New Texas Mayor Wants the Expulsion of Undocumented Immigrants to be a Town Project

LatinaLista — Undocumented residents who live in Farmers Branch and Carrollton, Texas have been put on notice. Weekend elections held in these two suburbs north of Dallas have resulted in the elections of two mayors who share the same agenda: to drive out undocumented immigrants living within their boundaries.

Farmers Branch new Mayor Tim O’Hare will continue his agenda of driving out undocumented immigrants in his town.
(Source: CBS11)

Carrollton’s new mayor, Rob Branson, said he plans to meet regularly with Farmers Branch’s new mayor, Tim O’Hare. O’Hare gained notoriety when, while serving on the city council, he was instrumental in getting a ban to rent to undocumented immigrants passed.
But Branson wants to take it a step further — he intends to form citizen committees to “come up with ideas for driving out illegal immigrants.
How would these committees be any different than the old-fashioned lynch mobs who, by virtue of collective hysteria, went after and strung up African Americans back in the day?
From my perspective, there wouldn’t be any difference, especially since those residents most eager to sign up for such committees are the ones already out there who stage counter protests to the immigration marches and feel their towns are overrun by people of color as it is.
There’s nothing American about opening up a Democratic process to decide how best to drive men, women and children from communities they attend church, school, shop and live in.
In fact, such an action puts the reputation of America to shame.
If this is the new breed of American politics in Small Town USA then the nation is in a lot more danger than from hardworking immigrants for whom the majority’s only crime is to work.

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49 Comments

  1. Grandma said:

    Seems to me the voters have spoken by electing these two mayors. We’re fed up!
    “From my perspective, there wouldn’t be any difference, especially since those residents most eager to sign up for such committees are the ones already out there who stage counter protests to the immigration marches and feel their towns are overrun by people of color as it is.”
    Why is it okay for illegals to march in protest and demand rights they’re not entitled to but it’s not okay to stage counter protests by American citizens who have to foot the bill for their education, medical, etc. I will never understand this thinking. Our towns are overrun by illegal aliens. They are here illegally pursuant to federal law. Why can’t you see that?
    “If this is the new breed of American politics in Small Town USA then the nation is in a lot more danger than from hardworking immigrants for whom the majority’s only crime is to work.”
    No, the crime is coming here illegally and it is a crime. Not to mention social security theft, false documents, even rape, murder, domestic abuse, DWI, and I could go on and on. But you just can’t see it.
    I say Bravo Texas!

  2. Frank said:

    You disappoint me Marisa by some of the statements you have made in this post. Your lynching scenario is one of them. Another one is claiming that that town thinks their town is overun with people of color. This is about illegal immigration, not skin color.
    Those being driven from these communities are also illegal aliens. They have no right to even be in this country. It truly sickens me when American citizens such as yourself view the enforcement of our immigration laws as something to be ashamed of.

  3. the moving hand said:

    Gram, and Frank: Marisa is understandably emotional. Try to put yourself in her place; recall that in the 1800′s the government of the Mexican state of Coahuila-Tejas ruled the land Farmers Branch is now in. Stephen Austin requested and was granted permission to immigrate into Mexico. All his people agreed to learn Spanish and respect the customs of the host country in exchange for lots of land. Let me ask you: would you have advised Marisa’s ancestors to keep the Anglo immigrants out, many of whom later came illegally and wound up betraying Mexico’s generosity? Her point is that all these people want to do is work, and would dearly love to earn American wage scales back home. Why can’t you face that this is all about double-standards? American companies pay much, much lower wages to their employees in Mexico and use oppressive labor practices that Americans would never tolerate. Put your money where your mouth is – Wal-Mart and all the rest of you: pay and treat Mexicans the same there as you do your American employees, or at least help enlighten these people who try to sell that crock of bull about alleged immigrant crime, etc. The fact is that immigrants commit less crimes than non-immigrants. They have much more to lose and have no incentive to jeopardize their future. Duh. And as you very well know, in America EVERYBODY pays taxes.

  4. Horace said:

    “How would these committees be any different than the old-fashioned lynch mobs who, by virtue of collective hysteria, went after and strung up African Americans back in the day?”
    Duh! Perhaps because they don’t actually intend to physically harm anyone?

  5. Marisa Treviño said:

    Horace, are you kidding me? You don’t think getting a group of people together to decide on ways to drive out another group of people is actually harming them? It’s the 21st century and the lynch mobs of today don’t have to look like the ones of yesterday — just have the same intent.

  6. Grandma said:

    “Stephen Austin requested and was granted permission to immigrate into Mexico. All his people agreed to learn Spanish and respect the customs of the host country in exchange for lots of land.”
    Hmmm. Learn Sanish and respect the customs of the host country.
    And how many illegals learn English and respect the customs of the US? Yes, I saw how they do that,they march carrying Mexican flags, demanding rights they’re not entitled to, using vulgar language toward American citizens.

  7. Ingrid Lester said:

    The comparison of the illegal invasion to the civil rights movement is an affront to blacks and whites alike (there were many whites that were in the civil rights struggle). I am an American of African descent and lived through the civil rights era. The difference between the civil rights era and the latino/hispanic invasion is: Most blacks were in this country legally and most of the invaders are not. To compare the plight of the invasion to the civil rights movement is utterly disgusting! How dare you people steal across the borders, etc and demand rights in this country. The invaders should be in their own county demanding rights to make their countries a place to run to instead of running from. The invaders want to make it a race issue when it is not; it is about legality. Having babies in a country does not make citizens, just people that want the free handouts. I am so sorry that America had to be invaded by these kind of people. Pretty soon the benefits will run out and some will return to their homelands, but will it be too late for America? These invaders are killing people because of skin color and they dare say that Americans are racist! Dr. King would be rolling in his grave to heare these invaders equate illegality with civil rights! If we are not careful teens of your invasion will have so many babies there will not be enough benefits to go around. Does anyone see the beginings of a third world county here. This is how it begins.

