April 08, 2005

The Public Forum...

...El Foro Público

(Editor’s Note: Last week’s [4-1-05] editorial regarding the Minuteman at the Arizona border solicited quite a few responses. Below are samplings of the responses)

Minutemen Editorial Responses

Your editorial from April 1st regarding the Minutemen was Incredible! I am mexican and a legal resident of the United States since 1991. I also do not think that racism has any part today, however, I truly belive that you are dead wrong on this issue. And when you call these americans “a bunch of white guys” and “whackos,” sounds to me that you’re not really thinking about what they are trying to do. Your name-calling is certainly an easy way out to avoid the big picture here: Illegal immigration

The american government isn’t doing enough to stop this problem and the mexican government is simply not doing anything substantial to discourage the illegal crossing of the border. Because, when someone sneaks into another country, that is breaking the law. No country should have to put up with all of this.

These people (the Minutemen) are trying to keep an eye on illegal crossings to help the Border Patrol. Although their presence there should not be necessary, it is necessary that the legislation and the executive do something to better beef up the protection at our border. All illegal crossing are not acceptable, whether it be through Canada or Mexico.

Stop the name calling.  Let’s hope no one gets hurt. No body said that mexicans are stupid either. Let people who want to do something about illegal immigration speak out and make a point, because you’re too late in trying to put a lid on it.

Que viva la raza y no la raza racista!

Elias Cuevas
Kansas City, Missouri

You have got it wrong... this retired female would be out there with them... but I am moving of TX.  I am disgusted with the flow of undocumented illegal immigrants coming into this country and sucking out my taxpayer’s money for health care and etc.

I am required to have a legal document to enter Mexico, of which I will not being entering from here on out. Mexico has got the last of my money. I will not vacation in Mexico until the government starts to take care of their own citizens and take responsibility for the expenditures that the illegal immigrants are costing me the taxpayer. I am not from the right wing.

Sharon Brown
via email

I inadvertently picked up your rag at a local British pub and happened to read the article concerning the Minuteman Project. In essence you state there are more illegal border crossings from Canada than the total number of illegal Latinos that cross the U.S./Mexican border. I had to laugh because most reasonable people would implicitly know this to be false. I don’t know where you got your stats but I actually took the time to research this claim.  

While nobody actually knows the true numbers of all illegal aliens who have crossed our borders or who have settled here, educated estimates put the number at between 8 to 20 million, the vast majority of whom entered through the Southwest border. For fiscal year 2004, the Border Patrol apprehended more than 1.1 million illegal immigrants attempting to cross the Southwest border. Comparatively, 20,000 people were stopped at the Canadian border and the country’s coasts. Granted there are fewer border guards at the Canadian border but that’s for good reason - there aren’t hordes of people staging in Canadian shanty towns and crossing into Montana under cover of darkness.

I’ve lived in Canada and Europe (been to these places?) and believe me they have comparable if not higher standards of living. Consequently, Canadians and Europeans are not storming the U.S. border dreaming of pot washing jobs. That’s not to say there is no illegal immigration from these countries but not on the massive scale we see on our southern border. As for Chinese/Philipinos they have to get to Canada first which presents considerable logistical problems thereby limiting their numbers. Interestingly, I discovered allowable legal immigration quotas from European countries have not be filled for many years and  therefore it’s reasonable to assume they’re not sneaking illegally into the country en masse. The quota for legal immigration from Mexico is more than generous at 300,000 per year - far more than is allowed from the UK for example. This is in stark contrast to Mexican immigration policy and their ruthless enforcement of their own southern border. Vincente Fox (he’s a Spaniard=evil European) bitches about the Minuteman Project while he allows his own border guards free reign to commit untold number of human rights violations against poor immigrant central Americans. 

So why don’t you back up your ridiculous statements regarding the Canadian border with some real facts. I realize the bulk of your readership probably accept this pabulum without question but to say we have a larger immigration problem at our Canadian border defies common sense. It’s just sophistry on your part designed to deflect attention away from the real issues that impact us here in California. The fact is we have reached critical mass concerning illegal immigration specifically from Mexico and while the Minutemen may be a bunch of yahoos they are symptomatic of how a lot of us feel about the issue.  I’m done. 

Mike Bruce
via email

I Agree with the Minutemen and a handful of U.S. senators still willing to defend the U.S. from the Stealth invasion currently going on. 200.000 mexican immigrants a year is realistic what is going on now will be the downfall of the U.S. Let them work hard in Mexico to change their corrupt government and create jobs in their own country. They do not deserve our rights or our freedoms they have BROKEN the LAW to come here! They have no respect for our laws or our customs  or our morals & values. . When in Rome do as the Romans Do!

The Mexicans need to at least learn the  English language before coming here and before complaining our ancestors did. Most latino’s demand this and that they do not understand we too worked for what we have! God Bless the Minutemen and what they are about to Do!

I have no problem with Mexicans coming here to better themselves if they choose to assimulate to be American. That means dropping their culture at the border and picking up ours! I do have a problem with the lawbreakers they let up here! & the Drugs they bring with them Which the Mexican government has not done crap to stop! I have also found that more Mexicans are racist than whites are toward them! You need to check and recheck your facts! The only reason they have not been stopped so far is the presidents hands are tied by big business that will change. Majority of the American people do not  want so many of them here  not all at once!

