Sunday, July 31, 2016
Our (Trump) Speech - Given in Absentia
Sons of the American Southern Border
Our (Trump) Speech
Given in Absentia
By Stephen L. Wilmeth
I stand before you as an endangered species.
I am an American rancher. There are not a lot of us. In fact, less than one percent of every man, woman, and child in this great land is classified amongst our ranks. In my case, you could also say I am an American border rancher because my lands lie within sight of the Mexican border in Luna and Dona Ana Counties, New Mexico.
Whooey, look at this place!
My goodness, this hall is immense. I’ll bet you could stack 50,000 tons of hay in here if you could stack one. Stacking hay is something we understand. It is a fact of life in our role as the real land stewards of the West.
If you don’t mind, I am going to leave my hat on while I speak. That is something I normally wouldn’t do. My grandmother wouldn’t approve and I’ll beg her memory for forgiveness in this lapse of etiquette, but I want you to look at me in the image of all my colleagues who couldn’t be here.
I am here tonight to support the presidential candidate who isn’t owned by the system. I am going to support the one that actually realizes that American citizenry exists or attempts to exist between the 77th and 118th Meridians! I am also going to support the one that understands there is a Constitutional mandate to protect our international borders and particular the one 30 miles south of me, our southern border.
Let’s talk about that.
This fellow in the Whitehouse keeps telling us that American border security is better than ever. He’s not telling the truth. We live with the reality of what actually goes on, and any suggestion this border is sealed is utter nonsense. We no longer listen to his rhetoric. Rather, everybody who has investments, duties or responsibilities on this border knows the real truth and we trust only our own community and the information we experience firsthand.
The conversation between cowboys and vaqueros across the border fence offers much more reliable intelligence. At least it is couched in honesty. The Mexicans know who controls the smuggling corridors. The corridor directly to our south is now reserved for drug crossings. We see very little evidence of large scale human trafficking. It is too valuable to draw attention of elicit human crossings. The Juarez Cartel has dibs on this corridor, the Potrillo Mountains. Designated by the same fellow in the Whitehouse as one of his legacy national monuments this area is becoming a hugely valuable drug trafficking corridor. It has every characteristic of the dangerous Arizona class corridors. It has north/south oriented drainages. It has strategic, high points of observation. It has major east/west highways both north and south of its mass. It has fewer and fewer American ranchers living on its remote locations. It is rural with few numbers of Americans present at any time. It is managed by a federal land agency without any vested risk to federal employees, and, with the new designation with its restricted access rules, it is a mosaic of safe haven and managed wilderness safe zones.
Ask yourself this. How can private citizenry identify the very characteristics that make this border monument so dangerous and yet our political leadership and our federal bureaucracies operate as if this border is a nature park of pastoral bliss? This is nuts. It is not as if the risk is not there. The state of New Mexico has a policy that when state employees venture into this area to certify livestock scales, those employees must be accompanied by armed escort.
This area represents a doormat to a national crisis of immense proportions. At any time, there are unit trains parked along its northern boundary awaiting priority clearance east and west. There is also a major east/west natural gas line paralleling that rail line, and, of course, I10 lies immediately north with upwards of 17,000 vehicles a day running east and west.
Mr. Trump, you need to understand the consequences of this looming disaster!
Days ago, my neighbor to the south and within the monument found a bundle of carpet slippers used by drug runners to cover their shoes and thus their tracks of entry within a few hundred yards of his home. This was preceded by the discovery of a female corpse at one of his remote livestock waters. He consistently hears cartel ultra light aircraft at night and Border Patrol agents park in his front yard when they unload their ATVs to disperse on patrols. He is increasingly surrounded by illicit activity in the presence of the Border Patrol even though his home is 17 miles north of the line of demarcation where the public has been told the Border Patrol will interdict all invading illegals. We were all told that when the two New Mexico senators tried to get the monument passed as a legislative package. They told us the same thing after the monument was created by presidential proclamation.
The problem is that was a lie as well. There is no hope that this border will be secured under the conditions of protection imposed on American citizenry and Homeland Security. Like so many other issues, we have become the undeclared enemy regulated from access and defense of the border not the cartels or the human traffickers.
Mr. Trump, you and the leadership that intends to perpetuate this Union must gain a new perspective. The cornerstone must be this border! The methods of control that have proven to work like boots on the ground, technology to provide surveillance and detection of entry, the authority to go anywhere at any time without restriction, and manifest to allow duty to prevail rather than politics must be granted to the Border Patrol.
You must also put Americans vested with those investments, responsibilities, and duties back on the border as well. Start with our American ranchers. They have always been the first line of defense. They are the eyes and ears that are constantly on duty. Make them a purpose alongside border protection and national defense when interpreting, improving, or crafting new legislation. You have no idea how important it is to have Americans with investments at risk to be there in support of not only their livelihoods and investments, but the contributory impact they provide for border protection.
Don’t continue to allow regulatory suffocation and environmental agenda creep to promote the forced departure of these citizens. Support them in their infrastructure improvements for the real benefit for the environment and the humanitarian contributions of their presence. It has always been their water that saves the invading army of illegals. It is their presence that offers sanctuary of life to people who are overwhelmed by the horrific conditions of the expanses of federal lands along the border. Allow them reasonable regulatory relief that at least gives them an opportunity for success and a better future.
Give them hope, too!
Allow them to start planning longer term for their investments. Install policy that offers longer horizons for investments and infrastructure improvements. Make it a benefit to be on the border, on the land, rather than an increasingly hostile place to live, produce, and exist for both illegals and legals alike! Recognize the consequences that local communities have suffered under the rules, decrees, and the interpretation of policies by this federal government. The very ingress of drugs and illicit activity are becoming manifest in border communities. This must stop!
Nobody knows the border better than the Americans who live here and want to be here on the basis of individual and family choice. Again, you must recognize the border is a cornerstone of American rule of law. There is no better place to refocus the originality of our great experiment than right here. We don’t ask for guarantees, but we do expect our government to uphold their obligation to protect our border. At the same time, we ask for a level playing field for our enterprises and our existence. Our presence is not only symbolic it is greatly important. La Frontera is an appropriate term of our view of the Mexican border. Donald Trump, you be the leader that brings law and order to this part of America, La Frontera. Never has this soft underbelly been fully addressed, but never has it been more dangerous.
Energize your campaign by pledging to these American citizens that you will do your part if they pledge to stand their ground and remain committed to their lives and their historical task of land stewardship in this most critical corner of America. Start right here, right now, and make this the genesis of the great American reawakening!
Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “A border populated by resident Americans with their cattle and their investments at risk is the best foundation for a defensible border.”