By DEXTER DUGGAN
PHOENIX — He was a Latino, apparently in his 20s, with only a small sack in his left hand and a plastic gallon water jug, nearly empty, in his right — a stereotypical image of an illegal border crosser.
It was about 8 a.m. on July 1, the desert temperature already in the 90s. He wasn’t on the border. This was on my neighborhood metropolitan Phoenix sidewalk as I walked to morning daily Mass at my parish church. He kept going and didn’t ask anything about seeking help.
If you jumped into a car from this spot, depending on how hard you hit the pedal, the border-straddling city of Nogales is two to three hours to the southeast.
However, the Phoenix Greyhound bus station, where the federal government has been dropping off illegal immigrants to go their own way, is only about a 20-minute ride by city bus from where he and I were on the sidewalk.
Only one Latino, maybe down on his luck? Even if he got here illegally, why not let him have a job? Then you remember he’s only one in a never-ending march that stretches down the decades. Put them all in a line and it would loop around and around the world.
Their homelands have learned there’s no urgency to make internal reforms when the immigrants can just go to the welfare state to the north, a storied, welcoming land of milk and money.
Meanwhile, conservative bloggers discovered that the Obama government had been concocting the current crisis of alien-minor entry for months, and even advertised last January at FedBizOpps.gov for help with managing the carefully planned upcoming surge.
There were no groups of illegal aliens passing through the Phoenix Greyhound station, strategically located near two freeways and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, when The Wanderer paid a brief random visit the afternoon of July 3.
Departure gates were posted for buses to Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, and El Paso. A public-address announcement was in Spanish.
A Phoenix spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told The Wanderer on July 7 that the agency is “continuing to drop some families off at [Arizona] bus stations,” more of them in Tucson than Phoenix, although they’re no longer transported here from Texas, as was done previously.
Spokeswoman Amber Cargile said these are families apprehended at the Arizona border and typically have a couple of children and at least one parent. As to numbers involved, “I don’t have stats.”
“We work with the bus stations” so the ICE deliveries don’t stress their facilities, she said.
In recent months, the numbers of illegal aliens entering the U.S. have assumed apocalyptic proportions, eagerly greeted by an open-borders U.S. political, media, and religious elite. Americans who must eke out their own daily livings are less thrilled.
A July 3 New York Times story said federal officials are dealing with an “expected 240,000 migrants and 52,000 unaccompanied minors who have crossed the border illegally in recent months” through the Rio Grande Valley, who are being sent by Barack Obama’s government to locations around the U.S.
That means nearly one-third of a million new illegal immigrants coming in within just a few months in 2014 over the Rio Grande, being dispersed into your town and Everytown by amnesty-loving Obama.
Most people demand that it stop. No one expects Obama to stop it — but he’s always ready to try to sell his snake oil again. “Obama plans executive action to bolster border security,” says a gullible Wall Street Journal headline on June 30. What claim could be more outlandish? “Obama reveals he’s actual reincarnation of ancient Egyptian pharaoh”?
Who could forget all his calculated lies about keeping your health plan and doctor if you liked them?
Americans gaze in amazement as U.S. border agents are turned into the equivalent of coyotes, the Latino lawbreakers who deliver aliens into this nation. Will no one at ICE or the Border Patrol rise in defiance and shout that Obama won’t be allowed to make them crush this country under the massive weight of the invasion?
Some critics think Obama is following the strategy of academic Marxists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven from the 1960s to destroy the system by overloading and collapsing it, leading to replacement by a left-wing dictatorship. Who thought this day could come?
The daily homily on June 30 at my parish, given by a helpful semi-retired priest, recalled the spirit of optimism when he entered the seminary decades ago. Then there were shocks like the Kennedy assassination and serious problems for the Church. The optimism drained away.
The priest asked us: What had been forgotten amid the happy expectations? The cross, he said. It was a saving cross, but it also was a cross present with the Church since the beginning.
He didn’t say anything about the current illegal immigration crisis, but I thought of his words about unrealistic optimism again the next morning when I saw the Latino with the nearly empty water jug near the church.
Years ago there were bishops who thought it would be so simple to help some needy non-citizens by winking at their breaking border law. Their misplaced hope was so optimistic. The lawbreaking became overwhelming. The bishops averted their eyes.
As I walked to daily morning Mass the following week, on July 7, there was a young Latino-looking man stretched full-length on the city bus-stop bench in the shade that I pass most times. His eyes were closed, apparently asleep; his backpack was his pillow.
When I walked back home an hour and 40 minutes later, he was still there, stretched out, filling the bench, eyes closed. Exhausted from a long journey?
I can’t say what surprises people may see on, for instance, the New York City subways, but I’ve walked a lot in my Phoenix neighborhood, past the palm and citrus trees. I’m seeing some different sights now. As are the rest of Arizona, the Southwest, and the nation.
A Visit From A First Lady
The Arizona Daily Independent (ADI) website on July 3 posted that Guatemala’s first lady, Rosa Leal de Perez, was visiting Arizona to check on the condition of her nation’s newly arrived minors here. ADI said she denied they were fleeing violence, but said they’re coming to the U.S. in search of more opportunities.
