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Raoul Lowery Contreras

Guest Columnist


Originally published in Cal News and republished by permission.

8 March, 2006

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With the U.S. Senate approaching its work of immigration reform, finally, all eyes turn to Washington and how it proceeds to solve the widely acknowledged immigration mess. Senators need to know how a majority of Americans feel about illegal immigration. There are two schools of thought: one, that of a tiny minority and one of the majority. Rallying around Congressman Tom Tancredo, the fiery congressional back-bencher, anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant and anti-illegal alien fanatic, 100 fanatic Mexican haters showed up for a Tancredo rally in Washington D.C. a few days ago. That paltry number pretty much reflects the so-called concern about illegal aliens.

From the fallacious emotional diatribes of Harvard’s Dr. Samuel P. Huntington whose myopic view that Mexicans are the greatest danger to America, to Tancredo’s vicious lies about Mexicans, the United States is assaulted by virulent propaganda against “illegal aliens.” Of course, they use illegals as a cover for pure ethnic hatred of Mexicans. They cannot deny it. Joining these hysterical “girlie men” are people in the media like Lou Dobbs, CNN’s contribution to ignorance and witch-hunting, and Bill O’Reilly, Fox’s popular “bloviator.” To O’Reilly’s credit, he is not a hate-monger like Dobbs; he is just uneducated and ill-informed. Unfortunately, his staff doesn’t expose him to truth and real facts. Media and publicity hog Congressmen aside, the real problems are at the ground level, especially on the border with Mexico. I speak of the well-publicized Minutemen.

Example: Mike Chase is the self-anointed leader of the California Minutemen. He takes over from his father, Jim Chase, a retired postal worker who founded the Minutemen. News reports: “Chase, 36, said last week that there are five or six border watchers in the Campo area and between Tecate and Tierra del Sol, though he didn't want to give specific numbers.Law enforcement is skeptical there are many of them, however. Sheriff's deputies say they have seen only one border watcher out daily, a homeless man who camps out in the same spot, plus one or two others on weekends.”

During World War Two, it took the entire 10th Cavalry Regiment (Buffalo Soldiers) of the U.S. Army to patrol the area Chase claims he covers with “five or six” Minutemen. Despite law enforcement’s observations that the Minutemen of Mike Chase are really not on the border, Chase wrote this writer that his forces have “stopped thousands of illegals from crossing the border and stopped the Mexican Army from crossing the border and invading America.” That is not true, as no Mexican military has even appeared on the border Chase patrols in years. Chase brags that his group has stopped “thousands” of illegal aliens from crossing into the U.S. That is untrue for the number of illegals crossing the border is at an all time high and they mostly cross in Arizona, not on the border space his group claims to patrol. More important than anything, however, is the fact that the Chase/Dobbs Minutemen simply represent a tiny minority of Californians or Americans.

Mark Baldassare of California’s statewide FIELD POLL writes in the San Francisco Chronicle that his polling concludes that 56-percent of Californians believe that immigrants, including illegal ones, “benefit” California while only 36 percent state that immigrants, including illegals, “burden” California. The same polling concludes that a bipartisan 70-percent of Californians support a guest worker program for a fixed term that allows workers to come to the United States to legally work and return home and return for more work.

The polls are reflected at the ballot box. While Tancredo and Chase carry on that Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrist scored some sort of victory in defeat in the Orange County special congressional election in December by receiving 25% of votes cast, he not only lost big time, he hardly scored at all. 95% of the eligible –REGISTERED – voters of that district ignored or voted against Gilchrist and his race-based campaign against Mexicans in the country illegally who, in fact, put the very food on the table Gilchrist, Chase, Tancredo and their fellow fanatics eat.

Reason trumps hate and political narcissism. If only Tancredo, Dobbs, Huntington and Michael Chase could accept that fact.

© 2006

Raoul Lowery Contreras