As a result of our President not taking the action necessary to secure our borders, small bands of armed vigilantes (picture the guys from “King of the Hill” doing a community theater version of an “A-Team” episode) have decided to take matters into their own manly hands. Calling themselves “minutemen”, these groups, popping up like Reality TV shows all along our borders, are hunting down illegal immigrants and bringing them to justice. While there’s a certain amount of xenophobia tied up in this, my sense is that, for the most part, it’s a legitimate response to America’a porous borders and the fact that the administration has repeatedly refused to commit the resources necessary to close the well-documented holes, and protect us from possible would-be terrorists.

Personally, I have no problem with people trying to cross our border in order to make a better life for their families… If I hadn’t had the good fortune of being born in an economically privileged country like the United States, I think I’d be doing the same thing. That doesn’t mean, however, that we shouldn’t be doing our best to lock up the holes and enforce the laws concerning illegal immigration that are presently on the books. (If the laws need to be changed, then we should do that. Until then, however, we should enforce the laws as they now stand.)

I might be tempted to accuse these minutemen groups of being motivated primarily by racism (a lot of people are), if not for the fact that, at least according to them, they’ve so far been able to apprehend individuals from a number of countries whose citizens aren’t exactly known for their friendliness toward Americans… Here’s a clip from a Knight Ridder report:

Simcox says they caught 700 people from 26 countries, including Iraqis, Iranians, Chinese, Bosnians, Pakistanis and Russians – a number the Border Patrol won’t verify. There was no violence.

If what they’re claiming is true, it seems to me that it would be of the utmost importance to our nation’s leaders… But, on the other side of the equation, corporate America likes cheap labor… And guess which side wins out?

Yup, shareholders love cheap labor like they love viagra… And Bush wouldn’t dare stand between them and the gardeners, nannies, janitors, factory workers, and farm laborers that they so love.

And, before you write in to tell me that we don’t have the manpower to patrol our borders, let me give you an example of how we’re using our government resources right now.

According to FBI documents just released to the public in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit, it’s come to light that the ACLU and other peaceful groups within the United States are being observed, and that counterterrorism personnel are most likely involved… According to a recent press release by the ACLU, they are in the process of, “seeking information about the FBI’s use of Joint Terrorism Task Forces and local police to engage in political surveillance.”

Oh, and let’s not forget that Karl Rove, it now turns out, is now known to have said that he was personally focusing his attention on Ambassador Joseph Wilson because, “he’s a Democrat”. That’s right, instead of building the international alliances necessary to curb nuclear proliferation, bring Osama bin Laden to justice, and stem the tide of illegal immigrants, the senior staff of this administration are spending their time sullying the names of dedicated American civil servants because they, “are Democrats.” And, making the story even more fucked-up, add to that the fact that Willson, a declared Independent, is said to have voted for Bush in his race against Al Gore in 2000. (It speaks volumes for the priorities of the Bush White House, doesn’t it?)

So, as this is how your elected officials are choosing to keep you safe, is it any wonder that people along the borders are taking matters into their own hands? As distasteful as the idea is, and as much as it plays into the hands of anti-immigration racists, you can’t say that it wasn’t predictable… and maybe even necessary.

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  1. john galt
    Posted July 19, 2005 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Mark, I think you’re confusing the issue of immigration (legal) with illegal immigration. The areas that are forming millitias to patrol the border are facing soaring propety taxes, hospital closures and a host of other problems caused by hordes of people who pay no taxes moving into their communities and taxing the services they pay for. If the federal govt. won’t step in to enforce the law, then I understand their frustration. I had a friend who took 5 years to get a work visa (Australian).. Why should someone who crosses the border in the dark of night not have to go through the same process? Of course if we changed the tax code to a consumption based system most of the economic problems would be aleviated (

  2. mark
    Posted July 19, 2005 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think I’m confusing the issue at all, John. I just think we’re looking at it from two entirely different perspectives. I’m looking at it from a safety and workers-rights point of view, whereas you’re looking at it from an “Oh, my God, the Mexicans are going to take what’s mine” point of view. The important thing is, however, we agree that the borders need to be tightened. So, let’s just focus on that.

  3. chris
    Posted July 20, 2005 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Wait, did Joh Galt just say that if the federal government won’t step in to enforce the law he can understand their frustration? I am so glad he is using a pseudonym otherwise the RNC might just have to revoke his priviledges as a result of his inflammatory statement.

    And John, I highly doubt that your friend was waiting to get that visa for some good ole’ hard labor job. Well, you know what I mean.

    Anyone read the New Yoker mini-bio of Ray Kelly, our Chief of Police and his anti-terrorism outfit. FASCINATING!. The article essentially said that the federal government has neither the desire nor the ability to protect us (NYC) from the next attack. So how Rove managed to make that utter nonsequiter regarding our desire to provide therapy to the terrorists w/o being BITCH slapped by Kelly is a wonder to me. Oh wait, I know why, because Kelly has a real job and has no time to prance around at fancy pay per plates w/ a bunch of other pussies who expect to be comfortably asleep in Greenwhich or Westchester when the next attack happens.

  4. mark
    Posted July 20, 2005 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t read the story, Chris, but if I were a New Yorker, I’d be pissed. I still don’t think that even 5% of the containers coming into the port of New York are being checked (now over five years after the 9/11 attacks), and the amount that the city is getting in “Homeland Defense” dollars is just a fraction of what’s necessary to do the job. We’ve been very lucky so far in this country, but our luck won’t last forever, and, unfortunately, our administration has its attention focussed elsewhere.

  5. katie l.
    Posted January 23, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    “There’s another infamous shooting of a nine-year-old girl that is making headlines this week in Tucson.”

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