Donald Trump Visits Laredo, Texas

 

Earlier today, Donald Trump visited my birthplace of Laredo, Texas, a city which was founded by my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather Tomás Sánchez de la Barrera y Garza in 1755.   Here is a video of Trump’s press conference in Laredo:

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend any of his events in Laredo because I’m on vacation at North Padre Island, Texas; and I haven’t lived in Laredo since 1993, though my mother and father lived there until their retirement in 2007.

During that fourteen-year period from 1993 to 2007, as I frequently returned to Laredo to visit my parents, I saw the relative peace and stability of that community evaporate, a turn-of-events underlined markedly by a shootout in my parents’ upper middle-class neighborhood on Laredo’s northside on the evening of Thanksgiving Day 2005.

The deteriorating situation on the border has been complemented by a breathtaking callousness on the part of public officials charged with addressing the problem, a topic I wrote about nearly five years ago right here on Ricochet:

The Ruling Class (to borrow Angelo M. Codevilla’s term) and their hangers-on care nothing about the fate of Americans living along the border. Regrettably, that callous attitude even includes some elected representatives from border states so affected -– not just Democrats, but Republicans as well. I’ve seen it first-hand.

I’ve long hesitated to share this story for obvious reasons, but now -– sixteen years after the fact –- I think it bears repeating. Back during the summer of 1994, after I had completed my freshman year of undergraduate studies, I interned in Washington, D.C. at the office of a former Congressman from Texas, a Republican, who shall remain nameless. One day, as I was answering phone calls from constituents, I received a call from a border-area rancher who was distraught about the worsening problem of illegal aliens and drug-runners trespassing upon his land. Per office protocol, I tried to forward the call to the legislative assistant who handled such issues. But instead of taking the call, the legislative assistant in question told me to take a message, because he was otherwise occupied washing his coffee cup. I then had to tell the rancher that the appropriate legislative assistant couldn’t help him because he was “otherwise occupied” but could leave a message. Bitterly and dejectedly, the rancher left his contact information and the call was ended. I felt (and still feel) horrible for having had to handle the rancher’s call that way, and it was an eye-opening moment revealing just how those on Capitol Hill really think of those whom they purport to represent.  I have no idea what became of the rancher, but I have little doubt that the staffer who rejected the call later went on to have a lucrative career as a lobbyist, which is what eventually happens with many members in Congress’s employ.

People like that rancher have suffered the worst from the federal government’s conscious decision to abrogate its constitutional mandate to secure the border. And it is because of others who have likewise suffered from the federal government’s negligence that Trump has risen so far in the polls.  Trump may or may not be a serious candidate, but border security and immigration control are very serious issues, and the Republican establishment ignores them at their peril.

Nota Bene: also check out Claire Berlinki’s excellent post on the U.S.-Mexico border from earlier this week.

There are 32 comments.

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  1. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Do you know fellow member Dorothea? :)

    • #1
  2. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    EThompson:Do you know fellow member Dorothea? :)

    I don’t know Dorothea, but I do enjoy reading her comments!

    • #2
  3. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Such “illegal immigration” on any other border in the world would be taken as an act of war.

    Hell, u.n. “peace keepers” would be more effective than Our federal government.

    • #3
  4. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Jimmy Carter:Such “illegal immigration” on any other border in the world would be taken as an act of war.

    Hell, u.n. “peace keepers” would be more effective than Our federal government.

    Even the French Army would be more effective.  At least they’d actually show up to surrender!

    • #4
  5. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Agree with all points made here but I am thoroughly annoyed with all the ‘experts’ calling for new walls to be built at taxpayers expense. Am curious Mike if you think cutting off jobs, perks, benefits and enabling the INS to do its job are the practical solutions.

    Loaded question. :)

    • #5
  6. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    EThompson:Agree with all points made here but I am thoroughly annoyed with all the ‘experts’ calling for new walls to be built at taxpayers expense. Am curious Mike if you think cutting off jobs, perks, benefits and enabling the INS to do its job are the practical solutions.

    Loaded question. :)

    I say yes to all of that!  Build the walls and cut off jobs, perks, and benefits while enabling the INS to do its job.  And reduce legal immigration as well.  Barbara Jordan’s proposed reforms would be a good starting point.

    • #6
  7. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Mike LaRoche:

    EThompson:Agree with all points made here but I am thoroughly annoyed with all the ‘experts’ calling for new walls to be built at taxpayers expense. Am curious Mike if you think cutting off jobs, perks, benefits and enabling the INS to do its job are the practical solutions.

    Loaded question. :)

    I say yes to all of that! Build the walls and cut off jobs, perks, and benefits while enabling the INS to do its job. And reduce legal immigration as well. Barbara Jordan’s proposed reforms would be a good starting point.

    Barbara Jordan?!!  I’ve just read this and I think I need some smelling salts. :)

    • #7
  8. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    EThompson:

    Mike LaRoche:

    EThompson:Agree with all points made here but I am thoroughly annoyed with all the ‘experts’ calling for new walls to be built at taxpayers expense. Am curious Mike if you think cutting off jobs, perks, benefits and enabling the INS to do its job are the practical solutions.

