On the EDge: Whatever became of ‘love thy neighbor’?

Traffic lane photo by shakzu/iStock/Getty Images Plus, US/Mexico wall overlay, Photo by Nerthuz/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

OPINION — The dog and pony show at the border in Calexico on Monday was really nothing more than another thumb in the eye for the Mexican people.

Vice President Mike Pence, accompanied by some border cops and Homeland Security officials, was there simply to hit the ceremonial nail on the head and try to place another brick in a fantasy wall that will never be built, just as his boss did last month.

Of course, last month the big cheese was so over the top in his enthusiasm for the racist, white power, nationalistic wall that he tweeted some photos with the caption “Great briefing this afternoon on the start of our Southern Border WALL!”

Except when the president tweeted his photos and message, the photos were of a portion of the wall that was started in 2009.

I’ve been through that Calexico border crossing a number of times.

In fact, I went through it again Sunday afternoon.

And if you are that terribly afraid of people of color, you can ease your fears because there is a rather sturdy barrier at that border crossing manned by a cadre of border cops, replete in their officialdom, heavy shades and attitude.

I doubt many of you have experienced a land border crossing in Calexico.

It goes something like this.

You drive through Mexicali and quickly get divvied up into a handful of lanes. Some of those lanes are for frequent fliers, the folks who live close to the border but prefer to live in Mexico because of quality of life issues ranging from affordability to cultural ease. It takes a special pass to use those lanes, but it does cut down your time in line a bit.

There is a lane for people requiring medical attention, who are brought through at a much more accelerated pace.

Then there are the lanes for the rest of us who don’t make the crossing that often.

Depending on the day of the week, the proximity to a major holiday and solunar charts, it could take you anywhere from a few minutes to several hours to cross from Mexico to the United States. The longest it has ever taken my wife and me was 3 ½ hours at San Ysidro. Shortest? An hour at Calexico. Even if you have one of those fancy passes like one of the “regulars” it doesn’t assure quick passage.

You see, that pass doesn’t mean a thing if you fail the border cop’s attitude test.

You never really know what that officer’s threshold for aggravation is on any particular day.

Perhaps he had an argument with his wife the night before.

Perhaps he had been chewed out that morning by his boss and was in a lousy mood.

Or perhaps he was just fed up with inhaling the fumes of idling cars and trucks in a poorly ventilated concrete cage and dealing with people understandably dismayed by their time in line.

I’ve made the border crossing in Calexico and San Ysidro, which is just above Tijuana, several times. I still am not quite sure why some people get detained and put through a secondary inspection and why others go through with a nod and smile. But if you get sent to secondary, it can be a living hell. You could sit there an hour or more just waiting for a border cop to inspect all of your bags and have the dogs sniff your vehicle for dope, weapons or other contraband.

There is, seemingly, neither rhyme nor reason.

I’ve known long-haired hippies who have breezed through with nary a word exchanged.

I’ve known guys with slick business haircuts, expensive vehicles and the frequent crossing pass get pulled into the secondary inspection lane almost every time they make the trip.

Mexican nationals travel those lines, and as long as they have the correct paperwork, they go through the same luck-of-the-draw exercise. I’ve seen them go through in nice cars or driving old beaters, traveling alone or with families, dressed nicely or in workingman’s clothes.

As far as undocumented immigration, it really doesn’t matter, because the thing is, as we are learning from Pew Research Center reports, most of the people in the U.S. illegally have been here a long, long time with 66 percent here 10 years or longer.

Most are employed in the service industry rather than as migrant agricultural workers. The thing is they came with legal visas. Most didn’t sneak over a wall, under a fence or by hiking across a barren desert. Most weren’t smuggled in the trunk of a car or in the back of a truck by an unscrupulous “coyote.”

In fact, the trend today is for them to fly in with a bright and shiny green card, which they use to find work, a home and to settle. That stereotype business? It’s just that. So you can have a 100-foot or 1,000-foot wall and guess what? It won’t make a difference. So how do you combat that?

Over the weekend about 100 Central American migrants encamped on the border in Tijuana, hoping to receive asylum in the United States. They came by foot, bus, train – any means available – seeking peace of mind and freedom from a dangerous lifestyle of murder, dealers and violence.