  8. Marisa Treviño said:

    First, Ingrid, there is no invasion and I think it’s perfectly legitimate to compare what is happening to the undocumented immigrants as to what happened to African Americans because the root of both aggressions was/is intolerance and fear.

  9. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    “In fact, such an action puts the reputation of America to shame.
    The fact that America is unable to control its borders puts the reputation of America to shame.
    The fact that America is viewed as a world bully instead of as a liberator puts the reputation of America to shame.
    The fact that America has been overrun by people who are here illegally puts the reputation of America to shame.
    The fact that America is unable to enforce its federal laws puts the reputation of America to shame.
    The fact that an American citizen will advocate amnesty for foreigners here illegally puts the reputation of America to shame.
    The fact that America is becoming a weaker nation, thanks to liberal ideology, puts the reputation of America to shame.
    The fact that America has three losers running for President puts the reputation of America to shame.

  10. Alex said:

    We all understand and agree that borders should be secured. But, the people already here, that have contributed to our economy and development for so many years that we did not mind using their cheap services and did not care that they were bieng exploted by greedy companies, deserve to have the chance to stay if they are not dangerous criminals. Working for our daily bread is no crime. Not in the eyes of God. Human laws are not perfect, Current U.S. Immigratioon ones are inhuman, unchristian and a shame in the way are NOW applied. Separating children, babies from their parents. In Europe, they see these enforcement actions no more different than what nazis did to the jewish community.

  11. Daniel said:

    3rd world huh, ingrid? you should know, if you are AA, since the worst areas to live in in the U.S. are black slums i.e. detroit, MI and Gary, IN.
    your liberator, abe lincoln, wanted blacks to repatriate back to africa because he didnt want whites fighting over blacks after the civil war.
    ingrid, your population numbers are dwindling faster that equity built on a sub-prime mortgage.
    soon, you folks will be so marginalized you will be lucky to be occasionally mentioned like Costa Chica, MX.
    if i were black, i’d make friends with the Mexicans and pronto.

  12. Frank said:

    Marisa, there is no comparison to the illegal invasion of our country and the Civil Rights Era. And yes, it is an invasion although an unarmed one. African-Americans were citizens, illegal aliens are not.
    Why shouldn’t we fear, or why should be tolerate millions of illegal aliens that have entered our country? I don’t see anything irrational about that.
    The Civil Rights era was about citizens and racism. The illegal alien issue is about our laws and not based on racism.

  13. Frank said:

    Moving hand,
    First of all, if Marisa really has no divided loyalties, why would she even be thinking about what her ancestors in Mexico did 200 years ago!??? I don’t care what my ancestors did 200 years ago! My loyalty and affinity is ONLY to the U.S. So, right there you prove one of our points about Latinos in the U.S. They have divided loyalties. If anything, moving hand, your example is a dramatic reason why we should not allow this situation to continue. We should learn from the mistakes of others.
    Next, what’s this “pay and treat” Mexicans the same as YOU do YOUR American employees” garbage? Do you employ any Mexicans in Mexico,?? NO? Well, NEITHER DO I AND NEITHER DO THE VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS! NO middle and working class Americans do! YOu need to take up your beef with the international corporations, some of which are headed by Mexicans themselves (let’s not forget that the richest man in the world is Mexican) and NOT put the onus or the blame on middle class/working Americans who are seeing their own jobs outsourced only to see their wages driven down in their own country by the flood of illegal labor!
    And then lastly, the issue about immigrants and criminality: let’s put this to rest once and for all because we are ALL getting sick and tired of the mixing of ILLEGAL ALIENS with LEGAL IMMIGRANTS. Yes, LEGAL immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the general American public. That is because LEGAL immigrants undergo crminal background checks which eliminate those with a criminal history. So, naturally, when compared to the American public, which includes criminals AND non-criminals, LEGAL immigrants will naturally have a lower crime rate than the American population in general. However, ILLEGAL immigrants have NO SUCH BACKGROUND CHECKS. They are coming into our country along with those “just coming here to work.” They know they could not pass a criminal background check. They were criminals in their home countries and they are criminals HERE. It’s really not a hard concept to grasp.

  14. adriana said:

    Frank, you pay for illegal immigration with your dollars whenever you patronize restaurants that use illegal labor (many of them do), shop at Wal-Mart (they have been investigated more than a few times for hiring undocumented workers), get a car wash, or even pay for your wife’s nails to get manicured. Just because you don’t specifically “hire” undocumented immigrants to work for you doesn’t mean that you aren’t contributing to the problem indirectly.
    American capitalism, as we know it, thrives off of undocumented labor. Don’t you get it?
    And Frank, laws can be based in racist notions. I guess you never heard of or don’t remember Jim Crowe laws.

  15. Horace said:

    “…….that we did not mind using their cheap services….”
    So that’s what you’re worried about Alex, just being deprived of their “cheap” services? Your attitude it one of exploitation, not equality of pay on par with citizens. They’re “cheap” services are the result of their sacrifice of enduriing a standard of livings below our established poverty level. In this country we’ve been working towards abolishing poverty, not inviting it into our country. I hope that you feel good about receiving exploitive “cheap” services and goods from subsistence level wage earners.

