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"They may be individuals who may be hunting illegal border crossers. That's really a big concern for us,"
June 15, 2010 9:56 PM   Subscribe

Eleven weeks after Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was found murdered near the U.S.-Mexico border, a group of illegal entrants have reported to police that they were shot at by two men in camouflage with high powered rifles near Rio Rico, Arizona.

Long time residents say that the type of crossers coming through their area has changed. Police suspect bandits looking to steal drugs but are not ruling out that Americans may be fulfilling threats to stop illegal entrants themselves. Recently the Minutemen Civil Defense Corp disbanded over liability concerns after issuing a call for volunteers to come to the border "locked, loaded and ready." Meanwhile, the founder and former head of the MCDC is in hiding after a court ordered him to turn in is his guns after being of threatening to kill his wife and children.
posted by nestor_makhno (66 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
In order to steal drugs, someone else must first have drugs. Unless the US bordertowns are a bountiful source of drugs, it would seem easier to make/grow drugs in Mexico and smuggle them north.

But they're talking about stealing pharmaceudicals, then that would make for an interesting twist in the drug traffic patterns.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:04 PM on June 15, 2010


I'm not sure that murdering illegals is the right answer

You're, uh, not sure?
posted by Justinian at 10:06 PM on June 15, 2010 [44 favorites]


You're not sure that murdering illegals is the right answer? Jesus Christ.
posted by letitrain at 10:06 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Frankly, the only response to the possibility of someone out there murdering me is for me to murder a general class of people who might, statistically, be believed to contain the murderer. Morality 101.
posted by dhartung at 10:10 PM on June 15, 2010 [9 favorites]


Jesus Christ, Chocolate Pickle.
posted by boo_radley at 10:11 PM on June 15, 2010


what then are citizens supposed to do?

Really? Murder was the only option you could think of? Not, I don't know, citizen lobbying, or hell, civil disobedience, but murder?

And, hey, what about protecting people from vigilantes? That seems pretty important, too.
posted by lunasol at 10:12 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


what then are citizens supposed to do?

Yes, what? Obviously, not something too illegal, like murder, but just illegal enough, like almost murder. The government has given citizens no choice but to be insane!
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:12 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now I know why "pickle" is used to describe a less than ideal situation.
posted by bz at 10:13 PM on June 15, 2010


sitting passively and waiting to be murdered

Crime is down in AZ. Hysteria, on the other hand....
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:14 PM on June 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


Chocolate Pickle wrote: "sitting passively and waiting to be murdered"

Hmm, so I should expect to be shot by an illegal immigrant any day now?
posted by wierdo at 10:14 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, whenever I hear about violence on the border, I think of the truly awful case of Brisenia Flores, the 9-year-old murdered by some truly crazy anti-immigration activists.
posted by lunasol at 10:16 PM on June 15, 2010


When the government refuses to protect its own citizens and refuses to enforce its own laws and refuses to maintain its own territorial sovereignty, what then are citizens supposed to do?

Most people wouldn't agree that the US doesn't protect it's own citizens, or that the US doesn't maintain territorial sovereignty, so that whole thing just kind of sucks.

I'm not sure that murdering illegals is the right answer, but sitting passively and waiting to be murdered sure as hell isn't the right answer either.

Boy, I'm starting to see a pattern here! Sure, I'd probably shoot somebody instead of sitting around waiting to be murdered, but fuck, man. Is this how you think?

Practically, if you're afraid of being murdered by Mexicans, I guess I'd move north or something? I probably wouldn't pull out my rifle and starting shooting people.
posted by floam at 10:16 PM on June 15, 2010


I'm not sure that murdering illegals is the right answer, but sitting passively and waiting to be murdered sure as hell isn't the right answer either.

You sell yourself short. There's nothing "passive" about sitting around, dripping with sweat, fantasising about being violated and destroyed by alien border transgressors.
posted by stammer at 10:17 PM on June 15, 2010 [14 favorites]


what then are citizens supposed to do?

Watch FOX News, donate money to Sarah Palin and the NRA, and cower in fear.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:18 PM on June 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Sure sign of a coward: Infatuation with illegals and strident calls to "enforce the borders."

Another: murdering people with rifles.
posted by maxwelton at 10:22 PM on June 15, 2010 [10 favorites]


Why are we not doing that?

Because the people whining the loudest about border enforcement are the same ones who don't want to pay any income tax.