This isn’t Mexico knocking on our door, this is Central America, where the real danger lies, where life is pretty much an unending, horrifying loop from a Quentin Tarantino flick. These people are sleeping on the sidewalk on the Mexican side of the border, waiting for a chance to talk to a U.S. immigration officer about asylum.

But it is Mexico getting the jab on the chest and thumb in the eye.

It is Mexico that will pay for this pipedream, according to the president, vice president and others who have taken big, fat hits off of that pipe.

I’m telling you right now, that will never happen.

On July 1, Mexico will go to the polls and undoubtedly elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador as its new president. AMLO, as he is known to Mexican voters, has failed in a couple of previous runs for the presidency, but became the runaway favorite in the polls when he struck a position that was as anti-Trump as Trump is anti-Mexico.

AMLO is a source of pride to a Mexican population that has felt abandoned and dishonored by President Enrique Peña Nieto, the leader of a party that has been plagued by scandal and corruption to the point where his approval ratings have hovered between 12 and 20 percent during the past year and has cowered, for the most part, in the shade of Trump’s unhinged diatribes against Mexico.

So there is upheaval in the wind, dissatisfaction at its core and some provocateur throwing barbs and insults across the border will simply fan the flames of discontent.

I seem to recall a moral lesson once about loving thy neighbor.

I wonder whatever became of that.

No bad days!

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: edkociela.mx@gmail.com

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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48 Comments

  • RadRabbit May 1, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    What happened to obeying the law? We are a nation of laws and there is a legal way to enter the U.S. I know many people who have done it the legal way, it’s not fast nor easy but it is the correct way to do it and the only way if you wish to be able to stay here without fear being sent back to wherever you came at a moments notice. As someone who’s lived near the Mexico border for most of my life I can say Mexico is not a good neighbor. They dump raw sewage into the ocean and encourage its citizens to break the law and enter the U.S. illegally. If people from whatever country no matter what nationality wish to come here I like many Americans welcome them just do it legally and have some respect.

  • Real Life May 1, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    When I first seen the news on the caravan of potential illegals headed our way, I was wondering what was taking Ed so long to pounce on it. And POW, here it is. And it is a huge load of garbage. Illegals are putting a HUGE strain on our country, and ultra “Progressives” like Ed expect us all to just bend over and take it.

    • No Filter May 2, 2018 at 8:18 am

      So I guess you wont be at the Cinco de Mayo festival this weekend at the Catholic church?

      • Real Life May 2, 2018 at 9:27 am

        I have zero problem with Latinos. I have a huge problem, as does this country, with ILLEGALS. Get your head out of your rear.

        • Striker4 May 2, 2018 at 3:32 pm

          does that mean you’re showing up at the Cinco Dr Mayo celebration ?

          • Real Life May 2, 2018 at 7:29 pm

            Sure. I love a good margarita!

  • DRT May 1, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Ed, the last time I tried to love my neighbor, both her hubby and my wife objected.
    I’ve been through the crossing from Calexico to Mexacalli and back. Not a lot of fun there.

  • No Filter May 1, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    You morons in the comment section don’t know the difference between asylum seekers and people trying to get into the country illegally. These people need our help and we are bound by the refugee act of 1980 to process their request for asylum. Maybe you should do some research before jump to conclusions.

    • Real Life May 1, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      YOU take them.

      • No Filter May 2, 2018 at 8:09 am

        I would gladly help someone in need, especially an innocent child, sign me up. Your christian bible states in Proverbs 3:27, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act”. For a state that is nearly 95% christian, you people sure don’t act very christian. I think you better go back to bible study. These people are looking for refuge are mainly christian as well, not your weird LDS cult version, but christian non the less. I bet if they were Mormon you guys would be sending people to help, but only if they pay tithing right?

      • Striker4 May 2, 2018 at 3:35 pm

        does that mean you’re not showing up at the Cinco de Mayo celebration ?

