I was pouring sand

out of my canteen


 thee ol’ mule died



 As I walked away


the poor dead thing

 I almost cried









 Pretty soon





El Vaquero



migrant surge continues



by James Gilbert

Yuma Sun

1 June 2019


Over the past seven days, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents have apprehended more than 2,200 undocumented migrants. Most are family units from Central American countries and have already been, or will be, released into the U.S.

Agent Jose Garibay of the Yuma Sector Public Affairs Office said a vast majority of those apprehended crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in groups of varying sizes at places along the Colorado River, or out in the desert east of the city of San Luis.

“It has typically been the same places where we’ve seen groups crossing in the past,” Garibay said.

A group of 127 surrendered to Yuma agents at about 11:45 p.m. on Sunday. On Tuesday, another group of more than 120 migrants were detained after crossing east of San Luis.

Adding to that total, more than 260 migrants were taken into custody on Wednesday and just over 300 on Thursday.

Border Patrol agents have apprehended more than 50,000 in Yuma since the start of fiscal year 2019, continuing the trend of doubling apprehensions each year.

As a result, the Yuma sector now ranks third in the nation for total apprehensions along the Southwest Border, and has spent more than $1 million in humanitarian costs for the care of families and unaccompanied migrant children in custody in fiscal year 2019.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection also announced last week that it is building a temporary tent facility within the Yuma Sector to process, care for and transfer the migrant families and unaccompanied children being apprehended here.

Garibay previously explained that nearly half of the migrants now arrested on the border are traveling with children, and the agency is struggling to hold families in stations built decades ago for single adults.

During the week of May 19 through May 25, Yuma Sector detained three large groups of migrants. On Monday, May 20, agents apprehended nearly 800. On Tuesday, May 21, another 500 were detained.

Then on Wednesday morning, May 23, Yuma Station agents took nearly 160 more migrants into custody east of San Luis.







fence-replacement begins

typical border fence in arizona


by James Gilbert

Yuma Sun

21 May 2019


U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced on Friday that work is underway to replace 26 miles of aging and outdated primary fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border in the Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector, which has seen huge increases in the number of migrant families illegally crossing into the country.

Agent Jose Garibay, of the Yuma Sector Public Affairs Office, explained that the project consists of crews removing a segment of the 14-foot-tall corrugated metal fences built from Vietnam War-era landing mats that is east of the San Luis port of entry, and installing 30-foot tall bollard-style fencing.

Bollards are upright steel posts, with Garibay saying that it will be high enough to discourage migrants from scaling over it, and has reinforced concrete footers at the base of the bollards to prevent smugglers from burrowing underneath it.

“It is a lot better than what we have out there now,” Garibay said. “It will allow for a lot more situational awareness because agents will be able to see what’s across the border.”

The U.S. Army awarded Barnard Construction Co. of Bozeman, Montana, the contract to build the fence. Garibay said new fence is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. Construction actually began earlier this month.

In the past few months, Yuma Sector Border Patrol has released numerous videos and photos of groups of migrants scaling old antiquated fencing in San Luis using ladders, or burrowing under it. In January, 376 migrants, the largest group ever detected, dug holes in the sand under the fence to enter the country.

The 26-mile segment of fencing in the Yuma Sector is the first of six segments of older fencing along Arizona’s 372-mile-long border to be replaced this year so far. Garibay added that more projects are likely to be announced in the coming months.

The southern border is nearly 2,000 miles long and already has about 650 miles of different types of barriers, including short vehicle barricades and tall, steel fences.

Most of the fencing was built during the administration of then President George W. Bush, and there have been updates and maintenance throughout other administrations.






for u.s. president









     With eyes closed he grew numb under the cold shower in the TAMC barracks, and pretended he was standing under an icy waterfall in the mountains.  The hot water was not working this Saturday morning ~ again.

     With a towel tied around his waist he was stepping across the hallway to his cave-like room when Pvt. 1 Tom Weasel stopped him and said, “Wanna smoke a joint, Duty?”

     “No no no no,” replied PFC Donald Duty, invigorated from the cold shower.  “I don’t smoke it no mo’.”

     “Well, how you gonna be mellow if you don’t smoke it no mo’?” said Weasel.

     “I chant,” said Duty ~ and he locked himself up in his room.  He put on some clothes, opened the curtain, twirled open the window, sat down in front of a most beautiful sky and let the trade winds kiss his cheek.  Sure enough, he began to chant:

     “Ku ana ‘o Laka i ka mauna,

     Noho ana ‘o Laka i ke po ‘o oka ‘ohu.

