Immigration Hysteria Reaching Fever Pitch

Any time an issue in which emotions run high hits the news, there are always those who use it for publicity or other personal purposes. With the passage of Arizona’s new immigration law there are people quite literally from all over the world weighing in – and the media is eating it up. Rarely do you hear reports about those who support the bill NOT being the racists and/or Nazis that the protesters paint them as. You don’t hear stories about the hardworking Americans who support the bill, good people who work hard, obey the law, and pay taxes that end up going to provide all kinds of services (legal, medical, educational and otherwise) to people who shouldn’t even be here. You don’t hear stories about the victims of illegal alien criminals who have to find a way to adjust to life after being assaulted, burglarized, molested, raped, robbed – or, worse, having to bury a loved one who was murdered. You don’t hear about the ones who got that knock at the door to find a police officer and crisis counselors there to tell them that their family member had been killed in a wreck and how they dealt with later finding that the drunk driver who stole that light from their lives had been arrested for DUI before and was in the country illegally.

Now, the incessant screeching from the pro-illegal open-borders crowd is reaching a crescendo into wailing and gnashing of teeth. On Thursday, May 6 – just last week – news hit that 50-year-old Gary Kelley got into a fight and shot his neighbor, 44-year-old Juan Varela. One witness, Varela’s brother, says he heard Kelley use a racial slur (he apparently called Varela a “wetback”). There are several rumors, but the scuttlebutt that seems to be consistent is that Kelley and Varela were once drinking buddies and got along but somewhere in the timeline a dispute rose between them and for a few years, there was a chilly silence. Their dispute was, for the most part, peaceful until last week. Kelley was drunk when the major confrontation began and at some point, Varela threw a swing or two. Then Kelley pulled his gun from his waistband and shot Varela.

Now, a week later, Varela’s family is claiming that SB 1070 – the new immigration bill – is to blame for Kelley’s dastardly crime.

It’s a hate crime, they say, because he used a racial slur. They’re blaming the bill for the climate that supposedly made Kelley feel it was acceptable to commit murder. They’ve also claimed that Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris came to visit them in an attempt to “intimidate” them into “not connecting this to racism.” This is a fabrication in whole on their part – Chief Harris has never spoken to the family. He certainly never visited them. If Chief Harris went to visit every murder victim’s family he’d never get the rest of his job duties done. They’re saying that the Phoenix Police Department is trying to sweep a hate crime under the rug. Considering the pace at which most murder investigations progress, one week is awfully damned fast for anyone to expect the police to make a decision of any kind, including whether it was a hate crime. There has to be pretty significant evidence beyond a single racial slur, one that can only be verified by one person, to come to that conclusion.

This is well beyond getting out of hand. City councils in both Los Angeles and Austin have voted to boycott Arizona along with San Francisco. They fail to see that they’re only exasperating the issue. The very people they’re trying to help will be the ones most severely impacted by their decisions, not us. Boycotting South Africa was one thing. Boycotting Denver didn’t work because it didn’t have any teeth. Now they’re not just running against Arizona, they’re running against a reported 60-70% of Americans who support the bill.

This isn’t about religion. It isn’t about racism. It’s not about who was here first. It’s about who is here NOW and the rule of law in America. Instead of the emotional, knee-jerk “you’re breaking up families you racist pigs” reaction that we’re accustomed to, please, by all means, somebody give me a well-thought response that will make me think.

I sincerely doubt we’ll get one. People, when in mobs, lose all sense of reality. If a single person ensnared by the mob thinks, “woah, wait, someone is going to get hurt,” but the mob refuses to stop, do you think that single person is going to stop? No. They’ll do whatever they can to avoid being run over, which means they join the mob.

Gary Kelley was 200% wrong for what he did. While I’m sure he won’t even face such punishment, I think he should get the death penalty for knowingly taking the life of another person for purposes other than personal self-defense. Juan Varelas’ family deserves much more swift justice than they’ll ever get. My sympathy stopped when the family began to use the incident to feed the mob, however. You are all absolutely wrong for that.


4 thoughts on “Immigration Hysteria Reaching Fever Pitch

  1. I understand your frustration. It is hard to be thoughtful on a subject that was created with so little thought.

    As I have previously opined, SB1070 was nothing more than wedge politics that served only to drive up the poll numbers of the governor’s re-election campaign, and to pit one side against another.

    Very similar to how they pit gays vs. straights. It wins some campaigns but in the end only the campaign consultants and fundraisers benefit. Won battles and lost wars. They take the extremes, ie, “gays are all pedophiles” and “if we allow gays to marry, next they will want to marry children.”

    Arizona didn’t need to pass this law. Maricopa County, AZ sheriff Joe Arpaio has already been checking immigration status when encountering criminals. But he wasn’t doing it to grandstand like AZ Governor Jan Brewer, in a tight race for re-election. That’s why this happened… to give her a boost in the polls. So my main objection is that the new law was not necessary; doesn’t make Arizona citizens any safer; and adds nothing to their cops ability to check immigration status when they felt necessary. It was just raw, ugly politics that has created a raw, ugly national political atmosphere.

    We have serious problems with this issue, but now that the hotheads on both sides are in charge, nothing good will come of it. But then again, the original intention was not “good.” They were playing politics, so they reap the wind. Check that… we reap the wind.

