Jenny Beth Martin delivers speech at Western Conservative Summit
Jenny Beth Martin delivers a speech at the 2014 Western Conservative Summit in Denver.
The speech covers her recent experiences along the Texas/Mexico border, and underscores our need for protecting our borders and to oppose attempts at a “border bailout”. The text of her speech is as follows:
I bring news from the Rio Grande Valley, the breach point for the largest invasion of American territory since the British occupied and burned our capital city in the War of 1812.
Just yesterday morning, I awoke in McAllen, Texas, having spent the better part of the past week seeing for myself – and for you – exactly what is happening along our southern border.
I spent that time talking to local sheriffs and residents, hearing directly from those on the front lines and learning first hand about the problems on the border.
We hear the calls from people on the left – and even some in the Republican Party – saying we must launch what they call a humanitarian effort.
They tell us we must care for the unaccompanied minors coming into our country.
They tell us we MUST not, no, we CANNOT send these young people back home.
They tell us we must borrow even more money from China to house and clothe and feed and inoculate and treat these strangers who broke into our home.
I am a woman … and a mother … and a Christian … and, I am proud to say, I am an American.
I have listened to these arguments, and I have checked them against my heart, and my head, and my experience, and my values.
And to these arguments, I need but one word to respond – NO.
Disagree? Go to the border and speak with the American citizens with whom I spoke.
Learn about the crime.
Local residents will tell you they have seen a flood of illegal immigrants pouring into their cities over the last two years.
They’ll tell you how crime against persons and property has spiked.
Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez in Del Rio told us of residents along the river who have had their homes robbed – everything from TVs and washing machines to copper wiring – stolen from their homes, put on rafts, and floated across the river into Mexico.
I saw photos of a home where a mother and her children had to crawl and hide under their beds for safety when a gang of illegal immigrants started shooting outside their home.
These are American citizens who have called this part of the country “home” for decades … and many, for generations.
They do not want to cede their land and give up their property – AND THEY SHOULD NOT BE FORCED TO.
We saw a 2.8 mile stretch of fence in Del Rio, Texas.
Two. Point. Eight. Miles.
To put that in context, the border between Texas and Mexico is twelve hundred miles long.
Unless you’re a member of the editorial board of The New York Times, you should have no trouble seeing the problem.
Local residents mock the fence because they realize how easy it is to go around the fence and still get into the country. We saw the beginning of this stretch of fence and could see footpaths worn in the soil where people have literally walked around the fence about 20 feet to the east of where it begins. If it were not so serious, it would be fodder for Jon Stewart.
Then there are the Coyotes – evil people who smuggle human beings across the border for profit.
The coyotes get their money up front. Consequently, in the words of bureaucrats everywhere, they are disincentivized to care whether the people they’re smuggling make it into America alive.
Retired Sheriff Sigi Gonzales, who started the Border Sheriff’s Coalition, told us there are times when coyotes, when cornered by the authorities while approaching the border, will abandon the car …
With people hidden in the trunk …
Which might not be so bad, except that sometimes they do it while driving ACROSS the Rio Grande, and then they just sit and watch as the car sinks in the river and the coyotes escape the Border Patrol.
The evil along the border doesn’t stop there.
Sheriffs confirm that the drug cartels are running the show on the southern side of the border – and all too often on the US side as well.
The drug cartels are sophisticated and cunning. Yet it is not rocket science for them to climb on top of buildings in Mexico and use a binoculars to see when and where the Border Patrol are, then send their network in through an area that is not being covered. Sheriffs confirm that as soon as one area beefs up security and patrols, the illegal immigration catch rate increases in that area … while, not surprisingly, it decreases in OTHER areas along the border.
People don’t realize how this administration has tempted people to enter the United States illegally, subjecting them to this evil in the process.
President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – another one of his executive dictates that flouts the written laws of this nation – is sending a signal to people across Central and South America that if they just get into our country, they are going to be able to stay. Images of plane rides, flat screen TV’s, soccer balls, and teddy bears convey that children will be well cared for and showered with material gifts.
But the media are blocked from the detention centers where young children cry themselves to sleep, wanting their parents.
The reports ignore how dangerous the trek through Central America to the United States can be.
The articles for some reason don’t mention that the overwhelming majority of these so-called “children” are actually mid-teen boys – 16, 17, 18 years old, just the perfect age for the gangs. The young people are at the mercy of drug cartels and brutal desert heat. They risk injury and death if they are not pulled into the drug cartels to be used for other purposes.
Friends … what we are seeing is neither moral nor compassionate.
It is neither moral nor compassionate to encourage parents to send their children off to embark on a life-or-death trek with an uncertain outcome.
It is neither moral nor compassionate to put children at risk of bodily injury, disease, and death – or, possibly even worse, life as a gang slave.
It is neither moral nor compassionate to put our own hard working American families who live on the border at such risk.
It is neither moral nor compassionate to force the American public to borrow another three point seven billion dollars from China to pay for a border bailout.
Unfortunately, those in Washington are responding to the border crisis the way they always do: Grow the bureaucracy, concentrate more power in DC, commission studies rather than taking action, and throw more of our hard earned tax dollars at the problem.
Just like the bank bailouts were used by politicians to cover up problems of their own creation and pay off special interests, this three-point-seven billion-dollar border bailout rewards the president’s allies, builds the centralized bureaucracy, and concentrates more power in the hands of the government. This border bailout is so bad we’d be opposed it even if it were free.
We don’t need it, we don’t want it, and we oppose it. No … border … bailout.
Show of hands –how many have flown in the last year?
At the beginning of every airline flight, we are reminded that should the cabin lose pressure and the oxygen masks deploy, we need to put them on ourselves first before we reach over to help others.
Why? Because if we don’t take care of ourselves first, we’re no damn good to anybody.
Let’s call it … “The Delta Rule.”
[Sotto voce: Hey, Tea Party Patriots is headquartered just outside Atlanta. I fly Delta. A lot.]
I suggest that to be truly compassionate, to be truly moral, we apply The Delta Rule on the border …
First, take care of our own … THEN take care of others.
Instead of a border bailout, simply respect the rule of law. Secure the border.
Millions of immigrants come to America – legally – to pursue the American Dream. We admire them for playing by the rules, respecting American law, and contributing to our country and our communities.
We are for legal immigration – and against illegal immigration. There is already a legal path to citizenship for those wishing to come to the United States. Our government should not reward those who choose to get off that path, cut the line, and break the law – to do so would be immoral, in fact, as it would unfairly punish those who chose to follow the law and play by the rules.
By simply respecting the rule of law and securing the border, we will send a message to the rest of the world that we welcome immigrants who come here legally … and reject those who do not.
One of the things that makes America exceptional is the notion that we are a nation of laws, rather than a nation of men.
But we will only be a nation of laws as long as we ABIDE by the laws.
So today I am on a mission – to recruit YOU for a mission … to rally in opposition to this proposed border bailout.
It is IMMORAL for the President to decide on his own, in clear violation of U.S. law, that he will not send back illegal immigrants, no matter WHAT their age. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program must end immediately.
It is IMMORAL for the President to seek to borrow more billions of dollars to pay for his border bailout.
And it is IMMORAL for the Congress to consider giving him what he seeks.
Call your Congressman. Write your Senators.
Give them one simple message – “Vote NO on the border bailout.”
And if you feel so inclined, you can add a more personal note, to give them an extra little bit of incentive – tell them, “Vote NO on the border bailout – or I’LL be voting NO on YOU in November.”
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.