Omar M. Campbell: Immigration mess

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Bravo, people of Arizona! I hope your state-level lead in dealing with illegal aliens will turn out to be a national trend. Public support in Arizona was 70 percent, and the Legislature passed the act with a substantial majority.

There was no support for such a measure in the liberal Colorado Legislature at the time to get a similar measure on the ballot, but if the feds do not act soon, we, the people, should. Our dysfunctional administration and politicians of both parties will just continue to dither otherwise.

Liberal talking heads and advocates for fast-track or blanket amnesty across the country are blathering on TV and other media about racism and profiling. Not all illegals are from south of the border, of course. Other ethnic groups also break our laws by sneaking into the country from many directions. Chinese stow away in cargo containers, for example. It is inconceivable that illegals of any stripe should be rewarded by amnesty or fast-track citizenship for breaking our laws.

I wrote a letter titled “A Message to Vincente” in 2006 on this very subject. A copy went to the Mexican consul in Denver for forwarding to then-President Vincente Fox. Neither answered, of course. Local responders accused me of being an Anglo bigot and a racist. One suggested that I go south of the border to “smell the coffee” — whatever that means. I cannot think of a worse place to go to smell the coffee, with the Federales, drug lords fighting for control of Mexico.

I have suggested to city councils and county commissions in the past that they fund GRAMNET, now ACET (All Crimes Enforcement Team) to hire a bilingual officer, certified by ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement), to check local employers for adherence to the federal law against hiring “undocumented immigrants” (a euphemism for illegal aliens used by those who sympathize with them).

I did not receive a single reply, naturally. If there had been, no doubt it would have quoted the usual platitude that the matter was for the feds to enforce. Fat chance since the liberal administration and politicians in general look forward to Hispanic votes. Some conservative politicians and all unscrupulous employers look forward to cheap and probably under-the-counter labor.

Both documented and undocumented alien workers take jobs from our citizens. Not only in the low-pay category but in the higher-pay jobs.

I sense a reluctance nationally and in our own community for discourse or publicity on the illegal situation. Media seem reluctant to say anything. The last local commentary or editorial I can recall was about a decade ago, when readers were asked to accommodate the illegals.

Unfortunately, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution states unequivocally that people born in the U.S. are citizens. The founding fathers did not mention that their intent was only to guarantee citizenship to children of black slaves. This unintended poison pill now means “anchor babies” that are automatically citizens, with parents that are not. Compassion and humanity come into the debate about what to do concerning the 12-plus million illegals who have infiltrated our country and its sovereignty.

The immigrant mess is really a sticky wicket. Do not look for any action on it from the federal level.

Omar M. Campbell

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Dan Hill 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Omar, can you please explain when immigration stopped being a good thing for America and became a bad thing?

I know, you'll probably say it's illegal immigration you have a problem with. But our illegal immigration problem is the result of a dysfunctional legal immigration policy. When people who want to come here and work hard and become Americans, the way the ancestors of nearly every current day American did, and we tell them, wait twenty years, then something is wrong.

Here's a thought experiment for you. Imagine in the Mexican-American war of 1848 we'd kept going, and taken not only New Mexico and Arizona from the Mexicans, but also the northern half of current day Mexico (there were some leaders pushing to do exactly that at the time). If history had unfolded that way, a very big proportion of the current "illegals" would be American citizens by birth. In what meaningful way would a person moving from Chihuahua to Colorado be different?

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jerry carlton 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Immigration became a bad thing when the United States became overpopulated which it is now and when so many jobs were exported overseas that there are no longer enough jobs for citizens and legal residents. Democrat politicians want to keep them here for a voting base and Republican politicians want to keep them here to hold down wages. Here is a thought experiment for you. If Japan or Germany had developed the atomic bomb before the United States we would be a colony of Japan or Germany. This thought experiment is just about as absurd as yours and neither of them have any connection to todays reality.

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mark hartless 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Omar is, of course, exactly right.

What is happening on our southern border is nothing short of criminal negligence on the part of both the executive and legislative branch of our gubbamint. It is, in fact, treason.

I am forced to wonder if those who defend this invasion would be as comfortable with their own personal property's boundary being as ignored by their neighbors as this nations borders are. If your neighbors made some great excuses why they were having their "kegger" in YOUR yard would they accept the same ridiculous arguments, or would they call it what is it... trespassing? If they said "our great grandparents used to live in your house so we are having a party in your living room", would that make it ok???

