What Have We Become?

Medical Neglect in Immigrant Prisons Reveals America at Its Worst

New America Media, Commentary, Kyle de Beausset Posted: Aug 17, 2008

BOSTON -- On the eve of the Beijing Olympics, while Bush was preparing to express his "deep concerns" over China's human rights record, Chinese immigrant Hiu Lui Ng was dying in the custody of our great nation's own U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. For months, according to the New York Times, 33-year-old Mr. Ng had complained of excruciating back pain. Officials accused him of faking it.

When a judge finally ordered that Mr. Ng be brought to a hospital, it was discovered that he had a fractured spine, cancer all over his body, and very little time to live. He died five days later, leaving behind a wife and two young sons.

Even as President Bush scolds the Chinese government for its human rights abuses, he is presiding over a humanitarian disaster in his own country. Millions of migrants, authorized and unauthorized, have come to the U.S. in recent years to exercise their unalienable rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." What many of those migrants have encountered is a society that is unrecognizable from its founding ideals.

If a U.S. citizen were to die of medical neglect in a Chinese prison it would be an international incident. The death of Mr. Ng is just business as usual for the Bush administration. Mr. Ng is just one of dozens of migrants in the past few years who have died from apparent medical neglect in ICE's sprawling detention system. In a case very similar to Mr. Ng's, Salvadoran migrant Francisco Castaneda went for almost a year in detention without treatment for a very painful penile lesion. When finally allowed to go to a hospital, Castaneda had to have his penis amputated, and he eventually died from cancer that had spread all over his body. A federal judge described the treatment of Castaneda as "beyond cruel and unusual".

While Bush was expressing his "firm opposition" the detention of dissidents in China, his administration was imprisoning migrant children in family detention centers like the Don Hutto Residential Facility. In 2007, then Kevin Yourdkhani, wrote this in crayon from Don Hutto: "I don't like to stay in this jail. I'm only nine years old. I want to go to my school in Canada. I'm sleeping beside the wall...his place is not good for me. I want to get out of the cell. Just pleace give visa for my family."

It's cases like these that have led many U.S. citizens like myself to ask, "What have we become?".

The inhospitable country that the U.S. has become for migrants is largely the result of decades of Democrats and Republicans falling over themselves to promote enforcement-heavy migration policies. From Bill Clinton's harsh reforms in 1996 to the out of control raids, detentions, and deportations of the Bush administration, it seems the nation's politicians cannot get enough of beating up on migrants. We are now at a point where authorized migrants can be deported for insignificant crimes like the jumping of a subway turnstile, and unauthorized migrants are subject to fear and exploitation that would make even some of the worst governments on the planet ashamed.

Ironically, it's these enforcement-heavy policies that are to blame for the ballooning unauthorized migrant population. As studies have shown, it's not the increasing numbers of unauthorized migrants coming in, but the inability of unauthorized migrants to get out that has forced millions to reside within the U.S for longer periods of time. The symbolism of a proposed wall along the U.S.'s southern border rings true. The U.S. is walling itself in, not keeping the rest of the world out.

I make the distinction between authorized and unauthorized migrants above only because there are nativists in the U.S. that make a living off saying they are "anti-ILLEGAL immigrant, not anti-immigrant", capital letters included. While nativists try to paint a fictional black and white picture of legal and illegal immigration, migrants like Mr. Ng are confronting the harsh reality of a broken system with blurry lines, and dying because of it. Mr. Ng, same migrant I described above, was 17 when he entered the U.S. legally on a tourist visa from Hong Kong. He fell out of legal status after he overstayed his visa but was in the process of getting a green card when ICE picked him up. Mr. Ng worked hard, trained himself in computer services, and had recently secured a contract for a company with offices in the Empire State Bulding. Mr. Ng should be living the American Dream but instead he has become a victim of the American nightmare. His wife and children, all U.S. citizens, no longer have a husband and father to take care of them.