If you want to fix the illegal immigration problem, you have to design a system that allows people to immigrate legally without having to wait umpteen years to do it. You can't just close the border completely and expect desperately poor people not to sneak in when there are plenty of companies hiring cheap labor here.

You also have to go after the businesses that employ illegal immigrants with the full force of the law, which also costs a lot of money, which means more taxes...
posted by MegoSteve at 10:23 PM on June 15, 2010 [24 favorites]


Cut me some slack. That was rhetoric. Yes, I know that murdering illegals is wrong and I unconditionally do not consider it the right approach. OK?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:25 PM on June 15, 2010


The problem is that it read just like a lot of... non-rhetorical comments I have seen lately in newspaper comment threads.
posted by bz at 10:28 PM on June 15, 2010


If you want to fix the illegal immigration problem, you have to design a system that allows people to immigrate legally without having to wait umpteen years to do it. You can't just close the border completely and expect desperately poor people not to sneak in when there are plenty of companies hiring cheap labor here.

We could completely make our immigration system fucking perfect and these same people would just start rallying against letting more than a trickle of non-whites in legally.
posted by floam at 10:29 PM on June 15, 2010


I believe Chocolate Pickle is suggesting that, due to government failure to adequately police the border (not that this is an easy task), border-crossing related crime (and the inability to bring to justice some of the perpetrators) has led some of the local residents, in the wake of a relevant incident, to believe they must make a choice between the safety of their families and homes and resorting to armed, vigilante patrols. Their belief may or may not be accurate. It is probably not accurate, but that is irrelevant if you are putting yourself in someone else's shoes to better understand their motivations.

I do not think he is scratching his chin wondering, "Hrm, just randomly whacking some dudes who made a run for the border ... okay? not okay? This is a toughie. Maybe I'll just have a couple beers and think on it." Give him some credit. We can do that here, right?

Scared people, plus perception of government ineffectiveness in physical security, tends to lead to vigilante behavior. Throw in omnipresent reports of narco-crime and it just gets a bit more wild. Recognizing this human tendency is not a crime, or we'd have to outlaw The Empire Strikes Back, or at least redact that scene where Yoda discusses where fear leads.

Not enough HAMBURGER in that Texas chili he made for you to taste the sarcasmeat?

When you read the post, you've got at least two axes of reaction. The first axis has approval and disapproval at its poles. The second runs from examination of the mindset behind the action or immediate, reflexive condemnation. His statement is somewhere on the middle on the first axis, leaning towards disapproval, and heavy towards exploring motives rather than just assigning everyone to the role of gun-totin' crazed Arizona fuckers.

I kinda thought that Metafilter leaned towards fitting into someone else's boots and getting a feel for what their life might be like and trying to figure out what leads people to make various choices, but the reality is highly topic-dependent. Pity.
posted by adipocere at 10:29 PM on June 15, 2010 [12 favorites]


I am no longer clear in your comment what was rhetoric then. The part about waiting to get killed by Mexicans? The suggestion that Americans have to take extralegal actions because the threat is so great? Were those actual opinions, or more rhetoric?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:29 PM on June 15, 2010


I'm less concerned with the sentiment about murdering illegals and the xenophobic insinuation that Mexicans crossing the border are bent on murder as their reason for crossing.
posted by hippybear at 10:31 PM on June 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


and = than

Edit window! Please!
posted by hippybear at 10:32 PM on June 15, 2010


When the government refuses to protect its own citizens and refuses to enforce its own laws

Phoenix is one of the safest big cities in the US.

Violent crime and property crime rates fell in Mesa and surrounding suburbs by 9% last year.

The wave of lawlessness that you describe, rhetorically or not, is a figment of the media's imagination, no matter what John McCain's campaign ads and all of the fevered agonizing over Robert Krentz seem to indicate.
posted by blucevalo at 10:35 PM on June 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Chocolate Pickle: “I'm not sure that murdering illegals is the right answer, but sitting passively and waiting to be murdered sure as hell isn't the right answer either. ¶ The right answer, I think, is for the government to enforce the border, and to protect its own citizens. Wouldn't that be nice? Why are we not doing that?”