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Clay Ogden 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Jerry ... "Immigration became a bad thing when the United States became overpopulated " ... what measure did you use to determine that the United States is over populated? I don't see any reasonable measure of population density that supports the statement the United States is over populated ... particularly when compare to Singapore, Hong Kong, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Mauritius, South Korea, Rwanda, Netherlands, Lebanon, India , Haiti, Belgium, Japan, Philippines and really all of Europe. Is the United States really over populated or just over populated with folks that, in some folks ethnocentric perspective, just ought not be here?

As to Omar ... good grief, crawl back in your hole or move to Arizona. You need to bone up on elasticity of demand and gain some understanding that the demand in the US is based on what's cheap ... including labor. Immigration, like drugs, is less a question of supply but demand.

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Ken Mauldin 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Rather than allow ourselves to be distracted with issues of population density, wages or accommodations - can we just agree that the United States should control all entry and exit through it's borders? We have intentionally maintained porous borders in a post-9/11 world, letting only God-knows-who into our country. This policy is both foolish and reckless; regardless of political ideology.

As for Omar's assertion that the 14th Amendment created anchor-babies: It wasn't until Justice Brennen ignored the Judicial precedent, clear language and the Legislative intent of the 14th Amendment and decided that the phrase "...and subject to the jurisdiction thereof..." had zero meaning and could be ignored by the Court, that we became stuck with anchor babies (see: Plyler v. Doe.) That phrase was included in the 14th Amendment to specifically prevent citizenship to babies of foreign parents and was the prevailing interpretation for over 100 years. The citizenship granted under the 14th Amendment didn't apply to Indians born on reservations or babies of foreign mothers until Brennen's interpretation. To be certain, it was a 'liberal' Justice interpreting a 'living' Constitution that gave us anchor babies.

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mark hartless 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Clay is correct that the US is NOT overpopulated. But he is simply using a tried and true, cheap shot pollitical tactic of the progressive left when he accuses those who take Omar's position of basically being a racists.

As Ken points out, there are very legitimate reasons why a nation ought to have 100% control of it's borders.

Only a very foolish person can take a serious look at what is happening on our southern border, what is comming across, what items are being found in the desert (copies of Koran, literature from Iran, drugs, guns, etc) and not know darn good and well it's totally out of control.

Conversely, there arevery few good reasons why it should remain wide open. To garner votes, to have a supply of cheap labor are the primary 2.

I find it ironic, and laughable that the number of Americans currently unemployed is about the exact same as the numkber of illegals currently holding those jobs.

Soon someone will get a nuke lose in a major US city. I'd lay good odds it comes across the US/Mexican border. As far as I am concerned, those people's blood will be on the hands of every congress-critter and every voter that continued to whistle past the graveyard for pollitical reasons.

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Joe Meglen 5 months, 3 weeks ago

A welfare state with open borders will destroy a nation.

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Fred Duckels 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Right on Joe.

  1. Our workers could fill our job needs but as long as people can suck at the teat of government they will not lower their sights. This way the Democrats can harvest two votes, the slacker "and" the border jumper.
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brian ferguson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

With you 100% on this one Joe. I tend to listen to a lot of talk radio in the mornings. Usually NPR, which I've come to know as "national propaganda radio" Many of their "news" stories seem to be run with the sole intention to remind white America just how racist they are. Constant stories about slavery, and inequality in the black community. It is opportunity, not inequality that is the root of the problem, I believe. An open border policy does nothing to help Americans (of all colors) gain opportunity. Have you heard of La Raza? The Race. I find it amazing that groups like this are allowed to exist, What if this were an organization promoting the advancement of whites? There would be riots in the streets.

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mark hartless 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree with Brian. I listen to NPR a bit too, and one must filter and process the information very carefully. There is a gentle and subtle twist to much of their "reporting".

Racism is not unique to ANY race. Nor is racism today, (NAACP, Affirmative Action, La Raza, Black Panthers, etc) a cure for past racisim (KKK, segregation, etc).

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jerry carlton 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Clay You tried to get a job lately? Good luck. I said nothing about race. I mentioned citizens and legal residents. You explain to me what race the illegal residents are. I would expect it would number in the hundreds. You did nothing to refute my statement but call me a racist. Pretty lame.