  16. Horace said:

    “Horace, are you kidding me? You don’t think getting a group of people together to decide on ways to drive out another group of people is actually harming them? It’s the 21st century and the lynch mobs of today don’t have to look like the ones of yesterday — just have the same intent.”
    No, Marisa, the intent of a lynch mob is to murder, which is against the law, while the citizens of Farmers Branch’s actions are fully consonant with the law. Their intent is to enact ordinances in support of our federal immigration laws, which deny illegal immigrants the right to stay in this country. Your analogy is the worst kind of dishonest spin.
    “First, Ingrid, there is no invasion and I think it’s perfectly legitimate to compare what is happening to the undocumented immigrants as to what happened to African Americans because the root of both aggressions was/is intolerance and fear.”
    The only reason that you would deny that it’s an invasion is that you don’t like the tone of the word. Well, to anyone without prejudice towards Latin Americans, there is little difference between the movement en masse of foreigners into our country and an invasion. It’s far more applicable a term for the unwelcome illegal entry of Mexican, et al, than your comparison of Farmers Branch actions with that of a lynch mob. It seems that you’re all too willing to use incendiary terms against Farmers Branch, and spin the invasion of 12 million Latin Americans as some kind of trivial matter, which Americans are to overlook at your personal convenience. Get real!

  17. Horace said:

    “Yes, LEGAL immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the general American public. That is because LEGAL immigrants undergo crminal background checks which eliminate those with a criminal history. So, naturally, when compared to the American public, which includes criminals AND non-criminals, LEGAL immigrants will naturally have a lower crime rate than the American population in general. However, ILLEGAL immigrants have NO SUCH BACKGROUND CHECKS. They are coming into our country along with those “just coming here to work.” They know they could not pass a criminal background check. They were criminals in their home countries and they are criminals HERE. It’s really not a hard concept to grasp.”
    Frank, we hear the same tired distortion of the facts from advocates. This is less a case of ignorance on their part, than it is a lie and willful denial. When I point to the fact that you’ve intelligently conveyed, I get rarely receive a response other than silence, no rebuttal, just silence. Some will just get upset and resort to name calling, usually reverting to their limited vocabulary of racist, xenophobe, Nazi, or KKK, as often heard from nutroot, Evelyn.

  18. Alex said:

    Frank and the other racists are showing their true colors when they state, through their responses, that the do not like the idea of hispanics becoming the majority. That is just Xenophobia. Besides, what frank says that undocumented immigrants are criminals is simply not true. That is the problem when media reports a crime committed by an undocumented immigrant and these racist like Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck start reporting that “illegal aliens” made the crime. hey do not refer to the individual and keep keep calling it a crime commited by an illegal allien to purposely associate crime with all undocumented immigrants. How many undocumented immigrants are ther in the U.S.? Like 12 to 20 Millions. And single, sporadic crimes commited by one of them result on all of them being labeled criminals. But, unfortunately that is the agenda of this hate groups and their bloggers.

  19. Horacio said:

    Marisa,
    PLEASE block the IP addresses of trolls like Frank, Horace, and their ilk. Doesn’t seem their comments enlight the audience or discussion. At best, all they do is echo the xenophobia you report about.
    Dales una patada final en el trasero, y hasta luego! Thank you for your good efforts.
    Horacio
    PS: Yes, my name is Horacio.
    PS II: If you decide to post this, please safeguard my privacy, beginning with my email address. TIA.

  20. Dee said:

    Marisa,
    This whole “town project” is bogus. I dont live too far from both places. Both suburbs are barely north of the city. Neither is especially affluent. Both are primarily Latino towns. This movement is ALL for show. I predict they will do nothing different but put on a political show.
    These guys are like Arpaio. Out to get a name for themselves and to get on the 6 oclock news!

  21. Frank said:

    adriana, so what is an American to do if they don’t know if a company has illegal aliens working for them or not? Stop buying anything? I see nothing in our immigration laws that could be deemed as racist. Latinos get more than their fair share of legal immigration to our country.

  22. Frank said:

    Alex, no country wants a complete demographic change and will willingly accept genocide of their traditional society and culture THRU ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION! Certainly none of your 22 Hispanic countries on the Western Hemisphere would stand stand for that! Hypocrite!

  23. Frank said:

    Horacio, typical pro-illegal mindset. You can’t handle the truth so you try to squelch freedom of speech by the opposing side. A sure sign of someone who has lost the debate.

  24. laura said:

    Alex writes:
    “Current U.S. Immigratioon ones are inhuman, unchristian and a shame in the way are NOW applied. Separating children, babies from their parents. In Europe, they see these enforcement actions no more different than what nazis did to the jewish community.”
    That is true. The reason is that the Nazis used the same rhetoric, the same tactics, and the same alliance between violent individuals and violent state agencies like the SS and the Gestapo.
    Driving out a group of residents from a town, identified by their ethnicity, is exactly what the Nazis aspired to. They called it making a place “judenrein,” clean of Jews.
    That is what these Texas towns are aspiring to.
    The underlying attitude that the Nazis and today’s American anti-Latino racists have in common is this: the cowardliness of blaming the most defenseless minority for your troubles.
    Cowardliness is what strikes me most about these people. That includes the anti-Latino posters here, “Frank, Horace, Grandma’” and their ilk.

  25. laura said:

    Daniel,
    I would like to ask you to seriously reconsider your response to “Ingrid’s” post.
    Racism can be found everywhere. The fact that Ingrid, as an African-American, harbors racism against Latinas is no reason for replies that, to me, sound racist anti-black. So Ingrid writes ignorant nonsense. What does that have to do with African Americans in general?
    Should we lump all African-Americans with Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas and call them enemies of working people? Or with Condoleeza Rice and call them war criminals?
    The fact is that African-Americans have contributed those parts of American culture that are admired and copied around the world.
    I would like to add that I feel hurt and insulted, on behalf of my Latina/o friends of African descent, by your comments.