These are the harsh realities nativists don't want you to see. For nativists there are only two types of migration: legal and illegal, one good and one bad. Forget the fact that the distinction between legal and illegal didn't exist during our grandparents' times. Nativists don't want you to see that "illegal aliens" frequently sit around the family dinner table with legal migrants and U.S. citizens, while the U.S. government is spending billions to tear these families apart. Nativists don't want you to know about the complicated laws that thrust migrants in and out of legal status all of the time. Nativists don't want you to learn about the children migrants leave behind, two-thirds of whom are U.S. citizens, who suffer from economic hardship and psychological trauma when their parents are picked up on worksite raids. All of this, and Bush has "deep concerns" over human rights in China?

Nativists will read this and proclaim me to be an "amnesty" and "open borders" advocate, but nativists oppose anything that puts a human face on the destructive and unrealistic policies they support. The latest nativist craze, "attrition through enforcement" is basically a plan to inflict mass terror and human suffering upon millions of unauthorized migrants. Since nativists can't deport 12 million people, they've decided the next best course of action is to make migrants so miserable that they leave on their own. You know the U.S. migration debate has gotten out of hand when horrific policies like "attrition through enforcement" have entered the mainstream political discourse.

I am not an "open borders" advocate. I am just appalled that people are being treated like this in the United States of America. Migrant advocates will argue that racism is to blame for all of these abuses. Racism certainly plays a part in all of this, but the truth is migrants are suffering mostly because they had the misfortune of being born on a different piece of the earth than U.S. citizens did. The only real solution to this crisis is to provide opportunities in the countries migrants are fleeing from. Until we live in a world where people migrate out of want, instead of need, we have to treat migrants as humanely as possible. Nativists live in a fantasy world where you can deport away all your problems and the interests of U.S. citizens have to be promoted above all others. The world we live in is interconnected. The interests of U.S. citizens are meshed with the interests of migrants from around the world and the countries that they come from. We ignore these fundamental truths at our own peril.

If President Bush really wants to be in a position to denounce China's government, he should consider a moratorium on raids, detentions, and deportations, until the U.S. enacts comprehensive, practical, and humane migration reform. Perhaps then he won't have to tell the world about the benefits of freedom and democracy. Migrants will tell the world for him.

The author, Kyle de Beausset is Boston-based Guatemalan-American immigrant rights advocate and journalist with the Knight Foundation/MTV Choose Or Lose Street Team '08. He runs a very popular blog, Citizen Orange and helped found another important blog, The Sanctuary, and his writing has appeared in publications like the Harvard Crimson and the Bay State Banner.

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User Comments

Dave on Aug 22, 2008 at 01:36:30 said:

You've missed the point. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo IS directly related to our illegal immigration dilemma. We cannot treat human beings this way, whether legal or illegal. Period. You can't condemn one without condemning the other.

IMO, You need to watch more things that make you "verklempt". Things that make you realize that we are all humans on this earth, and to DE-humanize people is wrong. Maybe it's hard for you to realize that, if you'd had bad experiences with them.

Ransome on Aug 21, 2008 at 23:08:55 said:

The writer of the article is a soldier for his movement and the purpose of the article was to appeal to the “heart strings” of the “bleeding hearts”. Human rights abuses occur throughout our justice system. Why should I feel anymore more sympathy for foreign nationals that I do Americans who are abused?

California Proposition 187 was a 1994 ballot initiative designed to deny illegal immigrants social services, health care, and public education. As a liberal Democrat, I did not vote that year. I refused to go to the polls. I could see the negatives of illegal immigration but I did not want to deny basic services to people. In other words, I wanted to vote for 187 but my conscience would not allow me to do so. The proposition passed by a large majority of Californians but was overruled by the courts.

Now, if the proposition was to return, I would vote for it in a minute. Like many Californians, I am overwhelmed, angry, and hardened by the negatives. My hostility factor is so high, that it overrules my concern for some minor human rights violations that pales in comparison to the rape, murder, homeliness, disease, and starvation that is suffered by tens of millions on this planet. Especially if the people are making the choice to illegally cross our borders.

You liberals can wrap yourselves in your cloak of righteous indignation but such resentment, anger, and hostility could explode into a massive collective backlash. People are not going to give up this country. Protected in your economic and intellectual “ivory towers”, you probably will avoid the undertow. However, you will share much of the blame for whatever ensues.

Kitty on Aug 20, 2008 at 18:45:20 said:

No, nativesayno, your answer is once again showing the moral cowardice I referred to in my previous comment.

