LDS immigration attorney wins Republican nomination for Congress in Idaho

So many stereotypes broken, so little time. Raul Labrador, an LDS immigration attorney born in Puerto Rico, is the Republican candidate for the 1st congressional district in Idaho. Raised in a single-parent home, he is a strong fiscal conservative who favors immigration reform.

Let us count the stereotypes that have been beaten down in this case.

–LDS candidates in the West are getting crazier and crazier. You read this just about everywhere in the Bloggernacle, but here is a good example of this jaded thinking. It is worth pointing out that a pretty loopy LDS candidate in Idaho, Rex Rammell, lost in his primary. So, maybe we can just say that LDS candidates are like politicians from other religions, meaning we have good ones and bad ones.

–Tea party conservatives are anti-immigration and racist. No, actually, they are not. The primary cause of tea party conservatives is fiscal restraint. It is true that there is some link between the tea party and anti-immigrant fever (which I oppose), but for that matter there was also a link between anti-Iraq demonstrators and the Communist party. The primary cause of the many anti-Iraq demonstrations during the Bush years was opposition to the war in Iraq. The primary cause of the tea party is opposition to government spending. And about that racist thing? Well, voters in conservative Idaho chose an immigration lawyer born in Puerto Rico as their candidate, and the tea party supports a whole slew of black and Hispanic candidates nationwide. Sorry, this stereotype is simply wrong.

–A Republican favoring a sensible immigration policy can never get elected in the West. Wrong again. Labrador was painted as “pro-amnesty” by his well-funded Republican opponent, but Labrador’s policy is actually more nuanced and realistic than that, especially given that he is an immigration lawyer and understands our broken immigration system better than most. He favors border enforcement but also favors reform that allows for the legalization of immigrants in the U.S. You can read his position here.

A few last points: it is true that Labrador won the Republican nomination at least in part because his primary opponent, Vaughn Ward, turned out to have plagiarized some Obama speeches and thought Puerto Rico is a country (it is a Commonwealth). But Ward had a 6-to-1 spending advantage and was favored by all of the Republican party heavyweights. Labrador ran a great campaign.

If I lived in the 1st district of Idaho, I would vote for Labrador, but it is worth pointing out that his Democrat opponent, Walt Minnick, is one of the better Democrats out there and has been endorsed by some tea party groups. If the Democrats sent more candidates like Minnick and Jim Matheson (D-Utah) to Congress they would be much better off.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

49 thoughts on “LDS immigration attorney wins Republican nomination for Congress in Idaho

  1. I think it is hard to not stereotype as the media often focuses on the stereotypes. They focus on the “racist” type comments at tea party rallies or the “Obama is a Nazi” ones.

    However, before I blame the media too much, let’s remember they only propagate that which sells. In other words, our obsession with wanting to see the crazy stereotypical side of tea bagger rallies is what is fueling the problem. (Same goes for any other group easily stereotyped.)

  2. Joseph….please be aware that “tea bagger” is a disgusting sexual slang…please don’t use it, please.

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  4. If only the stereotypes were being broken in Utah. I’d still probably vote for the moderate Democrats that pop up in my area, but at least I’d feel like it as an actual decision instead of a simple choice. The company I work for is doing signs for a candidate who shall not be named, but is a Tea Party type candidate. While we were doing the prepress work (setting up the artwork) for the signs he told us the slogan for the bottom, then said “but that’s only because I’d get in trouble for my real slogan, Mexicans out of Utah, Africans out of the White House and liberals out of America”. The dude is a SP, and I have a feeling I wouldn’t be getting a temple recommend from him if he knew my political leanings.

    But I’m sure we can spend all day coming up with candidates that support or break the Tea Party stereotypes. The fact is, that stereotype didn’t just pop up out of thin air with absolutely no backing.

  5. #3–Wow. That “real slogan” is horrible.
    I can’t imagine any of my past or current bishops or stake presidents denying me a temple recommend due to political beliefs. Not even those in Utah or Idaho.