  26. urbanleftbehind said:

    Ingrid:
    You actually do more harm to the AA case against illegal immigration by complaining about welfare benefits – it makes you look as lazy as we unfairly stereotype y’all to be.
    Your rights came about due to the 13th Amendment, which is NOT in the inaliable Bill of Rights. You guys were CHATTEL PROPERTY before then. Speaking of boats….
    Daniel, thanks for the truth.
    and Frank et al…when illegal aliens are replaced with “citizen ex-offenders” in your job sites and neighborhoods just be able to reap what you sowed.

  27. Frank said:

    laura, it is ILLEGAL ALIENS that are being driven out! Our immigration laws demand it! “Anti-latino racists”? That is noting but BS! Stop pulling the race card here!
    It is not Nazism to enforce our immigration laws.
    “The defenseless”? Is that what you would say about Americans who had committed a crime? These illegal aliens have all kinds of advocacy groups pulling for them. I would hardly say they are “defenseless”.
    Stop with your BS lies in here. None of us in here who object to illegal immigration are cowards or racists. What is wrong with you pro-illegals’ heads? And you call yourselves American citizens? God, help us if you ever do become the majority in this country. We will see racism in this country like never before. “All for the race, for everyone else, nothing”!

  28. Frank said:

    urban, oh really? Do you have privy to inside information that illegal aliens are going to be replaced with ex-cons? First I have heard of it. There are plenty of lawful American citizens to do most of those jobs at a fair wage.
    We don’t need an economy this big anyway. A smaller population to fit a smaller economy would be in our best interests down the road anyway. One has to consider the carrying capacity of this nation and the depletion of our natural resources. Sorry, I don’t want us to become as crowded and India and China just for a buck.

  29. Daniel said:

    laura,
    You are right. My apologies to you, Ingrid and the LL board.
    I know black people are cool. I used to work for African American general contractors all the time in L.A.
    I had great relationships with blacks in the Army… back in the day.
    N.E. Wayz, youre right. I certainly dont like it when people speak about Cheekans that way. ;)
    Oh, and on another post your comment on birth control.
    I agree 100%
    Birth control should be taught from kindergarten on up as far as I’m concerned. :)

  30. Alex said:

    Frank, you just demonstrated your antagonism and hostility towards latinos in your postings. You do not like the idea of hispanics becoming a majority. It is your xenophobia and hate that drives your actions and responses. Latino population is increasing because of the high moral values that most of them bring from their countries of origin where, as God fearing people, have strong family values and understand that abortion goes against the Fifth commandment. These immigrants, you hate so much, are the ones preventing our country from becoming a total Sodom and Gomorrah.

  31. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    I’ll admit the Hispanics, with their high moral values, do have a step up on Anglos when it comes to baby making. Those high moral values are evident by starting the breeding process at 15 or 16 years old and unmarried as shown in another post here. By starting that young the high morals of Hispanics can produce one baby a year until they are about 30 years old and most at the expense of taxpayer dollars. This is not to mention having to provide educations and medical care for a family that can’t afford to care for themselves. These God fearing people don’t seem to understand the concept of planned parenthood by regulating their offspring to what they can afford to raise based on their income. But, why should they bother doing that when they know Uncle Sugar is there to help them with unlimited social services.
    Do the math people. At this rate America will resemble India or China within a very few years.

  32. Horace said:

    “Latino population is increasing because of the high moral values that most of them bring from their countries of origin where, as God fearing people, have strong family values and understand that abortion goes against the Fifth commandment.”
    Alex, you spout utter nonsense. There is no nexus between good citizenship and large families. Look at Mexico is in chaos due to criminal behavior. That country’s police are abandoning their posts and asking for asylum. Is that a country which you’d have us emulate. Or how about Marxist, Venezuela, or the FARC plagued Colombia? Corruption is rampant throughout South America. One would have to be blind and stupid to believe that Latin America has much to teach us in the way of family values.
    Rabbits have large litters. Is that due to high moral values and their fear of God? Moreover, I’ve never heard of a rabbit having an abortion. No, its purely a lack of biological control that causes overpopulation and third world poverty. Anyone who thinks that breeding children into poverty is morally correct is sick. Alex would advocate the importation of a culture that would inevitably be a burden on those of us who show restraint. One only has to look at Palestine, with it’s typically large Moslem families and abject poverty for the motivation to eschew the importation of such cultures.

  33. Texano78704 said:

    “Look at Mexico is in chaos due to criminal behavior. That country’s police are abandoning their posts and asking for asylum. Is that a country which you’d have us emulate. Or how about Marxist, Venezuela, or the FARC plagued Colombia?”
    How ironic. The rise in crime in Mexico and the power of the FARC in Colombia are directly related to the drug trade, trade which exists because of the enormous appetite of the US illegal drug market.
    “Corruption is rampant throughout South America. One would have to be blind and stupid to believe that Latin America has much to teach us in the way of family values.”
    Since when are government corruption and family values synonymous?

  34. Horace said:

    “Since when are government corruption and family values synonymous?”
    Corruption in Latin America is directly related to culture. The perpetuation of corruption in a society is dependent upon the complicity of the public. The fall or Rome was due to corruption of its values and its people. The abject poverty of Latin Americans and the corruption of their governments is due to their passive acceptance of tyrants in the midst. Our Founding Fathers fought such corruption by breaking away from England and overthrowing our tyrant, and made a new nation founded on rule of law, something that Hispanic advocates deride everyday in this blog.

