The brutal murder in Mexico of 23-year-old U.S. Border Patrol agent Jorge Luis Salomon - killed apparently because of his employment - is a tragedy. It is also a chilling example in microcosm of how the United States and many of its people refuse to recognize the threat that Mexico poses - even in the face of overwhelming evidence.
Agent Salomon was stationed in Naco, Arizona. Naco has a special meaning for me. That is where I was on 9/11.
On September 10 and 11, 2001 NumbersUSA.com Executive Director Roy Beck, retired Border Patrol Agent Dave Stoddard and I toured the Arizona/Mexico border.
We drove along the porous border at Naco well into the early morning hours of 9/11. Then, after only a few hours sleep, I was awakened by a phone call. "Turn on the television," the caller said.
After a few shell-shocked hours passed, Beck and I headed back to the border. We talked to Border Patrol and U.S. Customs officers—Hernandez, Lopez, Rodriguez, Garcia, and Gomez. All were Mexican Americans yearning to do the job they had been hired to do—protect America. But they are thwarted by written and unwritten edicts from Washington that keep them in check.
These are dedicated men who want to make America safe. But each one expressed disgust at the restrictions imposed upon them.
Several weeks later, I received a copy of a letter sent by a Border Patrol Agent, who I will call "Agent Smith," to then INS Commissioner, James Ziglar.
You will be moved by Agent Smith's plea for sanity on the border in light of Agent Salomon's murder. But keep in mind, also, the relentless push by Mexico, with the able assistance of our federal and state leaders, to tear down the United States.
I have left his text intact. The INS, Ziglar and some of the others mentioned are gone. The names are different but the failure of Washington DC is as great today as it was eighteen months ago.
Imagine that the letter is addressed to George W. Bush.
"This isn't a garden party down here on the frontier. Contrary to our government's insistence, the U.S./Mexican border is a hostile environment rife with corruption, violence, anger, poverty, aggression and danger. Despite our government's kowtowing to Jorge Castaneda, LULAC, La Raza, Vicente Fox and despite all the talk about 'cooperation' and 'harmony' with Mexico, I've got news for everyone who doesn't live and work here on the border like I do 24/7/365. This isn't a friendly place; Mexico is not our 'friend.' Mexicans don't like gringos and they don't like the U.S.; they just use us as their safety valve for their own totally screwed up country.
You help prop up the corrupt Mexican government by allowing it to dictate American policy. You should tell Fox that there is an easy, safe, risk-free way to travel from Mexico to the United States: it's called a port-of-entry.
"Your agenda-driven management revolves around political correctness, appeasing lobbyists and Hispanic rights groups, even straight-up appeasement of the Mexican government who get more public support from INS management than Patrol Agents. The agency is supposed to be at the beck and call of U.S. citizens not advocates for illegal aliens and foreign governments.
"Illegal aliens, criminals, smugglers and terrorists get the benefit of the doubt, misplaced sympathy from management and are coddled by policies that are guaranteed to undermine the country by increasing the flow of illegal aliens and criminals into the country."
"More and more illegal aliens and criminals challenge our authority on the river, at night, in a group, in dangerous situations that often require physical force to maintain LIFE. Your response is to promise that every illegal alien who makes any allegations whatsoever about mistreatment will get investigators hounding PA's for months at a time."
"We're not trying to maintain non-existent harmony down here; we're trying to enforce the law. The Border Patrol always works around the clock, all day and all night, all year, on holidays, weekends, midnights, around the clock. We are NEVER off-duty. We always sacrifice family time and everything else considered 'normal': World Series games, the Super Bowl, civic meetings, church attendance, political participation, Little League games with our children, school activities and all social interaction with neighbors and friends. If America is as 'pro-family' as our leaders say it is, how come our permanent sacrifice of vital family time isn't recognized via better pay and benefits, let alone recognized by management?"
"We've been catching middle-easterners and Muslims down here with regularity since I got here. To protect America you've got to tell Mexico that the party is over: no more open borders for illegals from Mexico or anywhere else. It's either security for U.S. citizens or millions more illegal aliens, criminals and terrorists crossing into the U.S. You can't have it both ways. The choice is stark, yet simple. It's time to either stand up for AMERICA or surrender to forces that will eventually destroy this country. I value America and its citizens. What do you value? "
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.