The following column was published on May 17, 2017.
In 2012, Rafael Posadas-Lara and Jose Lorenzo Cardona-Paguada were found guilty of transporting fellow illegal alien, Maribel Huerta-Mendez, from one Vermont dairy farm to the next for prostitution. Federal authorities had arrested Posadas-Lara’s mentor, Jose Tomas Flores-Rocha (also an illegal alien), for running a similar ring catering to illegal farmhands the previous year. Regrettably, prosecutors couldn’t prove that the women were sex trafficking victims and therefore, these men were charged with interstate prostitution alone (Newsweek; Feb. 2015).
Along with human trafficking and drug smuggling, the gangs that control the Mexican border prey on would-be illegal aliens as a source of income. In 2010, 72 bound and blindfolded bodies lay cold on a blistering Mexican ranch near the border. These Central and South American migrants made the fatal mistake of refusing to work for the Zetas drug cartel once illegally in the US (WSJ; Aug. 2010).
Though the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has acknowledged such tragedies as a “humanitarian crisis,” it advocates for counterproductive measures, including decreased enforcement of border control and US immigration laws (Heritage Foundation; June 2011).
On May Day, Migrant Justice (a Vermont-based, pro-illegal immigration group) organized the “Milk with Dignity” rally, where hundreds of hard-left fanatics took to the streets chanting slogans such as “No Walls” and “No Borders.” By campaigning for a pipeline of illegal labor from Latin America, these far-left organizations endorse an international nexus of sexual violence, drug trade, and lethal crime directed by the Mexican mafia.
When I questioned Vermont ACLU staff lawyer Jay Diaz about the serious human rights violations related to illegal immigration, he took issue with my use of the term “cartels.” Indeed, activists commonly employ political correctness to shame opposing voices into silence, and thus defying the left inevitably incurs public humiliation and harassment. As a result, a climate of apprehension has gripped local and federal law enforcement.
For example, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and ICE declined to participate in this conversation. ICE regional spokesman Shawn Neudauer articulated the concerns in an email: “The opposition/ anti-enforcement demands are so catastrophically unreasonable that there’s simply no chance of having a reasonable, intellectual discourse at this point. And I don’t want to give activists another person to target.”
Similarly, Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Commissioner Robert Ide refused an interview request, stating that he would prefer the story to remain “as low key as possible,” and to “let the ACLU go on with their work.” In April, Ide testified at an Inquisition-style hearing in Montpelier to explain why the DMV had “colluded” with ICE by providing information about illegal aliens (VTDigger; April 12).
Hard-left activists, emboldened by the “America last” policies of the Scott Administration (i.e. S.79 legislation, so-called fair and impartial policing policies, and sanctuary jurisdiction guidance), are thwarting law enforcement departments from communicating with one another, with the press, and with the public. The consequent chilling effect cannot possibly strengthen public safety in Vermont.
However, Diaz (who has described state co-operation with federal immigration enforcement as a “travesty of justice”) considers it as a win. He argued that groups like the ACLU enjoy significant public support and thus should exercise influence.
This widespread public approval is of course, cemented by the left-dominated media that churns out accounts of illegal farmhands replete with factual inaccuracies and unfavorable American stereotypes (e.g. “abusive bosses” and “nervous saleswomen”). Like all successful propaganda, these stories dichotomize human nature, ascribing innocence to the illegal worker and guile to the American farmer.
For instance, a recent local article about illegal farmhand, Miguel, refused to mention his wife’s chronic heroin addiction by name, and absolved him of responsibility for breaking US immigration laws. The journalist stated, “In America, he had a job, and a daughter, and a woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. In Mexico, the job opportunities were nonexistent. It was a fairly easy decision” (ValleyNews: “Making it Here;” April 23). He also attempted to portray Miguel as a hero by claiming that he had saved a cow that had been unable to rise for twenty-three days – an improbable outcome given the poor prognosis of the ailment (“Down Cows;” Feb. 2008).
Ultimately, the left’s monopoly of our political and cultural discourse has fostered a dystopia, where law enforcement officers are silenced and threatened with disciplinary action for enforcing the law.
In George Orwell’s famous allegorical tale (1945), the pigs declare that while all animals are equal, some animals are more equal than others. No wonder the same dictum applies to the American animal farm, where too the swine are in charge.
Meg Hansen is a syndicated columnist from Windsor, Vermont. All views expressed are those of the author alone.