This article speaks of human rights abuses which are inherent in our present enforcement policies, policies dreamed up by the usual Bush-appointed federal agencies who are more interested in maintaining their large budgets than in any kind of competence or legality.

We saw the bare bones of this corruption in Postville, where the ICE\'s unjust and corrupt methods added to real human rights abuses in ripping families apart, we\'ve seen folks dying due to these policies and this very article speaks of treatment no different than torture.

You can say whatever you wish but your silence on these human rights abuses speaks far louder than your ill-advised opinions.

Yes, this is moral cowardice. No one has the right to treat other human beings the way this article describes.

Ransome on Aug 20, 2008 at 17:01:46 said:

nativessaysno - Maybe what is irrational is your critical thinking skills. What I meant was that like you, their rhetoric, symsess, note2self, about where my ancestors came from does not work for me because my ancestors did not come here voluntarily. All this stuff about re-conquering the border is on you, I have no idea what you are talking about.

nativessayno on Aug 20, 2008 at 16:12:21 said:

Kitty, the context is most come here for money and benefits. They are not motivated to come here because they like us and want to add/enhance our lot, (a "lot" which we cherish).

Having said that; there is a beautiful story in the Los Angeles Times today about the US team gold medal wrestler, Henry Cejudo, whose mother is an illegal immigrant. This story tells us about Henry's absolute and cherished dreams realized by being an american athelete. This story made me "verklempt". An exceptional story about an exceptional person. The story is titled:

A son of illegal immigrants, U.S. wrestler
hoists his flag.

See pictures of him draped in US flag- very touching, really.

I honor Henry's successes. This exceptional person's story however is not typical. I cite him because I can more than acknowledge his humanity and struggle....that does not conclude that we "clear the deck" and grant amnesty to millions of foreign nationals- carte blanche in the name of a redefiniton of "humanity".

Again, who argues against humanity? Unfair leap in your conclusion, Kitty. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo is most certainlyabout moral cowardice in part. But it is not at all directly related to our illegal immigration dilemma.

Kitty on Aug 20, 2008 at 15:31:23 said:

Again with the protestations and calls for "those illegals" to leave or make a big revolution in their own country, etc., etc.

None of those comments even mention the real context of this story, which is how we are abusing the rights of fellow human beings.

No, our sovereignty does not entitle us to brutalize others, put families in prisons, let them die due to lack of medical care, rig our legal system, as the ICE did in Postville, to subvert justice.

And yet not a word from these commenters who are so adamant about "legality."

I guess you all think torture is legal, too.

I guess you think Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo was legal as well.

Moral cowardice. This is a human rights issue. We do not have the right to treat human beings this way. Period.

nativessayno on Aug 20, 2008 at 15:08:16 said:

symsess, note2self, I happen to be "indigenous"; so your rhetoric about "where'd you come from originally" won't work on me...And ransome's point about slavery/bondage...this argument doesn't really make sense logically or rationally unless we are talking about re-conquering the border. WE DON'T WANT THAT!!!

Also, many americans from an almost infinite variety of ethnic backgrounds hold a love of our place here and don't "cotton" to handing it over to millions of uninvited, often rude "guests" just because they tell us to...

Also, I see not a shred of "hate" in this thread...but alway hear that anyway, as Darrell W. states:

"However after watching the lunatic fringe take over the debate with their racism and bigotry..."

Consider me the lunitic fringe in that case...BTW, no one on this thread is voicing ANY case against anyone's humanity; can we get that straight?

What have we become?... WE HAVE BECOME A lot of citizens with resolve to fix our crazy open border problems, (despite the confused; the cynical; and the naive among us)! We have become persons with resolve to keep our love of "our place" intact; which is our inherent and hard-won right!

Ransome on Aug 20, 2008 at 10:56:43 said:

Ad hominem again. My argument is that when possible people should stay in their own countries and make their country a better place instead of illegally migrating to the more successful countries because eventually these countries would become overpopulated, destabilized, and unsuccessful. The end results would be international anarchy. There would be no motivation for a state to become successful and improve the lot of its own people when outsiders can come and demand the same rights. The EU and the US cannot be lifeboats for the world. That after years of illegal immigration, all of the EU countries are now combating illegal immigration, some very harshly, supports my argument. Where is the proof for open borders?

