ABP's Spencer demands Pima Co. Adminstrator get rid of reconquista Garcia
News 13 KOLD-TV
Local Human Rights Group Calls for Federal Investigation of Border Deaths
"I wonder what America would be like had the Statue of Liberty greeted you with guns and rifles."
- Patricia Flores, Alianza Indigena sin Fronteras
By Carol Scimone
A local human rights group calls for a federal investigation into the murders of two illegal immigrants, and into the growing number of paramilitary groups, patrolling the border. The group, Derechos Humanos, says crossing into the United States, even illegally, should not be a death sentence for those looking for a better life. But the group says more and more illegal immigrants are dying because U.S. border policy is failing.
Members of Derechos Humanos also say paramilitary citizens groups are picking up where the government left off. They worry those groups will do what is necessary to keep the borders closed. Detectives investigating the double murders near Red Rock say anyone could have pulled the trigger; from vigilantes to rival smugglers. But it's touched off a firestorm of words, accusations and threats that go beyond the issue of what to do about illegal immigration.
"We stand here before you to condemn the dark forces of hate, discrimination, xenophobia and economic injustice." Patricia Flores from Alianza Indigena sin Fronteras was one of several speakers at a news conference in downtown Tucson today. The groups called on government officials, from the local level to the federal level, to do something about the increasing number of deaths at the border. They also want the government to investigate the growing number of paramilitary citizens groups who advocate everything from property rights to closing the border. Isabel Garcia, co-chair of Derechos Humanos, says current border policies are not working. "These racist and vigilante groups have repeatedly gone out of their way to twist facts and distort the political realities to promote their racist and hate agenda."
It's the one area on which both sides agree. The government isn't doing its job, so citizens groups have to step in. Groups like American Patrol, a group opposed to illegal immigration but not affiliated with the U.S. Border Patrol. American Patrol founder Glenn Spencer now lives in Sierra Vista. He says his group of volunteers document illegal entrants, damage to property and any reports of injury or death. Spencer also faults the government, but he faults the government of Mexico, not the United States. "Anytime you encourage these people to come across the border, as Mexico does and it's documented, you're inviting them to go to their deaths." Today, Spencer delivered a letter to Pima County Administrator, Chuck Huckleberry, demanding Huckleberry fire Isabel Garcia. Garcia is an attorney with the County Legal Defense Office. Spencer says he does not agree with Garcia's open border policy. "She is advocating an open border, that anyone who wants to can get free education, free this, free that, go on welfare, and they do, and I say no. I've seen what happened to California. California is a wreck, it's a mess, it's a disaster."
But more than that, Spencer believes Garcia is breaking the law. "I believe, and I think I have proven in a documentary that I have done, that Mexico is, in fact, sponsoring the invasion of the United States with hostile intent and I believe Isabel Garcia is an agent of the Country of Mexico." He says he believes the Mexican government wants four things from the United States; California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Mexico lost those four states to the U.S. in 1848. Spencer says Mexico's plan is to invade the U.S. with so many illegal immigrants, they'll eventually gain amnesty and the ability to vote. Once that happens, he expects the four states to succeed from the Union and form "Republico del Norte." Eventually, he believes, the four states will become a part of Mexico.
Garcia says the accusations against her are not only ridiculous, but dangerous. She says she's already received hate mail from people calling her a traitor. "Very irresponsible words because if you label me an enemy of the state then I am, to some crazy people, a target. It's pretty frightening."
Spencer says American Patrol is not a vigilante group. But he says his volunteers will work to protect the United States by fighting illegal immigration. He calls it's a serious threat. "There are forces out there who will not let anything stand in their way of the merging of the U.S. and Mexico and the destruction of the border. Powerful forces."