Patterico's Pontifications


Steve Lopez: The Illegal Immigration Debate Will Be Changed By Anecdotes — As Long As We Give Only One Side of the Story

Filed under: Deport the Criminals First,Dog Trainer,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 12:02 am

Steve Lopez of the L.A. Times says you can get people to embrace illegal immigrants by telling stories.

But the stories he tells are one-sided. I have another side to tell you about.

Lopez writes:

“Immigration is always a divisive issue,” [former Occidental College president Ted] Mitchell said, “and [illegal immigrant Angelica Salas has] been at her best in building bridges.”

Her job is to tell stories, Salas told me. It’s not as easy for people to stand back and scream after they’ve heard a story and made a connection.

Well, I guess that depends on the story you choose to tell. Lopez, the L.A. Times columnist, is interested in the stories that portray illegals as heroes:

Salas believes the tone of the debate has been and will continue to be changed by humanizing it.

I know she’s right. I know because of the gardener who was shot in the chest on a job in Inglewood and returned the next day because he’d promised the homeowner he’d be done by Christmas.

I know because of the Mid-City school volunteer who lives in a cramped one-bedroom apartment with her children. If I went and saw the impoverished Mexican village she came from, she told me, I’d understand why she was so happy. So I did, and I do.

I have no doubt that he’s right that these are good people. I fully agree with Lopez when he says: “I know that if my family were starving in a country with an incompetent and corrupt government, and my children might have a better future across the border, I’d do what I had to do.” Indeed. I have said similar things many times.

These stories are part of the overall picture. But there is another group of stories that forms part of that picture as well. And I don’t think Steve Lopez will be telling you about them.

But I will.

From the Indy Star (h/t SM):

A 27-year-old day laborer admitted in court Thursday to abducting and sexually assaulting his 7-year-old neighbor at a Southside apartment complex.

“I know what I did,” said Jonathan Castillo, speaking through a Spanish translator in Marion Superior Court. “I was drunk, and I can’t just fix things just because I’m drunk.”

The victim underwent surgery after the attack early Tuesday and remained in Riley Hospital for Children on Thursday, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Sgt. Matthew Mount said.

. . . .

Prosecutors asked that Castillo’s bond be increased to $250,000, citing the risk to the community and a flight risk because Castillo is an illegal immigrant. Castillo had told Rubick he is a dual citizen of Mexico and Honduras and works as a day laborer.

Castillo also has prior convictions for two felonies — theft and residential entry — as well as driving while intoxicated and domestic battery, records show.

Regular readers are getting sick of reading my repeated entreaties that we address the illegal immigrant problem by concentrating on deporting illegals who commit crimes. But I will not stop talking about it until this common-sense policy is the law of the land. It appears that immigration authorities in Indiana had several chances to put my policy into practice and deport Jonathan Castillo. Because they didn’t, a seven-year-old girl was sexually assaulted — her life changed forever, thanks to the utter negligence of our federal government.

You think this is the only such story out there? Think again. I am going to make it my mission to bring you more stories like this. Because they form part of the overall picture — and it’s a part of the picture you aren’t seeing elsewhere.

Like Lopez, I believe the tone of the debate can be changed by humanizing it. But unlike Lopez, I think we should tell both sides of the story. This is one side that deserves to be told. Steve Lopez will never tell you about it — but now you know anyway.

32 Responses to “Steve Lopez: The Illegal Immigration Debate Will Be Changed By Anecdotes — As Long As We Give Only One Side of the Story”

  1. There are some interesting anecdotes at the FBI’s list of people wanted nationwide for murder. There are 29 Mexican nationals on the list, which represent 41% of the total. By comparison, American citizens make up 49% of the group. Of all the foreign nationals on the list, 83% are Mexican.

    For some more local anecdotes, look over the LAPD’s wanted list. Don’t just look at the names and photos – check out the crimes that are described. Those who one would suspect are illegals are by a large majority wanted for murder or assault. Most of the rest are wanted for things like embezzlement, fraud or burglary.

    Agrifolia (f6ecc4)

  2. Thanks Agrifolia for those links…

    So just how much is this invasion of illgals costing us?

    Consider the heartbreak and angst illegals cause: human costs of illegal immigration

    juandos (6b76aa)

  3. I like the LAPD list, but the birth dates and ages are out of sync with 2007. Is this an old list, or are some of the postings really old?

    For every feel good story about illegals the MSM will trot out, there will be a 1,000 stories about illegals who are rapists, murders, etc. that the MSM will never mention.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  4. And they all have leprosy too, ya know!

    David Ehrenstein (eeb6f7)

  5. I will link to every story you tell. One of my daughter’s best friends was recently run over by a Mexican illegal driving a stolen car. He was arrested, and naturally released on bail by a judge with a Mexican last name. The illgal just vanished and there was limited insurance. My daughter’s friend? A cripple for life.

    I would only point out that the author of the piece also has a Mexican last name. I submit that he, like 60% of Mexican surnamed people, is loyal to Mexico City, not Washington D.C.

    Howard Veit (4ba8d4)

  6. It has been estimated that 30 percent of the jail/prison population in the nation is comprised of illegals. I don’t really know for sure. But if you go into every criminal court in the county you will see a Spanish interpreter.

    Alta Bob (4542a8)

  7. What Lopez fails to disclose or look into is that Salas’ organization has allegedly collaborated with the MexicanGovernment.

    I’d suggest concentrating on that side of things rather than dueling anecdotes.

    TLB (0c89cb)

  8. Unfortunately, the ‘feel good’ stories of the illegal immigrants does not change the economic or suffering infrastructure factor. It seems that we have had 20 years of dealing with this issue on an emotional level and perhaps its prudent, considering the above mentioned suffering infrastructure and economy, to deal with it on a non-emotional level and enforce the laws on the book, seal the borders and then pull out the feel-goods.

    Dana (106fe1)

  9. I am more immigration-friendly than many who hang out here, but I am with Pat all the way and then some on the issue of deporting those who entered the country illegaly, and then committed crimes.

    ICE is expending more resources to do this in areas which ask for those resources. It’s a start.


    JRM (de6363)

  10. How many feel good stories has the L.A. Times run about that bunch of feel good clowns of MS-13?

    Then again since L.A. labeled itself a sancturary city is it any wonder there’s a Illegal-Alien Crime Wave?

    juandos (6b76aa)

  11. And as always no discussion of US foreign and economic policies vis-a-vis south and central America.
    The moralizing rants of the morally irresponsible.

    AF (4a3fa6)

  12. Pat, you said: “…thanks to the utter negligence of our federal government.”
    I think it would have been proper to drop the word “federal”, as all levels of government have proven their skills in utter negligence on this matter.

    The Fed bureaucrats look around the country and see all of these “sanctuary cities” if not states, and say to themselves “why try to enforce these laws when the vast majority want us to ignore this situation?” And, as good ‘crats do, they keep their heads down, don’t make waves, and get promoted and praised for their work in whatever useless bastion of government that they toil in.

    On Memorial Day, I just shudder to think of the mess we have made of this country that so many gave so much to bequeth to us.

    We can only pray that God is merciful; and, that he will extend his Grace to us, as He has to those who died for us.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  13. Okay, lets discuss the corrupt economic system of Mexico and Central America.

    Alta Bob (4542a8)

  14. Oh, and AF:

    You are still a world-class FOOL!

    Perhaps you need to “redeploy” to Caracas so that your energies can be usefully spent to counteract the evil of Yankee Imperialism against your Third-World Comrads!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  15. But I believe too the tone of the debate has been and will continue to be changed by humanizing it.

    I know I’m right. I know because of the people who walk down our street pushing stolen carts–except for the one dignified elderly couple who push their own handcart–chatting on cell phones, in broad daylight, past all my neighbors and the police.

    I know because of my (illegal) Asian boss who, after one month of employment, called me into his office, dropped a grocery bag full of cash on my lap, and said, “This is how we will do it, so we don’t have to pay taxes.” No wonder he can’t keep American employees.

    I know because I understand too well the dogma of multiculturalism at the school where I work, a dogma that allows for pride in every culture save one: ours.

    It’s fair to ask for compassion for people whose own country treats them so shabbily that they are willing to risk life and limb to leave it.
    It’s fair also to ask why our compassion lobby has done so little to change the conditions of such countries the world over and instead allow those people to risk life and limb to leave them.

    I’m proud to be an American, and a granddaughter of legal immigrants. I’m proud that they worked hard and took no charity, and started their own businesses and colleges when American colleges and employers said, “Irish need not apply.”

