I looked out the hotel window across the Phoenix Metro area gazing at houses as far as I could see in every direction. A canal carried water past the hotel to an adjoining golf course in the desert. It was all a huge oasis watered from the Salt River Project irrigation district and Colorado River water carried in a canal from somewhere near Mohave County.
The phone rang and brought me back to the reality that we were waiting for family members to arrive. I answered the phone and found that they were held up and would be late.
“Our neighbor was just busted for keeping illegals housed behind a high fence,” my daughter informed me. She lives about 30 minutes south of Chandler, north of Casa Grande.
“We always wondered why they put up such a high fence around the entire two or three acres,” she continued. “Now we know why they seemed to have so much money.”
When they arrived, we talked about the news reports of the Immigration Service checking money transfers to and from Mexico to locate coyotes smuggling illegals into Arizona. Sometimes the families from Mexico pay ransom or smuggling fees and the money is transferred to coyotes in Arizona. Sometimes the funds move the other way.
Our family members were shocked to find illegal immigration and potential violence virtually just down the block in rural Arizona. Our grandson was wondering how many other coyote or illegals kids were in his classes at the area high school.
It has been about two years since a running gun battle between two coyote groups ended on I-10 south of Chandler with several deaths. Turf battles happen and are difficult to predict.
The family and their neighbors shake their heads in disbelief and wonder what kind of jail time comes with the arrest of 27 illegal immigrants and the people who hide them.
A new article last week pinpointed the huge and profitable business of wire transfers of money to and from Mexico. The profits of Western Union were reported at over $1 billion.
Companies like Western Union could find this addiction to profits from illegal immigration a future problem. Estimates of the money flow exceed $20 billion per year just for funds sent home by illegal workers.
Remember the bust of a Greyhound subsidiary a couple of years ago? They were running routes from the Southwest to the Midwest to transport illegals. Routes were run at night and fares were higher than normal bus trips.
I wonder what happened in that case.
About the same time, Tyson had three plant managers plead guilty to sending recruiters and busing illegals from Mexico to work in processing plants in Arkansas and other places. For some reason, the federal courts could not convict higher officials in Tyson. The managers took the fall.
Evidently, Wal-Mart is the only business targeted today by a law that has been on the books since 1996.
Arizona employers “insource” illegals to “keep labor costs low.” Yet, we read all the time that Arizona needs better-paying jobs and we should use tax dollars to recruit companies. Now we use tax dollars to train construction workers because we import unskilled workers.
Arizona once had a skilled and better-paid workforce in construction, landscaping, hospitality and restaurants. Connect the dots. Importing illegals who will work for less is costing taxpayers, lowering wages for citizens and fattening business profits.
Now I have another worry. Are my family members safe in Arizona?
Are these situations only in metro areas or do we have the same problems much closer to home? Construction, hospitality and restaurant workers are a major portion of the Mohave County workforce. I have heard it said that local wages are low.
What do you see from your window?
I pulled into the parking space at the Mesa hotel. The sign read, “Birds in tree. Park at your own risk.” I did and the birds dropped nasty stuff on the car. The next time I parked facing the golf course and away from the tree. The sign read, “Park at your own risk. Golf balls can be dangerous.”
Cities have dangers I have not seen in other places. Take your choice between the birds and the birdies.