Saturday, July 22, 2006

Congressional Pony Show Aquí en Arizona

I usually take the weekends off from posting, but this picture and related article was enough to send me over the edge.
GOP House Speaker Hastert led a "bipartisan" delegation to the borderlands this weekend to see for themselves what life is like down here. Their ridiculous circus act is nothing more than a political ploy that does nothing to address immigration reform in a comprehensive way. Check this out, if I had written it as fiction, I still couldn't have made elected officials of the United States of America look more ridiculous and incompetent.
In Nogales, the lawmakers spent most of the evening resting before taking a border tour later in the evening.

During the night tour, which lasted about 20 minutes, the delegation visited the Border Patrol's Nogales station.

Agents then took the group about a mile west of Nogales to a site where the Border Patrol had put up vehicle barriers about a month ago.

In the darkness, Hastert and Kolbe scanned the border for a few minutes using night-vision goggles. The tour, scheduled to last an hour and include three locations, was cut short because the lawmakers were tired.

Hastert said it was good to come to the border and "get a dose of reality."

linkage (emphasis mine)

What you got, Speaker Hastert, was a one-sided, 20-minute glimpse of what life is like down here in the desert. Summer heat that is on the rise and setting records, you freakishly disconnected piece of coyote dung. God forbid you take into account the desperation that must be behind a human being's decision to cross the desert to seek some stability for their family. No, you would rather shake your sabre and blame the victim of economic policies. Policies that you voted for, you hypocritical gasbag.

Derechos Humanos had this to say in a Press Release regarding today's window-dressing.
The announcement of a Congressional delegation to visit the U.S.-México border has outraged Arizona communities, who see the action as a one-sided view of a critical issue. Delegates will be discussing border security and the use of taxpayer border enforcement money, yet will not have the opportunity to hear from actual community members who live in affected areas.

“In a time when it is vital that we deepen the national dialogue about these issues that directly affect us, these stealth hearings are usurping the debate, giving the impression that there is meaningful analysis, when in reality they are biased, staged events,” says Isabel Garcia of Derechos Humanos.

True community forums and hearings would be announced with plenty of time to assure that all impacted communities have the opportunity to be heard. Neglecting to do this raises serious questions as to the true motivation behind these hearings. Along with the other “dog-and-pony” hearings, this visit is an insult to those who have serious concerns about border militarization and infrastructure, and continues a dangerous pattern of not addressing accountability issues with concerned communities.
It should also be noted that Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ7), who oversees much of the area toured today by Hastert's band of elitism, was not invited to join their delegation. I'm sure it's because he's an unabashed liberal who understands that human dignity is more important than barbed wire.

Crossposted at AZNetroots

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