    On today of all days I honor all those of every race and religion who died for America, who loved the rights they enjoy here but honored their responsibilities more.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  16. I’ll do it again:

    “BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia’s chief prosecutor stood between the white plastic-sheathed remains of two dismembered teenage sisters. On the rust-colored dirt around him lay remains of nearly 60 newly unearthed victims of paramilitary death squads.
    Not just their killers but those who bankrolled them must be brought to justice, Mario Iguaran told reporters last week at the mass grave in the country’s eastern plains.
    “You can clearly see that they didn’t pay for security, but for blood,” Iguaran said.
    He spoke ahead of a trip to Washington this week to seek aid for his overburdened office and help obtain evidence against U.S.-based multinationals he’s investigating for allegedly financing the paramilitaries.
    Iguaran meets with U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Monday and Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday. With both, he is sure to talk about Chiquita Brands and the Alabama-based coal company Drummond Co. Inc.”

    And the United Fruit Company and NAFTA and the financing of military coups and on and on. But of course history doesn’t mean shit to you. here’s a fun one jackass.
    A world of idiots

    AF (4a3fa6)

  17. Columbia: Any US citizen who engages in the use of recreational pharmaceuticals (or any other illicit substance) has no standing on the situation in that country. And, the last time I checked, UFC didn’t grow bananas there. Why are Socialists (like generals) always fighting the last war?

    I think it quite interesting that on Amazon, Steven Kinzer (NYT) is grouped with similar writers: Noam Chomsky & Robert Fisk – Patriotic Right-Wing Ideologues all.

    Somehow, I don’t think that rational discussion and reason will bring about any change in AF’s outlook on the World v USA. He appears to be one of those that Amb. Kirkpatrick called the “Blame America First” (ers).

    And, of course, the personal attack/invective is always so persuasive.

    I am humbled before your greatness.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  18. Dude, it’s spelled “Colombia.”
    Other than that what you write is incomprehensible, though I might add that Uribe, the thug we’re backing, and his family have long lasting ties to narcos.
    Blame America first, No.
    Power corrupts, that’s all.

    “I am humbled before your greatness.”
    As well you should be.

    AF (4a3fa6)

  19. I don’t like my home country. So I left and came to yours. I don’t like you people. But there’s no better place to go. And you people don’t want to defend what you have. So I’ll destroy it. And why not? You don’t defend it. That tells me how much it’s worth.

    Pedro (a82970)

  20. I marvel at how much ‘progressives’ bitch about our immigration policy and how ‘strict’ it is. Ever hear about Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala? The military presence to keep immigrants out of Mexico is rivaled only by North/South Korea. Liberals bitch about a flimsy metal fence? How about stationing soldiers on our borders and protecting this country like Mexico does. Go to any European country and see how fast they throw your ass out when your visa runs out. This isn’t about race. Come one, come all, just do it LEGALLY. And stop flooding the emergency rooms every time you get a cold. My insurance premium just went up another $10 a month because of helpless people who can’t take care of a sniffle without a full cavity search at the local hospital!

    fngJD (49df46)

  21. I would only point out that the author of the piece also has a Mexican last name. I submit that he, like 60% of Mexican surnamed people, is loyal to Mexico City, not Washington D.C.

    Oh, what B.S. Do not lump together illegal aliens with those of us whose parents and grandparents came to this country to become Americans.

    MamaAJ (788539)

  22. I agree. This should be about violations of the law and not ethnicity.

    Patterico (eeb415)

  23. If I lived in a Country that had the problems of Mexico, I would do as so many have done here, FIGHT to change it.
    I have always found it amusing that those who come illegally will protest in ‘Our’ streets, demand rights in ‘Our’Country, and try to use ‘Our ‘ own laws against us.
    COWARDS one and all! They didn’t have the courage to do these things in their own Countries.If they had maybe they would helped their own Countrymen gain the very things they supposedly seek here.
    Realize that Mexico’s economy is based on illegal activity. Drug’s and remittances from those who illegally crossed the border hold up the Mexican economy -Fact!
    If the border was sealed and remittances stopped , The Mexican government would be bankrupted.-Fact
    Yet sadly, the illegal aliens and the American people are being used as pawns. Bush and cronies are pushing a North American Union, part of a step towards a One World Government, led by corporate interest, and a One World Church led by … you guessed it The Vatican.
    Illegals and legals alike will be subjugated to low wages , low benefits, low standard of living as these elitist try to stuff their pockets with profits and to gain total power.
    My organization has two missions stop illegal immigration, and to Derail the Nau.That is it! nothing else. I do what I do, because I put those most important first- the legal children who will have to pay the bills and suffer from the idiocy in Washington. They are the ones being forgotten in this all. You can leave me comments at Strong, Director

    Bill Strong (426d1b)

  24. One World Church? Are you serious? The Vatican has no power here and never will. I know plenty of die-hard Catholics that didn’t vote for Bush. It is a common known FACT that most of the people who come from South of the border vote Democrat. So exactly which ‘elitists’ are lining their pockets? And with what… money, or votes?

    fngJD (49df46)

  25. Bill Strong, I am tempted to go to your website to see exactly how the black helicopters from the U.N. fit into all of this.

