By DEXTER DUGGAN
PHOENIX — The entrenched oppositional forces that President Trump faces are determined to end the threat he poses to their control, no matter what manipulation they think they have to use against his America-first election-winning agenda.
Illegal immigration is an important example. An oppositional view is that all of North America should be one unit for free movement of labor, goods and capital, and borders are bigoted barriers.
From coast to coast, the open-borders forces throw up their own blockades against free movement of the Trump administration’s programs. And if a way could be found to outlaw coastlines defined by oceans, they’d probably declare beaches and coasts to be hateful, too.
From a Democrat Party Arizona sheriff improbably lamenting the loss of the good old days to an activist Florida circuit-court judge improbably discovering the states’-rights Tenth Amendment as a justified barrier against federal immigration law, the march is on to overwhelm Trump by unauthorized invasions of desperate improvisation.
Along with a video, USA Today posted an article March 5 headlined, “The Arizona lawman challenging President Trump’s border wall.” That’s 73-year-old Tony Estrada, longtime sheriff of the relatively small, lightly populated Santa Cruz County, along southern Arizona’s international line with Mexico. He says, “I’m not a fan of President Trump.”
Even though the Mexican born-Estrada has lived in the United States for almost all his life, he said Trump “insulted my people” when he said Mexicans are rapists and drug smugglers.
However, Trump certainly didn’t say they’re all such criminals, and Estrada, being right on the border, is in a position to know even better than Trump that some of them actually are.
Has Estrada never heard of women being warned to take contraceptives before trying to cross northward, and of “rape trees,” where triumphant assailants hang the undergarments of their victims? As for tidal waves of drug smugglers, if Estrada is unaware of them, he’d better start wearing the dark glasses of a man without sight.
Meanwhile, Florida Circuit Court Judge Milton Hirsch ruled on March 3 that it was wrong for officials to detain a Haitian national for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) because jailers were acting as “appendages of ICE,” even though, Hirsch said, the Tenth Amendment restricts the power of the federal government over the states.
Conservatives long have complained that the Tenth Amendment pretty much had been forgotten by national liberals eager to impose their policies on every state regardless of states’ laws, from permissive abortion to “same-sex marriage.”
But even conservatives recognized immigration as a federal responsibility. Indeed, when Arizona enacted SB 1070 in 2010, the state law was intended to mirror, not oppose, federal immigration law that the open-borders Obama administration refused to enforce.
Yet the very creative Judge Hirsch viewed jail officials cooperating with ICE as some impermissible imposition of federal power.
Arizona Sheriff Estrada’s headquarters office is in Nogales, directly south of which is the much larger Mexican city of Nogales, Sonora. Together they’re known as Ambos Nogales, or “both Nogales.” The Mexican city’s motto is translated as, “United by the love of Nogales.”
USA Today’s video shows Estrada lamenting the bygone days when people moved easily over the border, “back and forth, back and forth, family, friends. . . . It was like one big, beautiful community.”
Many people share Estrada’s nostalgia for the days when little Pedro and Maria could run back to dinner readied by madrecita after a day with their American playmates north of the line. But somehow Estrada’s video improbably overlooked the invasion that made the protective barriers necessary in the United States. The U.S. didn’t suddenly erect the fences to be mean.
A southern Arizona woman with family on both sides of the border told The Wanderer on March 8 that Estrada “is entitled to lament the days when we all walked and drove back and forth freely and happily.”
Asking not to be named because of family concerns, she mentioned the maquilas, factories run by U.S. companies but located in Mexico.
“It all began to change with NAFTA and the huge influx of workers to the maquilas which changed Nogales, Sonora, to a shanty town,” she said in an email. “That change was succeeded by China sucking out jobs from the maquilas all over Mexico, which resulted in extreme poverty for Mexican workers who started coming across illegally for work and to steal.
“The see-through chain-link fence with invisible doors cut by residents of both countries — which everyone walked through at will with no intent but to shop, eat and visit — had to give way to a wall of steel which only the agile and strong can scale,” the woman said.
“. . .The old days were stolen by the corporatists and the globalists with the help of local politicians.”
