Immigration Protests – Fort Sumter of our times?
By John D. Turner
6 Apr 2006

Quite a country we live in, eh? Where hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people here in this country illegally, can publicly gather to protest a law being debated in Congress concerning the problem of illegal immigration and what to do about it – and nothing happens, except major news coverage in the nation’s news media outlets.

It was quite startling to me; the picture of what the media estimated as 500,000 protesters, many of whom were illegally here in the country, protesting a law that might require them to leave. The concept boggles the mind. It was as if to say, “yeah, here I am, here illegally in your country – whatcha gonna do about it?”

Imagine if Congress were to propose a law to deport child molesters, and thousands of uncaught child molesters showed up to protest the law.

I am not trying to equate an illegal immigrant with a child molester. I am simply trying to illustrate the point that although both are illegal activities, admitting to child molestation would most likely get you thrown into jail, whereas admitting to being in the country illegally is apparently not sufficient to induce America’s finest at the local, state, and national levels to fulfill their responsibility to uphold the law, as they took an oath to do when they were hired.

I know it’s becoming a trite phrase, but “what part of illegal do they fail to understand”? I guess “illegal” immigration isn’t really illegal, just as oral “sex” isn’t really sex…

Of course “illegal immigrants” is not politically correct. “Undocumented workers” is the kinder and gentler term. I checked my wallet today before I went to work, and I didn’t notice any particular documentation that says I am allowed to work here. Does that make me an “undocumented worker” too? The only documentation I can think of in my wallet that “proves” me to be an American (or at least “proves” I have a right to be here) is my driver’s license – and in some states, such as Utah, an illegal can get that or its equivalent as well.

And what’s up with all the Mexican flags?

Whenever you mention doing something about all the illegal aliens pouring across the borders (and an estimated population of 12 million is definitely more than a trickle), the first thing you hear out of a liberal’s mouth is the word “racist”. (The second thing is how they are only taking jobs that Americans “won’t take” – more on that later.) After that, you are told, passionately, that not all illegals are coming from Mexico (as if that makes it ok); some are coming from other countries, such as Russia, or Sweden, or even the United Kingdom and Canada.

Ok, fine, I believe that. It was never my opinion that all illegals are from Mexico. I did see an awful lot of Mexican flags waiving during the protest marches, however, and a dearth of flags from such places as Russia, the UK, Canada, or anywhere else for that matter. And somehow, I don’t think those kind souls with the banners reading “This is our continent not yours”, “We are indigenous! The only owners of this continent!”, and “If you think I’m illegal because I’m a Mexican, learn the true history, because I’m in my homeland”, were here from Sweden.

In fact, the latter didn’t seem to be protesting that they should be allowed to work here – they seemed to be saying that they belong here – and we don’t. We, who were born in this country, are the “illegals”, not them.

No, not all illegal immigrants are from Mexico. But 56 percent of them are, according to recent statistics. And a further 22 percent are from other countries in this hemisphere, typically considered to be “Hispanic”, although some like Brazil were originally colonized by Portugal.

Incidentally, the term “Hispanic” comes from the Latin word for Spain, and refers to all Spanish-speaking cultures the world over. For those who may be geographically challenged, Spain is not a country that is indigenous to the western hemisphere, but is, in fact, located in Europe. Spanish-speaking Mexicans are no more “indigenous” than are English-speaking Americans.

I have no particular bias against illegal immigrants of Mexican (or other Spanish-speaking) origin. I don’t care where an illegal is from; if they are here illegally, then they need to be deported. If they want to come here legally, that is another story. If they want to come temporarily, to work, we have visa’s for that. If they desire to become American’s, and be assimilated into this melting pot we call America, great! I welcome them.

But waiving Mexican flags, and claiming this to be, essentially, part of Mexico, does not appear to signal a great burning desire to become a citizen of the United States of America. And it does draw focus to the fact that, while not all illegals are from Mexico, an awfully large chunk of them are.

If you are trying to fix a water leak, you usually deal with the water gushing from the mains before worrying about that which is seeping from the sink.

And before you think that at least some people don’t have an agenda to return the American southwest to Mexican control, or to have it secede from the U.S. into a separate “homeland” for Hispanics, you had better think again. Go out on the Internet and Google such organizations as the Mexica Movement, MEChA, and La Voz de Aztlan. These groups identify “Mexicans” in the United States as “American’s Palestinians”, and believe that they should deal with the US in a similar manner as Palestine “deals” with Israel. Although such fringe groups do not represent a significant percentage of the US Hispanic population, they do have a following, particularly on college and university campuses.

