In 2011, a U.S. Forest Service agent in Olympia State Park observed a couple engaged in possible illegal plant harvesting. When he tried to speak with them, he discovered they only spoke Spanish, at which point, he requested the assistance of a Border Patrol agent to serve as a translator. The couple ran away as the Border Patrol arrived, with the male jumping into a river and subsequently drowning. The female was apprehended soon after, held briefly, and then released for humanitarian reasons.
The death of the man who fled aside, this would not be an unusual or notable occurrence. What makes this case stand out is what occurred afterwards. The Northwest Immigrant’s Rights Project complained to the Obama administration, which led to Joe Leonard, an assistant secretary for civil rights, within the Department of Agriculture, ruling that the U.S. Forest Service agent violated the woman’s civil rights. According to the Washington Times, Mr. Leonard stated in his ruling that “calling the Border Patrol automatically escalates encounters between Hispanics and law enforcement.” He added further that calling the Border Patrol to assist in translation for a routine stop was humiliating to Hispanics and an illicit backdoor way of capturing more illegal immigrants.”
In the same article, Suzanne Bibby, Director of government relations at ProEnglish, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting English as the only official language in the U.S. stated that “ the ruling was illegal and that the government appeared to be granting special language rights to illegals.” She further stated that “the ACLU and illegal alien rights groups are well aware that American courts have never upheld their argument that language and national origin are equal, so they battle out these disputes in private between the agencies in order to come to a settlement where both the courts and the taxpayers are absent from the table. This is their new strategy because they know they will lose in the courts.”
Her comments could be dismissed as those of a partisan anti- immigrant group, except that there are other examples of this administration circumventing both the courts and the taxpayers, even Congress. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, ICE, for example, stopped deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants not convicted of a violent crime, even when the proceedings were almost complete, in essence, the DREAM act proposed by immigrant rights groups and defeated in Congress. The argument used for this change in policy to focus scarce resources on criminal illegal aliens would hold more credibility had the deportation proceedings already well underway been allowed to conclude. As it was, the time, money and resources expended thus far on those hearings were squandered with nothing to show for it.
Although illegal immigrant brings up images of Mexicans or Hispanics in the general public, that is far from reality. Three years ago, a couple of residents of Washington County, MD began wondering what was going on with non-profit groups bringing in refugees to their town. They started asking questions when problems arose and answers were not forthcoming, nor could they get the local media interested in following up. They started Refugee Resettlement Watch to blog their discoveries. In their research, they discovered other areas having similar issues with non- profit groups, in particular, church groups and NGO’s funded with government grants bringing in hundreds, if not thousands of refugees from the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans.
Some of the problems they observed were refugees being settled into slums, placed on public assistance and forgotten, without education or jobs. As they investigated further, they found an entire industry built around bringing in supposed refugees, getting them on welfare in exchange for, in essence, kickbacks for all the warm bodies. As a result of this push to “help” refugees, there was very little effort to verify qualification for refugee status.
One report put out by the State Department in 2008, rather belatedly, found rampant fraud in claims for refugee status, with the highest rate among Somali’s. The State Department could only confirm 20% familial ties of the Somali refugees seeking reunification with family members allowed in as refugees earlier. It was also discovered that many Russian refugees claiming religious persecution were lying.
As it stands now, there are an undetermined number of Somalis known to have entered the country fraudulently, with no efforts being made to find them or determine exactly who they are and what their intentions are. A little refresher on Somalia, it’s the same country producing the pirates taking the American captain of the Maersk Alabama hostage and rescued by our Navy SEALS. Most will remember Mogadishu and “Blackhawk Down”.
As a result of these “good” intentions, communities like those along the border in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas; communities like Nashville, now known as “Little Kurdistan”, among so many others are now filled with crime, resentment, bitterness and growing hatred on both sides. Instead of communities working to encourage integration and success in their American Dream, the law abiding citizens and legal immigrants are victimized by politicians, misguided religious groups, as well as those manipulating and subverting the laws protecting the nation, as well as individual citizens. In turn, the illegal immigrants, some of whom are otherwise law abiding, fall victim to the broad brush of bitterness and resentment of those forced into paying for things they can’t afford or victimized by criminals under the guise of immigration.
The calculated and organized strategy of politicizing any law enforcement contact with immigrant groups is increasing the danger to citizens, immigrants both legal and illegal and destroying the very ability of the United States to be in a position to welcome those wanting to make a better life for themselves. It is the duty of our elected representatives to see to the wellbeing, not just of the individuals they represent, but that of the country as a whole. So far, our government has been more concerned with the next election and political power, rather than seeing to the wellbeing of the Ship of State. It is arguably in danger of capsizing and throwing citizen and immigrant alike into an ocean of chaos and suffering as horrific as the countries some of these immigrants are trying to escape.
It is easy to become disillusioned, bitter and complain about the path our country is on. It is far more challenging to step up to the challenge that Benjamin Franklin left us, saying to a woman asking “what was given us”…”A Republic, dear, if you can keep it!” The first step is educating the public on what we are seeing on the front lines as a result of these chaotic policies. Jefferson had great confidence that citizens when fully informed would in the end make the right decisions. It is past time to put this to the test with reasoned, responsible presentation of facts to both citizens and politicians.
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Juli Adcock began her career in law enforcement with the Escambia County Florida Sheriff’s Office as a patrol deputy until she was injured in a riot situation. She transferred to Judicial Security and retired in 1998. Juli pursued career advancement training with an emphasis on officer survival, interviews and interrogation. She worked with a local Rape Crisis Center and in victim’s advocacy, complementing her college course work in psychology. She currently resides in New Mexico and is an instructor with The Appleseed Project (www.appleseedinfo.org). The Appleseed Project is a rifle marksmanship clinic teaching the fundamentals of firing an accurate round downrange every 3 to 4 seconds, out to 500 yards, as well as American history. She has trained military personnel at White Sands Missile Range who are certifying as Squad Designated Marksmen. Juli instructs basic handgun skills to new gun owners in preparation for responsible personal gun ownership and the Concealed Carry class for the State of New Mexico. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Law Enforcement Today.