As a Coloradoan, my state is just catty-corner to Arizona; and I lived in New Mexico for seven years. So I have to say that I share a deep concern about the border, and the apparent lack of US efforts to guard it. Every day thousands of potential criminals stream across the border; we're talking about a population that's known to have violent tendencies, among whom murder seems to mean little; firearms seem to be as common to them as simple knives are to us. They have little or no real government, and every day we hear about more extreme injustices from their region.

So I think it bears asking: when in god's name are we finally going to build a wall around Arizona, so this frightening, fearmongering bullshit doesn't seep out and destroy the peace-loving states around it? New Mexico and Texas have had a happy coexistence with the national border with Mexico for generations. It's becoming more apparent every day that Arizona's problems are its own, and unless it's contained, I don't know what we're going to do.
posted by koeselitz at 10:38 PM on June 15, 2010 [95 favorites]


floam: “Practically, if you're afraid of being murdered by Mexicans, I guess I'd move north or something? I probably wouldn't pull out my rifle and starting shooting people.”

Too many brown people up here for them, I'd wager. It's a scary world.
posted by koeselitz at 10:41 PM on June 15, 2010


Nicely played, koeselitz.
posted by Malor at 10:43 PM on June 15, 2010


His statement is somewhere on the middle on the first axis, leaning towards disapproval, and heavy towards exploring motives rather than just assigning everyone to the role of gun-totin' crazed Arizona fuckers.

The Arizonans who are addicted to grandstanding for the cameras and who flip-flop on their immigration positions, who pass shitty laws in the name of public safety and security, and who worry more than anything else about getting re-elected to their political seats -- and who aren't ashamed of using the death of Robert Krentz as a political football to do it -- aren't giving me any reasons not to conclude that they aren't fuckers these days.
posted by blucevalo at 10:45 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and Robert Krentz? It's pretty sure odds he was shot dead by a white person with an Arizona driver's license, a US birth certificate, and whatever else you have to have to walk the street in Arizona nowadays. Drug smugglers would never be so idiotic; they just want to sneak through, and if they can't sneak through at his place, they'll sneak through elsewhere. Whereas there are certain white people living in Arizona who wouldn't hesitate a second to shoot their own mother if it meant more border troubles.
posted by koeselitz at 10:46 PM on June 15, 2010


Phoenix is one of the safest big cities in the US.
These two incidents happened in Southern Arizona, several hours from Phoenix. This link shows how close to the border the most recent incident occurred. This link explains how genuinely afraid some of the border residents are and for good reason. Just wanted to clear this up, I'll leave now.
posted by nestor_makhno at 10:50 PM on June 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Thank you for your elucidation. I know where southern Arizona is and where the border with Mexico is. Arizona politicians are prattling on about how unsafe the entire state is. Not just the border.
posted by blucevalo at 10:56 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


nestor_makhno: "This link explains how genuinely afraid some of the border residents are and for good reason."

"They drove away in his pickup truck, loaded down with two motorcycles, a stereo, pots and pans, 30 years worth of tools and his shower curtain."

Those bastards!
posted by bwg at 11:01 PM on June 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


CP, I'm confused, too. Could you please explain to us what you hoped to achieve with your rhetoric?

Because, from where I stand, justifying murder is not cool, and justifying it based on scapegoats is even less cool; saying it was just "rhetoric" doesn't make it ok. If fact, if you didn't even believe what you were saying, then that's even more fucked up.

But you're not a bad guy, and not a troll, so could you please explain what I'm missing?
posted by lunasol at 11:03 PM on June 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


nestor_makhno: “These two incidents happened in Southern Arizona, several hours from Phoenix. This link shows how close to the border the most recent incident occurred. This link explains how genuinely afraid some of the border residents are and for good reason. Just wanted to clear this up, I'll leave now.”

Thank you for the link, nestor_makhno.

I have to say that it's more obvious every moment this is debated that Texas has probably had the sanest approach to this situation all through: match strength with strength, overwhelm violent crime and smugglers at the source, don't hesitate to use National Guard troops when the situation actually becomes military.

The unfortunate thing is that there are people who've been waiting and hoping for things to get worse in AZ for a long time, knowing that there'd be a pivot of power when they do. And there have been a host of bad ideas floating around to deal with it, culminating in the suggestion that we should send in street cops to try to deal with this by tasking police officers with immigration enforcement. It all makes absolutely no sense.