  35. Publius said:

    Texano, it’s just like your short-sightedness to assume that the use of illicit drugs should always be restricted to the U.S.
    Read this article from 1999 : http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/40/125.html
    Use of Illicit Drugs Soars in Latin America
    By Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, Wednesday 15 September 1999; Page A18
    BUENOS AIRES Raul, a 30-year-old father of two, tried to make it through the exit. Two months ago, he checked out of a public hospital for severe drug addicts that takes in 100 new patients a month. But two weeks later, he checked back in after injecting cocaine into his spindly arms again. And so he has returned to fidgeting in his room, his cheeks sunken and his eyes red.
    “I don’t want to make excuses,” said Raul, a dry cleaner who asked that only his first name be used. He shares a room with two other addicts at Argentina’s National Center for Societal Re-Education, a treatment center whose patient population has grown 15 percent during the 1990s. “But when you get out of here, back in your neighborhood, the [cocaine] is everywhere, man. And it’s cheap.”
    Drawn faces walking the center’s hallways are among many illustrations of an increase in illicit drug use in Latin America that has become increasingly apparent during the 1990s as traffickers create markets at home for inexpensive and abundant drugs.
    Although the region has long cultivated and exported illicit drugs, local consumption is rising. Now, in big cities such as Buenos Aires, where about 4 percent of the population acknowledges having used drugs, the percentage of users has begun to rival that in the United States.
    For Latin America, which historically has considered illicit drug use a problem for far-off places such as New York, Washington and Los Angeles, the hike in domestic consumption is bringing the issue home as never before. Nations here are facing not only increased drug-related violence, but also higher transmission rates for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, among intravenous drug users, as well as the disintegration of families forced to cope with addiction.
    “I think we’re all waking up to the reality that drug use is no longer just something that’s happening in the United States,” said Eduardo Amadeo, president of the Argentine Planning Secretariat for Counternarcotics and Drug Prevention. “Drugs are now being sold on the corner near the schools my children attend, near our [social] clubs and [soccer] fields. It’s a problem right here, and one that we are now going to have to deal with.”
    Although no one likes to see consumption grow, it could end up helping the United States in the drug war. U.S. officials, whose approach to the drug problem is often criticized in Latin America because of the view here that the problem is not one of trafficking but of U.S. demand, have been quick to seize on the fact that illicit drug use is “no longer just a gringo problem.” Barry McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, made that clear on his visit to Latin America last week, saying local drug use is strengthening the political will to combat trafficking.
    Consumption of illicit drugs in Latin America still does not approach levels in the United States, which remains the world’s biggest consumer by far. In addition, some of the deadliest drugs, such as heroin, are virtually absent from most Latin American cities. But the percentage of drug users here is growing fast.
    Governments are scrambling to launch new prevention and law enforcement programs as drug use takes a toll on public health and public coffers. One report from Brazil estimates the cost of medical care for drug addiction soared from $902 million 1993 to $2.9 billion in 1997. At the same time, the percentage of AIDS cases from intravenous drug use moved from 2.5 percent in 1985 to 25 percent in 1998.
    In Buenos Aires, a city of 12 million, the first official government poll on drug use showed consumption at 4.1 percent of the population, similar to levels in Washington, Chicago and New York, according to McCaffrey’s office. Nationwide, the number was 3 percent. Although that is half the U.S. rate, local authorities compared it with estimates of only 1 percent here early in the decade.
    In Mexico City, the number of people who said they have tried drugs at least once increased to 7.3 percent, up from 4 percent in 1993.
    In Chile, an official 1998 national survey showed 5.3 percent of the population between the ages of 12 and 62 had used marijuana, cocaine base or refined cocaine during the past year, up from 4.3 percent in 1996, with rates higher than the national average in the capital, Santiago.
    In Peru – mainly in Lima and other major urban centers – the number of people between 12 and 50 saying they had used cocaine at least once rose to 3.2 percent in 1998, compared with 1.3 percent in 1988. Those saying they had used marijuana jumped to 8 percent from 5.3 percent during the same period, according to the Lima-based Center for Information on Prevention and Drug Abuse.
    In Colombia, the most recent official national survey showed an increase from 5.9 percent to 6.6 percent in the number of people who had used an illicit drug in the past year. The most recent survey was done in 1996; the previous one, in 1992.
    Latin Americans take drugs for many of the same reasons North Americans and Europeans do. But traffickers are also making illicit drugs more affordable domestically, pushing the excess product they can’t sell abroad.
    In Peru, for instance, efforts to prevent the transport of Peruvian coca – the plant used to make cocaine – to large Colombian refineries has fostered primitive local refining and domestic marketing of often dangerously impure forms of cocaine, counternarcotics authorities say. On the streets of Lima, bazuco, a derivative of coca paste smoked like crack cocaine, can be bought for 10 cents a hit 혯 the lowest price in three years, officials say.
    “Suddenly, you had all this product in everybody’s backyard and nobody to buy it,” said a Western diplomat in Lima. “It was sort of like having grass clippings, but these clippings had a high worth. So they just turned around and found another market 혯 here.”
    Larger supplies have driven prices down in the relatively affluent southern part of South America, too. In Buenos Aires, cocaine powder sells for $5 to $20 a gram, about half its price in the 1980s and a major bargain compared with $80 to $150 on the streets of Washington, drug enforcement authorities say.