    Loaded question. :)

    I say yes to all of that! Build the walls and cut off jobs, perks, and benefits while enabling the INS to do its job. And reduce legal immigration as well. Barbara Jordan’s proposed reforms would be a good starting point.

    Barbara Jordan?!! I’ve just read this and I think I need some smelling salts. :)

    How about a Mai Tai instead? ;-)

    • #8
  9. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    EThompson: Barbara Jordan?!! I’ve just read this and I think I need some smelling salts. :)

    I’ll join you with the smelling salts!

    • #9
  10. Julia PA Inactive
    Julia PA
    @JulesPA

    Fine, I’ll take the Mai Tai.

    ;)

    • #10
  11. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Jules PA:Fine, I’ll take the Mai Tai.

    ;)

    You, of course, would.

    :)

    • #11
  12. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    EThompson:

    Jules PA:Fine, I’ll take the Mai Tai.

    ;)

    You, of course, would.

    :)

    I would also, but it would knock me on my tail feathers, and wouldn’t be able to fly for several days.

    • #12
  13. tbeck Inactive
    tbeck
    @Dorothea

    Mike LaRoche:

    EThompson:Do you know fellow member Dorothea? :)

    I don’t know Dorothea, but I do enjoy reading her comments!

    Wow. Thanks! I enjoy your comments, as well, and your healthy appreciation for the many fine cheerleaders of our great country.

    I would love to hear your perspective on that Laredo tradition, the Martha Washington ball some time. I have visited the border, including Hidalgo County and Falcon Lake. It was eye opening watching the “spotters” in Mexico watching us, watching them across the lake.

    • #13
  14. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Dorothea:

    Mike LaRoche:

    EThompson:Do you know fellow member Dorothea? :)

    I don’t know Dorothea, but I do enjoy reading her comments!

    Wow. Thanks! I enjoy your comments, as well, and your healthy appreciation for the many fine cheerleaders of our great country.

    I would love to hear your perspective on that Laredo tradition, the Martha Washington ball some time. I have visited the border, including Hidalgo County and Falcon Lake. It was eye opening watching the “spotters” in Mexico watching us, watching them across the lake.

    The Martha Washington ball and the larger George Washington’s birthday celebration that it is a part of are quite unique.  This write-up at the website of the Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association gives a brief history of how it all got started.

    When I was younger and living in Laredo, I thought the whole thing to be faintly ridiculous.  But as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to appreciate such traditions.  They define who we are.  And that is why recent moves to purge America of “politically incorrect” symbols and monuments offend me so.  Those who do so are the moral equivalent of Chekists, Maoists, and Islamists: ignorant barbarians all.

    • #14
  15. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I’ve never understood why the border states don’t join forces and sue the federal government for damages incurred to the border states’ as a result of the federal government’s not enforcing its own laws.

    There is ample precedent.

    The Conservation Law Foundation sued the feds, specifically the EPA, for not enforcing the federal sewage discharge laws in Boston, which resulted in the Boston Harbor clean-up (which was a disaster for Cape Cod, which is why I am so familiar with the lawsuit).

    Years later the New England states’ governors sued the EPA for not enforcing the air pollution laws, thereby causing air pollution problems in New England. Again, the lawsuit was successful.

    • #15
  16. BuckeyeSam Inactive
    BuckeyeSam
    @BuckeyeSam

    MarciN:

    There are counties in Flyover Country that might be inclined to join the suit you propose. Two summers ago, I attended a presentation by the top sheriff in the most populated county in Boehner’s Ohio district (Butler). He said that his jails are full of illegal immigrants and that they are costing his county untold millions in social welfare benefits. Too many in this country outside of the border areas and sanctuary cities are looking around and feeling powerless about how they’re being overrun.

    Personally, I’m sick of GOP elites sneering at middle-class concerns over illegal-immigrant parasites. Those parasites evidently haven’t begun to affect their quality of life–yet. I’m astounded at the shoulder-shrugging attitude toward the rule of law taken by all, or virtually all, of the leaders of this website.

    • #16
  17. Butters Inactive
    Butters
    @CommodoreBTC

    where can I buy that awesome hat

    • #17
  18. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Every positive comment on this thread means another Republican consulting kitten dies and. Clinton dragon fly gets wings.

    • #18
  19. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    He’s clearly hiding something under that hat and Americans deserve to know what it is.

    • #19
  20. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    You all know he doesn’t believe anything he is saying, right?  You are aware that he was in favor of Obama’s comprehensive immigration reform, right?

    • #20
  21. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @FrontSeatCat

    Mike,

    thank you for this post and your perspective. Wow! I had to count all the greats in your grandfather’s name 6! That is a “great” heritage.  This is something that many people in this country do not realize – that the Latino community needs help – they suffer too, the ones on the right side of the law. Trump has bought this topic to the forefront.