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mark hartless 5 months, 3 weeks ago

That's exactly what he did, Jerry. That's what leftists always do when they want to shut down an argument and have no meaningful retort...

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cody perry 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm very disappointed that the Steamboat Pilot brought this letter to print, it doesn't deserve the time of day. The views expressed there in are based on ignorance fear and racism. I'm from Arizona. I've seen people coming to the United States to achieve the American Dream. I remember the border as a child with no wall. When my parents and I could walk freely across to shop, talk and enjoy being in a Mexican boarder town. Now there is a wall. A wall of blank steel and concrete on the American side, but covered in colorful paintings on the Mexican side. Sound familiar? Think of the Berlin Wall. A wall in which all the graffiti and color was on the Western side of the wall, the free side. Think about that. Think about us as a people and the history of America's conquest. Consider that our country creates the demand for the narcotic traffic that creates a violent boarder. Think of the Ute Tribe who used to occupy the region we live in Mr. Campbell and put that in context with your childish rant. I would respectfully suggest to the pilot to think again before printed a letter that may cast such an embarrassing light on our open minded and welcoming community.

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Ken Mauldin 5 months, 3 weeks ago

So, censorship is Cody's response. Thoughtful people recognize that controlling a border is central to national security and all Cody can say is "Shut up, you racists! How dare the local paper print an opinion I disagree with!"

To compare the very necessary wall on America's southern border with the Berlin wall is foolish and ignorant. Please tell us that you weren't taught that garbage in a Steamboat Springs public school.

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cody perry 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Our nation has joined the elite club of Wall builders including, Former East Germany, China and Rome. I mean consider the social aspects of a wall, Im not saying the two are equivalent in every way. And Ken, shut up you racist. Just kidding, but not really. Why don't you guys complain about all those Canadians huh? With their hockey and maple syrup? How bout that flag of theirs!? Its like a middle finger! with the red on it! Canadians have a wide open walk way into society! Their really white skin makes them so hard to detect and dangerous! Listen carefully for pronunciation of the tell tell "o". Thanks for being a Colorado resident and making Marijuana legal. That might have some effect on reducing market pressures for Mexican weed being shipped north to America, and hence reduce violence on the border (Heavy, I know).

Hey, we all have a voice. You go ahead with yours. Here's mine. I want a country where anyone can come up for a chance at anything they want. If a man or woman take on the world to make a living for their family, shows up on time everyday and earn a wage, then those people have earned a right not to be questioned by the likes of people like Mr. Campbell. Besides, one day, that wall down south will come down too.

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jerry carlton 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Cody is right and the day it happens the United States becomes a third world country.He does not understand legal immigration vs Illegal immigration. Where do you stand on meth, heroin, cocaine and all the other wonderful products coming in for the younger generation and a few old folks that partake?

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Ken Mauldin 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Cody: We have prioritized the security of the southern border as a result of the drug cartels that are based in Mexico. If Canada were the home of the most dangerous drug cartels on the planet murdering citizens in the Idaho wilderness we would be focusing there. There's no doubt that terrorists would access our country from the north if it were easier for them.

I agree that immigration has made this country great since our founding. Legal immigrants who come with respect for our laws and have needed skills to contribute to our economy should be welcome, as they have been for centuries. We should accept immigrants based on what is good for our country and not be a catch-all for everyone that can run or swim here without going through a legal process. As was the standard before the 1965 Immigration Act was passed, immigrants should be required to prove they can provide for themselves and not require tax-payer subsidy before being admitted. People who break the law and sneak into a country should expect to be questioned by people like Mr. Campbell and Law Enforcement. That concept is called reality. Try sneaking into any other country on the planet to get a job and see how that works for you.

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rhys jones 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Somebody refresh my memory: How was it that the French claimed much of North America, which we bought for a song, in the Loiusiana Purchase? Nobody consulted the current residents then -- a whole bunch of immigrants just took it from them.

General George Crook, Indian fighter and negotiator (Snake, Yavapai, Apache, and several Sioux varieties) became enraged when ordered to evict the Oglala Sioux, a peaceful farming tribe in Nebraska, for a reservation in Florida -- so he refused his order, and arranged for legal representation for the Oglala, arguing that by their presence they were Americans with all our rights -- challenged the Government in Court, won, and the Oglala stayed home.

Dad used to refurbish apartment complexes in his retirement -- he'd buy one in a depressed area of Phoenix, in a run-down condition with widely varied tenants -- set up an onsite management/construction office, while he would remodel the apartments one at a time, even if it took a few years -- slowly weeding out the riff-raff, the drug dealers and bums -- eventually elevating the level of the whole neighborhood, with his little proud Mexican villages.

His favorite tenants were the illegals. Ultimately a 36-or-so apartment complex represented about four distinct family groups, most from the Durango, Mexico region. They paid coyotes to get them in, crossed the desert at night.

"Not Chicanos" Dad clarified [never said he wasn't a racist] "Mexicans. Chicanos know their rights. Mexicans just want to work. Lay low, stay out of trouble. Buy new coffee tables and TV's and cars. And give their kids the best gift they can: Have them born American."

They were basically happy little villages, virtual islands in the city; I had the privilege of living in one for a while. Friday night was siesta night, a complex-wide outdoor party... then Saturday at 8 AM the yard was littered with Bud Light cans, but by ten it was spic-and-span.

Saturday was Date Night, the young beaus would get their cars all shiny, dress up, come over and meet her parents, they'd talk a while before going out... a few of them played in salsa bands around town... there was a definite Old World feel about the villages, very ordered, yet comfortable and safe.

They don't take away jobs, they do jobs nobody else will, except me in my poverty; I've worked alongside MANY Mexicans, and I have no complaints. Anybody with initiative can find a job.

I say let 'em in. Virtually everybody reading this paper had ancestors who immigrated from somewhere. Even the American Indians came in over the Bering Strait, back when it was solid land. That is our strength, our variety.

La Raz IS somewhat of a concern; like many splinter groups, they think they're going to take over, when there are enough of them...

Ha. Nobody can beat the Military-Industrial Complex engineered and controlled by the Federal Reserve. We're ALL slaves to the machine, wherever we came from.

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mark hartless 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Both prisons and fortresses have walls, Cody.

Your apparent ignorance of the significance of direction of fortification is telling.

Do you lock your door at night, Cody???

Are you locking yourself IN , or are you locking the potential harm OUT???

Isn't your door just another example of a wall???

What right do you have to lock your door, Cody???

You are a child, Cody; and your ill-considered arguments blow away with the wind.

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cody perry 5 months, 3 weeks ago

You feeling lonely or something Mark? Creeper.

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mark hartless 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I'll ask again...

Do you lock your doors, Cody??

What gives you the right to lock your doors, or to shut the gate ate end of your driveway?

If you owned a ranch would you expect to have the right to fence it, Cody??

I think people who claim an inability to understand the logic of a border fence ought to have to live in houses with no locks, drive cars with no locks, have ranches with no fences, back yards with no fences, etc.

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cody perry 5 months, 3 weeks ago

See thats just it. I don't lock the world out. I don't perceive the world to be different on one side of my door from the other. The people in one state wish to prosper the same as in any other, as in any country so on and so on. I see the dots your connecting there, and the world isn't one that inspires fear in my mind.

& Mark your questions come off looking perverted and strange. Just saying.

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mark hartless 5 months, 3 weeks ago

If you dont "perceive the world to be different on one side of my door from the other." then why do you have a door at all, Cody ???

I'll ask my question for a third and final time...

Do you, Cody Perry, have a right to lock your door? To fence your ranch?? To lock your car??? To fence the Perry kid's back yard???

Yes or No, Cody???

Answer the damned question, Cody...

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cody perry 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I did. cool your comment ego a notch.

Isn't it great living in of a country where we all can make our own choices! I'll take my risks. I sleep many days outdoors (Mark, don't recommend you go outdoors). I grew up on a hard working ranch. who cares.

I'd advise against bringing up peoples kids in this context. You know, just a little creepy. just saying, again.

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mark hartless 5 months, 3 weeks ago

No, you didn't answer the question.

The question was: Do you believe that YOU have a right to fence your back yard, your ranch; to lock YOUR car, YOUR house?

The reason you will not directly answer that question is because your answer is likely antithetical to your ridiculous position that a nation such as ours should not have security fence along it's southern border.

You said "I don't perceive the world to be different on one side of my door from the other." My question here was: Then why have a door at all??? You did not answer THAT question either. That statement is utterly ridiculous. The world is quite diverse, and you DO have a door because your BRAIN recognizes what your EMOTIONS do not.

You said: "The people in one state wish to prosper the same as in any other, as in any country so on and so on." While this is true, you neglected to include or acknowledge that many of those people who "wish to prosper..." wish to do so at the expense of others, at the expense of already overloaded social programs, at the expense of american jobs, etc.

You said "...the world isn't one that inspires fear in my mind." This leads me to believe you know little of the actual state of our world and very little about it's history.

To assert that it's such a shame that there is a fence, and that the "colorful" people on one side are somehow victims of the racists on the other side is also unrealistic. Mexico alone recieves way over $316million in annual aid from the taxpayers of this country who you insinuate are racist. The latin american region recieves well over $1billion annually in monetary aid from american taxpayers and all you can basically say is "gee, why do we rascists have a fence; why not let the entire region, including drug and gun runners, waltz right on into my back yard unchecked"...

I'm sorry, but that does not come off sounding like an intelligent position to me.

There are reasons YOU have fences and locks... DITTO for your nation.

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cody perry 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Look napolean, your property and our nation are two different things. Much as you'd like, you can't make decisions for everyone.

& I'm saying the wall is an embarrassment, we can do better. It costs nearly 3 million dollars per mile, only about 600 miles out of the 2000 mile boarder is up and it doesn't work.

Be well bigots! Lock your doors, hide your wife. There's a bunch of us having margarita's and salsa out here every Forth of July and Cinco de Mayo!

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Ken Mauldin 5 months, 3 weeks ago

There isn't a single country on the planet that applies Cody's open-border nonsense to immigration policy. Every government in the world disagrees with that approach. All of them. Every. Single. One.

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jerry carlton 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Cody Do I need to ask permission to go hunting on that hard working ranch you grew up on or can I just walk in and go hunting? Back sometime in 1962 to 1965 I dated a young lady in Beaumont Texas named Mary Flores. We did not work out permanently but it had nothing to do with the fact her Grandparents owned a large ranch in Mexico. I also crossed the border in the valley and visited border towns with my parents. It is a different border today and a different world. You might want to know something about a persons life history before calling them a racist for not supporting illegal immigration.

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cody perry 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The current immigration policy has many undertones of racism, as does our whole society. A guilty conscious is quick to be defensive. I suggest owning up to recognizing we all have a part in that. People don't immigrate by legal or illegal means to violate another persons piece of the pie. They want their own piece. As do all of the 99% of Americans on this side of the wealth gate.

No one supports illegal immigration, most of all the people who resort to taking that risk. I have a hard time believing a parent or family member would opt to cross the harsh border lands if the legal route in our system is realistic and working well. Reform is needed, now.

These questions of property, being secured from violation of some sort and your right to protect it from emanate threat. Is that how you go around meeting your neighbors? with suspicion and disregard? Its fascist to label all immigrants in such a light. To think thats how every Immigrate views their adopted communities?

We can certainly create a situation like that and it comes from fear. Sit down for this one guys… We Americans are totally, responsible for the current condition of our border with Mexico. That line is a young political boundary in a region of history that reduces our exchange in any significance.

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jerry carlton 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Cody You seem incapable of responding to direct questions. Can I hunt on your ranch? Are you married to or have you ever dated a woman with a Hispanic surname? I have no fear of illegal immigration as I will only live another 10 or 15 years. I do fear for my grandchildren. I have no response for you calling me a fascist as I am not quite sure what a fascist is and do not care to google it. You will gain a lot of converts to your way of thinking by calling people names when you know nothing of their life history. I really expect no reply to my questions as you would not reply to Mark's questions and your prime discussion point seems to be name calling.

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mark hartless 5 months, 3 weeks ago

You are a genius, Cody! You have found the problem with the wall at our southern border. "...only about 600 miles out of the 2000 mile boarder is up and it doesn't work."

Hee heee... Heck, let's give up and go home. We obviouislky can't fix it; just like we can't possibly put a man on the moon...

I'm building a lake and I've only completed about one third of the dam. Thank you Cody for explaining to me why it isn't holding water... You are a genius, Cody.

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