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April 22, 2004

Wetback terrorists

Yo. I'm in a pretty bad mood because I've got some respiratory crud, but I would be totally pissed over this quote from W. no matter when I heard it. He's responding to questions about an AP poll that says "two-thirds of Americans believe that another attack is somewhat likely."

Singling out Texas, the president said: "It is difficult to stop people coming across the Rio Grande River, whether they be people looking for work or people looking to do harm. And so I can see why people feel that way."

Because you know, once those brown-skinned people start swarming onto American soil, anything could happen.

Of course I understand that another way to interpret what he said is that the border with Mexico is long, and that "bad guys" of any description may be able to get into the country by crossing it, and that he isn't specifically saying that illegal Mexican immigrants should be suspected as terrorists. However, INS crachdowns justified by a "response to terrorism" have definitely trapped poor Mexicans in their hazy legal morass.

I don't have any articles to link, and I know this is hearsay, but my mom (a resident alien who immigrated from Mexico 35 years ago) works with a community of more recent Mexican immigrants, and they live in constant fear of apprehension and deportation. Most of these people do have work papers, and many of them are in the process of applying for citizenship. However, they're terrified that one "suspicious" move will bring them to INS attention, and that they will be detained for questioning. One man my mom knows has been detained for questioning for over two months, and his wife and child had to return to Mexico, because they could not afford to stay in the United States without his salary.

In the worst case scenario, say this guy was helping people falsify their papers. My mom doesn't think so, but he might have been. Does it take two months to prove that and then deport him? I can promise you he hasn't been tying them up in court with lawyers!

So, I know I may be irrationally sensitive to Bush's lunkhead comment. But perhaps I should be glad every time he makes an ass of himself in a public forum. Because honestly, at this point I probably would vote for a hamster to replace Bush.

Posted by Rose at April 22, 2004 08:40 AM