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There’ll be quite a scene in Washington May 19 if Mexican President Felipe Calderon keeps his date to address a joint session of Congress. He’ll also be honored at a White House state dinner.
The cool, calculating and composed U.S. president is going to have his hands full that day trying to navigate diplomacy and the almost guaranteed uproar about immigration that will test decorum on every level.
When Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the official visit last week, she called Calderon “our neighbor and friend” and said we’d be looking forward to hearing his “message to the American people and his views on ways to strengthen our border communities, fight organized crime and reinforce the essential partnership between our two nations.”
From the sound of that, Calderon will have his hands full, too, since he and his government are mightily upset that last Friday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the toughest law in the country dealing with illegal aliens.
Brewer was under huge pressure to veto the bill, by everyone from Mexican officials to immigrant-rights groups, clergy and, of course, U.S. politicians
The bill requires police, when there’s probable cause, to ask people about their immigration status and ask for identification to back it up, and it allows arrest. Police would still work with ICE and the Border Patrol in dealing with illegals.
Brewer said, “We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act. But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation.”
On Wednesday, Brewer called on Washington to deploy the National Guard to the border. The AP quoted her: “The responsibility to ensure that we have an orderly, secure border – not just some imaginary line or a rickety fence – belongs to the federal government, and they have failed.”
Brewer said she asked President Obama five times for troops to be deployed; nothing was done.
Persistent federal inaction has resulted in Arizona being the most heavily trafficked state for illegals (most from Mexico, but, in fact, people from across the world) in addition to organized and violent cartels smuggling drugs, guns and humans.
The value of that illegal “cargo” is in the multimillions annually. With so much at stake, it’s no wonder that violence and danger to innocent civilians veers out of control.
Illegals fan out to every state. Some work but others are part of criminal gangs, which have staked out turfs and have no compunction about using extreme violence to protect them.
The flood of illegals inundates Arizona, but every border state has the same problem and drug-cartel violence crosses the border with greater and greater regularity.
A month ago, Arizona rancher Rob Krentz was shot and killed on his ranch near the border. His last phone message was that he was going to investigate illegals on his property. Krentz was known for helping illegals with food and water and medical help.
The suspect is an illegal, likely involved with drug running. He was tracked back to the border. The investigation is ongoing and Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever told me it looks promising.
Dever also told me that his border county is the most heavily trafficked by illegals in the country. The border is wide open and, once across, illegals can hide in the nearby mountains until they’re transported to Phoenix and, from there, across the country.
Last week, Dever was in Washington with the mayors of Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Sonora, and U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke to speak before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
He felt it was promising, but then this was the ninth time he’s testified in D.C. and the border still isn’t secure.
He’s also spoken to Janet Napolitano, when she was Arizona governor and as Homeland Security secretary. At their most recent meeting, she told him a fence and manpower were on the table for the area within three weeks.
That was a year ago.
Do patrols on the border make a difference? Dever said that the month the Minutemen were there, just observing the border over a stretch of miles, not one illegal crossed there.
Recently, the Minutemen disbanded their group because the border has become too violent.
Reaction to the law isn’t surprising. The Mexican government condemns it, calling it “an obstacle to mutual problems” that presents human-rights issues to Mexican citizens.
Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa says Mexico will reconsider agreements with Arizona.
Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan supports amnesty and the embassy newsletter was quoted in the Washington Times, warning people “who would inject prejudice, hate and xenophobia” into the immigration issue.
It’s already there.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., calls Republicans “mean-spirited and anti-immigrant.” He says immigrants shouldn’t vote and people should boycott Arizona.
A Phoenix protest almost turned violent with accusations of racial profiling and goals to “get rid of us.” Other claims: “This is not a Latino fight. This is a fight against hate.”
A 13-year-old American citizen, Emilio Almodovar, told the Associated Press, “We can’t walk to school anymore. We can’t be in the streets anymore without the pigs thinking we’re illegal immigrants.”
Oh, yeah, that’s the kind of American citizen we want.
The ACLU threatens to sue, as does the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders Legal Defense Fund.
Los Angeles’ Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahoney says the Arizona law encourages “German Nazi and Russian communist techniques.”
Barack Obama launched into criticism of Arizona during ceremonies administering the oath to new citizens. He called Arizona’s law “misguided” and wants a Justice Department investigation.
Sheriff Dever said Obama’s reaction disappoints him. He said the president should “come on down and see how ‘misguided’ it is here.”
Hate fills the air with “anti people” given more media coverage than Arizona residents subjected to burglary, robbery, rape, vandalism, theft, carjacking and worse – and who foot the bill for the cost of illegals in schools, jails, hospitals and public welfare.
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution specifies the duties of Congress, which include that it “provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.”
If anyone cares, a new Rasmussen Poll in Arizona shows 70 percent of likely voters approve of the new law; 23 percent oppose it.