    Governments are trying to cope with the rise through new law enforcement initiatives and national and local prevention programs. In Argentina, drug use has generated a boom in the number of private rehabilitation centers catering to middle and upper class users. Statistics show that the largest pool of heavy drug users here is the relatively large middle class, with the very wealthy only a shade lower on the totem poll than the poor.
    “We in Argentina are becoming more like Europe and the United States, but not in the way we once wanted,” said Leonardo Perelis, director of Program Renewal, one of dozens of nonprofit private rehabilitation clinics that have sprung up here.
    In a room in the chic Buenos Aires neighborhood of Barrio Norte, seven drug addicts at Perelis’s rehab center have gathered to talk about temptation. Anibal, a 37-year-old manager for the Buenos Aires subway system, gave up cocaine in February, but keeping off it has been hard. In part, he blames the new drug culture, which he says has exploded since Argentina, like other Latin American nations, opened its economy in the early 1990s.
    “It’s like nobody really thinks it’s something bad anymore,” said Anibal, father of two, whose wife left him last year because of his addiction. “When I used to smoke marijuana at school, it was a scandal among the other kids. You know, everyone was very traditional, very Catholic. But more recently, when I did coke at parties – even openly at work – nobody ever said a thing. Unless they asked for a line.”
    ————————————-
    or if that is recent enough, here’s one from 22 March, 2007 http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/308665_sanchez23.html :
    Latin American drug use escalates
    MARCELA SANCHEZ
    WASHINGTON — Those of us who covered U.S. policy toward Latin America in the 1990s no doubt recall how, for a few months every year, the drug war would poison North-South relations. As the annual March 1 “decertification” deadline approached, Washington would express its increasing frustration with the inaction of its southern neighbors in curtailing the production or transit of drugs. “Certification” was the big stick with which Washington sanctioned or threatened to sanction nations in order to compel them to cooperate with U.S. anti-drug priorities.
    The exasperation of U.S. officials was very real and often turned personal, with unfortunate consequences. I remember one instance when a U.S. State Department official questioned the integrity of Carlos Medellin, Colombia’s justice minister, simply because of his last name. Those who knew better were aghast: Medellin was the son of one of 11 justices killed in 1985 during a siege of the Colombian Supreme Court.
    Latin American countries chafed at the pressure and many often did just enough to keep from being sanctioned by Washington. It became a familiar practice for governments to magically arrest drug traffickers or interdict large shipments of illegal drugs right before the annual certification announcement.
    Today, with certification significantly weakened and U.S. foreign policy focused elsewhere, the anti-drug effort is markedly different. Now it is the Latin American countries that are launching initiatives and clamoring for U.S. cooperation while Washington appears more disinterested or apathetic.
    The big change is that Latin Americans are themselves becoming consumers of drugs. As Dominican President Leonel Fernandez put it at the opening of a Caribbean anti-drug summit last week, drugs are “permeating our societies, and causing violence, criminality and instability.”
    His concern is matched by other Caribbean leaders, who last week signed the “Declaration of Santo Domingo” to commit to greater maritime and air surveillance cooperation as well as funding for prevention and education. A similar regional cooperation effort is being developed in Central America.
    The transformation has been particularly telling in Mexico. Always reluctant to appear giving in to pressure from its powerful northern neighbor, Mexico was for many years an unwilling partner in the U.S. anti-drug effort. Yet new President Felipe Calderon has taken decisive action against the drug trade as a response to a gruesome wave of drug violence affecting his country.
    This increased regional attention and commitment of resources to fighting illegal drugs are in significant contrast to recent developments within the United States, where the Pentagon in a report to Congress acknowledged last year that “detecting drug trafficking is a lower priority than supporting our service members on ongoing combat missions.” The war on drugs as a political issue is also becoming less prominent in part because drug use in the United States is declining slightly.
    Neither explanation reflects success in the war on drugs, however. The United States still consumes half of the world’s cocaine and accounts for nearly half of all profits derived from drug trafficking.
    Yet, according to Latin American leaders such as Fernandez, the United States has become “inattentive” to drug-trafficking in the region.
    Meanwhile, the countries left to assume a greater amount of the illegal drug burden are among some of the poorest in the region. Haiti, which has seen more illegal drugs coming into its territory this year than in the past 15 years and is experiencing a growing problem with drug abuse, “doesn’t even have the police force to control it,” said Eduardo Gamarra, director of Latin American and Caribbean Center at Florida International University.
    The U.S. stagnation is not likely to change soon. For some observers this situation would be less regrettable if U.S. officials did not maintain the old discourse. “It is very cynical,” said Myles Frechette, U.S. ambassador to Colombia in the mid-1990s, “for (President) Bush to say that we are fulfilling our obligations and we hope that you will too.” Frechette suggested Washington should change its “unrealistic expectations” that those countries can do as much while the U.S. has lowered its guard.
    Marcela Sanchez’s e-mail address is desdewash@washpost.com.
    If the U.S. licked its drug problem, the price would drop so low that millions more Latin Americans would be able to afford them. The drug lords would just continue their trade, promoting their use in South America. Those who live in the dispair of poverty are easily enlisted as drug users, in spite of your claims that Latin Americans have a special claim to family values.
    Texasno, despite your self-righteous bent and willingness to trash this country to promote Latin Americans over Anglos, this should be of concern to you, since it is evident that you favor that part of the world over this one.