    None of the candidates who ran on this issue in the past ultimately succeeded. This is a volatile issue during an off-year election. Once the 2012 campaign starts and the national Liberal/Democrat organizations throw their millions into the fight, this will fade in the face of something more important… or something they make us think is more important.

    Just ask President Tancredo.

  2. I disagree.

    Arpaio was never able to ask about a person’s immigration status unless they were actually under arrest. MCSO’s jurisdiction is also very different than city and state law enforcement agencies. Maricopa County is just one small part of the state.

    You also have it backwards; Arpaio does nothing BUT grandstand. The man spends absolutely no time out on the streets with his deputies unless it’s at a crime suppression sweep and he wants the be seen by the press. On the other hand, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeau does go out and engage in law enforcement duties (I have to respect that even if he is backing John McCain in the primary and plays political games).

    Brewer isn’t grandstanding here. The law was needed, in fact, because the rates of drophouses being busted and kidnappings occurring were becoming outrageous.

    Case in point: Salvador Vivas-Diaz was an illegal immigrant. He left a party so drunk he couldn’t walk properly but he still drove. While turning left at a light, Vivas-Diaz did so directly in front of Phoenix officer Shane Figueroa, who was running full-code (lights and sirens) to a call of shots fired. Figueroa died at the scene. Vivas-Diaz got out of his vehicle and urinated in the middle of the street. When officers arrived, he handed over not one but TWO Mexican Matricular cards, both of them with different ID’s, both of them very badly forged.

    It took police nearly a full day to figure out who he really was. Once they did, they discovered that he’d been arrested twice before for extreme DUI, both times had given fake ID’s in the form of Matricular cards and had warrants out for his arrest on both because nobody could track him down after he got out of jail and disappeared.

    If a police officer had been allowed to ask about his immigration status the first time he was arrested and showed a Matricular card, Figueroa would still be alive and his family would be blissfully unaware of what should never have happened.

    Nick Erfle and Marc Atkinson should also still be with us, but both were cut short by illegal alien criminals who had been arrested and deported and gave fake ID’s that were easy to spot. Prior to their deaths, nobody was allowed to ask these thugs what their immigrant status was.

    Another Phoenix officer, whose name I won’t give right now, thankfully missed being killed by an illegal by two inches – that’s how close a bullet came to missing his vest plate and entering his thoracic cavity. It happened just over a year ago not far from my dad’s house. The officer pulled a Chevy S10 over and before even reaching the driver’s window the driver started shooting and took off.

    It turned out the driver was an illegal who had been in contact with law enforcement before; he’d been ordered to self-deport. He refused, and when he was pulled over he was willing to kill to avoid forcible deportation (which would never have happened over a simple speeding ticket).

    Yes, we need this law.

  3. I understand your feelings, and abhor the specific incidents you cite.

    However, trying to develop a national policy by relying on specific incidents and relating one’s opinion of political candidate’s motivations will fail.

    Having lived through this kind of hysteria in California with Prop 187 all for naught, you will forgive me if I don’t jump on the bandwagon.

    I understand how people feel on the front-line, but that is not what thoughtful national policy is based upon.


    44% in California Favor Law Like Arizona’s, 48% Oppose
    Saturday, May 15, 2010

    Forty-four percent (44%) of Likely Voters in California favor a law like the one just adopted in Arizona that requires police to check the immigration status of those they stop if they suspect them of being illegal immigrants.
    But a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds that slightly more (48%) oppose such a law.

    Nationally, 59% support a law like Arizona’s.
    Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters in California are at least somewhat concerned that a law like this will violate the civil rights of some U.S. citizens. This includes 44% who are Very Concerned. Thirty-four percent (34%) are not very or not at all concerned about this.
    Critics of Arizona’s law, like the Los Angeles City Council which has voted to boycott the state, complain that it is racial profiling. Supporters in Arizona say the law is needed because the federal government is not enforcing immigration law.

    This statewide telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters in California was conducted on May 12, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/-4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
    Most California voters (54%) favor a welcoming immigration policy that excludes only national security threats, criminals and those who are coming to live off the welfare system. This compares to 58% nationally.

    Twenty-six percent (26%) in California disagree with a policy that has that goal, and 20% more are not sure.

    Fifty-one percent (51%) of male voters in California favor a law like Arizona’s, but 52% of female voters are opposed.

    Seventy-six percent (76%) of Republicans like the law that cracks down on illegal immigration. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Democrats and 55% of voters not affiliated with either party oppose it.

    Democrats and unaffiliateds are also much more concerned about possible civil rights violations against U.S. citizens.

    Republicans are more strongly in favor of an immigration policy with the goal of excluding only national security threats, criminals and those who come to live off welfare.


    It’s only CA… but the numbers will be observed as other non-border state politicians develop policies.

  4. “Having lived through this kind of hysteria in California with Prop 187 all for naught, you will forgive me if I don’t jump on the bandwagon.”

    I’ve lived through it too. It allowed Pete Wilson to win a second term as Governor. But, even now this is this distrust of the Republican party by Latinos in CA.

    Ken has pointed out in other postings that Latinos as a cohort are the type of folks who should be Republicans. That is not going to happen in California. Unless you are a Hollywood movie star, then forget winning statewide office in CA if you are a Republican.

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