You know who else isn’t laughing, Linda Denno, a letter writer to SteynOnline:
Letter of the WeekMy daughter and grandchildren also live in Sierra Vista, Arizona. They are also well armed and take the proper precautions. And they also live with the results of our government’s lack of spine on a daily basis. Why should they have to? Why should my grandchildren be kept behind an eight foot high wall when they play?
DISPATCH FROM THE FRONT LINES
Mr Steyn, your recent article on Arizona's immigration law was, as all your articles, a cogent and a delightful read. I am one of those Arizonans who deals daily with the effects of illegal immigration. I live within fifteen miles of the Mexican border, and my back fence runs along a major corridor for illegal immigrants traveling through the desert. We are accustomed to helicopters circling overhead and Border Patrol vehicles constantly patrolling the dirt road behind our house. Our beloved German Shepherd has been poisoned and our property vandalized, although I would not say that we live in fear because we are well armed and take necessary precautions.
But what I really want to mention to you is something I really have not heard in the debate over the consequences of illegal immigration. I believe that any and all measures that truly discourage immigrants from entering this country illegally— as the new Arizona law is supposedly already doing— are salutary because discouraging illegal immigration is the genuinely compassionate approach.
A couple of anecdotes: Last week, Border Patrol agents discovered a large moving truck abandoned in the desert near Douglas, Arizona (the site of the recent rancher's murder). The truck was padlocked from the outside. When the agents cut off the lock and opened the trailer, they discovered dozens of illegal immigrants inside, abandoned by the coyotes who had obviously been "spooked" and left the people in the back of the truck to whatever fate befell them. It was a warm but not a hot day in the desert, so the illegal immigrants were still alive and in relatively good condition. The situation could have ended very differently, not to say tragically.
Secondly, my family and I were enjoying our breakfast al fresco one morning when two women came to our back fence asking for "agua." A Border Patrol raid the night before behind our house had picked up 70 or so illegal immigrants. These two young ladies had been abandoned by the coyotes during the raid and had been wandering in the hot desert (wearing all black) for hours. My teenage daughter speaks Spanish and was able to discover that both were from El Salvador, both were the mothers of several young children, and both believed they were almost to Los Angeles (550 miles away). We brought them into our garage, gave them water and food, and called the Border Patrol. My daughter was upset about their situation, and understandably so: They were only a few years older than she was. I explained to her that as long as our government refused to enforce laws against illegal immigration, desperate people from other countries would continue to take great risks for the opportunity to live the American dream. Those people would face incredible dangers, be vulnerable to the worst kinds of thugs, and endure unspeakable hardships— as long as the United States refused to make illegal immigration a crime for which all involved would be swiftly and severely punished.
I don't even pretend to speak to the myriad detrimental effects on our society, our economy, and our democratic form of government caused by illegal immigration; you and others have irrefutably made the case many times over. I just would like to add a perspective that should be thrown back in the face of the hypocrites who call us racist and mean-spirited. The anecdotes above are representative of incidents that happen in the Arizona desert constantly, as I know you are well aware.
The answer is not to set up "water stations" to prevent illegals from dying in the desert. The answer is to discourage them from entering illegally in the first place. That is the only truly humanitarian, compassionate approach to the plight of illegal aliens.
Sierra Vista, Arizona
I worry about my daughter and grandchildren on a daily basis. Nadia downplays the danger they live with, she knows how I am, but why should we, any of us, have to live in fear? Seeing the President joke about the danger that Americans face because the federal government is too invested in inaction to protect our own citizens pushes me beyond anger.
No doubt our Comedian in Chief has a heck of a career in stand-up when he leaves the White House. While he is still in the White House he needs to cut the jokes and cut the crap. The realities od illegal immigration aren’t funny.