    • Ladyk May 2, 2018 at 12:41 am

      No Filter, how do you know that these exact people need our help. Do you know more about them than the rest of us do? Because at this point no one knows anything about them other than they are trying to enter ahead of everyone else who has been obeying the law and working to come legally. As far as you or anyone else knows these 100 people are the kings and queens of Honduras. Or maybe they aren’t from there at all. I saw one guy walking with the group with su glasses on, or as Ed puts it “heavy shades and attitude” with a bandana covering his face and obviously not wanting his face shown so he couldn’t be identified. Yup he needs our help. How about you learn the facts after the law has been followed and the people who protect us at the border do their jobs. Or would you just rather we open the border and let all of southern Mexico come in.

      • No Filter May 2, 2018 at 9:43 am

        First thing is I am not saying let them in and I don’t know if they need help personally, I am saying lets process them as refugees as we have promised since WWII, and let our system work the way it is meant to work. This means some, possibly many of them will be turned around. Second they are not from Mexico, learn your geography. There is no such country as Southern Mexico

    • RadRabbit May 2, 2018 at 12:16 pm

      They are also require to seek refuge in the first safe country they enter which Mexico would fit.

  • Debbie May 1, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    What ever happened to don’t do anything illegal? What ever happened to don’t illegally use your neighbors resources at their expense? This article is very good at deflecting any responsibility on the person doing things illegally and putting the “wrong” on the people who are living in their own country. Does the legality change because you have been breaking the law for 10 years? If it is illegal then your breaking law. Doesn’t matter how long you have been doing it.

    • No Filter May 2, 2018 at 8:16 am

      They are not doing anything illegal, they are seeking asylum. Yes a couple over zealous people hoped the fence and should be punished, but most are waiting to be processed legally. You people are dense!

  • commonsense May 1, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    You just can’t have open borders and a welfare state. America is trillions in debt and it’s not fair to impose additional debt on our children to accommodate anyone who wants to enter by any means except by orderly immigration.

    The problem is Democrats think of illegals as potential Democrats. It has nothing to do with love or compassion. BTW where is the love for other Americans who may have different political ideas?
    Or a president who has given up a comfortable life to MAGA at great personal loss of income and privacy? I see no love in Kathy Griffin, Stephen Colbert, Whoopi, Soros, all of whom are full of blind hate and greed.

    • No Filter May 2, 2018 at 8:14 am

      Wow you have gone over the edge, saying the president has given up his comfortable life to help america is the biggest load of BS I have ever heard. If you really think he is doing this for any other reason then to feed his ego and his bank account then you are either getting paid by him or you have brain damage. Someone should put you in a home because you are going to hurt someone.

  • dodgers May 2, 2018 at 5:39 am

    Ed-why are you so blind and hateful? Perhaps you should learn to love your neighbor, even when they have beliefs and opinions different from yours. Disagreeing with many of Mexico’s policies does not mean our president Trump, or anyone else, is “anti-Mexico.” You’ve got to accept the fact that many people have opinions and beliefs different from yours and not castigate them the result of not fitting neatly into your box. You need to re-learn to love you neighbor.

    As for Mexico, they should be providing refuge for all the people coming from Central America. Unless the refugees would be persecuted in Mexico, why should they extend their journey?

  • ladybugavenger May 2, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Holy moly! You just pick a scripture and use it for your point? Oh my! Then use this one to. Roman’s 13. Heres just a piece of obey the laws of the land. Feel free to read the entire chapter.

    “13 Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. 2 So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow. 3 For the policeman does not frighten people who are doing right; but those doing evil will always fear him. So if you don’t want to be afraid, keep the laws and you will get along well. 4 The policeman is sent by God to help you. But if you are doing something wrong, of course you should be afraid, for he will have you punished. He is sent by God for that very purpose. 5 Obey the laws, then, for two reasons: first, to keep from being punished, and second, just because you know you should.”

    • No Filter May 2, 2018 at 12:00 pm

      If your going to quote your scripture you better make sure you quote it correctly. There is no use of the word policeman in your chosen scripture. And for your information I don’t follow your fake god, I was only using the words to prove that Christians say they are loving of all people but never do they ever truly live by the words they preach. Pray to your imaginary friend in the clouds and ask him what he would do?

      • ladybugavenger May 2, 2018 at 2:09 pm

        I wasn’t talking to you.
        It was living bible translation.
        Love they neighbor comes from the Bible.
        Obey the laws of the land comes from the Bible too.