  36. Texano78704 said:

    “Our Founding Fathers fought such corruption by breaking away from England and overthrowing our tyrant, and made a new nation founded on rule of law…”
    Fast forward to today. For the last seven years, conservatives in this country have supported and for the most part continue to support of one of the most corrupt, lawless administrations in the history of the US.
    It is more likely that corruption is directly related to conservatism.
    As for drug use in Latin America, which came first, the chicken or the egg? The massive illegal drug trade has made illegal drugs more available in Latin America, but because of its small middle class is not capable of generating the demand that the US can.
    “Plan Colombia” did not come into being because the US was feeling charitable to one of its southern neighbors. Drug gangs are not shooting up police in Mexican border towns to have the right to sell drugs to campesinos.
    Publius, you call it “trashing this country,” I call it telling the truth.

  37. Publius said:

    Texano,
    Latin Americans were using drugs long before the U.S. Amerindians were using drugs before Europeans arrived in Latin America.
    This from The University of California, Riverside: http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~legneref/botany/economic.htm
    The cactus, Lophophora williamsii, is the source of peyote or mescal buttons. It is indigenous to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. It occurs on dry, arid plateaus in a limited area bordering on the Rio Grande. This cactus has the appearances of a large carrot with all parts of the plant, except a button like top, below the ground. These tops are round and flattened and are wrinkled. They do not bear spines but little tufts of silky hairs. Some of the buttons are very tiny while others may reach over 3 in. in diameter.
    Peyote contains several powerful alkaloids with narcotic properties. Amerindians of the region have used peyote for hundreds of years during their religious ceremonies. Despite serious opposition the habit is actively practiced among some Amerindian groups that still maintain a sacred cult. The buttons are chewed in either the fresh or dried state until they are soft. They are then rolled up in the hand into little pellets, which are swallowed. A beverage may also be prepared by boiling the buttons. Peyote produces a state of ease and well-being, accompanied by visions and hypnotic trances. Users find themselves in a world full of new sensations and pleasures. Peyote also has also been used extensively for its presumed medicinal value as it is supposed to cure bodily ills.
    ———————————–
    Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez promotes the use of Coca leaves.
    This from the Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/Rest_of_World/Venezuela_opposition_demands_drug_test_for_Chavez/articleshow/2722975.cms:
    CARACAS: Venezuela’s opposition is demanding leftist President Hugo Chavez take a drug test after he said he chews coca leaves to keep up his energy.
    The anti-U.S. leader has repeatedly defended the use of coca leaves despite accusations by the United States that he is turning Venezuela into a “haven” for drugs from Colombia.
    “We are going to ask that the President of the Republic take a toxicological exam, as would any baseball or football player,” said opposition politician Antonio Ledezma, of the small party Brave People’s Alliance.
    “This is an apology for the consumption of drugs.” Chavez said during a January speech that Bolivian President Evo Morales, a close Chavez ally and outspoken supporter of legalizing the cultivation of coca, sends him coca paste.
    Coca leaf is the raw material for making cocaine. But Andean indigenous peoples have for centuries chewed coca leaves to ease hunger and reduce the effects of altitude sickness.
    “Coca is not cocaine … I chew coca every morning and look at me,” Chavez said, displaying his biceps with a chuckle during a speech to Congress.
    Chavez has spoken for as long as eight hours in a single sitting, reportedly sleeps around four hours per night and is known for drinking lots of coffee and calling aides and ministers with questions in the very early morning.
    US drug czar John Walters told Reuters in a weekend interview that Chavez has become a “facilitator” of drug trafficking from Colombia — the world’s largest producer of cocaine — through Venezuela. Chavez rejected the charges as part of a US smear campaign against him.
    ———————————————
    Lastly, this from Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocaine
    Coca leaf
    For a thousand years South American indigenous peoples have chewed the coca leaf (Erythroxylon coca), a plant that contains vital nutrients as well as numerous alkaloids, including cocaine. The leaf was, and is, chewed almost universally by some indigenous communities—ancient Peruvian mummies have been found with the remains of coca leaves, and pottery from the time period depicts humans, cheeks bulged with the presence of something on which they are chewing.[3] There is also evidence that these cultures used a mixture of coca leaves and saliva as an anesthetic for the performance of trepanation.[4]
    The coca plant, Erythroxylon coca.When the Spaniards conquered South America, they at first ignored aboriginal claims that the leaf gave them strength and energy, and declared the practice of chewing it the work of the Devil. But after discovering that these claims were true, they legalized and taxed the leaf, taking 10% off the value of each crop. These taxes were for a time the main source of support for the Roman Catholic Church in the region.[citation needed] In 1569, Nicolás Monardes described the practice of the natives of chewing a mixture of tobacco and coca leaves to induce “great contentment”:
    “ [...when they wished to] make themselves drunk and [...] out of judgment [they chewed a mixture of tobacco and coca leaves which ...] make them go as they were out of their wittes [...]
    Define which culture laid the egg for Latin America, Texano. It would appear that it isn’t the Anglos. As I said, drugs were present and being used long before Europeans arrived.
    As for the truth, you seem to be short a measure.

  38. Texano78704 said:

    Publius, as an armchair sociologist, I’m afraid you are lacking. Drugs have been in the Americas a long time, but the illegal drug market involving heroin and cocaine and putting those drugs within reach of the average person on the street is uniquely US invention.
    Tell me again how many times you have been to Latin American countries and spent time with local social groups, because I am curious as to how you are such an expert on the purported corruption that abounds in Latin American families.

  39. Frank said:

    Alex, what I object to is Hispanics becoming the majority in this country due to ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. It isn’t evolving naturally. What country would stand for a total demographic change in their country in this manner? Certainly not the 22 Latino countries in the Western Hemisphere! But we Whites are supposed to roll over and accept our own cultural genocide in this country and we are racists for not doing so? FYI, I don’t hate Latino immigrants nor any other immigrants. The sujbect is ILLEGAL ALIENS not legal immigrants. Big difference!
    Eyes of Texas has a good response to her pointing out that at another area on the blog, those “high moral values” were pointed out in the high rate of Latino teenage pregnancy. Yeah, it’s really moral to continue to crank out one baby after another and let taxpayers foot the bill for the delivery, feeding, housing, medical care, schooling, free school breakfasts and lunches, etc.
    Latinos tend to have high rates of cohabitation without benefit of marriage, high out of wedlock pregnancy rates, and high use of social services. Yeah, real high moral values there!