I'm not a huge fan of Rick Perry, but Texas has a strong enough culture around keeping the border safe and sane that even he hasn't done much beyond making sure there are enough safeguards there when they're needed. That's how it should be. Unfortunately, the political and social climate in Arizona doesn't help much. The second link you gave, nestor_makhno, was the really interesting one – the Tucson Weekly article about the experience of those who live on the border. Unfortunately, the most telling story in my mind was the one about the fellow who returned after a trip to find his home had been totally ransacked. The neighbors didn't even notice, though they were only 800 feet away. That's not very far. These aren't the actions of people who are planning to make living there work. Change can only start with ourselves.
posted by koeselitz at 11:05 PM on June 15, 2010


Sorry, last comment.

"They drove away in his pickup truck, loaded down with two motorcycles, a stereo, pots and pans, 30 years worth of tools and his shower curtain."

Those bastards!


Nice pull quote. Here's another from the same article:
"Three of the men invaded the guest house of a 58-year-old woman and tied her up in her bathroom at gunpoint. She was able to get free after the men left. The alleged perpetrators were caught the next day, Dec. 6, and charged with a number of felonies. "
posted by nestor_makhno at 11:08 PM on June 15, 2010


Chocolate Pickle's comment should stand as an online monument to the hysterical xenophobia of 21st century America. We really have become a deeply terrified nation.
posted by Avenger at 11:10 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure Chocolate Pickle was being ironic. He's not really the issue here, anyway. Yeah, I don't get it, but I'm damned sure he didn't mean to say what that came out sounding like. So maybe we not focus on him so much and focus more on the articles? That last one linked by nestor was quite interesting.
posted by koeselitz at 11:13 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I apologize, nestor_makhno, for responding as I did to your statements. I should have acknowledged that you have a point, that the border region has a lot of problems -- the Chiricahua Corridor article was informative. I had a knee-jerk reaction.
posted by blucevalo at 11:15 PM on June 15, 2010


I wish I hadn't posted the damned thing.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:20 PM on June 15, 2010


Something killed that cowboy, and it wasn't xenophobia, it was cold hard lead. Only his dog Blue knows, and he ain't talking.
posted by stbalbach at 11:25 PM on June 15, 2010


[few comments removed - you guys can take CPs comments to MeTa if you want but it's 80% of the thread now and we can't just delete everything. "kill yourself" comments still not ok.]
posted by jessamyn at 11:29 PM on June 15, 2010


When the Minutemen showed up on the northern border, here's what we did here:

1) counter-surveilled the creeps to establish their pattern of activity. It turned out they were saying that they were doing things that weren't happening. It also turned out that several very shady characters (low-life white supremacists) had infiltrated them and they didn't know it.

2) Persuaded many property owners along the border to post their property with signs specifically barring the Minutemen from trespassing.

3) Spent a lot of time in city and county council meetings testifying about what was going on.

4) Organized a national conference and training for local activists with participation from numerous local, state and national human rights groups.

5) Had a public hearing under the auspices of the State Human Rights Commission. I testified and described in detail how they were going to be facing federal charges if they committed criminal acts and I also described in detail exactly how law enforcement had made certain that they had plenty of informants in their ranks. I also explained how law enforcement, in the guise of "cooling things down" had put themselves in the position appearing to sympathize with the Minutemen,while actually gathering intelligence on them. So that if any criminal activity resulted, there were going to be massive political problems for local government if there was anything other than vigorous prosecution and that it would be federal prosecution that locals were not going to be able to forestall.

Shortly thereafter, they sort of fizzled away. This was one of the very few border areas where the Minutemen did not become a huge pain in the ass. There were several people active in the area who went off to do their crimes elsewhere.

So in terms of how you deal with this crap: 1) place no trust whatsoever in local government (if local hacks are going to do something, there wouldn't be a problem); 2) confront it directly (no negotiation); 3) offer firm resistance (talk is cheap), always counter-attack (reactionaries expect wimp liberals to appease them) and never quit until they are beat (they are not as tough or as numerous as they claim).

We were well-prepared for them, since it had only been ten years earlier that we had to shut down a whole series of thugs including Wise Use, homophobes, anti-Indian activities, Liberty Lobby white supremacists, skinheads and militia loons , culminating in a federal terrorism case with the militia being busted by the FBI and convicted in federal court. So we had some practice.

And for what it's worth, this was done by a handful of people while most of the wimp liberals whined and wrung their hands. The liberals were more of a pain in the ass than the opposition, but tis ever thus. Weak allies are worse than strong opponents.