     ‘O Laka kumu hula,

     Nana i ‘a ‘eka waokele…”

     Outside, a misty cloud white and purple upon the hilltop, gently tumbled forward.  The cloud transformed into a pretty face with depthless eyes and a supple body with graceful moves.  It was obvious ~ Laka, the hula goddess, had arrived ~ and was dancing in the sky!

     From the colorful lei hanging from her neck and tossing to and fro, there fell a flower.  It landed on the window pane in front of Duty.  “Mahalo, my beloved,” said Duty.

     He reached for the flower.  As soon as he touched it, the flower turned into a diving mask and snorkel.  Duty whispered to the suddenly clear blue sky, “Ah, I know what I’m going to do today!”

     With swimming trunks rolled up in a towel and Laka’s gift in his hand, Duty darted out of the barracks.  Sp4 Joe Honor and Sp4 John Country were about to drive away in Country’s automobile.  Duty flagged them down.

     “What’s up?” said Duty.

     “We’re going snorkeling!” replied Honor and Country in baritoned chorus.

     “Oh, can I go?  Oh, please, guys, please!”

     “Hop in,” smirked Country.

     In a cove about a half mile on the other side of Waimea Falls, located on the North Shore, the three off-duty TAMC soldiers floated around above another world ~ Fish World ~ and occasionally dove deeply into it ~ all day long.  The surface of the sea was smooth as glass and you could see forever ~ even underwater.  The many colored fishes were sassy as could be.

     Later back at the barracks, played out and cleansed of worry, Duty stepped around two MPs and a drug detection dog ~ German Shepherd type ~ in the hallway.  The dog was howling in front of Weasel’s barracks-room door.






secret agent




federal payback due


yuma sun editorial

2 may 2019


On Wednesday, the Trump administration asked Congress for an additional $4.5 billion in emergency funds to help handle the humanitarian crisis at the border.

The Associated Press notes that the crisis has “overwhelmed federal resources and capacity.”

The government’s response since the end of March has been to release the asylum seekers into communities like Yuma, overwhelming resources and shelter space here.

Yuma isn’t alone in this. The Yuma Sector Border Patrol is also dropping off groups in towns like Blythe, which has even fewer resources available than Yuma.

Our sister paper, the Palo Verde Valley Times, notes over a two-week period, more than 300 people were dropped off by Border Patrol in Blythe. In a letter to the community, Blythe Police Chief Jeff Wade said officials told his office there was potential for 20-50 people a day to be dropped off there.

Our communities are overwhelmed, yet in Phoenix? That’s not the case. The Arizona Republic notes that in Phoenix, there is a network of nearly 30 churches working together, with the capacity to house 1,200 to 1,400 migrants a week. From October until the end of March, the migrant groups were taken to Phoenix.

Then, at the end of March, that policy changed, with the Border Patrol instead releasing people in Blythe and Yuma, which do not have the same infrastructure. The Phoenix community groups want to know — why did the policy change, moving the migrants to Yuma, instead of continuing to house them in Phoenix?

It’s a valid question, especially as the Republic reports that scores of beds are empty at the Phoenix shelters.

The Republic reports that according to Sen. Krysten Sinema, D-Ariz., the government too is suffering from a limited supply and limited budget for buses and bus drivers.

Yet in Yuma, our mayor declared a state of emergency as our resources were overwhelmed and drained.

On Tuesday, Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls met with President Trump and acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan to discuss the issue, and asked for transportation to move the asylum seekers on to communities that can help.

The next day, the Trump Administration asked Congress for $4.5 billion to deal with the crisis.

A better move would have been to ask Congress for funding for transportation needs immediately, back in March, before draining our local resources.

Yumans are known for being generous, but we too have limits. Yuma and Blythe have high unemployment numbers, and our communities struggle to take care of our residents here.

Our agencies stepped up to the plate, but that came with a cost. Washington should have footed the bill from the start, but instead, our resources here are taking the hit — and they can only be stretched so thin.

The government needs to get the situation under control. Then, it needs to reimburse the programs in Yuma and Blythe, which had a federal problem dropped on them, without the needed support of the federal government…




come & gone


mayor & president bump heads together

Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls met with President Donald Trump in Washington on Tuesday, April 30, 2019.


by Mara Knaub

Yuma Sun

1 May 2019


After meeting with President Donald Trump, Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls said a solution to the “humanitarian crisis” in Yuma might come in the form of more buses to move migrants to their destinations.