  40. Texano78704 said:

    “It isn’t evolving naturally.”
    Really? What is not natural about the law of supply and demand as it applies to labor? You aren’t one of those closet Marxists, are you?
    “Latinos tend to have high rates of cohabitation without benefit of marriage, high out of wedlock pregnancy rates, and high use of social services. Yeah, real high moral values there!”
    Too bad you are not talking about first generation immigrants, though, are you?
    Oh, we could sling mud all day long, particularly with regard to the high rates of divorce, teen pregnancy, and murder that seem to be rampant through the “Bible Belt.” The fact is Alex is right and Frank is out in foul territory.

  41. Frank said:

    There is nothing natural about illegal immigration in the so-called law of supply and demand. It is illegal aliens that are driving this need because they work cheap. Otherwise we would still have a smaller but a good economy anyway. That is much healthier for our country in the long run.
    Do you actually think that most Americans want their traditional society and culture changed all in the name of a huge economy driven by illegal immigration?
    You can bring up the bible belt all you want but it is the high birthrate of Hispanics (many of whom are here illegally and are teenagers) but that is what will be our downfall with this huge population growth and what it takes to sustain it.
    Americans have every right to retain their native culture and society just as Mexico and your 21 other Latino countries do. But you only have a problem with the former and not the latter.

  42. Texano78704 said:

    “There is nothing natural about illegal immigration in the so-called law of supply and demand. It is illegal aliens that are driving this need because they work cheap.”
    Wow, Frank, you are in serious need of an Econ 101 class. No one is forcing any employer to hire cheap labor. I bet they would be able to still make a decent profit paying something more than slave wages.
    “You can bring up the bible belt all you want but it is the high birthrate of Hispanics (many of whom are here illegally and are teenagers) but that is what will be our downfall with this huge population growth and what it takes to sustain it.
    In other words, high birthrates among certain, economically or educationally challenged Anglos, who make up a significant portion of the population is of no concern? I have no doubt your answer is no, since it does not threaten your precious cultural supremacy.
    Do you really have separate statistics on the fertility rates for first generation Latinos and those that have been here more than one generation?
    And what are you defining as “huge population growth,” Frank? Quit being such a curmudgeon and try being a little more concrete with your assertions. It would make it so much easier to shoot down your opinions.

  43. Frank said:

    Texano, no I don’t need an Econo 1 class to tell me that a smaller economy to fit a smaller population is more desirable when one considers all the demands of a huge population growth. It is called the “carrying capacity” of a nation. We have already surpassed that. Try this: http://www.susps.org
    There is no huge overall anglo birthrate even among the less educated ones. Nice try though.
    So wanting to retain our traditional society and culture and not desiring a huge demographic shift in this country due to ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION equates to “cultural supremicy”? Guess that makes every country on the planet cultural supremists then, including Mexico.

  44. Texano78704 said:

    A smaller economy to fit a smaller population? See, I knew you were really a closet Marxist, Frank.
    Although I seriously doubt you have the kind of “environmental” concerns with which the Sierra Club is involved.

  45. Horace said:

    I love Texano’s tenacious adherence to the law of supply and demand when it comes to illegal immigrant day labor. It’s so touching to see a hundred Mexican’s milling about at Home Depot, all fighting for one job. That’s so capitalist of you, Texano. I suppose that you amuse yourself by watching the whole spectacle on Sunday afternoons. Maybe it would be more interesting if we opened up the borders altogether and had them camp out on the edge of town and watch one laborer in a thousand get a few hours of work for the day. In the evening we can all go out to the barrio and watch a one family home turn into a twenty batchelor flat and amuse ourselves by trying to see beyond the rust to identify the models of the ten wrecks on wheels on the front lawn. It’ll be like old home week for you when our country becomes more like Mexico in every way. It will bring a tear to your eye.

  46. Frank said:

    You can doubt all you want, Texano but I am being sincere. It is typical of the pro-illegals to try to discredit any valid argument on the anti side and label it as “hidden” racism and that is because they have no valid arguments of their own that hides their “hidden” agenda.

  47. Texano78704 said:

    I am tenacious, Horace, about making sure you have your chance to be hoisted on your own petard.
    The very same ones that advocate for cultural supremacy and whine about citizens losing jobs to undocumented workers are the very same ones that are often cheerleaders for unbridled capitalism, less government and the “free market.”
    What is really touching is when they support a government that advocates outsourcing middle class jobs overseas. And yes, it is amusing to see them send their remaining hard earned dollars to China, while whining about the decaying infracture.

  48. Horace said:

    “What is really touching is when they support a government that advocates outsourcing middle class jobs overseas. And yes, it is amusing to see them send their remaining hard earned dollars to China, while whining about the decaying infracture.”
    What about the the other side of the coin, the equally abhorent practice of importating foreigners to undercut the wages of U.S. citizens, something you supporters of illegal immigration are doing? How ironic that you should complain about politicians exporting jobs and support those same politicians who would disemploy citizens by replacing them with foreigners. LOL. You’re so blindly allegiant to your illegal alien friends that you don’t even recognize that it’s your petard that’s being hoisted.

  49. Texano78704 said:

    “What about the the other side of the coin, the equally abhorent practice of importating foreigners to undercut the wages of U.S. citizens…”
    Ah, for once we are on the same page.
    Employers, who pay slave wages and pocket the extra profit instead of offering a living wage and benefits, are really an abomination, aren’t they?
    Cheers!

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