        You dont know what Christian means. You’re a non believer, you cant possibly knows what if means. As as non believer, you don’t know know what the Bible says or its meaning, for you have no wisdom.

        I want even talking to you, I didnt even read your comments.

        You are very hateful and I dont believe in fairly tales, like santa claus and Easter bunny.

        I suppose you only have love and acceptance for your kind.

        • No Filter May 2, 2018 at 3:41 pm

          I can read, therefore I know what the bible says. The meaning is irrelevant, because you can make your own meaning for the context. And to say one has no wisdom for being a non-believer is ludicrous. Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking’s were all “non-believers” just to name a few. How about Mark Twain? Do you think these people have no wisdom? Wisdom is defined as the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment, not believing in words from a book with no proven facts. Science is real, your bible is fake. If we got rid of all books in the world, in a 1,000 years the science books would be the same because they are based on scientific facts and test, but your bible could never be duplicated because it is made of stories from people around the time of 300 AD to use as a tool to control the people of the Roman Empire. It is all based on mythology from several cultures from the Greeks to the ancient Egypt. Every bible story can be read in ancient stories long before your book was written, and every christian holiday can be traced to ancient and sometimes pagan roots. Put your belief in people not storybook characters.

          • ladybugavenger May 2, 2018 at 3:46 pm

            blah blah blah

          • ladybugavenger May 2, 2018 at 3:48 pm

            People are the one thing I dont believe in. Unless that belief is, they all lie

          • No Filter May 2, 2018 at 9:03 pm

            It must be a lonely life you live.

          • ladybugavenger May 2, 2018 at 9:59 pm

            We are obviously talking about 2 different things lol. We arent even having a conversation on the same subject.

            My life isn’t lonely, its peaceful 😁

            I work with people and the public all day, believe me, I look forward to being home alone but my husband is here, so I’m not alone, ever! Good thing he makes me laugh, (usually at him, but I’m laughing)

            No filter, I hope you noticed that we were having 2 different conversations about 2 different subjects.
            Peace!

  • asianspa May 2, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    We can love our neighbor but the best way is tough love. We must love them and help them with a position of strength and in order to maintain that we can’t have a massive inflow of cheap wage terrorists driving our wages down, real estate higher, and ultimately our standard of living into the ground. I lived in Los Angeles and it was common that 10 would pile into a 2 bedroom apartment and the landlord rather than kick them out would simply just push the rent up and up and up… I being a single male , how can I compete with the prices 10 blue collar cash paid illegal and psuedo illegals were paying on my single income? I don’t wish to live in an apartment with 9 others and I dont want to go into the workforce and drop my rate to compete with them. We need to enact trade policies that aren’t predatory as well so people within mexico will actually want to stay. The elites have created this and want the working class regardless of race to be driven into the ground endlessly. Democrats love cheap votes and the crony rhino republicans love cheap labor… I had high hopes for the policies Trump wanted to enact in getting tough on immigration, but at this point I am concerned if any of it will happen. Seems like a lot of hyperbole and little action.

    • comments May 2, 2018 at 6:55 pm

      trump is settling in to his comfy little corrupt crony globalist republican space. nothing he promised will get done. it was all a sham.

  • commonsense May 2, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    It has been estimated that Trump spent over a million of his own money on the campaign and takes no salary as president. He controls none of his business empire while president and will come out of this with a lower net worth than he had when he stared. This is quite a contrast to the Obamas and Clintons who are cleaned financially from dirty politics and fraudulent charity foundations.

    Trump loves America and it shows in the growth of the economy, jobs, millitary strength, law enforcement, protection of our borders, tax benefits to all Americans and a safer world.

    • comments May 2, 2018 at 6:56 pm

      we get it, circusboy, you believe the donald is the second coming of Christ himself…

      • Sparky May 3, 2018 at 7:38 am

        No, comments he is FAR from the second coming, but anyone who cant agree with this statement at least in part is blinded by their own pride. It’s so popular to bag on the president no matter who is in, people begin to believe it, they all suck, they never seem to do the right thing(in half the peoples eyes) heck, i even still say “thanks obama” like 3-4 times a week, but when you look at the things and policies Trump is doing/attempting, and has been working on, he to me, seems like the only president to love america in a long time.

