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Our Immigration Policy Has Gone Beyond Reckless
by Dennis Campbell
21 April 2004

This is what is maddening to conservatives about Mr. Bush: While taking the fight to terrorists, he is practically eliminating our border with Mexico.

New Mexico Magazine has an entertaining feature called “One of Our 50 is Missing,” in which readers cite examples of bureaucrats and others in mostly Eastern states who are convinced the state of New Mexico is a foreign country.

When my wife’s mother, born in Las Cruces, attended college in St. Louis decades ago, she was asked if people in New Mexico wore shoes, had indoor plumbing and fought off Indian attacks.

For those of you who live east of Texas, New Mexico became the 47th state on January 6, 1912.

But things are worrisome in the Land of Enchantment – that is, if you speak only English and your first allegiance is to the United States of America.

As the U.S. Border Patrol focuses on illegal immigration from Mexico through Arizona and Texas, Mexicans seeking entry into the U.S. are increasingly turning to the vast landscape along the New Mexico border.

It stretches for 180 bleak, mostly empty miles, and those charged with patrolling it are dreadfully undermanned.

For example, in the Southwestern portion of New Mexico, at the Lordsburg border station, a mere 52 agents patrol more than 80 miles of border. If half the agents are on duty all of the time, each one must patrol a stretch of land three miles wide – and nearly 40 miles deep.

Apprehensions are up 85% over last year, and border agents will tell you that two or as many as three illegal immigrants will make it across for every one apprehended. Those caught are sent back – only to try again.

The increase is not just in New Mexico. Apprehensions are up 50% in the Tucson, Arizona, area as well. Why the jump? Border agents say the reason is President George W. Bush’s offer of amnesty for illegals.

This is what is maddening to conservatives about Mr. Bush: While taking the fight to terrorists, he is practically eliminating our border with Mexico. While he stimulates the economy with tax cuts, he institutes costly steel tariffs. While he talks of controlling government spending, he signs a boondoggle of a Medicare bill.

But while steel tariffs cost the country money and jobs and Medicare well may bankrupt us, immigration threatens the very nature of America.

My late mother lived in a small town in Southern California which had become heavily Hispanic. While her neighbors were good to her, they made no secret of their loyalty.

“We are not Americans,” they said. “We are Mexicans.”

As Mexican President Vicente Fox lobbies for open borders from Mexico to Canada, illegals act as though it already were fact, pouring into America at the rate of more than 100,000 per month in Tucson alone, and Los Angeles already is more than 50% Hispanic.

The risk in this is more than the so-called Balkanization of America – that is, turning it into a land of competing, often hostile groups separated by language and religion, without common goals or culture or national vision.

Radical Hispanic groups such as La Raza and MEChA would return the American Southwest to Mexico. One way is to flood us with illegal immigrants whose loyalty lies south of the border, and then use irresponsible politicians -- who, with the exception of Mr. Bush, tend to be Democrats -- to gain driving and voting privileges, educate their children at our expense, and bring our health care system to near ruin.

Some are open admirers of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and one college chapter of MEChA called for the murder of U.S. immigration officials. At the University of California, San Diego, MEChA publication Voz Fronteriza celebrated the murder of a Latino Immigration and Naturalization Service agent with these words:

The agent was a "traitor...to his race. We're glad this pig died, he deserved to die. All the Migra pigs should be killed, every single one...the only good one is a dead one...The time to fight back is now.”

And what may be more dangerous, with much of South America seemingly headed toward socialism or communism, our southern border is in danger of being a conduit for terrorists to come here and cause murder and mayhem.

Our president’s policies on immigration have gone beyond foolish, beyond absurd, even beyond reckless.

They threaten to end the America of our forebears. One can but imagine the horror Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and the rest of those patriots who pledged, and often sacrificed, their fortunes, lives and sacred honor would have at what their beloved country is today and promises to be tomorrow.

Dennis Campbell is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to Internet and print publications

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