ARIZONA – MEXICO BORDER - CBN News recently traveled to the Arizona-Mexico border, where angry residents are screaming for a crackdown on illegals. That is because the massive flood of foreigners is ruining many Arizonans' way of life along the border.
Some three million illegals likely sneaked across the border between Mexico and Arizona last year. In their way are a few tens of thousands of ranchers and other Arizonans, Americans who are growing angry at the crimes and hassles these illegals inflict on them as they sweep in from Mexico.
Cochise County Concerned Citizens founder Larry Vance said, "We've been robbed, our dogs have been poisoned, our house broken into."
Glenn Spencer, founder of the American Border Patrol, remarked, "We've had murders, mayhem."
Chris Simcox, Civil Homeland Defense founder, added, "Property damage, cut fences, homes being shot up."
And rancher Mark Knaeble, who lives on the border, said, "You can see how hard it is to walk back and forth into Mexico.”
The border is in Knaeble's backyard.
In recent years, Knaeble was robbed "…every 60 to 90 days,” he said. “Something would disappear, usually tools from the shop, or they would break into the house."
Vance said, "Rape, robbery, beatings, it's a common occurrence right here."
Vance lives within eyeshot of the border, and sometimes videotapes the illegals pouring in. They frequently target a little old lady living near him.
"She's been robbed, the last I heard, 57 times," Vance said.
Knaeble commented, "Other people have been tied up and their guns and valuables loaded into their vehicles, and, like at my house, a vehicle could be across the border in less than 30 seconds."
Just on the Mexican side of the Mexican-Arizona border, CBN News noted about 38 people probably getting ready to come across under the cover of darkness, in just a couple of hours. And literally all there is between them and America, is knocking out one strand of barbed wire and crawling through a fence. All they risk is maybe ripping their pants.
Some Americans, like ex-Californian Chris Simcox, have moved to Arizona just to bring attention to the crises of a border they consider way too open. He uses the bully pulpit provided him by being editor and publisher of the Tombstone Tumbleweed.
Simcox said, "Everyone along the border has been screaming, begging, pleading with the federal government to do something about this."
Until then, his biggest worry is that terrorists intent on launching the next 9-11 are going to sneak right in through the wide-open spaces, and, indeed, may already be trying.
"There was a large group of Middle Eastern men who were captured by the Border Patrol in the Chiricahua Mountains back in June," said Simcox. The men spoke Farsi, the language of Iran.
Simcox added, "The media and the Border Patrol covered it up by saying that they were a tribe of Huahacan Indians who didn't really speak Spanish, and that the Border Patrol agents were confused. They were met at the headquarters in Wilcox by federal agents, who quickly whisked the group away."
Vance showed us a Muslim prayer rug found right near his house. He said, "And it shows there's not just Mexicans coming across there, 'cause I don't think there's many Muslims in Mexico."
Spencer, another ex-Californian like Simcox, has started the American Border Patrol to highlight the many dangers of a too-open border. His group put a simulated suitcase nuke, marked with a huge nuclear symbol, on one of their members and had him hike in to Arizona from Mexico, and go right up to a federal building in Tucson.
Spencer said, "We went right on television and told the Border Patrol 'we're going to do it again.' A week later we went to the same place and did it again. We could do it again tonight!"
One thing Spencer's group is doing, is working with unmanned aerial vehicles that can constantly feed live video of the border to the Internet for all the world to watch.
Hi-tech wiz and former Army sniper Michael King remarked, "You could have this thing for between $30 and $40,000, and have your own UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) program."
They would like to eventually have 20 UAVs flying, enough to keep almost the entire Arizona-Mexico border under surveillance. Meanwhile, border residents like Vance and Knaeble will keep showing news media what it is like along the border, hoping to shame a government they think cares too little about what is happening here.
Vance said, "It's an ugly situation that's going to get a whole lot uglier unless the American government does something about this."
Knaeble said, "There've been several shootouts in my driveway near the tower."
Drug-smuggling abounds, not just of marijuana, but of "…cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin," commented Vance.
And with so many illegal immigrants hiding in wilderness areas now, some Americans are even afraid to go camping there.
Many hospitals and clinics are going bankrupt from treating illegals for free.
Knaeble remarked, "Jump the fence and then say you need a doctor. We'll treat them, and so it's creating a tremendous burden on the medical system in Arizona."
And so many illegals are leaving so many tons
of their garbage and waste strewn across the desert, it is beginning to
seriously degrade the environment.
Why doesn't Mexico do more to stem the tide of illegals? Some think the Mexican government is actually promoting this flood of foreigners.
Simcox said, "Many of these folks that are coming here are the rural mountain Indian tribes who are systematically being purged from Mexico. Mexico doesn't want them, Mexico doesn't want to have to pay for them, so they tell them to go to America."
Spencer added, "They call this Aztlan, the part that Mexico lost as a result of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. They want it back. That's what they're doing!"
"They simply flood us with people the same way the United States did this territory back in the 1800s," said Vance.
Mexican-American activist Alfredo Gutierrez
thinks this is nonsense and says this Latino takeover was just a dream of some
college-age Hispanic radicals back in the 1960s. He states few Mexican-Americans
would stand for a takeover by Mexico.
Gutierrez said, “We're here because we left Mexico, and we left Mexico because there was no democracy, there was immense corruption, and there was no future."
Gutierrez and activist lawyer Daniel Ortega
are busy fighting a ballot measure that Arizonans just passed 56-to-44 percent,
on Election Day.
Proposition 200 would mandate that people in Arizona voting or signing up for certain benefits would have to show proof that they are citizens.
Prop 200 backer Randy Pullen points out that illegals cost Arizonans more than one billion dollars a year.
Pullen said, "Right now, the welcome mat's out and it says 'come up here. You can get public benefits, social benefits they can't possibly get in Mexico that they can get here.' And now what we're saying is that the welcome mat is no longer out."
Daniel Ortega, fighting Prop 200 in court, objects to this push to make life miserable for illegals. He said, "It's already been said and announced by the same proponents of Proposition 200 that they intend to do the same thing in at least five other states."
President Bush has promised action on immigration this year. He wants to give illegals a new legal status, that of guest workers. He said, "We want our Border Patrol agents chasing crooks and thieves and drug-runners and terrorists, not good-hearted people who are coming here to work."
A lot of Arizonans think that will just make the crisis worse.
Spencer said, "It'll become an amnesty. You won't be able to control it. And it will cover, eventually, half of Mexico (45 million people) eventually could become legalized. And you have just lost the sovereignty of the United States. That's what's at stake here."
Vance said, "These people will cry about the rights of the illegal aliens, but say absolutely nothing about the rights of the American citizens who are being run over by this situation."