(If you go to the article, note the tag end of its URL: "lamigra.txt" Lamigra?!?! I see that the Gazette's "Online Programmer" and "Online Editor" are named Terry Borning and Chris Cast, respectively. Neither name sounds Hispanic to me.)
The article is rather brief, but over subsequent days, it attracted an astonishing 119 online comments from readers — go to the link and scroll down. Most commenters would seem to share VDARE readers' orientation on the subject, but there are also a few let's-buy-the-world-a-Coke flower children among the host. And it's clear that many — but not all — of the commenters are, indeed, Montanans.
According to the article, "The agents stopped to investigate after seeing a group of seven Hispanic men getting out of a minivan with out-of-state plates." One of the online commenters wondered the same thing I did: Is the Border Patrol allowed to do that??
Well, another commenter is named "BPLaredo." First he introduces himself and provides a chilling piece of information (chilling, at least, if you care about Montana's future, as I do):
"I am a Border Patrol Agent born and raised in Billings stationed in Laredo, TX. When we arrest illegals crossing the border, one of the things that we are required to ask them is "where were you planning to go inside the U.S.?" During the last 6 months or so, it has been alarming to me how many claim to be heading to MT. Many of them with criminal records." [I omit the remainder of this L O N G comment.]
Of course such comments are fundamentally anonymous. Can we be sure BPLaredo is a genuine Border Patrol agent? I suppose not, but he provided several subsequent comments that are enough to convince me that he's an insider. And, once one's convinced, they contain some very useful information.
Here's what BPLaredo tells us about border comings-and-goings by Canadians:
"Citizens of Canada are exempt from the visa and passport requirement of Immigration and Nationality Act (section 212(a)(7).) To enter the United States, a Canadian citizen must be able to establish both identity and citizenship. Documents that may establish citizenship are: Birth certificate Citizenship certificate Passport. Although a CBP officer may accept an oral declaration of citizenship, it is recommended that a Canadian citizen carry a document that establishes citizenship. Under current procedures, all travelers may be required to present photo-identification. That documentation is from the CBP website. A Canadian only needs a visa if he is going to live or work here. They can come and go as they please."
Later, he responds to another commenter and describes what life's like for his family in Laredo:
"It is convenient to put a race label on the whole issue of illegal immigration. Why are white people always demonized for being the racists? I live in Laredo, TX (98% Hispanic) I am white. There is only a small portion of this city that my family and I can go to without a realistic threat of violence towards us. I encounter racism every day. Here in Laredo, people refuse to speak to me and my family in English as a show of my kind not being welcome here. When I respond to them in Spanish, it makes them extremely angry that a white man can speak the language. I here the words, 'Pinche Gringo' ['damned little gringo,' according to Babel Fish] everyday from men, women and children. There is a bounty of a reported 30 to 50 thousand dollars on the heads of us Border Patrol Agents (depending on the going rate). We are often shot at from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. There are bumper stickers in this city that read 'Keep Laredo Brown.'"
BPLaredo's next-to-last comment is also L O N G and contains some real insights into Border Patrol procedures. Two excerpts [with punctuation and spelling as in the original]:
"When developing reasonable suspicion to make an arrest for illegal immigration, race is a factor that can legally be included in a court of law. Facts that are gathered to develop suspicion prior to making an arrest are called articulable facts. In the Billings case, the illegal aliens were packed into a van with out-of-town plates (in the BP's experience this is a common practice with illegal alien transportation). The illegal aliens appeared to be hispanic. It is a common practice for illegal aliens from south of the border to be transferred to and from the work sites in large numbers using vans. (this is another articulable fact that is allowed in court if it is backed by other evidence, which it was). The Border Patrol in Billings had developed Resonable Suspicion to talk with these individuals and eventially arrest them."
[snip] "Race can be legally used in developing a case against an individual in an immigration violation if it is backed by other supporting evidence. Which it was (van, out-of-town plates, traveling in large numbers). This was a legal arrest, no ones Fourth Amendment Rights were violated. If agents encounter a group of white people that speak with strong European accents, their presence in this country would be investigated as well (along with Chinese, Middle Easterns, etc.) Here on the southern border we are not just arresting Hispanics coming across the Rio Grande River. The last shooting about three months ago was when a border patrol agent stopped a white male who was standing near the Rio Grande next to his car. The agent approached this male for questioning because the area he was in was an all Hispanic neighborhood where he stood out with his blonde hair and fair skin. While being questioned he shot the agent and fled across the river to Mexico, where he was arrested by Mexican authorities because he was the white male US authorities were searching for!"
In my first BPLaredo quote above, he said many illegal aliens caught in Laredo have criminal records. I presume this means that they have criminal records in the U.S., so they've probably also interacted with our immigration authorities before. Conveniently, there was an article in the Tucson paper the day before ("Border Patrol finds dying crosser near Sells," Arizona Daily Star, 9/14/2007) quantifying this. The last line of the article tells us:
"From Oct. 1 through Aug. 31, agents in the Tucson Sector apprehended 34,388 illegal entrants with criminal records, which accounts for 10 percent of all apprehensions."