Friday, October 1, 2021

Salena Zito: Life Along The Border Collapses

 Take all of the imagery you have seen of the over 14,000 Haitian migrants camped under an international bridge in the small Texas border town of Del Rio and add the complications of disease, public excrement, unbearable heat and heightened frustrations. It has led to violence that has injured Border Patrol officers. 

Now close your eyes and imagine it is 100 times worse. 

Because that's what it is, said Texas Rep. Tony Gonzales, the freshman Republican who represents 42% of the border. The overwhelmed city of Del Rio had been in a rapidly deteriorating crisis situation when illegal immigrants first began surging into the community in January, but Gonzales now says the situation here is a "Category 5" and that the environment is unlike anything he has ever seen before. 

"I arrived here today to pure chaos," he said. "I've never seen it in this environment. There literally is no border left."

Gonzales said Del Rio is in dire straits. "There's no doubt there's COVID here, there's measles, tuberculosis, all kinds of diseases," he said. "You've got kids running around in nothing but diapers. A handful of port-a-potties -- my God, the stench is terrible. This is not good for the migrants. It is not good for the residents. It's not good for wherever our government is sending them in the interior of the country." 

Despite the Department of Homeland Security insisting repeatedly the Haitians would be deported, as of Tuesday, it had only removed 1,000 of the estimated 15,000 under the bridge. Multiple news organizations including CNN reported that buses have been escorting them to a nonprofit organization in town where they purchase bus or plane tickets. They are then moved to a gas station where buses pick them up and take them to other parts of the country. 

The Washington Post reported that the number is in the thousands of those released to parts unknown in the interior of the country.

"My takeaway after I walked through it all, I look over at the sector chief, and I go, 'Man, I just feel sad.' He goes, 'I know. Everyone just feels beaten here,'" Gonzales said. 

Del Rio residents have seen their lives turned upside down. The international bridge has been closed -- a lifeline bringing tens of millions of dollars to the local economy. If you're a small-business owner and your business has somehow survived COVID-19, something like this could easily wipe you out. 

Everybody has been sucked into this chaos. 

"The worst thing is that we are not even talking about the other places where this is happening," Gonzales said. "Today, we're talking about Del Rio, but tomorrow, it'll be Laredo or Brownsville or Eagle Pass or El Paso. This problem is not going away." 

Gonzales said he asked the chief of Border Patrol, Raul Ortiz, at a Homeland Security Committee hearing about its surge of agents to Del Rio. "Those agents are coming from somewhere," he said. "And my worry is other sectors are going to be weakened, thus creating a national security crisis, putting us at risk in other sectors, because everyone is focusing on Del Rio." 

Ortiz agreed. He also confirmed that reports were true that migrants had assaulted Border Patrol agents -- five of them, to be exact. 

It is hard to imagine that this scene is playing out in America. It is also hard to imagine that our government has failed to secure the border or address this crisis with the seriousness it deserves. 

Which is what makes the other part of this crisis political: Until a photo of a Border Patrol agent on horseback herding migrants back over the Rio Grande to Mexico was circulated on Twitter, Democrats, journalists and the White House had almost completely ignored or downplayed the 15,000 people who had been living in squalor under the bridge.

Blue-check Twitter cried foul, claiming that the agent's long reins were whips and absurdly likening the image to that of a white overseer whipping a slave. Suddenly, not only did press secretary Jen Psaki and the vice president notice, but they along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House press corps fabricated a story about Del Rio -- not about the appalling migrant crisis, but about how racist the Border Patrol is. 

That story has been debunked, and to date, there are no reports that any migrant was ever "whipped" by agents. 

It irks Gonzales that Border Patrol agents, who risk their lives and are coming under immense pressure right now, are having their actions and motives unfairly impugned. "They see their jobs as patriotic," the former Navy cryptologist said. "They know they are both protecting their community as well as their country." 

The Biden administration and Washington Democrats' blind eye to this crisis have already had an impact politically. Hints of the future may have cropped up in last year's election, when majority-Hispanic areas rejected the Biden campaign's rhetoric that former President Donald Trump's handling of the border was racist.

Texans pummeled President Joe Biden in several border counties, with large numbers of Hispanic voters going for Trump. That shift away from Democrats may grow given the handling of the border. Already this summer, Republicans unexpectedly won two big mayoral elections in border towns that are overwhelmingly Hispanic and historically Democratic. 

And it is not just South Texas Hispanics who are running away from Biden and by default from the Democrats. It is all Texas Hispanics. Last week, a Dallas Morning News/University of Texas-Tyler poll showed that Biden's approval rating with Hispanics in Texas is 19 points underwater, with only 35% approving of the job he is doing and a whopping 54% disapproving. There may be a realignment in the works. 

In short, while white liberals in Washington think that using words like "Latinx" matters to the Hispanic community or connects them with its values, they are ignoring a crisis that deeply affects middle-class Hispanic families. They justifiably worry about their safety and their ability to pursue prosperity. The Democrats' oblivious lack of concern for their real-world concerns is already backfiring. 