    It’s good to hear that there are Republicans out there who support real immigration reform. The true test, however, will come when those Republicans have a chance to vote on law proposed by Democrats. Will they vote on it because it’s better than what we have now, or will they vote against it because it’s seen as a Democrat proposal? I think this guy will get elected; I only hope he puts his principles over his party.

  6. JJ, the stereotype was at least partly driven by people wanting to demean and denigrate other people who disagree with them. One of my goals in life is to get people to look past the stereotypes and see actual human beings. I don’t like the stereotypes many conservatives use for liberals, and I especially don’t like the current trend of tarring anybody who has a problem with big government as a racist. Embracing stereotypes causes a “dumbing down” of politics and even religious life that causes distance and lack of empathy.

    I’ll give you one small example. When I lived in Miami I lived next to a liberal lawyer. I went bicycling with him once a week and we discussed politics. Before he knew I was a Mormon he went on a long harangue about how all Mormons and evangelicals were fascists, etc, etc. I then gently told him I was a Mormon, and he said, “wow, you’re not like that at all. You actually give careful thought to what you believe about politics.” I told him he would be surprised once he got to know many Mormons and evangelicals how many of them did not fit the stereotype.

    As a final point, I would like to agree with Tim that a true test of favoring comprehensive immigration reform would be how you actually vote on such a proposal. There is one out there now, sponsored by Dem. Sen. Chuck Shumer, that is pretty tough on immigrants and would actually help resolve the immigration problem, but Republicans are running away from the legislation because of the current political climate. That’s really too bad because we’re going to be sitting here next year and the year after and the year after saying “why haven’t they secured the border?” because of course, as border police have learned over time, it is literally impossible to close a secure a border the size of the U.S.

  7. Labrador’s statement starts out with praise and sympathy for Arizona with not a word against its law other than concern that that alone won’t work without supporting action by the federal government.

    “The Arizona state legislature took decisive action to protect its state and people from an onslaught of violence. Also, its social service agencies are being overwhelmed by the presence of close to 500,000 illegal immigrants.” “The anger and criticism against the state is misplaced.”

  8. John M, Labrador brings a lot to the table for all kinds of positions on immigration. Note the following:



    This is what the Schumer legislation calls for.


    I’d like to see his proposal for how that would work…
    I support a step-by-step process from illegal to full citizen (with time and perhaps fines), but I’m not sure what the sense is in making them go back to their native country (where they may not have a home and probably don’t have work) before “consideration” of returning legally. If I were illegal, and that’s what was offered, there’s no way I’d step forward. Way too chancy.

  10. Geoff, that part is from Labrador’s third point, the part that he wants to enact “once the chaos at the border has subsided.” Before that, in his second point he says “no meaningful reform can move forward without securing our borders,” which task you tell us is impossible.

    “To secure our nation, I advocate sending the military to the border to battle the criminals terrorizing our border towns just like they are battling Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

  11. Sending extra help to border towns to battle criminals is different than “completely securing our border.”

  12. True enough, Tim. Pointing out that it’s impossible to stop every single unauthorized border crossing is often used to discredit the notion of doing anything at all. What do think Labrador wants to accomplish with military forces on the border? Why does he think anything needs to be changed from the current status?

  13. John M, I guess “securing our borders” is a matter of perspective. I maintain that securing the borders in any way that will substantially reduce the flow of illegal immigrants is, yes, impossible if we don’t do anything else and say we must secure the borders first. We have been trying to secure our borders against drug smuggling for decades now to no real result. We have had a massive increase in the border patrol, built new fences, etc, etc, and we still have illegal immigrants crossing the border. Given the way this issue is playing out, I predict we will still be talking about “securing the border” several years from now because there is no political will to increase the number of visas and enact comprehensive immigration reform, steps that would actually decrease the number of illegal immigrants. And by then we will have thrown billions more at “securing the border,” again without any real result.

    However, is it possible to secure the borders so violence from the drug war in Mexico does not spill over? Probably more likely. Would that qualify as decreasing the “chaos” at the border? Perhaps. Only the future congressman knows how he would vote on the issue.

  14. Geoff, if you like Labrador for other reasons that’s fine, but I don’t see his immigration statement lining up much with your expressed views. He supports Arizona’s recent law. He says “The situation down there is serious – very serious, and getting worse.” He wants military troops battling on the border before other reform moves forward. After that, he gets to streamlining guest worker programs and such things as you favor.

  15. Secure the border first is now the standard position of such Republican amnesty supporters as John McCain and Lindsay Graham. Securing the border, finishing the border fence in particular is now the consensus position of the entire Republican party. Senator Graham does not believe that any substantial immigration reform can pass until that is done.

  16. Mark D, agreed. If this position continues (and depending on what your definition of “secure the borders first” means), we will never resolve the illegal immigration problem. Let’s take McCain’s new position: send 6000 national guardsmen to the border and finish the fence. Do you really think that will stop illegal immigration? Haven’t you seen the videos of people climbing over the fences by the hundreds? Let’s say it cuts illegal immigration in half (a wildly optimistic projection, but let’s just say it does). That means 2.5 million people are still crossing illegally per year. That is not secure. So, in effect, we are saying we will NEVER have a secure border (without East Germany-style walls, dogs, searchlights, etc, which will cost hundreds of billions and goes against our national character).

    “Secure the border first” means never resolving the illegal immigration problem.

    I am OK with sending troops to the border to fight drug traffickers and true bad guys if it is accompanied by true reform, ie offering legalization to immigrants in the U.S. and massively increasing the number of visas granted in Mexico and Central America.

  17. Geoff B, I agree that a complete border fence (e.g. a double steel fence twelve feet high along the border) will not completely stop illegal border transits. However, it will cause a significant reduction from current levels in areas where there are no fences. By a factor of ten or more. See here for example.

    Needless to say a fence does not eliminate the need for a border patrol, and other defense in depth measures. It just happens to be about the most cost effective thing we can do to mitigate the problem.

  18. Ok, so we build the border fence, costing billions. That will take a few more years at least. And we send 6000 troops to the border. And we STILL have millions of illegal crossings. What do we do then? Keep in mind that years will have passed without resolving the issue. We could get immigration reform and an increased number of visas passed this year. Not going to happen, but I’m saying that there is a solution out there that could take place now, but it is being ignored.

  19. One last point: the argument that “border crossing decrease when you install a fence” is somewhat bogus because the fence only covers part of the border. So, illegal immigrants are simply being funneled to the areas where there is no fence so of course the number of people apprehended near the fence will decrease. This is of course an argument for finishing the fence, but, again, that’s extremely costly and there are other short-term solutions.

    The most interesting point in all of this is that the factor that really decreased illegal immigration was 10 percent unemployment in the U.S. The forces of the marketplace (fewer paying jobs in the U.S.) trump all other considerations. Something to think about.

  20. The dialog about illegal immigration is frustrating because the various parties refuse to stop talking over each other long enough to properly define the discussion.

    I think each argument has its own Achilles heel. Leaving the extreme positions aside (totally open borders vs. totally closed borders), you’ve got two mainstream positions on this issue:

    1. Closing the border is the first step

    2. Legalizing illegals is the first step to solving the problem (which really isn’t much of a problem anyway), and

    Now here’s the rub–

    People in Category 1 simply do not consider several huge issues. What do we do with the illegals already here? “Sending them home” is a political and logistical impossibility. What about the kid at school whose illegal parents are stopped and deported? What does he do? Further, their arguments rarely advocate upping immigration quotas and making legal immigration easier for all. These oversights and oversimplifications of this truly nuanced issue are a huge impediment to meaningful discussion.

    On the other side, people in Category 2 (I include Geoff in this category) do three things that kill their argument. They refuse– outright refuse– to differentiate between illegal and legal immigration. They deny or downplay the negative affects of illegal immigration. And they paint anybody opposed to them as nativist or racist.

    These three things stop any meaningful discussion with Category 1 dead in its tracks.

    The differentiation between legal and illegal here is important. There are historical and cultural differences here and it is dishonest to equate them. And you can cite report after report that show Latins (just for you, Geoff) don’t murder or rape more people than non-Latins, but those reports fall short. What about behavior that doesn’t make the stats? Like the two times my car has been hit by illegals without insurance, or the petty theft that is rampant in illegal alien hot spots, where nobody is ever caught or charged? Just because some federal report shows no significant difference in crime rates doesn’t mean I’d ever leave my car parked on the street in the Glendale neighborhood of SLC- or even walk down Redwood Road alone over there.

    And while racism does indeed exist, ascribing that label to anybody who worries about illegal immigration is lazy at best and horribly insulting at worst.

    And therein lies the stalemate.

  21. OK, Tossman, what’s your solution? Mine is easy:

    1)increase border security, build the fence, send in the natl guard
    2)allow a legalization process for the people already here
    3)increase visas in Mexico and Central America to deal with demand in 2010-2011 (we can revisit the visa situation in future years if we are getting people from third countries applying in droves)
    4)increased punishment for employers who hire people illegally.
    5)Some kind of e-verify program where you could go on line and, before you hire Jose Latino, check and make sure he really did get a visa in Guadalajara six months ago.

    It seems this is much more realistic solution that would actually resolve the problem now rather than waiting for years for the border to be “secure.” But in the current environment any such program is shot down as “amnesty.”

  22. Take out the amnesty and your proposed solution is sound.

    My overall belief is that people that hop the border don’t make as good of Americans as those who come here legally. They don’t assimilate as thoroughly (if at all), and have an entitlement mentality. So the amnesty thing really bugs me.

    And it is amnesty. No fee or paperwork will negate the fact. You do something illegal, we let you get away with it- that’s amnesty. I get pulled over for speeding and the cop just gives me a warning- that’s amnesty.

    Now I don’t advocate mass deportation, but I would advocate making life so miserable here for illegals (via red tape, restrictions, and steep fines) that staying here illegally is simply not worth it.

    There are plenty of deserving people in this world that would assimilate, would respect this country’s history and sovereignty, and would contribute heavily to our economy and collective culture. Incentivize that.

  23. Tossman, what about fining them and putting them at the back of the line for legalization (which is what is actually on the table in Congress right now)?

  24. I’d like legalization off the table completely. Moving them to the back of the line is a nice idea, but it won’t change the mentality. With legalization forthcoming, ff I’m here illegally, I’ve just got to hang on until it’s my turn. But if I know I’ll never be legal by simply laying low, I’m more motivated to leave and come back the right way.

    I’d move on upping the quotas without a legalization path for those already here. If I’m illegal now and I can see that coming back legally is a feasible option, I’m even more apt to do things the right way.

  25. I don’t believe that your assumptions about assimilation and illegal immigration would bear up under real scrutiny, Tossman.

    My ancestors came to this country without jumping through any legal or bureaucratic hoops. They simply paid for their passage, boarded ships and landed here. Perhaps we should send all of them and everyone else who came that way (and their descendants) back to their home countries, ask them to go through the process of obtaining an immigrant visa, and come to the U.S. in a way that will really make them appreciate it, so they’d actually assimilate.

    Furthermore, all of the “get tough” laws against illegal immigrants (no drivers licenses, for example) have led to more people driving without insurance, which means that some of the people who run into you won’t have insurance. And yet you don’t think that allowing those people to pay a fine and get on the road to legal permanent residence is a good thing? Keep them in the underground economy, driving without licenses or insurance? And that is a good thing?

    Under current law, any who leave would most likely have to wait 10 years before returning. And face the risk of a visa denial at Ciudad Juarez. If I’m here illegally, any path that leads that way is not a “feasible option.”

    There’s no question that assimilation of a large number of immigrants in a short time puts strains on a community. But those strains aren’t lessened by attempting to exclude new immigrants from the community–that’s simply a new form of apartheid, based on what should be viewed as an inconsequential violation of a regulatory statute.

