By DEXTER DUGGAN
PHOENIX — The same day that a few Catholic bishops officially pushed anew in Washington, D.C., for national “immigration reform,” the news broke that the federal government quietly was flying illegal immigrants into Arizona then dropping them at bus stations, so they could continue their journey into the United States.
A news story on Phoenix’s KKNT radio (960 AM) attributed the increasing illegal entry to a poor economy in Central America “and the promise of amnesty.”
Tucson’s liberal Arizona Daily Star newspaper reported: “Art del Cueto, president of the local Border Patrol union, said when agents ask people they just apprehend why they are coming, they often mention they heard about amnesty.”
The lure of “amnesty,” which boosts illegal entry, has been encouraged by officials including leaders at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Barack Obama.
As the bishops lobbied for “reform” in Washington on May 29, Catholic News Service (CNS) reported that Miami, Fla., Archbishop Thomas Wenski gave a homily citing Boston’s 18th-century Revolutionary War patriots, civil-rights heroine Rosa Parks, and Jesus Himself as being on the side of breaking border laws.
However, Wenski placed those who favor strong border enforcement with “the bitterly zealous legalism of Inspector Javert” in Victor Hugo’s novel Les Miserables, CNS said.
“Today, modern-day Javerts, on radio and TV talk shows, fan flames of resentment against supposed lawbreakers, equating them with terrorists intent on hurting us,” CNS quoted Wenski.
It has become a familiar theme by USCCB spokesmen. Massive illegal entry is justified, opposition to it is cruel, and other considerations are less pressing.
Also on May 29, news stories in Arizona said that because so many illegal aliens are flooding into Texas, the federal government has been flying some of them into Arizona then dropping them at Tucson and Phoenix bus stations to make their way deeper into the U.S. as best they can.
The Arizona Daily Star headlined, “Immigrants released to find their own way.” The state’s largest daily paper, the generally liberal, Phoenix-based Arizona Republic, reported on May 29 that “immigration officials are dropping migrants off at bus stations to fend for themselves, without food, water, and basic necessities.”
The Daily Star quoted a Greyhound Lines bus spokeswoman that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hadn’t been giving warning when it would drop off people at the Tucson station, but Greyhound was working with ICE in order to receive several hours’ notice, so that more resources could be on hand.
Reymundo Torres, president of the Arizona Latino Republican Association (ALRA), told The Wanderer, “It’s really not surprising” that the federal government would be “so harsh” when transporting them, even while the Obama administration says it has “an empathy for the illegal immigrants. But they’re only political pawns. . . .
“These people are worthless in [the administration’s] eyes,” Torres said on June 3. “. . . It’s always about a political calculus,” not humanitarian concerns, that drives the Obama administration’s approach to illegal immigration.
Arizona’s Republican Gov. Jan Brewer isn’t the hard-line conservative sometimes portrayed in the national media, but she is concerned about the continuing effects of massive illegal immigration on her Grand Canyon State.
On June 2 Brewer wrote Obama to express concern that the federal government hadn’t even notified her or other Arizona officials that it was transporting “hundreds, and potentially thousands, of illegal aliens” from south Texas to Tucson and Phoenix bus stations. “We instead learned of this action from the news media.”
Brewer noted reports that many of the people “are women, children, and unaccompanied juveniles,” and the Department of Homeland Security “abandoned these individuals…without any food, water, or basic necessities” at a time when the temperature in southern Arizona regularly exceeds 100 degrees.
“Our nation and the state of Arizona face significant challenges stemming from your administration’s refusal to carry out its responsibility to secure our country’s southern border,” Brewer wrote.
“State and local governments, law-enforcement agencies, health-care providers and nonprofit organizations are all stretched to the breaking point. . . . By systematically transporting and releasing more illegal aliens into Arizona, your administration will exacerbate this problem,” she wrote.
The governor asked Obama’s administration to answer nine questions, including who authorized the policy, at what time, why was Arizona selected as the dropping point, how many aliens have been released this way, what does the federal government know about the people’s backgrounds, what steps is the federal government taking to properly house and process the people, and what is being done to secure the border in Texas?