What do history and past misdeeds have to do with it? Different times involve different situational contexts that involve different decisions. Anyway, do past historical acts justify present acts and do two wrongs make a right? What does the origin of my ancestors have to do with my argument? My ancestors could have been African-Americans who did not flee Europe but was brought here in chains. Oh, that is right! My ancestors were African-Americans and were brought here in chains. (LOL)

cag22 on Aug 20, 2008 at 09:51:00 said:

Illegal immigrants are referred to that title because that is what they are-- ILLEGAL,
You can put whatever nice name you want to put on it, but illegal entry into this country is unlawful. To say that all of these people want to become an American is a falsehood. Most of them don't, because if they did they would not steal identities in order to work here. I have yet to hear just one illegal immigrant apologize for destroying someones' credit, retirement, etc. For some reason they believe it is "their right" to do so simply because the Bush Administration has never discouraged illegal immigrants. And there is a difference between migrant and ILLEGAL immigrants.
I am sickened to see so many illegals marching on my streets with their country's flag, demanding that we treat them with respect, give them healthcare, welfare, and let's not forget that we should learn to speak Spanish. Please, many of them do not deserve respect. They deserve to be deported.
It was mentioned that "Illegal immigrants have other options than migrating to this country. Instead of coming here pleading for humanity, do it the way it was done for many centuries. Stay in your country and fight to change it. Start a revolution. Where is that macho culture?" -- I agree 100% with this statement. If you believe in you culture that strongly stay in your country and fight for it. America has a "culture" also. And that is exactly what we are doing, if fighting to keep it. Yet when I fight for my "culture" I am called a racist in my own country.

"This obviously makes little sense when our ancestors themselves fled their homelands rather than changing them."
I disagree with the above comment due to the fact that Calderon of Mexico is not in favor of ethnic cleansing as some other leaders have been. He is only in favor of letting some other country take care of his citizens.
In some of the comments it sounds as if only illegals in America have their rights "taken away". Do you not think that many Americans also have their rights taken away everday because of our broken immigration laws and also our justice system.
To say that "The interests of U.S. citizens are meshed with the interests of migrants from around the world and the countries that they come from. We ignore these fundamental truths at our own peril" is very biased. It sounds as if we should forgo our legal system, our contstitution and many of our other freedoms, just for the sake of illegals that "deserve" to treated humanely.
I have no problem with LEGAL immigration, because that is what I love about my country. But we do have laws and to allow illegals to enter this country unchecked would not be supporting what made this country great.

Tina Shull on Aug 20, 2008 at 06:32:52 said:

Thank you, Kyle, for an extremely well-written and spot on piece!
I have witnessed first hand the denial of basic medical care to detainees in the US immigration system. The use of privatized prisons is another complication of this, creating a vertiable gulag here on our own soil. It is shameful, horrific - and we need to keep exposing it! Good work.

Glen Peterson on Aug 19, 2008 at 12:46:40 said:

Whenever the rights of any person are diminished, my rights are at risk. Whenever one person is demonized as less than human, all of our humanity is devalued. Until we see the entire human race as our own race we are all in danger. I am outraged by the treatment of children in Don Hutto and Mr. Ng. I am also outraged by the treatment of dissidents in China and other places. Thank you Kyle for your careful and thoughtful articulation of the current situation and the dissonance of the president’s rhetoric and policy. I have asked my US Congresswoman to introduce legislation that would effect a moratorium on the raids, the imprisonments and deportations.

Darryl Warren on Aug 19, 2008 at 10:59:20 said:


Thank you for your insightful and thoughtful article. I am one of those that you would consider to be concerened about illegal immigration. However after watching the lunatic fringe take over the debate with their racism and bigotry I have distanced myself from them. So have many others. Our desire to secure our nation's border should not come at the expense of who we are as a people. We should not lower ourselves to barbarism to save ourselves or what have really saved?

I'm sorry that the nativists have become the spokespersons for those of us who want controlled immigration but I know that is our fault for remaining quiet for so long.