    Your history with your internship that you wrote about left a mark on you and probably not much has changed. There is definitely a prejudice with some in American culture toward Latinos and they have it backwards. The words “legal” immigration seems to be getting erased. The cities and towns dealing with so many illegals, the crime, the benefits, it has become overwhelming. Not to mention the really bad eggs crossing over from the Middle East.   Now someone (Trump) is finally out there talking to people who actually live on these borders and experience it firsthand. Where are the other candidates?  In your opinion, what role would Trump play in the next administration – I lean toward Claire’s view that we need a more diplomatic voice for the presidency, but he can clearly do good things.

    What did you think of Ted Cruz addressing this issue?

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/07/22/ice_director_tells_ted_cruz_he_is_absolutely_right_about_obama_admin_releasing.html

    • #21
  22. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    I know my dog crates need to have enough room for them to stand. Does the same standard apply with his hat?

    • #22
  23. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    BuckeyeSam:MarciN:

    There are counties in Flyover Country that might be inclined to join the suit you propose. Two summers ago, I attended a presentation by the top sheriff in the most populated county in Boehner’s Ohio district (Butler). He said that his jails are full of illegal immigrants and that they are costing his county untold millions in social welfare benefits. Too many in this country outside of the border areas and sanctuary cities are looking around and feeling powerless about how they’re being overrun.

    Personally, I’m sick of GOP elites sneering at middle-class concerns over illegal-immigrant parasites. Those parasites evidently haven’t begun to affect their quality of life–yet. I’m astounded at the shoulder-shrugging attitude toward the rule of law taken by all, or virtually all, of the leaders of this website.

    I read a story years ago about how the feds are making money on social security funds taken out of many of the illegals’ checkbooks–some even, and they know this, on stolen social security identities.

    I realized that illegal immigration is good for the feds and bad for the states and cities and towns.

    No surprise the feds, including the Republicans, look at us weirdly when we protest. Because what comes out of our paychecks goes into their pockets.

    As my dad used to say, follow the money. :)

    • #23
  24. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Attention Mona Charen: Trump insulted Hillary in this video.

    • #24
  25. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Front Seat Cat: What did you think of Ted Cruz addressing this issue? http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/07/22/ice_director_tells_ted_cruz_he_is_absolutely_right_about_obama_admin_releasing.html

    He is just pointing out what we all know, the illegality of our current administration. I hope that some how, some where that Barry Soetoro will spend the remainder of his life behind bars.

    • #25
  26. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Front Seat Cat:Mike,

    thank you for this post and your perspective. Wow! I had to count all the greats in your grandfather’s name 6! That is a “great” heritage. This is something that many people in this country do not realize – that the Latino community needs help – they suffer too, the ones on the right side of the law. Trump has bought this topic to the forefront.

    Your history with your internship that you wrote about left a mark on you and probably not much has changed. There is definitely a prejudice with some in American culture toward Latinos and they have it backwards. The words “legal” immigration seems to be getting erased. The cities and towns dealing with so many illegals, the crime, the benefits, it has become overwhelming. Not to mention the really bad eggs crossing over from the Middle East. Now someone (Trump) is finally out there talking to people who actually live on these borders and experience it firsthand. Where are the other candidates? In your opinion, what role would Trump play in the next administration – I lean toward Claire’s view that we need a more diplomatic voice for the presidency, but he can clearly do good things.

    What did you think of Ted Cruz addressing this issue?

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/07/22/ice_director_tells_ted_cruz_he_is_absolutely_right_about_obama_admin_releasing.html

    I think Cruz is spot-on.  The Obama administrations and previous administrations have deliberate;y chosen not to enforce the law, and real people are suffering because of that.  It is a scandal and a disgrace.

    As for Trump, I think he can be a powerful and helpful advocate for border and immigration enforcement, and I hope he continues to be one even if he does not succeed in his bid to secure the Republican presidential nomination.

    • #26
  27. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Hey Mike . . .

    My wife and mother usually go to the local Republican events to see the candidates as they breeze though South Carolina on their way to . . . wherever.  Well, they went to see Jeb! this week.

    Here’s my mother next to Jeb! (on his right):

    Babushka and Jeb!

    • #27
  28. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Stad:Hey Mike . . .

    My wife and mother usually go to the local Republican events to see the candidates as they breeze though South Carolina on their way to . . . wherever. Well, they went to see Jeb! this week.

    Here’s my mother next to Jeb! (on his right):

    Babushka and Jeb!

    I miss going to those sort of events. I used to do so during the early ’90s, but that was back when the Texas primary actually meant something.  These days it always gets delayed because sore loser Democrats here keep filing lawsuits about how congressional districts are drawn, or voter ID laws, or for whatever reason they can think of at the moment.

    • #28
  29. Julia PA Inactive
    Julia PA
    @JulesPA

    Mike LaRoche: lawsuits about how congressional districts are drawn, or voter ID laws, or for whatever reason they can think of at the moment.

    ^This information is why we need a Ricochet hate button.

    • #29
  30. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Jules PA:

    Mike LaRoche: lawsuits about how congressional districts are drawn, or voter ID laws, or for whatever reason they can think of at the moment.

    ^This information is why we need a Ricochet hate button.

    Indeed.  And it is also a reminder of what a corrupt, disreputable confederacy of dunces the Democratic Party has become.

    • #30
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