Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Arizona reality

It was the spring of 2010 when a media firestorm was ignited over the passage of a new law in the Grand Canyon State. The controversy? Simple enforcement of the federal law wherein the federal government has proven derelict: securing the border against illegal immigration.

In her new book "Scorpions for Breakfast," Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona explains the issue of illegal immigration in a manner unlike any found in the mainstream media. More than mere talking points, she opens the reader's eyes to terrible reality of crime and fear threatening to overtake citizens who live on the border.

The book begins with the gut wrenching death of Robert Krenz, murdered in March 2010. A prominent rancher, he sought to assist a seemingly imperiled illegal, only to be shot and killed for his kindness. As she recites the statistics, history, and figures you'd expect in a policy book, Brewer continually applies a human touch to the issue with the eulogy of actual victims. Her narrative dismisses the popular conception of illegal aliens as mere "victims" who wish for a better life, and exposes the grim reality of a border exposed to organized cutthroats. A border that is kept open by the sole discretion of the federal government.

The anecdotes are shocking-kidnapping, extortion, forced drug smuggling, murder and rape. Such has become the reality for Arizona. Having exposed the crisis as unseen by any media outlet, the governor transitions into a personal account, as a governor elected to deal specifically to deal with the situation.

With pleas to Washington falling on deaf ears, Brewer bears the mantle leadership upon herself; detailing the passage of a policy specifically targeted at the alien criminals who ravage Arizona, only to be sued for the effort by a hostile administration.

If one ever wondered what the "big deal" is about border security, "Scorpions For Breakfast" is an ideal primer. Through it, the invasion is made clear.


Gingrich fights back on immigration; signs pledge to build fence along Mexican border

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Thursday shot back at criticism he’s faced over his position on immigration by signing a pledge promising to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border by the end of 2013.

“In 25 years, we haven’t been able to build a fence on the border because we’ve not been a serious country,” Gingrich told about 500 employees in the cafeteria of Nationwide Insurance. “It takes serious leadership doing serious things. This is an example. There are dozens of things like this that have to get done for us to rebuild this country.”

The pledge by Americans for Securing the Border, a national advocacy group dedicated to stopping the flow of illegal immigration and enhancing national security along the U.S.-Mexican border, calls for presidential candidates to support and speedily expedite the construction of a secure, multi-layered fence across the southern border by the end of 2013.

Gingrich is seeking the 2012 Republican nomination for president and is the front-runner in Iowa, according to two recent polls.

He said if elected president, America will have “absolute control” of its border by the end of 2013. He’d suspend all federal regulations that would prevent completion of the border in one year. If necessary, he’d move half of the 23,000 U.S. Department of Homeland Security employees from Washington, D.C., to Texas, Arizona and New Mexico to control the border.

But he also joked about the issue with Nationwide employees, by comparing the tracking of illegal immigrants to the online tracking of 24 million UPS and FedEx packages each day while they’re moving.

“You have the federal government, which cannot find 11 million illegal immigrants while they’re sitting still,” Gingrich said to laughter and applause. “So one of my proposals is that we mail a package to every person who’s here illegally and then when they’re delivered, you pull it up in the computer, you know exactly where they are and it was done at no extra cost.” Gingrich later emphasized that was not a serious proposal.

Yet his signing of the pledge came as he is taking heat over his position on immigration. During CNN’s Nov. 22 foreign policy debate, he indicated that law-abiding, tax-paying illegal immigrants who had been in the country for a number of years should be able to become citizens.

In Cedar Falls on Wednesday, Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who was the first candidate to sign the pledge and has portrayed herself as the only true conservative in the race, characterized Gingrich’s position as granting amnesty.

“What Newt Gingrich proposes is to make legal, overnight, over 11 million illegal workers in the United States,” Bachmann said. “He needs to take the heat.”

Van D. Hipp Jr., chairman of Americans for Securing the Border, came to Gingrich’s defense. Hipp said Gingrich approached his group about signing the pledge before the Nov. 22 debate. “Speaker Gingrich is no ‘Johnny come lately’ when it comes to border security,” Hipp said.

Former U.S. Rep. Duncan Lee Hunter, R-Calif., who was chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee from 2003 until 2007, this week told Hipp that Gingrich “deserves credit” for his efforts that resulted in the first secure double fence being built along the 14-mile stretch south of San Diego along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Americans for Securing the Border is less concerned about illegal immigrants already in the country. “Our focus is on securing the southern border,” Hipp told “There are a lot of other side issues that will have to be addressed. But right now, we’ve got to stop the hemorrhaging on our southern border. It starts with the fence. If we, as a people and as a country, if we had dealt with this issue before, we wouldn’t have the problems we’ve got today.”

The estimated cost of building a 700-mile fence along the Mexican border is $49 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. The U.S.-Mexico border covers 2,000 miles, but Hipp said the focus is on the 854 miles along the nation’s major smuggling corridors. The ultimate goal is to extend that fence from Brownsville, Texas, to the Pacific Ocean.

Former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also have advocated for building a border fence to stop the flow of people entering the United States illegally.

But Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul have said that a fence is not the answer. Perry has said that building a border-length fence would take “10 to 15 years and $30 billion” and would not be cost-effective.


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