The story had a photo of Gerald Kicanas, the liberal bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tucson, greeting her.
ADI referenced a news story at the border-conscious Fronteras website quoting the first lady. The effect of her words was to excuse the minors while telling critics not to stand in their way. Fronteras quoted Leal:
“There needs to be a strong campaign to raise awareness. If people don’t want to help, then they shouldn’t oppose it. They need to understand that these children are not delinquents, they didn’t come to do anything bad in this country, they are simply coming to see their family.”
Another story said Leal said her husband was working to improve conditions in Guatemala.
Rather than her coming here to monitor the welfare of youngsters her nation has cast off, we might suggest that Leal take them back home, then we’ll visit Guatemala to monitor how well she and her husband are attending to their own countrymen.
If we don’t think they’re doing a good enough job, we could send, oh, 50,000 U.S. monitors for Guatemala to feed and house while we exhort them to a successful conclusion.
Guatemala isn’t ready to take the minors back home yet? How about one more year? We’ll keep the illegal aliens at designated U.S. holding centers and send Guatemala the bill for their care every week. Two years? We’ll increase the weekly bill, to encourage Guatemala to get serious about its responsibilities. Same for any other country that tries to game the U.S. this way.
Tucson’s open-borders Bishop Kicanas took a different perspective. His “Monday Memo” of June 16 spoke of how a meeting at the diocesan center of “all of the parties that are involved” viewed priorities.
“Several needs were identified,” Kicanas wrote. “1) The need to provide hospitality at the [Tucson] Greyhound station to help these families navigate the new culture into which they have come; 2) The need for transitional housing if they cannot immediately board a bus to meet their family…; 3) The need for money for bus tickets if the immigrant cannot get funds from their family; 4) The need for things such as clothes, shoes, and personal hygiene items.
“Great concern was voiced for the July 4 holiday weekend, when buses are crowded and the possibility that families might have to wait for the weekend before travel is possible,” Kicanas added, in a spirit united with Obama’s dispersal strategy.
Contrary to the left-wing story that this border crisis resulted from an eruption of tragic Central American conditions, bloggers discovered that the U.S. government back in January had advertised specifically for escort services for an amazingly large number of about 65,000 unaccompanied alien children.
Trying To Seal The Deal
On June 20, the conservative Blaze site, crediting the “Weasel Zippers” blog, showed that the request was posted January 29 at the FedBizOpps.gov site. The solicitation even specified the percentage of methods of transportation to be used, and said, in part:
“There will be approximately 65,000 UAC [unaccompanied alien children] in total: 25 percent local ground transport, 25 percent via ICE charter, and 50 percent via commercial air. Escort services include, but are not limited to, assisting with: transferring physical custody of UAC from DHS to Health and Human Services (HHS) care via ground or air methods of transportation (charter or commercial carrier).”
The minors were to be transported “to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters located throughout the continental United States,” the solicitation showed.
The “Weasel Zippers” blog observed that the purpose of refugee resettlement is to integrate groups into the American population — not hold them for future deportation back to their homelands, as the nervous Obama administration claims now will probably be their fate.
“Weasel Zippers” observed, “The very language confirms the Obama regime 1) knew with specificity a huge influx was on the way, and 2) they intended them to stay.”
Tying up some loose ends, conservative pundits saw the political elite planning to proceed with “comprehensive immigration reform” legislation going to the floor of the U.S. House this summer, while tens of thousands of innocent minors were intentionally lured here to serve as liberal news-media fodder.
But then Virginia conservative Republican Dave Brat, campaigning against illegal immigration, shocked the elite to death by defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in that state’s June GOP primary. All bets were off.
Still, it should qualify as one of the stories of the decade that Big Government had been plotting for months — obviously even before the solicitation was posted at FedBizOpps.gov — to haul in sudden legions of minors from different countries to seal the deal for amnesty.
One can only wonder what such a titanic government may be plotting for this November’s elections, to save Obama’s hide. Fraudulent votes cast in the names of newly arrived minors?
A horde of related issues is debated each day over talk radio, including Obama’s government trying to cover up serious diseases among Third World illegal aliens suddenly entering the U.S., as well as entry by gang members, drug smugglers, and terrorists. In addition, legal immigrants are being disadvantaged by line-jumpers.
Latino families reportedly are paying thousands of dollars to have minors smuggled here, once again highlighting the issue that many aliens have significant resources they could use to improve their condition at home, but choose to use them to break U.S. law.
Misallocation of funding also struck a note. While U.S. military veterans futilely sought VA care and unemployed citizens gave up their job searches in despair, Obama was pouring rivers of tax money into welcoming and accommodating unending lines of unauthorized aliens.
“Love one another as I have loved you,” said a powerful poster biblically advocating for illegal aliens in southern California. Yes, even the unlovely must be loved. But you still call the police when housebreakers pour through your windows, steal from your fridge, and grab for your wallet.