    JVW (b44a2c)

  26. Angel Resendez was one of the most henious serial killers our nation has ever know. No one knows for sure how many he really killed, but I know three.
    Weimer, Texas was a sleepy little town not far from Houston. Everyone knew everyone else and it was like moving back into the 50’s where no one locked their cars or bolted their doors at night. Why should they? There was no crime, not even from over harmonal teenagers.
    Then Angel Resendez came to town. Not once, but twice. He killed an old lady and a minister and his wife. Resendez rode the rails that ran along side of the town and two blocks from my house in a neighboring town. Resendez, a.k.a. The Railroad Killer, had been crossing the border with Mexico at will and had even voted TWICE while he was living in Houston.
    Angel Resendez was an illegal from Mexico.

    Now, because of one illegal, a whole town has changed. People are still taking about the murders and are still afraid. And no one trusts anyone who doesn’t speak English or has not been born into one of the Tejano families there.

    Perhaps some of our Congressmen and Senators would like to stop off in Wiemer and tell those citizens that this amnesty is a good thing. Explain to them that the government will have a whole 24 hours to obtain background checks, many times from foreign nations, before the “probationary” Z-visa is granted. Maybe they could even explain to the citizens of Weimer how allowing those with South American socialist values will be good for them. But I don’t think we will see Senator Kyl there anytime soon. Or John McCain, or Senator Kennedy. All we will ever see in Wiemer are saddened citizens that have had their lives changed forever because of our reluctance to enforce our laws.

    retire05 (b5f6ab)

  27. I ran across this blog looking for a definitive source on the nationality of the perp that killed CHP Officer Gregory Bailey. (Anybody?)

    If you want all the grisly details on what our insane immigration policy has gotten us and what the traitors in Washington want to legalize, see the 206 page report THE DARK SIDE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.

    You will find it posted (for free) at

    I am the author.

    BTW, if Howard Veit is monitoring, I am working with another group to create a national registry entitled Victims of Illegal alien Crime (VOIAC)a nd if you can provide me details on the collateral damage sustained by your daughter’s friend I will include it in the growing list of tragedies inflicted on Americans by illegal aliens.

    pfwag (191d37)

  28. Pedro –

    I’m sorry that you find an ambivalence on the part of your hosts as to whether or not this country is worth defending. A lot of us are disappointed in our fellows too.

    But, your attitude is the key ingrediant to building a better America through legal immigration. It is the same reason my grand-parents, and even earlier generations in some cases in my extended family, had for coming here from various Euro nations in the 19th Century.

    Even though the Soviet Union collapsed in the 90’s, it looks like we will have to fight the evil of Marxist thought for generations to come. Socialist/Marxist dogma has caused more human deprivation and death than any other single movement since the creation of Man. Unfortunately, the more we allow people to become educated, the less their ability to discern this evil – or so it seems.

    BTW “Dude”, when your argument is to criticize typo’s, you’ve lost!
    Please excuse the weaknesses of a tired old man.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  29. pfwag,

    According to these reports, the guy who killed Gregory Bailey was, surprise, an illegal from Mexico.

    He had pulled over some other guy (yes, Hispanic) on suspicion for drunk driving when he was hit. I wonder if the person he pulled over was also an illegal.

    To top this all off,

    – Bailey had gotten back from a National Guard tour of Iraq a few months earlier, risking his life in a misguided war started by the illegal alien-enabling Bush administration.

    – About a month after Bailey was killed, the pro-illegal alien activist Fabian Nunez introduced a resolution in the state assembly “expressing gratitude for the critical services CHP officers provide.”

    That was the thanks Bailey got.

    CL (f6ecc4)

  30. […] Steve Lopez: The Illegal Immigration Debate Will Be Changed By Anecdotes — As Long As We Give Only… […]

    The Voices of Citizens to the Senate at Traction Control (2d8ea5)

  31. all you are losers

    brotha (abb212)

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    brotha (abb212)

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