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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/20/2005 12:14:33 AM EDT
People are still spouting the pc line even though illegals have been increasingly convicted
of raping, kidnapping and killing Children, Cops and Citizens, not to mention the drug dealing.........

Sean Hannity in El Paso
Radio host: City 'ground zero' for immigration crisis

August 19, 2005
Ramon Bracamontes
El Paso Times
Calling El Paso "ground zero for illegal immigration," national radio and TV talk show host Sean Hannity visited the city Thursday to expose a region that, he says, is vulnerable to homeland security breaches.

"Fifty yards from the border is a rail yard, and 500 yards away is a major interstate and a bus station. Anyone wanting to illegally enter can be on their way in a matter of seconds," said Hannity, who co-hosts the "Hannity & Colmes" show on the Fox News Channel. "This is why this town is well-known for being a major crossing point."

Hannity broadcast his radio show Thursday afternoon from the studio of KTSM-AM (690). During his TV show, which aired live from the Sunland Park desert, he showed footage of people attempting to cross into El Paso illegally, and he focused on the Border Patrol's attempts to stop them.

The TV show was advertised as the "battle for our border."

Hannity calls El Paso "ground zero" because this area is where two major cities with a combined population of more than 2 million merge into one, and because the number of border crossings, both legal and illegal, could make this the entryway for terrorists.

U.S. Border Patrol officials reported that from October 2004 to July 2005, more than 70,000 immigrants were arrested by agents in the El Paso region. Last year, agents arrested 104,000 people. And, legally, from 100,000 to 120,000 people cross from Juárez into El Paso every day.

"The impact that immigration has on our health, criminal justice and education system is enormous, but that financial burden is secondary to our national security," Hannity said.

Though part of what Hannity is portraying in the national media may be true, that isn't the entire border story, said Father John Stowe, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of El Paso. The diocese offers several immigration services, classes and other types of assistance.

"It would be sad if the only impression that people across the country have of the border region is one of violence, Minutemen, drugs, poverty and problems," Stowe said. "Those are certainly border realities, but the vast majority of border residents recognize the richness of our bilingual, binational and multi-cultural interaction and celebrate its history and diversity."

Stowe said many families along the border have connections on both sides. The inequalities between Juárez and El Paso make life a challenge.

"So much energy and expense goes into keeping people out of our country, and is largely ineffective," Stowe said. He also said that no one is looking to improve living conditions in Juárez.

Hannity said that he is not against immigration and that he "welcomes the fact that so many people in Mexico want to join our team."

A recent national study showed that 40 percent of Mexican citizens would like to move to the United States.

"I'm a product of immigrants; it just needs to be done correctly," Hannity said.

All of this border publicity, which includes the Minutemen organizing in El Paso and two states declaring the border region in a state of emergency, is setting the table for the 2008 presidential election. in which immigration will be a hot topic, said James McCormick, an Iowa State University professor.

McCormick, chairman of the that university's political science department, specializes in American foreign policy, international politics and how they may affect presidential elections.

"Immigration is going to be resonating as an issue as people try to appeal to the conservative Republican base and to the independents," McCormick said. "It will not be an issue in the Democratic primary."

That is because Bush's stance on immigration is not in line with conservative Republicans. Bush has tried to pass immigration policies that are friendly to Mexico, McCormick said.

In a January 2004 speech in which Bush announced a temporary worker program, he said, "By tradition and conviction, our country is a welcoming society. America is a stronger and better nation because of the hard work and the faith and entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants."

Michael B. Moore, chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party, said that though immigration will be an issue in the next election, he doesn't view all this publicity as an attack on Bush.

"Hannity is using his forum to highlight an issue that needs to be addressed," Moore said.
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