Nicholls is in Washington, D.C., this week visiting federal officials to talk about issues affecting Yuma. On Tuesday he met with Trump and acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan in the Oval Office to discuss the security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border.

Judd Deere of the president’s press office noted that “Mayor Nicholls discussed the immediate need for Congress to act to address the ongoing crisis and thanked the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security for their steadfast work.

“The president and the mayor discussed the importance of continuing the strong federal-state-local collaboration, and both praised the critical work of Gov. Doug Ducey,” Deere said.

“In discussions with President Trump and Secretary McAleenan, I expressed the transportation struggles with the migrant situation and it appears we have a solution in the making by adding more buses,” Nicholls told the Yuma Sun.

On April 16, Nicholls declared a local emergency, citing the crisis at the border and the lack of federal resources to accommodate the influx of migrants into Yuma. The proclamation of emergency notes that a “humanitarian crisis” is being caused by the “mass release of migrant families from federal detention into the city of Yuma without provisions of adequate food, water, shelter and medical care.”

The majority of migrants are families seeking asylum in the United States after fleeing poverty and gang violence in Central America.

According to the most recent data, provided by the President’s press office, the Border Patrol has seen a 374% increase in the number of migrant families arriving at the border compared to the same period last year, from 39,975 to 189,584.

In the Border Patrol’s Yuma sector, apprehensions of migrant families have increased 273% so far this fiscal year, from 6,487 to 24,194, the data shows.

The mayor noted that the migrants being housed in the shelter network run by local nonprofits has “far exceeded the capacity” even as families are being transported out of the community. He explained that the migrants, who are all families who have passed health and criminal checks, “are looking to go to their host families. They aren’t looking to stay in Yuma.”

With the proclamation, Nicholls said he hoped to bring the situation in Yuma to the attention of the federal government with the hope that it would “step in to help resolve the situation in a couple ways, either through transportation options into other communities that actually provide relief to the numbers coming into Yuma or bringing in a FEMA-type response to our community so FEMA and the federal government in their response could address the situation.”

On Tuesday, Nicholls also discussed with President Trump the importance of Congress passing the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement in the near future. The USMCA is set to replace the 25-yearold North American Free Trade Agreement.

During the forum called “NAFTA 2.0: The Impact of USMCA on the Megaregion” held April 23 in Yuma, the mayor urged attendees to encourage their congressional representatives to approve the trade agreement.

“The meetings today went very well and I expect tomorrow’s meetings to continue to be productive,” Nicholls said Tuesday night.


about the yuma daily sun



alternate political source



quite centrist


by Alex Henderson


April 22, 2019


The 2018 blue wave did a lot to energize the liberal/progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Unapologetically left-of-center candidates like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and Bernie Sanders ally John Fetterman became lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania. But there were many centrist Democratic victories as well in 2018; one of the biggest was Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s narrow victory over Republican Martha McSally in Arizona, where Sinema took over a U.S. Senate seat that had been in Republican hands for decades.

Sinema has a way of infuriating far-right culture warriors, who are deeply troubled by the fact that she is openly bisexual and by her fondness for wearing thigh-high boots on the Senate floor. But Sinema’s overall voting record during her three months in the Senate has been quite centrist, and if she were a politician in the U.K., she would probably fit in with the Conservative Party or be a Tory.

The 42-year-old Sinema doesn’t get really high marks from right-wing organizations, although she fares better than many other Democrats. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has given her a 33% favorability rating. The Goldwater Institute gave Sinema a 35% favorable rating in 2010, and according to FiveThirtyEight, she was voting in line with Trump 58% of the time in March—which is how often Sen. Joe Manchin (widely regarded as the most pro-Trump Democrat in the Senate) was voting with Trump. In contrast, Ocasio-Cortez was voting with Trump only 13.6% of the time.

Here are some of Sinema’s more conservative or centrist votes or positions:

1. Sinema supports Obamacare but opposes single payer or Medicare for all

Arizona Republicans and Tea Party activists in Arizona have described Sinema as “far left,” but her record doesn’t bear that out by any means. During her victory speech in November, it wasn’t Sen. Bernie Sanders who Sinema praised—but rather, the late Sen. John McCain. Sinema is liberal on social issues, including gay rights and abortion (she receives a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood). Yet in other areas, she is shaping up to be the Joe Manchin of the west.

When she was serving in the House of Representatives, Sinema voted against repealing the Affordable Care Act of 2010, a.k.a. Obamacare. She favors universal healthcare via expanding the ACA but opposes the type of single payer or Medicare-for-all program that Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez have been fighting for.