Maybe if one of them, any of them, spent a few days living in a border town, the party would understand just how dire and dangerous life there has become.

Salena Zito is a CNN political analyst, and a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner. She reaches the Everyman and Everywoman through shoe-leather journalism, traveling from Main Street to the beltway and all places in between. To find out more about Salena and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at



Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the famous Mississippi/Mexico border that we like to talk about on our totally non-political blog about current events in and around Jackson, MS.

Anonymous said...

A blind man can see that the Biden administration could care less about border patrol agents. Or the country for that matter. His goal is to re-align America so democrats never lose another election. Biden has no intention of stopping the flow and any issues that pop up will simply be blamed on the Trump administration or republicans. Despicable!!

Anonymous said...

It’s all part of Obama’s original plan to “ transform” America. We’re going to see crisis after crisis. Anything that requires money and creates a storyline for him and his benefactors to destroy th US and push toward a Marxist One World Government. I hope the people that voted for Obama and Biden get to see their “brilliance” up close.

Anonymous said...

Shut the border down!

Anonymous said...

I pose this question. How did the Haitians arrive to Mexico to enter the USA when they can’t even build a sustainable raft to float the gulf and get to Florida? My guess would be China provided the transportation. They have already cut deals with Jamaica to export all of their Lime and other natural resources in trade for ports and toll roads. Of course as you know, the ports were and are to be built for commercial shipping but some in the military say differently. As China has always stood by their word, they will invade us without firing the first shot. It’s happened and it’s still taking place. We have been invaded by disease ridden people from a third world shithole country

Anonymous said...

Political Response to Border Crisis/Disaster: Ignore it. Divert media attention elsewhere. Recruit friendly media to minimize reporting.
Blame previous administration whenever possible. Isolate Texas.

Anonymous said...

Looks like this is a job the truckers, welders, electricians, plumbers, bikers and rednecks are going to have to fix.

The government has never wanted to seal the border with the exception to Donald Trump.

Anonymous said...

Throw the bastards out, all of them. They are destroying our country. Kruschev and other have always said that they would destroy our country from within, not by a war.

Anonymous said...

Have a family member just returned from McAllen, visiting a middle class Latino family and friends. They are truly pissed at what is happening.

They are flooding America, with impunity, again. While legitimate immigrants steam.

Anonymous said...

Only racists and bigots use race, nationality, or religion as a determination of where they want to welcome and help their fellow human.
It’s long been apparent that the United States can print endless amounts of money with very few consequences. We are also capable of producing limitless food, energy, and weapons. Why not use this power to help people instead of hurt the entire planet with greed and racism?

Anonymous said...

This is Obama’s vision for America. He’s just using Biden to achieve his goals. They HATE the US. They hate democracy. The Democrats HATE capitalism and especially HATE white people.


Anonymous said...

What do people expect. They let the news media pick our president. They just happened to pick a senile old man who has to have someone else tell him what to do and what to say. No one even tries to see who is giving him the orders.
It is very hard for a country where no one knows who is running the country to survive.

Anonymous said...

Obama had 8 years to end the war in Afghanistan, everyone b*tched about the lack of employees due to unemployment benefits. Say hello to your future workforce.

Anonymous said...

@12:56 PM - that senile old man Pres. Joe Xiden carries the nuclear codes in his pocket, or does he? If not him, then whom? Who is behind the curtain?

Anonymous said...

Them clever Democrats done figured out a way to negate Republican gerrymandering .

Anonymous said...'s clear some of you never held reins in your hands or maybe you only could ride English.

What purpose would long reins have? Why would English reins be shorter?

If you don't know the answers, for God's sake, stop commenting anywhere or anything!

Anonymous said...

Geez...God forbid any of you should be focused or why ANY town, ANY where should not be overwhelmed.

You didn't give two hoots in Hell about Miami, did you?


Anonymous said...

And the very administration that is allowing all of these immigrants into the interior of our country is the same administration that is mandating COVID vaccines???? Mandate testing and vaccines for the immigrants before bringing them in, or send them back. This does not make mandating a vaccine ok, but at least it makes it more palatable. BTW, I am fully vaccinated, but I don't agree with the mandate.

10:29 If not him, then whom? Who is behind the curtain? IMO, Obama and/or Soros.

What, Me Worry? said...

"Ah yes, the famous Mississippi/Mexico border that we like to talk about on our totally non-political blog about current events in and around Jackson, MS."

Ah, yes, with fingers stuck securely in ears..."I don't want to know about this crisis as it couldn't possibly have any effect on me over here in Mississippi, ever."

Anonymous said...

12:12 :350 million people and half of them could not survive without their phone ,lights and eateries ! Yes, we do have the ability to create utopia for the other half. But the reality is this isn't the United Federation of Planets 400 years in the future. We are simply , as a whole, not evolved enough. "Greed has over taken and forsaken many a good man it seems".

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS