. sans documents is illegal.

                      But vigilantes such as the Minutemen are not only an assault on human safety, but an assault on human rights and human dignity.



      Immigration reform needs brains, heart

      By Roger Hernandez

      email � rogereh@...

      El Paso times


                      One can�t help but marvel at the rhetorical skills of the anti-immigrant crowd.

                      Take Project USA, and advocacy group that never misses a chance to label itself �moderate.�  It advocates �ending illegalimmigration,� an unexceptionalbe, moderate position.  Who is for illegal immigration, anway?

                      But Project USA also favors �a 10-year time-out while the country reassesses immigration in terms of the long-term consequences of present policy.�  So, a decade-long ban on legal immigration is presented as a moderate position.

                      Also awe-inspiring is Rep. Tom Tancredo, the Colorado Republican who is one of the House�s most vocal critics of illegal immigration.

                      Last November he was so �thoroughly impressed� by an essay written by a  college kid that he inserted it into the Congressional Record.

                      Goes the essay, �The economic, social, and political results of illegal immigration � in particular, the unique issues and problems posed by contemporary Hispanic immigration � are detrimental to the United States.�

                      And, �Opponents of Mexican illegal immigration believe that even though the United States was founded by immigrants, immigration of the past is not the same as it is today.  First, Mexican immigrants are not here legally.�

                      The insightful reader will note that the first quote starts off warning of problems posed by �illegal immigration� and ends up with hand-wringing about �contemporary Hispanic immigration,� never mind the �Illegal� part.  Note, too, that the second quote clearly states that all Mexican immigrants are illegal.

                      Using the brain is not enough, however.  What to do about the millions already here?

                      The Bush administration has the right idea, the amnesty that dare not speak its name.  Under the Bush plan, undocumented immigrants who have been here for a long time (the exact number of years surely to be negotiated with Congress) will be able to register with the government and be temporarily allowed to stay in the United States, pending a review of their case that might eventually result in a green card and, later, citizenship.

                      Although the idea originates in the compassionate heart, it is not at odds with the logic of the brain.  The more illegal immigrants come to light, the easier to find terrorists lurking among them.

                      Besides, the only other option is a forcible mass deportation that would kick out of the country people who entered illegally 20 years ago, worked hard, raised an American family and stayed out of trouble.


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      The government and the NEWS should reflect, not determine, the desires of the people.The news is to be reported not to sway opinion. Stop the melodrama and constant trivia on news time. The founding fathers knew that government is always corrupt, that is why they gave us civil liberties.  The people must lead to survive corrupt governments. Read the constitution. (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this includes information for research and educational purposes.)  Al Soto (c) 2005

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