In a June 3 news release, Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin, a Republican, said he strongly supported Brewer’s demand for answers from Obama.
The day after Brewer’s letter, KKNT radio news reported that the federal government dropped off still more illegal aliens at the Phoenix bus station.
Obama’s Overt Hostility
Torres, the ALRA president, told The Wanderer that Obama has shown a longstanding “open and overt hostility toward the state of Arizona” on issues including immigration and also operating the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal here.
Obama’s Operation Fast and Furious intentionally funneled high-powered weapons secretly to Mexican drug cartels, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans.
Arizona “is definitely in the crosshairs,” Torres said. “I think we’re in a . . . commingling of his aloofness of foreign policy and domestic policy.”
In addition to dumping the illegal immigrants to board buses here, Torres said, Obama had just released “five of the most dangerous men in the world” in exchange for “a deserter” — a reference to the administration freeing five Taliban terrorists from high-security imprisonment so that American soldier Bowe Bergdahl could come home from captivity.
The May 29 Republic story quoted a woman that some of the people at the Phoenix bus station “were infants that weren’t fully clothed. They didn’t have diapers. They didn’t have formula.”
The story also cited a spokesman who favors border enforcement as saying that once illegal immigrants are released, “they often disappear, and ICE doesn’t go looking for them unless they have criminal records.”
Tucson’s Daily Star reported on May 29 that for the last eight months, ICE released large numbers of families at the Tucson bus station, but not such high numbers as currently.
Although coming to the U.S. for a better life frequently is given as the reason to sneak over the border, one might wonder if illegal entry is viewed by many Latinos as simply a good idea, no matter the reason.
WOAI radio in San Antonio (1200 AM) carried a story on June 2 saying that a young Honduran told Reuters news service that she didn’t think entering the U.S. is illegal. “Everybody in my hometown was doing it.”
And the Daily Star story gave an example of a woman whose abusive husband abandoned the family, so she came to the U.S. with her two daughters, ages six and seven, for a new start. Is traveling dangerously hundreds or thousands of miles to break the law really the advisable answer?
Regarding young aliens entering Texas, the WOAI news story said: “Many of the young illegals report horrific abuse at the hands of immigrant smugglers, including being raped, being physically assaulted, and being forced to perform slave labor to ‘pay off’ the costs of their transportation. Hiring a smuggler to take a 13-year-old from Honduras to the United States is said to cost $9,000, or far more than the average Honduran family makes in a year.”
In the first six months of the fiscal year, the Star said, border agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector averaged more than 600 apprehensions a day.
And the numbers of those caught are generally assumed to be only a fraction of those who successfully slip through into the U.S.
Another tactic that Obama uses to flood the U.S. with illegal immigrants is putting large areas of land off-limits to the Border Patrol.
In a May 20 news release, Cong. Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) commented on Obama designating a large swath in southern New Mexico as “wilderness.” Goodlatte said:
“If President Obama is going to designate half-a-million acres as a national monument, then he needs to make sure that the Border Patrol has access to it in order to keep Americans safe from illegal activity along our borders. Unfortunately, Obama administration officials have so far prevented Border Patrol agents from securing the border by denying them access to federal lands under the guise of environmental preservation.
“Without law enforcement having access to federal lands, drug traffickers, human smugglers, and potentially terrorists are able to exploit yet another loophole created by the Obama administration’s lax immigration enforcement. As President Obama moves forward with his decision, I urge him and his administration to allow Border Patrol agents to do their job and gain control of our nation’s porous borders,” Goodlatte said.
Only a few decades ago, many people in Communist China had the choice of eating the bark off trees or starving to death. Even the Communist government wasn’t so blind as to allow that scandalous economic situation to continue.
However, as long as the champions of porous American borders cling to their blame-the-U.S. strategy for Latino suffering, corrupt Latino oligarchs seem more than happy to tell their own people to abandon their homes for a long and dangerous journey northward.