In Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, a seemingly endless surge of immigrants
The call went out on Border Patrol radios just before sundown one day this week: 31 immigrants spotted illegally crossing the Rio Grande on a raft.
No sooner had the migrants been found hiding in the mesquite brush than another report came in: A woman and boy were walking up the riverbank.
The Rio Grande Valley has become ground zero for an unprecedented surge in families and unaccompanied children flooding across the Southwest border, creating what the Obama administration is calling a humanitarian crisis as border officials struggle to accommodate new detainees. Largely from Central America, they are now arriving at a rate of more than 35,000 a month.
Anzalduas Park, a 96-acre expanse of close-cropped fields and woodland that sits on the southern bend of the river, has turned from an idyllic family recreation area into a high-traffic zone for illegal migration.
The number of children and teenagers traveling alone from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador is expected to reach up to 90,000 across the Southwest border by the end of the year, along with a surge of families with children seeking safe passage into the U.S.
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‘Dog Whisperer’ Cesar Millan on ‘lazy’ Americans, illegal immigration, and my cynophobia
By Ryan Kearny / TBD
Cesar Millan was a 21-year-old farm boy when, in his words, he “jumped the border.” He was without Mexican friends or family, and didn’t speak any English. If he had known the language, he told me while in D.C. last week, he simply would have crossed the border through immigration. “I would have said, ‘I’m an American citizen,’ and they let you in. I saw a lot of people doing it, but they were confident about it. They were illegal but confident about it, and I just didn’t feel like I could say the words ‘American citizen’ without an accent.” Now, 20 years later, he’s one of America’s most famous TV personalities — on cable, anyway — as the host of Dog Whisperer, a National Geographic Channel show that begins its seventh season at 8 p.m. tonight (with a terrorized Howie Mandel as its subject).
On the program and in person, Millan is no longer short on confidence. With neatly trimmed gray hair but a youthful face, he’s an American citizen now — “This immigrant pays good taxes,” he said, winking at me — and he’s unafraid to share his thoughts about “privileged,” “lazy” American workers and the treatment of illegal immigrants in the U.S.
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In the YouTube vide below “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan tells Canadian talk show host George Stroumboulopoulos that “Immigrants only fill empty spaces.”
John Oliver’s Latest Epic Rant Destroys Immigration Myths Hilariously One by One
By Janet Allon / AlterNet
HBO’s British-accented comedian John Oliver took on a topic that is close to his heart last night, ranting for more than 10 minutes about America and immigration. His starting point is how the media jumped on the defeat of House Speaker Eric Cantor by libertarian, anti-immigrationist economics professor Dave Brat and declared that “Immigration reform is dead . . . dead as a doornail . . . dead.”
Oliver dismantles that myth by pointing out that 65,000 primary voters in Virginia do not a mandate make. He digresses to show clips of racists and anti-immigrant idiots in other countries. “I come from England,” he points out. “It’s a national pastime hating immigrants.”
Then he turns to some of the absurd statements anti-immigrationists make here.
Dave Brat declared that, “We clearly can’t import 7 billion people into America,” to which Oliver points out. “No one is suggesting that.”
With all the misinformation, Oliver wonders if maybe we can build a protective barrier around ourselves against, “and this is going to sound a little racist,” he quips, “undocumented opinions.”
These include provably untrue claims like the one about immigrants taking away real Americans’ jobs.
“It’s not true, but it feels like it might be,” Oliver says. “Like bears only have sex face to face.”
Iowa Tea Party Rep. Steve King’s infamous and ridiculous claim that immigrants have cantaloupe calves because they are hauling marijuana gets the sharp-tongued British treatment as well.
But Oliver likes America. “It’s really great here,” he says genuinely. “You guys have done a great job branding yourselves.”
That brand, of course, includes the embrace of immigrants.
Watch. It’s, as the British might say, spot on.