Letters from the issue of Thursday, May 19, 2005

 Who's Alienated Now?

Editor's note: Michael Lacey's satirical column "Alienated" (May 5) got readers' attention in a big way -- mostly because what he described (vigilantes drawing down on 800 Mexicans inside a Phoenix Roman Catholic church) is almost predictable in an era of "Minutemen" patrolling Arizona's border with Mexico and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas' declining to prosecute a U.S. citizen who held unarmed Mexicans at gunpoint at a rest stop. What follows is a selection of the responses that avalanched into New Times after Lacey's parody was published:

See the cover. Judge the book: These airport security guys you wrote about in "Alienated" are patriots! I can see how they would get sick and tired of busting good Americans at Sky Harbor and go out and take the law into their own hands.

I am so proud that we have a patriot like Andrew Thomas in the County Attorney's Office. When he ran his campaign on stopping illegal immigrants, I wondered how he was going to do that as county attorney, since I thought that office has nothing to do with who comes across our borders. But now I know!

If good Americans break the law in Maricopa County by stopping wetbacks from coming here, Thomas will refuse to prosecute them. He will even do this to the point of endorsing the use of weapons on people who look Latino at rest stops. My response is: Finally somebody in public office gets it!

Even if those of us against illegal immigration wind up pulling guns on legal Hispanic residents, who cares?! Their families came here illegally a generation ago. It's payback that they suffer now.
Tommy Dan, Prescott

When in the course of human events: Being that the federal government is perfectly happy with illegal immigration -- keeps wages down, unions at bay, etc. -- what's wrong with citizens standing up and saying "No!"? When the government stops supporting what individuals want, then the individuals should fix things themselves.

I find it amusing that both liberals and neo-conservatives like illegal immigration; it's about time they agreed on something, though sadly both sides are completely (as usual) mistaken.

I personally cannot think of a single benefit bestowed upon our society from illegal immigrants. I would love to see one of the pro-illegal-immigration people give me a list as to what benefits they are bestowing upon us. There are hundreds of reasons illegal aliens should not be here. Supporting an illegal activity is a very odd thing.
Kevin Mercer, Flagstaff

Oregonians could be next: What's wrong with Maricopa County? It seems as if racism and tyranny are encouraged here.

I have just moved here from Eugene, Oregon, and have never seen anything to the nature of what goes on here. It seems there is a flux of crazed racist folks who seem to think that holding human beings at gunpoint in a church is acceptable conduct.

To me it almost seems like a form of ethnic cleansing.

I mean, come on, these folks (as stated in your column) do a lot of the work that "citizens" don't want to do. They aren't committing a crime other than not being documented. It seems that having Sheriff Joe Arpaio in office has encouraged folks around here to step outside the law and take a maverick approach to policing.

Now, this deal you describe with the Canadians?!

Again, come on, there seem to be a lot of hateful misers who want a better tee time. Maybe having a visiting Canadian teeing off before them was inconvenient, but what the fuck!
Ryan Huisman, Scottsdale

Insensitive rhetoric: I read Michael Lacey's column today. Last night, the pastor of Immaculate Heart Church was here at our parish, St. Agnes', to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. Neither before dinner nor during the dinner conversation did he mention that his congregation had been arrested en masse this past Sunday. As a daily newspaper reader, I was surprised such a story in your weekly had not appeared previously in the daily papers, or even in the other media.

I can only conclude that this column is some sort of fiction. I'm disappointed in this because it will strike fear into the hearts of some of the most vulnerable people in our society, and drive them further underground. What may be an exercise in rhetoric or politics for you has dire consequences for these least brothers and sisters of ours and of Christ.

The lack of sensitivity and understanding on the part of the majority of us north of the political border is what is causing the mass migration from Mexico in the first place, and the historically prolonged uncharacteristic and inhospitable response of so many "American" citizens.
Father Brad Peterson, Phoenix

Is church the new Tent City?: I was sitting here looking through your magazine when I came across the column "Alienated," and it made me sick.

I can't believe these fools had the nerve to go into a church, a sacred place, and do this. Come on, coyotes in a church on Sunday, when the weekend is their busiest time?! And red-light runners, car thieves and homies at church, confessing their sins and begging forgiveness because they feel guilty?!

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My Voice Nation Help

okay i need your help i know you are picking up people that dont have there greencards. i could help by telling you where u could find those people i worke with them i have my greencard.but this people are working with other peoples papers..if you want more information.

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