By DEXTER DUGGAN
PHOENIX — The Republican U.S. House leadership can talk about securing the border first in its immigration principles released January 30, but actually accomplishing that security has barely begun despite ambitious government claims, a southern Arizona woman told The Wanderer.
The woman, who lives close to the international line, is known to this writer but asked for anonymity. “Don’t use my name. The cartel would cut my head off,” she said in a February 2 interview. She spoke of continuing serious problems in her area because of massive illegal immigration that uses her Grand Canyon State as one of its major entry points.
Her experiences reflect realities of border life that receive little if any attention when U.S. Catholic bishops’ bureaucrats promote their high-priority “comprehensive immigration reform” including awarding U.S. citizenship.
She was one of four Arizonans this newspaper contacted when the Republican leadership, unveiling its immigration principles, took another step in its balancing act between majority national sentiment against the massive lawbreaking and those who hope to benefit from it, including low-wage-paying big businessmen and Barack Obama’s Democratic Party.
For purposes of this article, we’ll create the pseudonym “Mrs. Smith” for her.
It’s like making deals between “the devil and the devil,” Mrs. Smith said of politicians proposing in effect to reward the cartels for smuggling in people who could gain citizenship.
Meanwhile, successful Arizona conservative Republican strategist Constantin Querard told The Wanderer on February 1: “The only thing that can prevent the GOP from making major gains in the Senate [in the 2014 elections], and even gains in the House, would be a strong push to pass amnesty, no matter what they call it.
“They don’t even have to pass it to do damage; the GOP leadership only needs to be seen as pushing hard for it and damage will be done,” Querard added. “Of course, if they actually succeed in passing it, the damage will be far greater and will last for perhaps 10 years, 20 years, maybe even longer.”
Mrs. Smith said illegal immigration remains so serious that aliens coming right through the land of southeastern Arizona’s high-security Army installation, Ft. Huachuca (pronounced Wah-CHU-ka), remain a daily problem.
Because the U.S. government doesn’t want people to know the extent of the difficulties, she said, a worker at that facility who spoke to her about this would be dismissed if his identity was revealed.
“I was told by someone who would lose his job . . . that they catch 30 to 40 illegal aliens every day on Ft. Huachuca” just during his shift, Mrs. Smith said. “. . . So what the next shift catches, he doesn’t know.”
And this is only the number captured daily at the military intelligence installation, not those who slip by on its land or cross the vast open spaces of the border.
Mrs. Smith said, “It’s all disgusting . . . this whole lie” that conceals the true numbers of illegal entrants. “The lie is the numbers that are caught, the numbers of got-aways that they do not report.”
The fact that even a high-tech Army post contends with alien entrants is familiar to those following the issue. The December 5, 2013, Wanderer printed an article after Tucson NBC-TV affiliate KVOA said the numbers apprehended at Ft. Huachuca were increasing, from a reported 96 people in fiscal year 2011 to 331 in fiscal year 2013.
She said that when politicians and the Obama administration push for legalizing the illegal entry, “I would say that they’re giving the cartels a pat on the back” for “raping women and children and selling people into the slave trade. . . . So the politicians are telling [cartels], ‘Bravo, good job’.”
Later in the interview, Mrs. Smith said that aliens forced into the sex trade via the porous border are victims, too, including a ten-year-old boy destined for perverts, and five-year-old girls. “The innocent people who are smuggled, they’re bought and sold, they have no choice. . . . What choice do they have?”
Mentioning that Obama’s new secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, visited southern Arizona recently, Mrs. Smith said he “wants to reward” illegal immigration with citizenship. “He forgot to come up here and see the [discarded] backpacks and garbage” of illegal immigrants, she added.
Mrs. Smith mentioned other difficulties of living near the porous border.
She told of seeing Border Patrol vehicles recently down at the often-dry San Pedro River, where government-enforced riparian restrictions even limit law enforcers. The river comes up from Mexico. “I just know they were down at the river with all their lights flashing,” but Mrs. Smith didn’t expect to find out any information about the incident. “It’s just another event.”
She added that illegal aliens proceed up the river without any concern about violating the riparian restrictions.
“The ranchers out on their horses are checking their fence lines, because the fences have been cut. And then they can be shot at” by aliens, she said. “. . . We don’t have freedom and peace.”
Even after years have passed, she said, illegal entrants waiting to be picked up by smugglers are still leaving garbage and hiding in the bushes near a children’s bus stop not far from her residence, she said.
Mentioning seeing a Border Patrol agent recently “com[ing] down the side road like a bat out of hell chasing somebody,” Mrs. Smith said, “As a driver, I have to watch that no one’s going to come out of the bushes . . . could be drugs, could be kids, could be women” dashing across the road. Or a vehicle suddenly could loom up, going 100 mph, running from the Border Patrol.
“There’s federal agents around you, there’s crime around you, but you’re not supposed to know” of this life that’s being forced on border residents, she said, adding ironically that if these surroundings perturb a person, “you’re a racist, you’re a xenophobe.”
She said she has “a beautiful garden,” but “I resent having [to garden] with my phone and my firearm” with her for protection. “. . . This is a circus where wild cats have escaped.”
Asked if she’d consider doing a radio interview without being identified, Mrs. Smith declined, citing the fear that her voice might be recognized.
