Friday, April 08, 2005

Minutemen Cause Mexico to Discourage Illegals

Apparently a few days of patrols by a group of private US citizens has produced a more drastic change in illegal immigration patters than anything done by the US government in years. More embarassing to Washington, the presence of the much-maligned Minutemen on the Arizona border has forced the Mexican government to do what no one in Washington to persuade them to do: dissuade Mexicans from illegally crossing into the US.
Mexican police, humanitarian workers and military personnel are trying to dissuade migrants from illegally entering the United States until after a month long protest here against lax enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Mexicans are telling the prospective border crossers that Minuteman Project protesters will hurt them when they enter Arizona, and also are moving the migrants away from the zone being patrolled by the protesters.

The Mexican government has been distributing a red flier headlined '¡Peligro!' meaning 'danger,' and featuring an icon of two crossed rifles. The flier warns readers that hundreds of 'vigilantes,' whom it says could be armed but are not part of the U.S. Border Patrol, will guard that segment of the border 24 hours a day all month.
The mention of "humanitarian workers" requires some clarification.
Enrique Enriques Palafox, a commander of Grupo Beta, a Mexican government-funded humanitarian organization, said his group wants to protect the migrants and is willing to 'terrify' them into delaying their journey.

'We know [the Minuteman volunteers] are armed and our job is to protect migrants,' said Bertha de la Rosa, a coordinator for Grupo Beta, which yesterday loaded pickup trucks with migrants on the Mexican side of the border and relocated them.
In short, the Mexican government is funding activists who assist Mexicans and others in illegally crossing into the US. Or put another way, the Mexican government is deliberately facillitating the invasion of US territory by millions of aliens. At best, that seems like a profoundly hostile act. The Bush administration has gone to great lenghts to ignore or downplay the implications of Mexican government policy, kowtowing to Mexican President Vincente Fox at every opporuntity.

The Minutemen's success in mitigating illegal crossings is acknowleged by both US and Mexican officials.
A Mexican official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, yesterday said migration from Mexico has dropped by 50 percent along the 20-mile stretch of border that is being monitored by about 200 Minuteman volunteers.

Border Patrol officials have acknowledged a drop in the number of illegal aliens apprehended since the protest began, but said the reduction could also be attributed to the presence along the border here of Mexican police and military personnel.

'It doesn't matter whether the reason is that we are on the border or that the Mexican government has clamped down on their side because of us,' Minuteman organizer Chris Simcox said.

'The object of our protest was to show that a presence on the border would significantly impact on the number of people crossing into the United States,' he said.

'I think it is clear we have already shown that to be true,' said Mr. Simcox, a newspaper publisher and founder of the Civil Homeland Division organization in Arizona.

Diego Padilla, spokesman for Gov. Eduardo Bours Castelo of the Mexican state of Sonora, says more than 40 Sonora State Preventive Police are working with the Mexican military and Grupo Beta to locate and move migrants from the border areas south of here to Agua Prieta, 15 miles east, near Douglas, Ariz.
Prior to the Minutemen patrols, the Mexican government had a completely differenta (and rather aggressive) attitude toward illegal immigration to the US.
Earlier this year, the Mexican government distributed about 1.5 million comic-book guides that warned Mexican nationals about the dangers of crossing illegally into the United States and offered tips on how to stay safe. It was published by Mexico's Foreign Relations Department.
The success of the Minutemen should inspire more Americans to join their cause. If the government cannot be prompted by the force of public opinion to protect the country's borders and enforce its laws, then perhaps only citizen protest can motivate Washington to take action. It seems to have caused Mexico to back off its relentless promotion of illegal immigration. However, this situation may only be temporary. Should Mexico find US borders more consistently patrolled by private American citizens, it may be tempted to take stronger measures to threaten those volunteers. Mexican aggression against the US over the past two decades have been largely passive (promoting illegal immigration). If the American citizens or the US government decide to seriously combat this Mexican invasion, the Mexican government may attempt more forceful measures to test American resolve. Border disputes between nations rarely remain non-violent. If Mexico falls under the impression that it can intimidate US citizens and politicians, it will act accordingly.


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