There is even a “national” flag for Aztlan, with the seven stars on the flag representing the current states of California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Utah.

In case you haven’t heard the term, it’s called “La Reconquista”; the reacquisition of the southwestern United States by Mexico. In fact, the term was coined not by “fringe” extremist Hispanic organizations, but by the Mexican government's National Council on Population (Conapo).

When Vicente Fox came to power, he stated that “the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders” and includes migrants living in the United States. Furthermore, he has presented the Mexican Congress with a five-year development plan that calls for elimination of the US-Mexico border, and claims to be the President of not only the 100 million Mexican citizens who live in Mexico, but also the “more than 18 million who live abroad”, most of whom are in the United States. He makes no distinction between Mexican citizens who are here legally or illegally, and Americans of Mexican descent who happen to be US citizens. He considers himself to be the President of all.

In fact, according to Mr. Fox, there is not an illegal immigrant problem, because Mexican citizens who cross the border into the United States are not doing anything illegal.

For those of you who are “politically challenged”, Mr. Fox happens to be the current President of Mexico. And we are relying on his help to solve the illegal immigration problem?

Many here may roll their eyes and snicker when I mention this as a threat to the United States. Many did the same when, during the Clinton Administration, Osama bin Laden “declared war” on the US. After 9-11, the snickering died down a bit.

I’m sure if 500,000 people marched in a major Mexican city, carrying American flags, and calling for the transfer of the land to the United States, the Mexican government wouldn’t just roll their eyes.

But don’t take my word for it. I’m “just another gringo”. What do I know? How about hearing from the pen of a legal Hispanic immigrant; now an American citizen. He puts it much better than I ever could. Does his voice, a voice that speaks from experience, count? Or is he, by virtue of being legal somehow tainted (despite having come from the same place), and unable to “relate” to the “plight” of an illegal? Is he, like a black conservative in the eyes of the liberal black leadership, to be considered a “traitor to his race” and “too white” for his voice to be heard?

And how about those “jobs that Americans won’t do” that I keep hearing about? From what I hear in the papers, if we didn’t have millions of willing, hard-working, cheap migrant laborers from Mexico, the entire building and food industries would collapse. American’s it seems, are just too good to pick their own food and build their own houses.

Emphasis on the word “cheap”. It isn’t that Americans aren’t willing to do the work, it’s that they aren’t willing to do the work at the same pay scales that those in the country illegally are willing to do the work for. After all, if you are illegal, what recourse do you have? And the money is still better than what you could make in Mexico.

Does anyone seriously believe that Americans would rather starve or live in tents, than pick their own crops or build houses? In reality, what would happen if the illegals were removed from the picture, is that wages in those sectors would have to rise to attract workers. The cost of food and housing would increase, but Americans could be found to do the work.

In fact, American’s do do the work. According to a comprehensive study posted by the Center for Immigration Studies, although most of the work done by illegal immigrants is concentrated in a small number of occupations, there are also, according to census data, millions of Americans who are also working in those same occupations. If immigrants were doing jobs that Americans won’t do, we should instead see occupations comprised almost entirely of immigrants. The data does not back this up. Incidentally, the report studied both immigrant, and illegal immigrant populations. The data tracks the same for both groups.

The highest three categories, Farming, Fishing & Forestry; Construction & Extraction; and Building Cleaning & Maintenance, have the highest percentage of immigrant employees. These are among the jobs typically touted as “those Americans won’t do”. However, they also have the highest native unemployment rates, double the national average. This implies that there are Americans who are in these industries and looking for work – they just can’t compete with illegals who are paid less to do the same job.

Keep in mind that an illegal, even paid the same wage as a native born American, is cheaper because the employer doesn’t have to pay the additional costs of social security, unemployment insurance, and worker’s compensation. As many of these transactions are carried out in cash, they don’t even have to worry about federal tax withholding.

In conclusion, the study finds that

The argument that America needs illegal aliens and high levels of legal immigration only makes sense if one ignores the plight of less-educated native-born Americans. We find little evidence that immigrants only do jobs natives don’t want. Detailed analysis of 473 separate occupations shows that there are virtually no jobs in which a majority of workers are immigrants, let alone illegal aliens. The overwhelming majority of workers in almost every single occupation, even the lowest-paid, are native-born.

So what are we to make of the large numbers of people turning out for these obviously well-organized mass demonstrations? The numbers are truly enormous – the peace protesters undoubtedly wish that the same numbers would show up for their demonstrations.

