Immigration Monday: I Told You So Edition
WWJD? Who Would Jesus Deport?

I told you I'd be back occasionally with some kind of Immigration Monday/Monthly entries. Mostly, I have been watching from my highly armed and fortified bunker. Fielding assaults from the angry freaks.

It has been a great relief to me to note that all the major immigration trends over the last six months--things you see in the papers (again, look at page 6 for the real, hidden immigration news)--things like remittance money shutting down, things like drug violence escalating, things like immigration vanishing from the presidential debate, things like anti-immigrant candidates disappearing from the ticket, things like the number of border crossers dropping precipitously while the death rate remains too high, things like the phenom of "auto-deportation" as people start to go home, things like the Homeland Security domination of the border leading to many new USBP agents and passports at border crossings, things like crop harvesting and domestic and food prep problems as workers fail to appear, things like local and state anti-illegal-immigrant laws growing more harsh, things like towns and states that chase the undocumented out facing financial woes immediately thereafter--all were predicted right here on our li'l ol' blog.

I don't know much. I'm not a trained expert. But I meet hundreds and hundreds of people. Many of them are experts. More expert than I am. And I try to listen.

Have I been 100% right? Probably not. But they have.

You probably saw the awesomely hideous story this week in the papers about the young (Latina) woman who gave emergency birth to her baby and then "jogged" to the hospital with the umbilical still attached to her nether parts. I was thinking, because I am apparently a red-diaper-doper-hate-America-commie-baby, "Wow, that is one strong woman. That is something a pioneer woman would do." Until we looked at the comments people posted on the on the AOL news site responding to her. Readers of this blog will recognize the tone right away. It's always easy when you're anonymous or writing under a pseudonym (you know, Odin's Wrath, or Thors-hammer). But the comments had such eternal gems as "wetback welfare" or "another Mexican roach falls out of the oven." Hey, I think I met that guy recently.

God loves us all, even that baby. But Thor and Odin don't. I'm adding a horned hemlet to my bunker arsenal.


So, dig it, baby:

today's Chicago Tribune, that bastion of weak-sister liberalism, had a front-page story about immigration. Excuse me while I polish my nails on my shirt. Nobody likes a wise-ass, as anonymous emailers tell me when I write an op-ed they hate. So forgive me a small burst of pride when I see this story and see that I was wrong, after all: oh, the trends I told you were coming were correct, but the numbers were far greater than I had even hoped.

Headline: BORDER RUNNERS TURN TO PACIFIC: As Wall Rises on Land, Illicit Traffic Hits the Sea.

Oddly, people are boating around San Diego and landing on the beaches of Del Mar. Shades of Haiti and Cuba. As you all know, I don't put faith in the boondoggle that is the border fence. I attribute what I'm going to say to many factors that are on display on the old I.M. blogs.

I had noted that USBP guys were telling me the numbers crossing the AZ border were down 16%.

Here are the figures from the Trib.

San Diego: up 7.3%.
El Centro: down 9.1%.
Yuma: down 68%.
Tucson: down 3.5%.
El Paso: down 38.3%.
Marfa: down 26.4%.
Del Rio: down 46.2%.
Laredo: down 24.2%.
Rio Grande Valley: down 33.6%.

(Chicago Tribune, May 5, 2008. By-line: Micahel Martinez. Pages 1-21.)

I said it on tour, and I'll say it here: the paradigm is shifting. Watch it change. Watch politicians try to take credit for it. Watch Mexican pols strike heinous poses around it.


Finally, I want to again recommend the new McSweeney's immigration book, Underground America. My amigo Peter Orner edited it. Dave Eggers and his band of maniacs made a beautiful book out of it. And, yes, yours truly wrote the intro. But that is the least part of the book, which is fascinating and eye-opening and, I think, without precedent in the popular publishing world.

Remember: for on-going immigration amazement, go to Bender's Immigration Bulletin.

Re-Define the line. Think for yourself. Get informed, whether you're "for" or "against" the orphan, widow, halt, lame, hungry, refugee.

Me? I'm out of here. Back to poetry.

Luis "Flaming Sword of Wotan the Wroth" Urrea, Visigoth

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