  26. Mark B, I take issue with several points in your last comment:

    “I don’t believe that your assumptions about assimilation and illegal immigration would bear up under real scrutiny, Tossman.”

    And exactly what evidence do you have that my assumptions WOULDN’T bear up under real scrutiny?

    Yes, your ancestors just sailed over and ended up assimilating, but that was a long time ago, when not assimilating wasn’t an option. It was assimilate or die back then. Today there are fewer natural consequences for non-assimilation. Not only do we fail to encourage assimilation, in many cases we discourage it. The type of assimilation that earned America the nickname of “great melting pot” is much less likely to occur today. Comparing today’s illegal immigrant to your ancestors is intellectually dishonest.

    “Perhaps we should send all of them and everyone else who came that way (and their descendants) back to their home countries…”

    Note that I never advocated sending anybody home (deportations on case by case basis, yes, but not en masse, as you imply with your this cheap shot).

    “Furthermore, all of the “get tough” laws against illegal immigrants (no drivers licenses, for example) have led to more people driving without insurance, which means that some of the people who run into you won’t have insurance.”

    Both of the illegals who hit me had valid Utah drivers licenses. I don’t know what our policy is these days, but both had licenses, neither had insurance.

    “Under current law, any who leave would most likely have to wait 10 years before returning. And face the risk of a visa denial at Ciudad Juarez. If I’m here illegally, any path that leads that way is not a “feasible option.”’

    Right, which is why I advocated at the same time increases in quotas and simplification of process. Did you even read my comments?

    “But those strains aren’t lessened by attempting to exclude new immigrants from the community–that’s simply a new form of apartheid, based on what should be viewed as an inconsequential violation of a regulatory statute.”

    New immigrants? No. New illegal immigrants? Yes. Apartheid? Give me a break.

  27. Such results track pretty well with a lot of different racial attitudes by a lot of different groups (say, for example, white Democrats in PA-12 or white Democrats in Arkansas). An amazing amount of tea party supported candidates are women, African-American or Latino. At the end of the day, the key issue is: what is motivating tea party voters? The answer clearly is: opposition to the growth of government.

    By the way, if you were to survey anti-war demonstrators in, say, 2004, you would find that they disproportionately were extreme leftists who had negative feelings toward America and its history. Does that mean their cause was wrong? No, as it turns out, they were correct in many respects. The politics of personal destruction currently employed by Huff Post, Daily Kos and the left on tea party supporters runs both ways and is despicable (both ways).

  28. A sufficient wall seemed to work for China and Berlin. We are just not making the right kind of walls because of political correctness rather than national security.

  29. Tossman, what evidence do you have that immigrants are not assimilating, or are assimilating slower than those from some ideal past? In response to your first statement, here is a study published by the Manhattan Institute, in which the author constructs an “assimilation index” and compares rates of assimilation today relative to previous periods. As might be expected, the rates of economic and civic assimilation of Mexican immigrants are somewhat lower than others (due, the author suspects, to the large number of those immigrants whose legal status is an effective bar to assimilation), but their rates of cultural assimilation are relatively normal.

    The author’s conclusion, in short, is that immigrants are assimilating about as quickly as could be expected, given the large numbers of immigrants in the U.S. at the present time. And their assimilation will be hastened by enlightened policies, not by attempts to drive them out of the country.

    And what evidence do you have that non-assimilation wasn’t an option 100 or 200 years ago? Are you aware that there were foreign language newspapers all over the U.S. back then? Or that there were whole communities where the common language was something other than English? Or that there still exist such communities, with roots in this country that are hundreds of years old?

    I’m not sure if you would recognize intellectual dishonesty if you saw it, but there is one great similarity between an immigrant of 150 years ago and a person who enters the U.S. without inspection today: the only requirement they have to meet to enter the country is to get here. Of course, since nearly one-half of the illegal immigrants in the U.S. are estimated to have entered legally and then overstayed their visas, all of them actually have had to meet a more rigorous standard to get here–they had to get a U.S. visa.