Here in San Antonio, we were treated to the spectacle of students at one high school cutting class and parading down the streets, waiving Mexican flags, to another high school; trying to get the students from that high school to join them in their protest. When interviewed, one of the students said the protest was for “civil rights”, and equated it with Martin Luther King Jr’s marches to obtain civil rights for Blacks.

There is a difference, however, which seems to have gone right over the heads of those warm skulls full of mush, educated in the public school system. Blacks are here legally. They are American citizens. They had a right to be protesting for their civil rights – rights which should not have been denied them in the first place.

What civil rights do illegals have to protest? The right to illegally enter our country? The right to displace native-born citizens in search of jobs? The right to use our social services (including our public schools and hospitals) free of charge?

In Houston, one public school was flying the Mexican flag (beneath the US and Texas flags) presumably to demonstrate “solidarity” with the protest movement. The principal of the school, along with many of the students, which is 88% Hispanic, saw nothing wrong with that.

All the Mexican flag waiving just seems to highlight the fact that there are people in this country who apparently have a greater affinity for Mexico than they do for the United States.

And all this is reported in great detail on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, and any other major news organ you care to name. Including al Jazeera. Worldwide.

Anyone think that al Qaeda isn’t aware of what is going on here?

Anyone believe that this isn’t of interest to them? Hello?

The fact that our borders, five years after 9-11, are still not secure, that we have hundreds of thousands of people illegally crossing them each year pretty much at will, that there are evidently hundreds of thousands of people waiving Mexican flags and demanding their “civil right” to be here illegally, has to be of great interest to al Qaeda.

During the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, cities burned in the United States. Are the conditions ripe for the same to happen here? Particularly when you stop to realize that radical Hispanic groups, such as MEChA are already set up and preaching reconquista? Would a little al Qaeda money and training to foment violence here in the US by such groups be worth the effort? What do you think?

We may be witnessing the “Fort Sumter” of our generation. These protests could be the opening shots of the first war to be fought on our soil since the Civil War. Hopefully I am wrong. I pray that I am. But it sure seems a temping target for our enemies abroad. What better way to move the focus of the United States from the Middle East, and force a withdrawal of our forces, than to have a civil war erupt in the soft underbelly of the US?

First off, I apologize for the length of this article; I thought about splitting it into two articles, but I just couldn’t. Since I finished it, I have spoken with several of my Hispanic friends here in San Antonio. They tell me that “I worry too much”. No one in their right mind would want to become part of Mexico. Those who are here illegally, left to get out of Mexico.


In truth, I am not worried about my safety here in this predominantly Hispanic city. I am not even concerned about the majority of the Hispanic illegals here in this country. I am concerned about the potential for mischief from those who do not have the best interests of our country at heart. If even 1% of those here illegally would be supportive of the goals and aims of some of the Hispanic fringe groups I mentioned in this article (and there are other groups besides these), that would be approximately 120,000 people, already within our borders.

As numbers go, 120,000 is a fairly large number. And that doesn’t count other foreign nationals, al Qaeda sleeper cells, and other fringe groups who, for reasons of their own, would delight in causing us problems. (For example; would Iran have an interest in fomenting unrest in our country at present, to deflect potential military action against them concerning their nuclear program?)

I also realize that the media “cherry picks” the images it shows us. Their business is selling newspapers, news magazines, and boosting their ratings in radio and television. They are going to show the most provocative things they can in an attempt to hold their reader/listener/viewer ship. And if they don’t have any news to show, they are not above manufacturing some, as has happened here in San Antonio.

Just because some people were waiving Mexican flags, that doesn’t mean that everyone was, or that even most everyone was sympathetic with the Mexican flag waiving. Just because some were carrying “gringo go home” type placards, doesn’t mean that was the predominate sentiment.

I understand this.

I wrote this article, not to foster an “us vs. them” mentality between whites and Hispanics, but rather to highlight how the current “protest movement” could be hijacked for more sinister purposes.

In fact, it may already have been so hijacked. It is entirely possible that what we see in the news every day is not in fact, the intended end game. Much of the large, organized marches you see in Los Angeles, and the planned ones nationwide were organized by the Act Now to Stop War & End Racism (ANSWER) coalition. ANSWER is made up of many groups, with the stated goal of winning “full rights for undocumented workers”, whatever that means.

ANSWER’s steering committee includes such groups as the Free Palestine Alliance, the Partnership for Civil Justice, the Nicaragua Network, the Korea Truth Commission, the Muslim Student Association, the Mexico Solidarity Network, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

This does not give me a warm, fuzzy feeling. I think I will continue to worry.

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