She said her own family’s ranch property, stretching over both countries, was “divided by the border line, which was drawn right through it, and for over a century was marked by strands of barbed wire — but in the last 20 years was replaced by a wall of steel bars.”
Estrada “can lament all he wants, but now the influx of other-than-Mexicans makes deterrents of all kinds, even a wall, a matter of national security of dire necessity. He must know that, and his objections are political theater,” she told The Wanderer.
“So sad. No more tacos and margaritas for breakfast, with the little kids dancing and singing with the mariachis. Brings tears to my eyes, too,” she said.
The USA Today video included a look at Estrada scowling at a line of high vertical fencing bars.
By the way, Sheriff Estrada is a Democrat.
That fact might recall the rant of Clarence Dupnik in 2010, a Democrat and then-sheriff of Tucson’s Pima County, located just north and west of Santa Cruz County.
When Arizona’s SB 1070 became law in 2010, to help provide protection against the dangerous invasion of illegal immigrants, Dupnik lashed it as “a national embarrassment,” “stupid,” “racist,” and “morally wrong.”
Earlier that year, prominent southern Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was murdered as he drove across his land. Mexican drug smugglers were known to cross through his territory, and after Krentz’s body was found, trackers followed footprints back to Mexico, where they lost the trail.
Massive illegal immigration into the U.S. used to be opposed pretty widely — even by Democrat Bill Clinton when he was president, and by liberal labor activist Cesar Chavez — but after the donkey party sized up unauthorized immigration as a valuable boost to its voter rolls, the Democrats’ official stand changed.
However, many longtime Democratic voters including various union members and blacks still opposed the unlimited illegal crossings.
As for Estrada’s taking offense at the thought of drug smuggling or rape along the border, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s website (santacruzsheriff.org) says, even as this article is written on March 8:
“Over the years, Estrada has been active in organizing law-enforcement responses to the increasing drug trafficking in the border region, and is a staunch advocate of improved officer training, utilizing advanced technology and keeping abreast of the ever-changing needs of law enforcement.”
And lest one think his area is inherently peaceable, Estrada notes at this same site that a heavy law-enforcement presence prevails.
“Due to the numerous local, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies, Nogales and Santa Cruz County have one of the highest per-capita presence of the law-enforcement personnel,” he says.
Indeed, in testimony at a hearing conducted by left-wing Arizona Democratic Cong. Raul Grijalva in 2012, Estrada said, on his own letterhead stationery, that the crime, including rape, is outside inhabited areas because of heavy law-enforcement presence in settled communities.
“There are about 1,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents serving in Santa Cruz County — more than 10 times the number from just three decades ago,” Estrada said, adding that “numerous other law-enforcement agencies” also are at work there.
“. . .The violence that does occur is almost exclusively confined to criminal acts committed against border-crossers themselves,” Estrada said. “Robbery and rape are common, but most cases go unreported; as well, dozens die every year after being abandoned by those to whom they have paid large sums of money to get them to a metropolitan area such as Tucson or Phoenix.”
Estrada said the crimes had been forced outside inhabited areas “(t)hanks to a combination of increased law-enforcement presence, a reinforced border fence, and the most modern technology for detecting movement.”
The U.S. government can’t “relax its vigilance,” Estrada said, adding later in his testimony that there’s also “the very real threat that the next terrorist attack could come from the south.”
The USA Today reporter who wrote Estrada’s screed against Trump could have found these same facts himself if he had troubled to do a little web searching instead of propagandizing.
In the Florida circuit-court ruling against jail officials holding the man for pickup by ICE, Judge Hirsch’s decision went so far as to quote from the Bible, William Shakespeare, and Emma Lazarus’ sonnet for the Statue of Liberty.
Hirsch might better have used his ink explaining why the Tenth Amendment was killed off by activist liberals who now have resurrected it when useful to defy Donald Trump.
Trump faces challenges aplenty, now including trying to shape the progress of the recently revealed health-care reform sometimes being called Ryancare, after House speaker Paul Ryan.
There were substantial objections to the measure by conservatives who said it wasn’t much reform at all.
After having had seven years to develop a stronger reform proposal, Republican leaders should have been better prepared for this key effort in Trump’s agenda to make America — hmmm, what was that? — again.