By TODD MILLER Published: August 17, 2013 169 Comments
THREE generations of Loews have worked the family’s 63 acres in Amado, Ariz. In the last 20 years, the Loew family harvested thousands of pounds of onions, garlic and pumpkins without incident. So Stewart Loew, 44, who was born and raised on the farm, was surprised when he went to irrigate his fields one night and found himself surrounded by federal agents.
Pointing to the fires about 200 feet away that Mr. Loew lit to keep warm while he irrigated his fields, one of the agents slogged out of the ankle deep water in the irrigation ditch and asked Mr. Loew what he was doing.
“I’m irrigating, dude,” said Mr. Loew, who was in his pajamas. “What are you doing?”
“Don’t ‘dude’ me, I’m a federal officer,” the Border Patrol agent said, and demanded Mr. Loew’s identification.
Since Mr. Loew did not carry his wallet in his pajama pocket, the agents followed him into his house; a local police officer, who knew the Loew family, had already arrived, vouched for Mr. Loew’s identity and assured the federal agents that Mr. Loew posed no threat to the homeland or national security, and the agents left without comment or apology.
This kind of brush with law enforcement would have been unthinkable to previous generations of farmers here. But these run-ins have become increasingly common in the rugged, hilly desert stretch along the southern borderlands where, in the post-9/11 world, everyone — even farmers in pajamas — is a potential threat. Read more
|Immigration reform deal hangs on border security
By: Carrie Budoff Brown and Seung Min Kim
June 3, 2013 05:05 AM EDT Politico
|The Gang of Eight’s hopes for a Senate supermajority is running into the GOP’s push for a dramatic crackdown on border security — testing the limits of the bipartisan coalition that’s propelling the bill through Congress.
With Congress back this week to work on the measure, Senate negotiators want to pick up as many as two dozen Republican votes in a show of force that compels the House to act. But the result has to be much stricter than the current version of the bill to give it any hope of passing there either. They’ve got to do it without alienating the vast majority of Senate Democrats who like the bill as it is.
And whatever happens, it has to keep Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) satisfied.
Rubio, a key member of the Gang of Eight, is shopping around a proposal to have Congress — not the Department of Homeland Security — write the border control strategy that would be a prerequisite for most of the other elements of reform. Read more