Thursday, April 20, 2006

Minutemen Issue Ultimatum to Bush

This . You know how much the Emperor loves to be challenged directly.
Minuteman border watch leader Chris Simcox has a message for President Bush: Build new security fencing along the border with Mexico or private citizens will.

Simcox said Wednesday that he's sending an ultimatum to the president, through the media, of course — "You can't get through to the president any other way" — to deploy military reserves and the National Guard to the Arizona border by May 25.

Or, Simcox said, by the Memorial Day weekend Minuteman Civil Defense Corps volunteers and supporters will break ground to start erecting fencing privately.
Simcox has learned the art of spin from his GOP counterparts, because what they are proposing is much more than a fence. They are building a war zone.
Start with a 6-foot deep trench so a vehicle can't crash through; behind it, a roll of concertina (coiled, razor-edged barbed wire) in front of a 15-foot high heavy-gauge steel mesh fence angled outward at the top.

Behind the fence will be a 60- to 70-foot wide unpaved but graded dirt road, along with inexpensive, mounted video cameras that can be monitored from home computers. On the other side of the road will be a second, 15-foot fence, with more concertina wire on its outside.
It's easy to relegate the immigration debate to a political ploy, but the situation here in the southwestern United States is entering dire straits. Not only is it making our political leaders , we are living in an unacknowledged police state.

The U.S. Border Patrol is not situated just at the line, they are located all across the southern parts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. There are checkpoints at virtually every single major roadway that connects the cities of our region.

When I drove to San Diego last month for a meetup with blog friends, I went through three separate stops (both ways). At the second checkpoint, located about 30 miles east of the San Diego metro area, I was asked by Border Patrol agents to lift the lid of my hardshell that covers the bed of my truck so they could inspect it. The drug-sniffing dogs were out and about, and I was asked the standard question: "What's your citizenship?"

As I was retelling the story to the meetup folks, one of them couldn't believe that I was asked to clarify my legal status. To be honest, I was surprised at her question because it is a regular occurrence down here, especially for someone like me who looks Mexican. It's just part of the routine to answer "United States" (if you answer "American", they will question you further, because apparently they think you are trying to deceive them since there are North, Central and South varieties of that title).

I don't tell these types of stories to elicit sympathy, rather as an education that there are scores of American citizens like me who get the extra-fun version of routine screenings. Whether it's at the airport or driving in my vehicle to go see friends in Sierra Vista, I can count on extra attention.

It's beyond fucked up.

I am sick of groups like the Minutemen who have for the month of April, sitting in their lawn chairs with binoculars, looking out for any brown folk who cross their path. I'm a proud liberal because I stand with groups like the ACLU who are fighting against this entrenched racism and bigotry that has permeated the American culture so deeply that most people don't even recognize it anymore.

It is very tempting to blame illegal immigrants for my woes as a Mexican American living in such close proximity to my motherland. It is easy to say, "get the fuck out, so La Migra will leave me alone," but that is not a path of humanity that honors my ancestry.

The reality is, the policies of the U.S. government have destroyed the balance that will be necessary to build a system of migration that is amicable to all affected nations. The United States of America has become a global empire that holds far too many economies and people of the world in submission. It's outrageous that the Republican leadership gives a wink and a nod towards a "comprehensive bill" while at the same time running blatant lies in the Spanish media blaming the very people who have the power and conscience to fight back against the hate and diviseness. Luckily the Democrats are fighting back, but it is not enough.

The against those of us who marched in solidarity for human rights on April 10th. I have no regrets for standing up for what I believe - the dignity of every person, no matter what gender, race, creed or nationality. Will the American people do the same or will the United States continue to spiral down the path of global isolation?

The Minutemen know where they stand, do we?

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