Eric Rice
via email

Border Angels putting country at risk

Border Angels are just encouraging illegal immigration. They are putting my country and my life at risk. Mexico needs to fix itself and take care of their people. Any aid or services just makes millions more come. Ilegals are using our tax dollars for medical services; our emergency rooms are closing and crowding our schools. OUR BORDERS NEED TO BE CONTROLLED AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION STOPPED NOW. Terrorists can come in due to the lack of control of our borders. The fence will help and the plant life will survive enough. The need is to be safe, if some plants go so be it. How much damage do illegals do by tracking across our property? Border Angels is doing a disservice to all Americans.

Sophie Clark
via email

Contact your city councilperson in regards to Espanada

The Espanada developer has been quoted in the press as saying he will wait until the General Plan Update is approved before he brings Espanada to the City Council. Your Steering Committee thinks this is the right order to do things. The General Plan Update, which is scheduled to go to the City Council this summer, should come first. We want you to know, however, that city staff may bring a document called a DDA (DDA stands for Disposition & Development Agreement) to the City Council BEFORE the General Plan Update is approved.

As we understand it, a DDA is a legal agreement between the City and Espanada that sets out what Espanada intends to do, and what financial assistance the city will provide. (The amount of financial assistance Espanada is requesting from the taxpayers is rumored to be in the range of $20 million.) As we understand it, approval of the DDA is not technically approval of the project itself, but it would be a HUGE step in that direction. Please contact your city council members and tell them it would be WRONG to even consider a DDA for Espanada before approval of the General Plan Update. The right thing to do would be to consider the DDA AT THE SAME TIME Espanada requests project approval...that is, AFTER the General Plan Update is approved.

Patricia Aguilar, President
Crossroads II

Memorial Pool issue continues

Dear Mr. Ewell:  This is in response to actions of your bureaucrat Ms. M.Stern and her team of bureaucrats. I am concerned that removing Fernando Gonzalez as the coach of the Memorial Pool was unreasonable and unjustified! and that the effect that it will have on the children and parents who use Memorial Pool. This is no way to treat a dedicated swim coach supported by the community. What are you doing to re-adress this blatant injustice? Your immediate attention to this matter is requested.

Richard J. Castro
San Diego

Telemundo does it again... Failed!

Doesn’t surprise anyone the rejection and refusal of the Telemundo Network’ top executives against the likes of the vast majority of the Mexican community who resides in USA. Once again, they make obvious their ignorance toward the needs and the demands of the Music Industry when they exclude the Duranguense musical movement from the Billboard Latin Awards 2005’ show. Along with the reggaeton, the Duranguense musical movement is the two current main musical trends in the Latin market.

Repeatedly, Telemundo Network has manifested to us that in their vision and in the mind of their executives, our artists, leaders of the Duranguense musical movement, do not fill their show quality’ expectations. It’s ironic that after dozens of weeks occupying the Top places at Billboard’s Hot Latin Albums and Hot Latin Tracks and, after been nominated in 8 categories for the Billboard Latin Awards, the Duranguense orchestras are not suitable to perform at their show.

Therefore, with the same cold and careless way that Telemundo punished the millions of this movement’ fans, denying them the right to enjoy their favorite bands at the musical presentation, the same way it will rebound in an absolute rejection of these faithful followers toward a TV Network like Telemundo that does not speak our language neither knows the feeling and the vibes of the Mexicans that resides in USA.

We are sorry but a pair of Mexican artist from the mainland does not speak and reflect the heart of those who live and work here.

Jorge Reynoso
Elite Management Group (EMG)

What does the future for Old Town hold?

I write to you because I am totally pissed at the determination of Governor Schwarzenegger who has permitted the State Park and Recreation Board, his director Ruth Coleman, and former San Diegan Wayne Donaldson to make the decision to hand over Old Town State Historic Park to an eastern company Delaware North which has indicated that they intend to call the proposed changes to  our Old Town  ”the Colonial Williamsburg of the West, “ — to make the Bandini a restaurant with French Cuisine, and to change the period date so that it represents Old Town from 1879.  The design of the trolley Depot months ago should have been a signal that some deals were being worked out—it is a travesty on our Mexican heritage.

As a direct descendant of Jose Antonio Machado, who did found Old Town in 1821 on the basis of a land grant for his service in the army and who built the first six homes around la placita for his daughters and one son as they were married, I am in wonderment over the fact that the City and its many Hispanics, Latinos, mestizos, Indios, Mexicans, Chicanos, Mexican-Americans have not raised a finger to protest the brazen takeover of our principal heritage center in Alta California. Where are los voces?

I have written to our Mayor twice who promised to put together a “commission” which  as far as I know was not done.  The councilman for that district said “It was not in his jurisdiction so he did not want to get involved.” I wrote to Ms. Coleman, Director of the State Parks. She sent me a form letter twice which said the same each time: “A decision has already been made to give the contract to operate Old Town to Delaware North.”  Mr. Donaldson the State Historic Preservation Officer who ironically was appointed State Historic Preservation Officer around this time did not bother to respond.  I wrote to Juan Vargas who didn’t bother to return my letters. If there were any public meetings or notices regarding the proposed changes, San Diegans were left out of the loop. The decisions were made, hearings were heard in Sacramento, and my understanding is that the San Diegans involved were not permitted to speak since the decision was made. My uncle Jose Antonio Peters and I both lived in Old Town during the Depression and his 91 years of memories are now haunting him at the thought that what had finally come to fruition is about to be changed.  Honesty and communication is totally absent from our state and local governments.

Dr. Brandis
San Diego

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