    I read your comments. But I would have been surprised if you knew about the 3- and 10-year bars under section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. I’m afraid that all the “get tough on illegals” crowd would spontaneously combust if repeal of that were proposed. Thus, any solution that requires people to leave the U.S. would be completely unworkable.

    My use of “new immigrants” obviously was unclear. I agree that I would prefer that there be no new illegal entrants into the U.S. I was referring to people who are in the country now, who are in the process of making that extraordinary adjustment to a new country and culture. Unfortunately, “get tough” policies like Arizona’s new law do effectively segregate those people into a separate community within the body politic, rather than integrating them and hastening their assimilation.

    Finally, Jettboy improves on the standard suggestion of the anti-illegals crowd (“Look at what Mexico would do if you tried being illegal down there!”) by suggesting that we look to the repressive regime in China and the former East Germany as examples for how our nation should behave. One would hope that he’s being ironic–but I’m afraid not. If opposing guard towers and shooting those attempting to cross the border is simply “political correctness” then God have mercy on us all.

    In his defense, at least he didn’t propose looking to Germany during the early 1940s for a model on how to deport large numbers of an unwanted population.

  30. Ok, so we build the border fence, costing billions. That will take a few more years at least. And we send 6000 troops to the border. And we STILL have millions of illegal crossings. What do we do then?

    First of all, the proper number to consider is not how many people climb over the fence, but rather how many climb over and evade the border patrol. The latter is significantly more effective with a real fence – see the article I linked to.

    A complete fence and conventional border patrol enforcement is likely to reduce total illegal immigration across the border to less than 50,000 per year. Currently it is about fifteen times that high.

  31. Who knows what the rate of border crossings is right now? My hunch is that an unemployment rate near 10%, a sluggish economy, few new jobs being created (especially in construction, which was a huge magnet for workers from Mexico and other parts south), has probably turned the net migration in the other direction. Why go to all the trouble of that arduous and dangerous trek to a foreign country when there’s no chance of getting work?

    Why would anyone want to spend the money on a fence??? The Great Wall didn’t save China, the Maginot Line didn’t save France. Immigration policy could use some enlightened thinking, or, if enlightenment is too difficult to find, mere thinking alone might be a good start.

  32. “The Great Wall didn’t save China,” . . .

    In what sense did the Great Wall fail? Because it only helped repel invasions from 1474 until 1644? Because Wu Sangui opening the gates letting the Manchus in to displace the Shun rulers he didn’t like shows us that the century and half before that were a failure? How does this map to our current situation? Trying to control border crossing is a fool’s errand because even if we manage to do it well enough for 170 years, some day there will be discontent generals who will betray us?

    . . . “the Maginot Line didn’t save France.”

    One particular military defense didn’t work out so well, therefore all defenses of national sovereignty have failed and will fail?

  33. Who knows what the rate of border crossings is right now?

    The Border Patrol apprehended 724,000 illegal immigrants in 2008. That is down from a peak of more than twice that many in 2000, but is many times higher than if the border fence were completed.

    It is worth mentioning that a complete southern border fence would cost less than 1% of the cost of the recent “stimulus” package. It hardly needs mentioning that comparisons with the Great Wall of China and the Maginot Line are invalid because the latter were military fortifications subject to military attack.

  34. The FY2009 number was 556,000 by the way. I imagine the FY2010 number will be similar.

  35. “the latter were military fortifications subject to military attack”

    That was running through my mind, too. We aren’t talking about stopping tank divisions supported by the luftwaffe.

  36. For comparison purposes, the new wall around Israel to prevent Palestinian terrorists might be worth looking at. It is a successful contemporary example of using a wall to keep people out, rather than in.

    Keep in mind that it is about one-twentieth the size of the wall that would be needed on our southern border.

