Simcox of Minutemen Debates Open Border Fanatic

I like to see the contrast of the opposing groups and I hope we see more of this.

Local activists confronted controversial border safety issues on campus yesterday in the debate club’s first public debate.

Despite the sweltering heat and a late start, a crowd of about 75 observers gathered on Heritage Hill to watch Chris Simcox, president of the Minutemen Civil Defense, and Isabel Garcia, co-chair of Derechos Humanos, debate the question: “Who is responsible for patrolling the border?”

For me the question is “How can we get our federal government to enforce our immigration laws?”

Students from both sides of the issue were in attendance, as evidenced by scattered cheering after comments made by both participants. The debate was also interrupted briefly by a passer-by’s cries of “We are being invaded.”

I swear that wasn’t me!

“The Department of Homeland Security is not taking security of the homeland seriously,” Simcox said. He then cited increased security measures in public transportation while lamenting the lack of focus the department has given the nation’s international borders.

Simcox painted a bleak portrait of the borderlands, riddled with criminals and smugglers waiting to prey on the nation’s security failures and take jobs away from Americans.

“Arizona is No. 1 in crime in the U.S.; more car thefts, more gang crime,” Simcox said. “All we ask is that if you want to come here that you come through the front door and sign a guest book so we know who you are and what your intentions are.”

Garcia’s characterization of the border was more compassionate and focused on the struggling poor who seek a better life in the United States.

“The notion that they are just criminals lurking in the desert couldn’t be further from the truth,” Garcia said. “They would like nothing more than to sign a guest book, but they just don’t have that option.”

Of course, paint them all as good hearted, hard working individuals. Some of them are, but some are the worst scum on the planet. Spend one minute in a Mexican border town like Juarez or Tijuana if you think otherwise. These towns serve as holding areas for illegals that will soon enter into the US. Poverty and crime go hand in hand. We all know this but the open border radicals like to pretend that it doesn’t exist.

Both debaters were in agreement that the current crisis is the result of poor government policy, specifically the North American Free Trade Agreement. Their ideas on how to remedy the problem, however, were starkly divided.

“The problem of the border is not a law-enforcement problem,” Garcia said. “What you see at the border has been building since 1994, when the border strategy changed and we started building walls, pushing Mexicans into the desert.”

If there was a wall and people knew they could not enter into the US, they would not risk their lives in the desert. A wall would save lives.

To solve the problem, we need a national dialogue and a fair immigration policy that recognizes the needs of the Mexican people, Garcia said.

“And we need to demilitarize the border,” she said.

Simcox’s solution called for unspent Homeland Security grants to be reallocated to create a stronger military presence along the border.

“The criminals and smugglers would like nothing better than to see an open border,” Simcox said. “A more practical solution would be to get the National Guard and the military securing our borders. Only then will there be no more deaths.”

The participants also fielded questions from students and onlookers.

Lynda Cruz, a Latin American studies junior, asked Simcox to explain a videotape depicting members of the Minutemen detaining a border crosser and making him wear a T-shirt reading, “I snuck into this country and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”

Simcox replied the men involved also gave the man food, water and $20, and no charges were pressed because there was no wrongdoing. He blamed the media for using the footage out of context and turning the public against his group.

“The media was wrong,” Simcox said. “You have to be careful what you read.”

Garcia said that the incident was a prime example of how Simcox’s organization “says horrible things,” encourages violence and “ferments racism.”

Cruz said she was not satisfied with Simcox’s response.

“I think it’s propaganda,” Cruz said. “When the media is critical of him, he says they are wrong, but when he needs statistics to back him up, he cites the media.”

Ah yes, the famous T-shirt incident. This is the worst action a Minutemen has ever taken. May we never forget!

Link to story.

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