Two activists are decrying U.S. policy along the Mexican border for
starkly different reasons — one calling the policy “imperialistic,”
while the other claims it is “treasonous.”
While blaming increasing hostility between Mexican Immigrants and
U.S. citizens on Washington, Hector Carreon, publisher of
“La Voz de
Aztlan,” a biweekly, Internet-based, pro-immigration publication, stated that Mexican nationals should have unencumbered access to the United States because “Mexicans were here [in the U.S.] before European immigrants arrived.”
|Arrests — as well as tensions — are up all along the U.S.-Mexico border.|
Carreon, who was born in Mexico but has lived most of his life in the U.S., said many Mexicans believe Aztlan — the extreme southwest portion of the United States — should be ceded back to Mexico. He said the biggest problem today on the border is a change in policy initiated under the Clinton administration.
“U.S. border policies have changed over the past few years from simple apprehension and return of migrants to Mexico to one of ‘deterrence,’” he told WorldNetDaily. “This new policy is designed to take the lives of hundreds of Mexican immigrants per year,” an act he called “cruel” and filled with “abuses” of the most “fundamental human rights of people.”
The “most absurd” of these policies, he said, “is the ‘Great Wall’ that has been built along [a portion] of the U.S. border,” extending east from San Diego and in place in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. “The fence serves as a means to keep out indigenous groups of people who were here long before whites.”
Carreon also suggested the nation’s border patrol policies are often hypocritical.
For example, he said, U.S. immigration policy — “as it concerns Mexico” — is linked to demands for industrial and agricultural labor.
“It is a well known fact that in good economic times and low unemployment, the Immigration and Naturalization Service looks the other way when it comes to making raids at industrial sites and agricultural centers,” Carreon said.
He added, “The economies of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas would collapse if immigrants would stop working for one week.”
Meanwhile, Glenn Spencer, an anti-immigration activist and leader of a group known as “Voice of Citizens Together,” said, “The Mexican culture, with its goal of [re-conquering] parts of the U.S. southwest” has major “internal development problems,” causing mass illegal immigration to the promise of a better life north of the border.
Spencer also criticized U.S. border policies, calling them “treasonous,” but not because of alleged civil rights violations. In his view, there is not enough being done to solidify the U.S. border and prevent so many illegal immigrants from coming into the U.S., a phenomenon he blames on U.S. officials.
Spencer told WorldNetDaily that he believed the U.S., as well as Mexico and any other nation, should have the right to require legal means of immigration and the right to deploy whatever forces are necessary to ensure that border policies are enforced.
Carreon agreed that “all sovereign nations have [a] right to protect” borders, but said, “They do not have the right to … abuse the human rights of defenseless and harmless workers when doing so.”
Spencer, along with a host of private landowners and ranchers along the border, argue while some illegal immigrants from Mexico may be “harmless,” not all of them are so docile. And, they argue, few seem to have much respect for an American landowner’s property.
Carreon disputed that, saying that “in most cases, the little damage that the migrants do is used as an excuse to undertake racist and political actions.”
To help ease the problems at the border, Carreon said the Department of Justice should take immediate steps against self-proclaimed vigilantes who allegedly have abused some Mexican immigrants.
Furthermore, he said, “[Attorney General] Janet Reno should publicly denounce ‘hate’ groups like [Spencer's] American Patrol and Barbara Coe’s ‘California Coalition for Immigration Reform,’” which he called “vehement anti-Mexican racist groups.”
He also said U.S. officials should plan to attend a “Border Summit” his organization is planning.
“This conference will define the problems and propose solutions,” but, he said, “we do not want lackey Hispanic appointed and elected officials to participate in place of the real power holders in government.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the
Judiciary subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, spoke out last month against the dangers of ignoring the northern border.
On May 23, the House passed a measure he sponsored requiring
integrated entry and exit data system be implemented at airports,
seaports and land border ports of entry” — a measure Smith claimed as “a major victory” for those seeking tighter immigration controls along U.S. borders.
The Smith bill and the companion Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Spencer Abraham, R-Mich., are designed to help INS computers communicate better with themselves and with State Department, FBI and other federal systems.
Smith, as well as other U.S. immigration officials, say the measure is important because of a new trend — Mexicans flying across the U.S. to Canada, then crossing the border. The U.S.-Canadian border is much more porous and is not guarded as well.
Overall, there are only about 300 Border Patrol agents patrolling the 4,000 miles of land between the official ports of entry between the two countries, and practically none between midnight and dawn. This compares to some 7,000 agents on the southern border 24 hours a day.
National Border Patrol Council, a union that represents Border Patrol officers, called Smith’s bill little more than “feel-good legislation” because it is “almost unenforceable.”