    As I say, I would have no problem with the wall being built if it were accompanied by the other solutions I mentioned way up there in #21. I do a lot of business along the border, and there are truly alarming things going on with drug traffickers in Mexico these days (although it is worth reminding readers that the reason Mexico has a drug problem is because of demand for drug in the U.S., not Mexico, so you can understand why Mexicans are peeved at their northern neighbors screaming and yelling about drug wars when it is Mexican citizens being killed to provide a product that Americans want).

  37. It’s also good to remember where Mexican drug traffickers get their guns from…
    We’re basically trading them guns for drugs. We’re not exactly blameless here.

  38. Are you saying that there’s not much of a flow of guns from the U.S. into Mexico? I hope that’s true. Any sources for that info? Are a lot of guns made in Mexico, or do they come into Mexico through another route other than through the U.S.?

  39. Tim, here is one article describing weapon source countries. The main theme I get is that it’s a big world out there with many places where it is far easier to buy guns than the United States. The U.S. may be a land of plenty, but not plenty of black market AK-47s.

  40. Tim, the perception that Mexican drug lords buy all their guns in the U.S. is wrong. There is a tremendous amount of gun smuggling in South America and Panama (some of which I have observed with my own eyes — but that is another long story). The fact is it is often cheaper and easier to buy guns from a Colombian or Panamanian smuggler than to cross the border into the U.S., go to a gun show and then smuggle weapons back again. Guns are always cheaper in bulk, and many of the weapons used by drug dealers are not American-made but instead Chinese AKs or Czech. The story linked by John M is accurate:

    “There’s just one problem with the 90 percent “statistic” and it’s a big one:

    It’s just not true.

    In fact, it’s not even close. The fact is, only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.

    What’s true, an ATF spokeswoman told, in a clarification of the statistic used by her own agency’s assistant director, “is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S.”

    But a large percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico do not get sent back to the U.S. for tracing, because it is obvious from their markings that they do not come from the U.S.

    “Not every weapon seized in Mexico has a serial number on it that would make it traceable, and the U.S. effort to trace weapons really only extends to weapons that have been in the U.S. market,” Matt Allen, special agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told FOX News.

  41. Got it. Thanks.
    I do wonder what the actual percentages are, especially in the border towns next to the U.S. But apparently they’re not as large as I had thought.

  42. The Germans didn’t attack the Maginot Line, either. They simply went around it. They could have done that in Volkswagens.

  43. Mark B., about 50,000 German soldiers died in the invasion of France, and attacks on the Maginot Line were part of it. It wasn’t a Sunday drive in a Volkswagen.

  44. “That was running through my mind, too. We aren’t talking about stopping tank divisions supported by the luftwaffe.”

    You aren’t, but I am. Maybe not tanks (at least for now), but I do view this as more than a legality. These crossing are an act of War. You don’t hear of the great Canadian migrations, drug trafficking, kidnappings, gangs, murder, and the list goes on. Why is Mexico so horrible comparatively? If these things were going on with Canada, you bet I would consider it in the same seriousness. By the way, do you know what Mexico does to illegals crossing into their territory from the South? Why aren’t you speaking out against that? I will give Mexico credit they know more about taking care of their own illegals.

  45. Oh, I know, John Mansfield, and I know there were attacks on the Maginot Line. But you and I also know that the principal attacks simply went around it. (By the way, a recent French source cuts that number of German deaths in about half–but, whatever, you’re right. It wasn’t a Sunday drive in the woods–except in contrast to the mess 26 years earlier.)

    Jettboy is making the common mistake of conflating the drug trafficking, and the violence associated with it, with the crossing of the border by people seeking employment in legal businesses–construction, hospitality, etc. If there were a sensible immigration policy that allowed for the free flow of labor across that imaginary line in the sand, then CBP could spend its efforts on the serious problems.

    And there’s that pointless comparison with how Mexico treats illegal entrants across its southern border. Why on earth would we want the U.S. to govern itself as Mexico does? Of course, since Jettboy has already suggested that we look to East Germany and Communist China as models for effective border control, we shouldn’t be surprised at this latest.

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