  • utahdiablo May 2, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Ed, it comes down to this…come in legally or don’t come in…there is a line to get in to come in legally, this Caravan decides to bypass that line because they claim to need a safe harbor, that safe harbor is Mexico, not the USA and they will be thrown back across the border because of that fact

    • PatriotLiberal May 2, 2018 at 4:20 pm

      For once, we agree.

  • chris keele May 2, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    It seems Ed, like most every progressive I have talked with, you continue to attempt to make the people in our Country feel guilty for wanting the rule of law enforced, we are not mean people or anti immigrant, we just would prefer to be among people who have been raised from year one taught respect for the foundational principles of the American revolution, and prefer not to dilute our culture with people that came from countries where corruption is considered normal, or consistent with traditional acceptable norms, we prefer those that understand and respect the rule of law, it is unsustainable for this country to spend $ 160 billion dollars every year to support this nonsense. The overwhelming expense is going to catch up with us soon and it will not be pretty.

  • Striker4 May 2, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Why don’t ya’all come on down to the Cinco de Mayo celebration

  • Craig May 2, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    A rather distasteful article.

  • ladybugavenger May 2, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    What no filter is confusing is 1. Mexicans; with 2. Illegally crossing borders. One is the people and the other is an act of a person. I love Mexicans, but I dont love people crossing illegally and staying that way. I’m all for getting citizenship.

    The second, (illegally crossing border) is a disgrace to all those that have gone through the process to become legal.

    I don’t believe that illegals should get U.S. welfare. Never have believed they should.

    Build the Wall!

    • No Filter May 2, 2018 at 9:02 pm

      1) the people seeking refuge aren’t Mexican
      2) They aren’t illegally trying to cross the border, they are legally try to seek asylum.

      • Real Life May 3, 2018 at 7:30 am

        As much time as you sure seem to have, perhaps you could move to a Central American country, and better use your time trying to improve the lives of the locals so they don’t have to try and enter our country illegally. Good luck!

        • No Filter May 3, 2018 at 8:20 am

          I do my part to help all people in need, from working at soup kitchens to helping people get clean drinking water in third world countries. I have been to these places building houses and digging wells for water, maybe you should do some volunteer work to help people locally. It might open your eyes a little bit and give you a better sense of humanity.

          • ladybugavenger May 3, 2018 at 12:25 pm

            Like I said, we are having 2 different conversations on 2 different subjects. We are not talking about the same subject lol. First of all, my first comment had nothing to do with you. It was was actually to the headline of the article. Somehow, you internalized it. After I said, I wasnt talking to you and I didnt read your comments, you continued with your plight. I’m talking about illegals and your talking about refugees. You want to keep going on and on and we arent even talking about the same thing. Now, you want to comment on what a great help you are, but not before throwing a few jabs at me. And then a few more after your list of humanitarian work.
            We will do this in the future, but Next time let’s talk about the same subject 😉

            Have a great day!

      • Ladyk May 5, 2018 at 8:46 pm

        No Filter. If you want to seek asylum you go to the embassy of the country you want to go to in your country. If yiiu live in Hondorus and want to go to the U.S. the law says you go to the US embassy in Hondorus and apply for asylum. That way if you are rejected you haven’t left your home country and illegally entered another. Those who did it the wrong way did so purely to put pressure on the United States. I’m tired of people from any country thinking they can get something for nothing. Did you know that there are companies in Asia who take thousands of dollars from families so that a pregnant woman can fly to the United States just in time to have their baby. That child get automatic citizenship and all the benefits that come with it. Including warfare and education. It’s a scam and we allow it. It’s time to change the laws NOW.

  • RadRabbit May 2, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    You wouldn’t walk into your neighbors house without their permission and you would most likely be arrested same applies with entering another country when you don’t have permission to do so.

    • ladybugavenger May 2, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      So simple!

    • No Filter May 3, 2018 at 8:22 am

      Except they aren’t doing that, they are knocking on the door and saying please help me, if I go back to my country I will be killed.

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