Thanks for reminding us of who we are.

note2self on Aug 19, 2008 at 09:59:33 said:

Another word to nativists:

PLEASE STOP using the American flag as a symbol of your HATE. It sickens me that so many of our brave men and women died in WWII fight the Nazis, yet these groups openly associate with neo-nazi and white supremacist groups. Its just sickening watching these people wave the flag of the greatest country in the world.

note2self on Aug 19, 2008 at 09:54:38 said:

Ransome, why didn't your ancestors fight a revolution in Europe? Why didn't they choose to reform their country? Why did they run? Was it poverty? Please let us know.

note2self on Aug 19, 2008 at 09:51:47 said:

Carol, just call it like it is. You don't like Hispanics. But here is an interesting factoid. By 2040, whites will no longer be the majority. Your worst nightmare is playing out in slow motion!

No one cares about your "war". Mexico is the US's 3rd largest trade partner. They need each other. Nativists, like yourself, are on the fringe of this discussion. Just look at the presidential race. If the American public actually cared about illegal immigration enforcement, why do both candidates support immigration reform?

Everyone always like to bring the difference between LEGAL and ILLEGAL immigration up. They point to their relatives coming from Europe to Ellis Island. Here is one tidbit that they always leave out. These immigrants experienced the same amount of HATE as the Latin American immigrants do today. Enough with the HYPOCRISY!

Kitty on Aug 19, 2008 at 08:59:02 said:

It is unfortunate that so many commenters here refuse to recognize human rights violations even when they are spelled out in no uncertain terms.

What happened to Mr. Ng is inexcusable, yet I see commenters here try to excuse it under the veil of "legal" and "illegal."

No one has the right to treat human beings the way these people are being treated. There is no legality to not allowing someone medical care, allowing them to suffer and die.

I suppose most of these commenters would also believe what happened at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib was all right, too, that we here in the United States are free to torture anyone as long as they aren't a US citizen.

It is disheartening to see the fear and utter moral cowardice of these commenters, hiding behind words in the face of complete inhumanity to human beings.

From the Halliburton built family prisons where too many human beings have died, to ripping parents and children apart, to the gross lawlessness of the proceedings in Postville, Iowa, to how Mr. Ng has been treated, all of this shows that our country has become lawless itself when it comes to respecting the minimum human rights of fellow human beings.

Go ahead and rationalize this ... and I hope all those of you who condemn this article will be judged as you are judging.

symsess on Aug 19, 2008 at 08:50:37 said:

-- "Illegal immigrants have other options than migrating to this country. Instead of coming here pleading for humanity, do it the way it was done for many centuries. Stay in your country and fight to change it. Start a revolution. Where is that macho culture?" --

This obviously makes little sense when our ancestors themselves fled their homelands rather than changing them.

EdwinLJones on Aug 18, 2008 at 15:17:12 said:

America is what is has always been. Hypocritical. I, personally, suffered arrest and detention without probable cause, fraud and deceit in judicial proceedings, and conspiracy to injure in person and reputation not unlike Steven Hatfill of the infamous anthrax investgation. I blogged USA Todat with specific details of those incidents and was censored from future blogging by Patrick Cooper, Network Editor of USA today....Probably at the "request " of the FBI. What have we become? We ( USA ) have never changed. The USA suppresses its' disidents then chastises the rest of the world for doing the same.

richardboyce on Aug 18, 2008 at 09:55:19 said:

I'm a nativist. I am also a protectionist. I must be other ists as well but I haven't heard all the labels. I'm OK with it.

ransome on Aug 18, 2008 at 08:58:23 said:

“Millions of migrants, authorized and unauthorized, have come to the U.S. in recent years to exercise their unalienable rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." What many of those migrants have encountered is a society that is unrecognizable from its founding ideals”.

The Supreme Court interpretation: “Among these inalienable rights, as proclaimed in that great document, is the right of men to pursue their happiness, by which is meant the right to pursue any lawful business or vocation, in any manner not inconsistent with the equal rights of others, which may increase their prosperity or develop their faculties, so as to give to them their highest enjoyment”.

The key word here is lawful. Since illegal immigrants violate our immigration laws by crossing our borders and are not considerate of the equal rights of others, they have no inalienable rights.