2. Sinema voted to confirm William Barr as attorney general

Many Democrats in the Senate voted against confirming Trump nominee William Barr as attorney general. But Sinema was among the Blue Dog Democrats who voted for Barr’s confirmation; others included Sen. Joe Manchin and Alabama Sen. Doug Jones.

3. Sinema voted against the Green New Deal

Sinema was among the few Democrats to vote against the Green New Deal after it was introduced by Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey. The Tucson native favors green energy, and she does not consider climate change a hoax—unlike much of the Republican Party. But Sinema has said she does not view the Green New Deal as the best way to address climate change.

4. Sinema has been criticized by net neutrality activists

In March, the pro-net neutrality group Fight for the Future criticized Sinema for not signing on to the Save the Internet Act and complained that she was “siding with corporate donors to kill net neutrality so you pay more for worse Internet.”

President Trump and his carnival barkers at Fox News often describe the Democratic Party as having moved to the far left, which is nonsense. The rise of Sanders admirers like Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib doesn’t mean that the entire party is staunchly to the left, but rather, simply means that liberals and progressives now have a larger voice within the party.

The centrist Blue Dog wing of the Democratic Party hardly disappeared in the 2018 midterms. The Democratic Party is still a big tent, and judging from her voting record in 2019, Sinema is shaping up to be one of the biggest swing votes in the United States Senate.


original story



senator sinema on you-tube



editor: Rawclyde!

migrants march into desert of no return


by Rafael Carranza

Arizona Republic

April 17, 2019


TUCSON — Border Patrol agents on Tuesday morning processed the largest single group of migrants ever apprehended along the state’s border with Mexico.

At least 393 migrants, mostly Central American families, walked across the U.S.-Mexico border about 4:30 a.m., some 14 miles west of the Lukeville port of entry. They turned themselves in to agents, according to Roy Villareal, the chief patrol agent for Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector.

Villareal said the group was mostly made up of minors ranging in age from infants to teenagers. Of the 393 people processed so far, 199 were minors who had traveled with parents, while 39 others were unaccompanied minors, he said. The number could rise as agents continued processing migrants throughout Tuesday.

The size of the group and the response from Border Patrol created other problems, he said.

“This group today, just under 400, created a tremendous gap in border security,” Villareal said. “I had to close the checkpoint in Ajo. I had to allocate almost an entire station to begin transporting this group of 400 to a secure location to provide care.”

What the video shows

The Border Patrol released a 2-minute video of the crossing, recorded by infrared cameras. The images show three charter buses stopping at the crossing site along Mexican Federal Highway 2, which runs parallel to the U.S.-Mexico border.

As the buses stop, groups of migrants get off and walk several hundred yards north to the border. The video then shows the large group walking easily past the vehicle barriers delineating the international boundary.

Border Patrol scrambles to respond

Border Patrol officials said they spotted the chartered buses on cameras and immediately deployed agents to the location to receive the migrants, who turned themselves in voluntarily.

The group was so large that the Border Patrol had to pull officers from the nearby Ajo checkpoint and other assignments. National Park Service employees stationed at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument also were called in to help process the group.

This particular area of the border near Lukeville has been very active in the past eight months. Villareal said this was the 40th group with more than 50 migrants that has crossed through the area.

To date, the federal government has not announced any plans to replace the vehicle barriers west of Lukeville where the large groups have been crossing. This year, construction crews will replace 5 miles of existing wire-mesh fencing  around the Lukeville port of entry with newer bollard designs.

The Border Patrol is making some changes to its logistics in the area, although officials in the past have declined to talk about other operational changes, citing enforcement-sensitive concerns.

“We’re looking at altering our bus route, our service utilized to transport the aliens from stations to the central processing area,” Villareal said. “We’re also trying to acquire buses so that we can get them out of the field as quickly as possible into a safe and secure location.”

Record number of migrants

Tuesday’s group of 393 migrants is now the largest single group ever recorded along Arizona’s border with Mexico. It surpassed the group of 376 migrants that dug holes under the border fence in San Luis and turned themselves in to agents in January.







‘imminent threat’ in yuma az


by Rafael Carranza

Arizona Republic

April 17, 2019


Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls issued a proclamation of emergency, saying the continued mass release of migrants directly into his border community had become an “imminent threat” to life and property in the area.

The city lacks the resources it needs to handle the migrants, he said.