And, no, I didn't make any friends being a hard-ass.
posted by warbaby at 11:45 PM on June 15, 2010 [60 favorites]


...it turned out they were saying they were doing things that weren't happening...

*missed it on two previews*
posted by warbaby at 11:47 PM on June 15, 2010


In order to steal drugs, someone else must first have drugs. Unless the US bordertowns are a bountiful source of drugs, it would seem easier to make/grow drugs in Mexico and smuggle them north.

Well, the article makes it sound like it's public knowledge where drug smugglers are crossing the border.

Perhaps the problem is drug dealers stealing from one another?
posted by Mike1024 at 1:03 AM on June 16, 2010


In order to steal drugs, someone else must first have drugs. Unless the US bordertowns are a bountiful source of drugs, it would seem easier to make/grow drugs in Mexico and smuggle them north.

If people are smuggling drugs north, then wouldn't that actually make the border towns a 'bountiful source of drugs'?

I don't think you thought that all the way through. These are people who want to steal drugs from other smugglers.
posted by delmoi at 3:03 AM on June 16, 2010


Hmm, now I wonder what Chocolate Pickle actually said. Oh well.
posted by delmoi at 3:07 AM on June 16, 2010


maxwelton wrote: "Another: murdering people with rifles."

Yeah, the least they could do is shoot them with pistols.
posted by wierdo at 3:10 AM on June 16, 2010


It's real interesting talking to me ma in New Mexico. I understand a bit the historical reasons as to why AZ is going apeshit and NM is not (Clinton clamped down on the Cali/Mx border in the 90's, sending a lot of the immigration over one state east).

Yet NM is only one state over from AZ -- I wonder if there is something more going on. NM folks seem, to paint with a very broad brush, so much more mellow than AZ folks.

But then ma is a good lefty like her daughter, and so are ma's friends, so maybe it's just who I'm talking to.

Incidentally, a friend with a brother in AZ tells me that a lot of Latinos are leaving AZ because of the batshitinsanity, going to Cali and CO and maybe NM. So humans being what they are, maybe the anti-immigration hysteria will spread to those states. Hope not. Humans, prove me wrong!
posted by angrycat at 5:14 AM on June 16, 2010


I don't like that every time Arizona does something stupid, I think they're talking about me.

HEY AZ, WHY'D YOU DO THAT IDIOT THING?

What idiot thing? I don't remember -- oh, Arizona! Dammit!
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:20 AM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


sorry if it's been posted already but i read about rob krentz last week & thought about posting something here. poignant article.
posted by msconduct at 5:29 AM on June 16, 2010


Why was Chocolate Pickle censored? What I see quoted could be construed as either sarcasm or a poorly worded phrase intended to mean "use violence to defend myself and property". S/he has internalized your own hysteria, and equated killing to murder.

The problem is that the Mexican drug lords aren't afraid of law enforcement and are perfectly willing to murder anyone to send a message of intimidation. Unless we're willing to fund border guards for every property owner along the border, an escalation of violence by armed vigilantes is the correct solution. People are scapegoating illegals for the source of their real anxiety, and if that bothers you, perhaps you should take their situation more seriously and help them eliminate the real threat.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 5:38 AM on June 16, 2010


Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Uh, unless you're Mexican.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:40 AM on June 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not really sure, kirkaracha, that particular inscription ever summed up feelings in the United States. It certainly didn't at the time it was carved, when there was a tremendous amount of hatred in some quarters against the immigrants at the time, even though they were coming here legally and the country was in a period of basically unparalleled economic growth. But it's never represented any sort of policy or even, I think, popular opinion, in any real political sense. America has always had a love/hate relationship with mass immigration, despite being a country formed by mass immigration. It's tolerated in times of high growth, but you can see anti-immigrant sentiment crop up whenever the economy isn't humming along at nearly-full employment.

The problem, IMO, this time around is political -- there are certain industries which have gotten addicted to very cheap labor, and these industries (meat packing, some types of non-mechanized agriculture, pre-crunch construction) have enough political pull in Washington that they have effectively suppressed any labor law enforcement. They very much like the two-tier system that exists, where you have on one hand citizens who are expensive and like being paid minimum wage and workers' comp, and on the other you have a teeming underclass of disposable quasi-slaves.

The logical solution to fixing illegal immigration isn't building multi-billion dollar sensor systems across the border, it's to step up enforcement against businesses that hire illegal workers, and particularly those who pay sub-minimum wages. (If I were writing the legislation, I'd copy the civil forfeiture parts of the drug laws: knowingly hire illegal workers in order to pay sub-minimum wages? Lose your business and all its assets. It's the closest you can get to a corporate death penalty.) Sure, the prices of some goods would go up, but those goods are artificially cheap, because they're made using illegally cheap labor. If Americans don't like paying they can eliminate the minimum-wage laws, but while those laws are in place, the price of goods should reflect them. (And my bet is that the things that prices would increase on are mostly luxury goods; the tax equivalent would be progressive.)

With strict enough workplace enforcement you wouldn't have to do anything -- or at least, very little -- on the border itself. (There's still the drug-smuggling angle but we all know what the solution to that one is.) Without the WoD and with good workplace enforcement of worker-eligibility and labor laws, you could basically have an open border: and why wouldn't you want to? That's more customers for border businesses.

We wouldn't need to raise taxes in order to pay for enforcement, as others have implied -- it's a lot cheaper than some of the security-theater nonsense (the white elephant sensor system, which has cost billions so far and doesn't really work; deploying the military down there) we're already doing. But we don't do it because it would actually work. And there are a lot of people, with a lot of money and thus political pull, who don't want that to happen -- they like the status quo as-is. So as a result we get splashy but ineffective responses at the border but very little in the way of workplace enforcement.

The situation seems to be changing, but slowly. There are still a lot of people in Washington beholden to the business interests dependent on cheap labor, and it seems like a tossup whether the public is angry enough to make politicians ignore the money angle in favor of the holy-crap-I-might-not-get-reelected angle. Time will tell, I guess.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:01 AM on June 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


We're a nation of cowards, scared of our own shadow because it's darker than us.
posted by Mick at 7:24 AM on June 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is it possible Krentz was killed by crazy vigilantes for trying to help a wounded immigrant? From the first link:

Now, it appears that Krentz was trying to assist an illegal immigrant when he was shot and killed March 27.

About 10 a.m. that day, Krentz radioed his brother and asked him to contact authorities because he was with an immigrant "in need of help," according to a Cochise County Sheriff's Office's homicide investigative file. The file says several people heard that transmission.

The file was released Tuesday in response to a public-records request...

The file was heavily redacted, with all details about evidence blacked out...

posted by salvia at 7:32 AM on June 16, 2010


America has always had a love/hate relationship with mass immigration, despite being a country formed by mass immigration.

It's true. We love our own grandparents, but hate the grandparents of tomorrow's Americans.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:10 AM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


It would be refreshing if we can suggest what we might do about the problem of some 12 million people who are here illegally. Easy enough to feel sympathy. Easy enough to yell shoot them . Easy enough to live in an area where perhaps illegals are not so big a problem.
What is to be done?
posted by Postroad at 8:17 AM on June 16, 2010


Unless we're willing to fund border guards for every property owner along the border, an escalation of violence by armed vigilantes is the correct solution.

It's not an either/or proposition. We're never going to fund what you suggest, partly because the same people in the federal government who are screaming about the borders are also screaming that government spending is out of control, and right now, the fury about spending is trumping the fury about immigration.

But that does not mean that vigilantism is the "correct solution," either.
posted by blucevalo at 8:20 AM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


warbaby : It also turned out that several very shady characters (low-life white supremacists) had infiltrated them and they didn't know it.

Infiltrated? Watching the way these groups act, I would have figured that they were initiated by white supremacists.
posted by quin at 8:32 AM on June 16, 2010


An imbecile in New Mexico has a suggestion:

"A congressional candidate is suggesting landmines on the border to secure the international boundary. The candidate is Republican nominee Tom Mullins who thinks the United States should place the landmines at the southern line."

WTF ?!?!?!
posted by elmono at 8:33 AM on June 16, 2010


KOB Eyewitness News: Republican Tom Mullins mentioned in a radio interview last month that setting up land mines along the border would help secure it 100 percent.

Mullins reemphasized on Tuesday that he does not advocate the idea. He says he brought it up during an immigration discussion because it was a suggestion he heard during his campaign.

"It was a way to stimulate some discussion and I think that's a discussion that's warranted," Mullins said Tuesday. "We need to come up with solutions for our border security problem. We can't continue to do the same thing over and over again and then not address the issue."


Still an imbecile.
posted by blucevalo at 9:15 AM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the Minuteman link:

On March 16, Mercer sent out an e-mail urging members to come to the border “locked, loaded and ready” and urged people to bring “long arms.”

Three paragraphs later...

“People are ready to come lock and loaded and that’s not what we are all about,” Mercer said.

Doublethink in action.
posted by cereselle at 9:30 AM on June 16, 2010


A congressional candidate is suggesting landmines on the border to secure the international boundary.

It seemed to work well on the Inner German Border for all those years. What could go wrong?
posted by hippybear at 9:48 AM on June 16, 2010


I can appreciate that people living close to the border in AZ are annoyed, and several of the articles linked here show that abundantly. I don't blame them for being annoyed. I do hold them partially responsible however - because they vote and hold views which create or exacerbate the very problems they complain about.

Aggressive drug runners? OK. Did you vote to uphold our idiotic drug laws and the idiotic and counterproductive War On Drugs? Then you're the same kind of moron who supported Prohibition, but then was outraged about mobsters destroying the quality of life in his town. Here: legalize drugs, have a sane drug policy based on treatment, collect taxes and watch the drug runners disappear overnight. We don't have gangs of alcohol runners destroying our borders, do we? We collect taxes on booze, we have some quality control over the alcohol sold, and it's an all-around winner. Same here. So, problems solved.

Institute a sane immigration policy. Readily available work visas, strict enforcement of worker rights and workplace safety, and tough prosecution of those employers who skirt these. You'll see 90% of the problems with illegal workers disappear, you'll see less exploitation of immigration labor, you'll see a more even playing field for all workers. So, did you vote for a allowing this, or are you one of the assholes afraid of brown people "whom there are too many of"?

Stop raiding the treasury for unnecessary and destructive agricultural subsidies, which simply hand over tax payer money to agricultural giants, and in the process distort pricing to such an extent that we export subsidized agricultural products against which no farmer in Mexico (or other less developed countries) can compete - and then we have NAFTA saying Mexico is obligated to take in this flood of product which bankrupts native farmers who then have a choice to either starve to death or head north across the border looking to work in near-slave conditions just to feed themselves and their kids. So, are you voting in politicians whose votes in turn are bought by a lobby? How are you making your vote count, or is holding agricultural giants accountable socialism according to you? Fix this, and you've solved another huge part of the problem.

So, fix these three problems - all of which you have power over, just with your voting - and I guarantee you, you'll have solved 99% of the border problem in AZ and or any other place along our borders. But you vote like a jackass, and that's the situation you find yourself in - my sympathy is limited.
posted by VikingSword at 10:04 AM on June 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


escalation of violence by armed vigilantes is the correct solution

Is never the correct solution, actually, but thanks for adding another name to the "disgusting racist whose opinions I can safely disregard until the heat death of the universe" list.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:22 PM on June 16, 2010


quin: Infiltrated? Watching the way these groups act, I would have figured that they were initiated by white supremacists.

Up til a few years ago, I spent a considerable amount of time attending public right wing events as an observer. Right-wing culture is not portrayed very accurately in the media, so it's often unrecognizable as what's really happening. Most people wouldn't expect to find grandmothers handing out chocolate chip cookies at a hate group meeting, but those were some good cookies.

Oddly enough, the extreme right has a significant problem with being infiltrated and subverted by smaller and more extreme groups and individuals. White supremacists get a free pass at gun shows for distributing racist bumper stickers if they look like "humor." Among the crazies like the militia groups 15 years ago, there were much larger numbers of conservative hangers-on around these groups egging them on. And also a much smaller number of over-the-top types like violent criminals, raving anti-Semites, hard core white supremacists, neo-nazis, etc.

The logic seems to be that labels like "racist" are just name-calling and don't really mean anything. Numerous times, I've heard these guys make the argument that "racism" is any politics that addresses race, (i.e. race + ism = politics) so the people who are against racial discrimination are the "real racists." It's nuts, but it's widespread.

So the upshot is that extremist groups are frequently targets for infiltration by even worse sorts who can't organize stuff so they opt for subversion. And it's all helped out by the fact that the targets of the subversion wouldn't recognize a white supremacist if one bit them.
posted by warbaby at 1:50 PM on June 16, 2010


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