She said that when she drove over to Tucson, southern Arizona’s largest city, she discovered, upon returning to her parked vehicle, that it had been “trashed.” It had a bumper sticker in favor of securing the border, she said. “I was mortified.”
As for why some Republicans press forward on the immigration issue now, Querard, the conservative strategist, told The Wanderer: “I can only assume that GOP leadership is of one of two minds. They either firmly believe that they must do something (anything!) to get the issue resolved, or they have been convinced that the financial powers that be will not be denied, and that they have to follow this course of action to please these unnamed masters.
“Neither is a good answer,” Querard said. “It is clear, from national polling, state polling, even district-by-district polling, that the public is not clamoring for a solution, and of all the possible solutions, amnesty remains the least popular.”
Meanwhile, open-borders Arizona Sen. John McCain expressed pleasure on January 30 that House leadership unveiled its immigration principles — even though they fell short of the massive “Gang of 8” immigration bill he helped push to passage in the Senate last June.
McCain’s pleasure echoed the fact that he and liberal Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) eventually were pleading last year that the House please send the Senate any kind of immigration bill. It was thought the senators hoped that once they got any bill from the House, they could revise it into legislation much more to their liking before final passage.
On January 30 McCain said that House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) had gotten control over House Republicans or else the immigration principles wouldn’t have been released — apparently meaning that McCain thought Boehner brought conservatives to heel.
Rob Haney, a conservative Catholic and immediate past chairman of the Phoenix area’s Maricopa County Republican Party, long has been a foe of McCain. In an e-mail, Haney told The Wanderer on February 1 that McCain “now rejoices in the recently declared House GOP leadership ‘principles’. . . . Party unity has once again been destroyed through the liberal issue advocacy of John McCain.
“There is no more certain way of destroying the Republican Party than through the hemlock tea of ‘immigration reform’ as served up by John McCain, [Arizona Republican Sen.] Jeff Flake, and their Democrat comrades,” Haney said. “The record is clear — upon gaining the vote, new immigrants from all countries favor Democrats by over a two-to-one margin, since their historical mindset from their native lands is that big government is the solution to their problems. . . .
“The Obama-McCain doubletalk of selectively enforced immigration law is well established,” he said. “Citizens know these new laws will be unenforceable. Yet when the grassroots of the GOP speak out in opposition to this suicidal amnesty policy, they are attacked by establishment Republicans as ‘wacky, right-wing nut jobs.’
“The establishment engages in this behavior because in their aristocratic hearts they prioritize maintaining their lofty status above all else, regardless of the suicidal contradiction,” Haney said. “God help us that they have chosen McCain as the person they most prefer to emulate.”
Commenting on the House leadership immigration principles, retired southern Arizona Catholic attorney Ann Howard e-mailed The Wanderer, saying that “the idea that children should not be punished for the wrongs of their parents is indeed a cherished American belief. However, in the case of children brought here illegally, the legal children and their legal parents should not pick up the cost of a remedy. That is just as wrong.
“The parents of those illegal alien children should be and must be made accountable. They need to arrange for visas and scholarships and bring the children in legally to benefit from American education and jobs. Do not rob legal children any more of their due,” Howard said.
“A second issue is the idea that people who are here illegally can stay without citizenship. Again, these principles are going to reward the lawbreakers at the expense of legal American residents. How profoundly unjust. The vast majority of illegal aliens don’t want citizenship anyway,” she said.
“The remedy for this situation is to increase fines for employers who hire illegal workers to a rate that is high enough so that they cannot just factor the fines into the cost of doing business. Enforce E-Verify now and most illegal immigrants will go back to the home many still have in their country of origin,” she said.
“Perhaps the most insulting ‘principle’ to our intelligence is the idea that we should let in even more foreign workers,” Howard said, citing the language of one of the GOP principles:
“The goal of any temporary worker program should be to address the economic needs of the country and to strengthen our national security by allowing for realistic, enforceable, usable, legal paths for entry into the United States. Of particular concern are the needs of the agricultural industry, among others. It is imperative that these temporary workers are able to meet the economic needs of the country and do not displace or disadvantage American workers.”
Howard commented: “But displacement of and disadvantage of American workers are exactly what every proposed principle and current principles in practice do. . . . Not only do Americans need the jobs illegal immigrants have in this most depressed economy, but the last thing we need are more immigrants to take any jobs.
“We need not be heartless in our efforts to protect the American workers,” she continued. “We can have retention hearings for hard cases, liberal medical treatment visas, and strong policies to promote just treatment of people in their own home countries.
“We need massive retraining programs for the legal Americans left in the political dust kicked up by the lack of enforcement of our current laws and from federal meddling in education that has deprived American children of their birthright,” she said.
“We need every type of tax-law change that will encourage American corporations to return to America and hire our own. We need so much to bring back the founding principles of our country, and we have the conservative constitutionalists to do it. We just need to get them in office,” Howard said.
The House GOP leaders “should be ashamed of these principles and of their own lack of concern for the American people,” she said. “And indeed these lawmakers, in addition to destroying America and its families, are also helping to destroy the families in the sending countries, especially Mexico.
“There is not enough shame to go around. Weep for the America we are losing. We need to do everything principled to get it back,” she said.