Yuma is the first border city in the U.S. to declare a state of emergency as part of its response to the latest surge in the number of migrant families reaching the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum.

“Today is a day that we had talked about three weeks ago, hoping never to get to,” Nicholls said at a news conference on Tuesday.

With a “heavy heart,” the mayor said he signed the document as a means to seek resources and to protect residents and vulnerable migrants.

“… the mass release of migrant families from federal detention facilities into the City of Yuma without provisions for adequate food, water, shelter and medical care threatens to cause injury, damage and suffering to persons and property located in the City of Yuma, Yuma County, Arizona as well as causing a humanitarian crisis,” the proclamation read.

The emergency proclamation was a plea for federal and state assistance.

In late March, the Border Patrol began releasing migrant families from the agency’s custody into the community. At that time, Nicholls brought together several community groups to open a temporary shelter to house up to 200 migrants while they arranged for travel to their relatives’ locations throughout the United States.

Nicholls said he received a call from shelter organizers on Tuesday morning saying they had reached their capacity.

That was followed by another call from Border Patrol officials in Yuma announcing they planned to release an additional 120 migrants, placing the shelter way above its intended capacity.

Transportation woes cause backlog

One of the biggest challenges in helping migrants is the inability to get them out of Yuma and on the road quickly.

“The transportation network is just insufficient to keep up with demand,” Nicholls said. “And the backlog of people staying at the shelter has created this capacity issue.”

When migrants are released into the community with a notice to appear in court, the relative they will be staying with is responsible for purchasing their bus or flight ticket to their location.

The Yuma area, with a population of 200,000 people, has limited bus routes and transportation options compared with larger cities like Phoenix and Tucson.

And since migrant families are also released in those cities, migrants in Yuma often struggle to purchase their tickets. So they end up staying at the shelter longer, according to Capt. Jeffrey Breazeale, who operates the temporary shelter for the Salvation Army.

City hoping for FEMA response

In signing the declaration, Nicholls said he hopes to draw national attention to the plight of local communities struggling with a federal issue, adding that he’s talking to officials in other border cities and calling on them to issue similar emergency declarations.

The mayor added that he talked to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who signaled his support for the declaration.

“We will review any declaration once we receive it,” according to a statement Tuesday night from Patrick Ptak, a Ducey spokesman. “Ultimately, this humanitarian crisis is the result of Congress’ failure to act. It will only be solved by Congress actually doing something, and the governor has vocally urged Congress to quit playing politics and take action.

“In the wake of their inaction, our office is working with local governments, non-profits and our federal partners to maximize available resources and ensure proper coordination between ICE officials and groups providing temporary services to migrants.”

Nicholls said he hopes to “avert the threat of hundreds of people roaming streets looking to satisfy their basic human needs” by securing additional funding to care for migrant families.

The mayor said he hoped for one of two solutions to the problem: a more “efficient” and “coordinated” transportation system to move migrant families out of Yuma more quickly, or for an emergency response from the federal government.

He said the second option, for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to take over the operation, would be the “best solution.”

“… the local emergency exceeds control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of the City of Yuma and requires the combined efforts, cooperation, and resources of the Yuma community including local and non-profit agencies such as the Red Cross, Catholic Community Services, The Salvation Army, Yuma Community Food Bank, churches, the County of Yuma, the State of Arizona, and the United States of America,” the statement said.

Families continue to cross the border

The daily release of migrant families is likely to continue despite capacity issues at the temporary shelter in Yuma.

According to Nicholls, the Border Patrol in Yuma had 950 migrants in detention on Tuesday, even though it only has the capacity to hold 400 people at any given time.

And families continue arriving nonstop.

Customs and Border Protection, which includes the Border Patrol, said on Tuesday that agents in the Yuma area had processed more than 1,000 migrants, mostly families and minors, in the past three days.

The Border Patrol’s Yuma sector has been spending about $100,000 a month in humanitarian supplies such as diapers and baby formula.

To assist with the surge in families, CBP has reassigned 50 agents from other sectors and 50 customs officers normally stationed at ports of entry to help agents in Yuma. It has also brought in 80 National Guard troops and 100 Marines.

Breazeale, with the Salvation Army, said one of their greatest needs, in addition to travel items, has been volunteers both at the shelter as well as to help transport migrants to the bus station, airport, and sometimes even to Phoenix or Tucson.

Anyone interested in helping out can contact Patsy Hernandez, the Salvation Army’s volunteer coordinator, at 928-783-0181. Volunteers must be 21 years or older and will be vetted, Breazeale said.