“Nativists live in a fantasy world where you can deport away all your problems and the interests of U.S. citizens have to be promoted above all others. The world we live in is interconnected. The interests of U.S. citizens are meshed with the interests of migrants from around the world and the countries that they come from. We ignore these fundamental truths at our own peril”.

Private Property designates those things commonly recognized as the entities in respect of which a person or group has exclusive rights. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private property

To say that American citizens have no rights that are above illegals immigrants means that this country is not exclusive; this country is not the private property of American citizens, and this country should have open borders. A country, its borders, and the resources of its citizens are the ultimate expression of private property. If the territories of a country, its resources, and the rights of its citizens are not protected then there is no need for government. Without government, there is no protection of our homes, our business, or our individual rights. If our borders are open to violators who can come and go as will, why not our homes, our businesses and our security?

Such remarks reflect the extreme communism that would have shocked Marx, Lenin and even Stalin in its absolute absurdity. A world of open borders would end social control by government and cause a social disintegration that would result in the end of civilization as we know it. In religion, God destroyed the Tower of Babel and created multiple languages to keep groups separate.

This is the source of my fundamental truth that is based upon natural law, million of years of biological evolution, and thousands of years of human evolution. What is your fundamental truths. You ignore the will of the citizens at our own peril.

NO ILLEGALS on Aug 18, 2008 at 07:49:34 said:

Tell you Sob stories to Victims of Illegal Aliens Hands.



• Angie Morfin of Salinas, California, testified before the House Immigration Subcommittee in June of 1999 about the murder of her 13-year-old son by an illegal alien gangster. Her boy Ruben was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and was shot down by a Mexican who escaped to Mexico. Her testimony also noted how the Latino community in her town wants immigration laws enforced, particularly to deal with the problem of illegal alien gangs that are responsible for a lot of violent criminal activity. Since her son\\\'s murder, Angie Morfin has spoken out about the need for more Border Patrol agents and other enforcement to make her community safer so that no other mothers must suffer the loss that she has.

Laura Ayala • Thirteen-year-old Laura Ayala went missing in March 2002, taken just a few feet from in her home in Houston. At this writing, there is no child and no body, although blood identified as being hers was identified in 2002 in the car of men believed to be connected with her abduction. Because of some evidence that she had been taken to Mexico, part of the search has been there. One complication was Houston\\\'s policy of \\\"sanctuary\\\" which disallows police from investigating a person\\\'s citizenship status. Illegal alien Walter Alexander Sorto was in police hands for traffic tickets but could not be deported because of the sanctuary policy: he is believed to be connected in Laura Ayala\\\'s disappearance which occurred several months after the ticket problem. Houston police office John Nickell testified before Congress (2/27/02) about how sanctuary laws inhibit the effectiveness of beat cops to deal with criminals and prevent crime.

Carol Edwards on Aug 18, 2008 at 00:48:09 said:

We are at war with Mexico and American citizens have no moral or legal obligation to subsidize illegal aliens who are invading our country. In fact, it’s a felony to “aid and abet” an illegal alien! Let them stay in their own countries and seek medical care. Here's a novel idea. If the illegal aliens are not satisfied the medical treatment they are receiving at American taxpayer expense, let them write home and warn their friends and relatives not to invade America!

The author, Kyle de Beausset, Boston-based Guatemalan-American immigrant rights advocate, is a front-line soldier in this war. He’s fighting for the rights his people…the illegal aliens who come here not to “seek a better life” but to hitch a free ride on the backs of American taxpayers. Since the illegal aliens can’t pay for medical care, it’s free. Actually it’s not free…it costs American taxpayers billions of dollars.

The term "Guatemalan American” is curious. Why does “Guatemalan” precede American? Just wondering….

Ethnocentric groups like La Raza, LULAC, and all the other "immigrant rights" organizations have only one mission. The mission is to PROMOTE HISPANICS over ALL other races, multiply like rabbits, bleed the American taxpayer dry, make Spanish the official language and force their 3rd world culture on American citizens.

They want to rewrite our immigration laws to facilitate the “Reconquista.” America does not need "immigration reform." The solution is quite simple; build the fence, secure the border and enforce immigration laws. No exceptions!

Unless they are stopped now, they will be the majority in a few short years and have complete political control. The only hope for America to win this war is to deport all these hostile, illegal alien invaders immediately!

