July 18, 2008

Border volunteer: Illegal immigration at crisis level

By WES FERGUSON, Staff Writer

Friday, July 18, 2008

America faces an illegal immigration crisis, a Longview member of the Texas Border Volunteers said Thursday.

Speaking before the Republican Club of Gregg County, Mike Denholm said the many crises range from the criminal to economic, environmental, medical and terrorism-related.

"They're trying," he said of the state of Texas' efforts to patrol the border. "They've made a genuine effort and have had some effect. But the cost and manpower demands are astronomical."

The Texas Border Volunteers watch areas known for high traffic of illegal immigrants and report them to law-enforcement agencies.

Denholm, a Stemco retiree who immigrated to the United States from England in 1963, said the biggest immigration issues facing the country include the creation of a superhighway that connects Mexico, the United States and Canada.

The superhighway is the beginning of a "quasi-secret" plan to merge the three nations into the North American Union, similar to the European Union, he said.

"It would be an abandonment of our sovereignty, a blatant violation of our Constitution and would bring nothing to our beloved country," Denholm said.

Denholm said illegal immigration costs the United States millions of dollars each year.

The average family supported by low-skilled labor draws $22,500 more in benefits annually than it contributes to the benefits of others, he said.

When first entering the country, Denholm added, illegal immigrants also damage private property and cut fences, endangering livestock, he said.

"The problem is, cattle find these holes a lot quicker than the ranchers can," he said.

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