March 28, 2006


South of the border, fence is no deterrent: Would-be migrants say nothing will stop them from working in US. (Danna Harman, 3/29/06, The Christian Science Monitor)

While debate in the US continues over immigration reform policy, here, on the south side of the border, there seems to be consensus that enforcement measures will deter almost no one. "Walls and lights and sensors and police fill our heads," says Dagoberto Martinez, "...but they don't make us turn back." [...]

The border patrol caught 1.2 million would-be illegal immigrants in 2005; that's an average of one arrest every 30 seconds. There are no official stats for how many made it across, but the Pew Hispanic Center estimates there are, today, between 11.5 and 12 million illegal immigrants living in the US, of whom 56 percent are Mexicans.

From Altar, some, going it alone, flag down buses headed north, where they will try to sneak across. Others - the majority, according to the US Border Patrol - have hired coyotes, or people smugglers, to guide them. These travelers get on vans and are shuttled to whatever point along the border has been chosen for them that day.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 28, 2006 11:43 PM

It's astounding how many are caught coming in. When I'm home in AZ I see van loads held up along Route 60 East & South of Phoenix. I counted 26 folks one time sitting alongside the road while being detained by police. It looked like they were all packed inside a medium sized van. Its not at all uncommon to see this. They'll keep trying just like the guy says.

Posted by: Tom Wall at March 29, 2006 1:24 AM

If those organizing the marchers cared about the immigrants rather than their own political agenda, they would have had the marchers all wave American flags. A few big marches like that and opposition would melt away. Yet that isn't done. One is left wondering why.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at March 29, 2006 10:39 AM


Because they 'hate' America as much as some of the loony left peaceniks. They couldn't bring themselves to wave the flag, just like Katha Pollitt wouldn't let her daughter fly it out the window on 9/11, within sight of the fallen towers.

Some of these zealots actually believe in Reconquista, as I understand.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 29, 2006 11:00 AM

Yes, I suppose it's only the "nativists" who think immigrants should embrace their host nation over where they came from. And it probably makes me a vicious nativist to think that it says something ungood that these marchers are not willing to do that embrace even for completely cynical reasons.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at March 29, 2006 12:09 PM


Ever been to a St. Patricks or Columbus Day parade?

Posted by: oj at March 29, 2006 1:25 PM

OJ: We didn't take the Irish's land away from them, and we also don't share a border with Ireland.

Posted by: Just John at March 29, 2006 2:40 PM

Mr. Judd;

No. My father went to Ireland once, does that count?

The other big difference is that those parades are not protesting against the government or laws, nor demanding something of the rest of the citizenry. When you are doing such things, it seems like it would be a good idea to put the best spin possible on it.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at March 29, 2006 3:08 PM


Was he a traitor?

Posted by: oj at March 29, 2006 3:45 PM


No, we took their best people instead. It's what we do.

Posted by: oj at March 29, 2006 3:48 PM

Mr. Judd;

No, he was a man who, while proud of his Irish heritage, waved an American flag at all the parades he attended.

P.S. Here's a picture from the NYC St. Patrick's Day parade. What was your point again?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at March 29, 2006 5:34 PM

That going back to Ireland didn't mean anymore than waving an Irish flag. People ought to be proud of their heritage as well as of America.

Posted by: oj at March 29, 2006 6:01 PM

I understand the high school kids from Whittier who put the Mexican flag above an upside-down US flag probably don't realize the seriousness of what they are doing, but you can bet that the protest organizers do.

In things like St. Patrick's Day parades, the rest of the 'community' is invited to share in the celebration (of Irishness). Like Greek festivals at Orthodox churches, and so on.

The marches in LA last weekend and in Chicago a week ago were something quite different.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 29, 2006 10:54 PM

No, they weren't.

Posted by: oj at March 29, 2006 11:15 PM