Finally, President Bush is enforcing our immigration laws. If he had done this eight years ago, we not have this crisis. The Mexicans think they are going to take this country back. They are wrong….

Americans will fight for America!

The Fort Worth Resistance

Dave on Aug 17, 2008 at 22:16:50 said:

Thanks for a well written article. When reading this article, I don't get how people can think of you as an open border advocate, but that is how people choose to see this issue--very simply, and in absolutes.

I am not for open borders either. But I want the government to do more than just enforcement, and I want the government to handle things humanely. There is not going to be an easy solution for something that has been happening here for many, many years.

I refuse to get into an argument over semantics. The bottom line is that our detention centers are places were people, including children, are being denied basic human rights, and we need to be respectful of all human life if we are to preach that to other countries.

nativessayno on Aug 17, 2008 at 21:00:25 said:

Sorry to bring up a semantics argument but I simply can not abide the usage of "nativist" and "migrant" any longer.

Misidentifying persons that oppose rampant invasion of so-called "migrants" are currently referred to now as "nativist"; as though that non-neutral ID is accurate or meaningful. This term may need a redefinition if it is now so cavalierly used to discourage discourse by the wide spectrum of anti-open border persons.

"Migrant" or "immigrant" are often used terms to neutralize the meaning of illegal immigration. Many journalist misidentify persons that want to enter the US at will, and those that oppose border jumping and all of it's negative ramifications.

Using accurate terms might enlighten the debate and not make "nativists" quite so aggravated by sloppy appellations and presumptions.

Ransome on Aug 17, 2008 at 16:49:20 said:

Illegal immigrants have other options than migrating to this country. Instead of coming here pleading for humanity, do it the way it was done for many centuries. Stay in your country and fight to change it. Start a revolution. Where is that macho culture? Revolutions are as old as governments. If Americans are dying in some unforsaken place like Irag for some unforsaken reason, surely you can die for your own country and make a better live for your own children. Instead, you cross our borders and plead with us to be humane. This is not about basic human biological and security needs, this is about economic advancement. People are crossing our country purely for financial reasons; the salaries are better. I have not heard of famines, disasters, and political conflicts that threaten the lives of people in the source countries.

People must remain in their own country and fighting for their rights. When African-Americans were denied civil rights, discriminated against, and in some part of this country, terrorized, nobody migrated to Mexico. Yet racism is part of your cultural baggage, like in your home countries. In some LA neighborhoods, illegal gangsters are performing ethnic cleansing. In thier own country, Black citizens are not allowed to live in some neighborhoods and those that live there must move under penalty of death. I think that it is ironic that African-Americans who chose to stay and fight for their civil rights are being warred upon by those who fled from the fight for their economic rights. During the civil right movement people died fighting for the civil rights due them as citizens. We were brought here in chains and fought for human rights, yet you arrive voluntarily and illegally, begging and pleading for humanity.

This country can not be the life boat of the world or even the Americas. Even the most liberal groups of nation on the planet, the European Union (EU) identify illegal immigration is their biggest problem and have allowed illegal immigrants to be detained up to eighteen months without legal recourse. The same people who point to the EU when it comes to the death penalty ignore their position on illegal immigration although they have addressed this problem longer than we have and surely know the advantages and disadvantages.

MJB44 on Aug 17, 2008 at 16:33:15 said:

Why does the author of this article believe that the ILLEGAL immigrants are the responsibility of the US?
I am also tired of hearing that these kids are U.S. Citizens simply because they were born on US soil. The law (14th Ammendment) states that there is also a second condition - that the parent(s)owe allegiance to the US - something an ILLEGAL alien is incapable of.
This story will not end with denying amnesty to those who willingly broke the law.

Anne Herrera on Aug 17, 2008 at 13:37:53 said:

Yes, you ARE TOO an open-borders advocate!

Government of the people, by the people, and for the people means that those who don't follow the law need to receive the penalty that the duly-enacted laws have prescribed: namely, deportation in this case.

I know a lot of illegal immigrants, and none of them think that they have any right to be here. They understand lawfulness, and know that they are breaking the law.

This information about Ng and Casteneda is incomplete. Exactly what steps did they take to obtain health care?




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