- A demonstration against illegal immigration turned into a public argument Saturday outside the Mexican Consulate in Phoenix.
A group called the Border Guardians burned and spat on a Mexican flag and made speeches claiming that illegal immigration overloads public services and increases crime.
Opponents called them racists and questioned their intelligence. The stance of both sides underscored how polarized and emotional the debate over illegal immigration can be.
"They are strictly racist," Sheri Jones of Phoenix said.
About 20 police officers kept an eye on the small crowd. Laine Lawless of Tucson, the Border Guardians' director, burned the flag with help from Donald Pauley of Las Vegas.
Lawless said illegal "invaders" hurt everything from the economy to the desert. Pauley said employers who hire illegal immigrants should be jailed.
Ali Souissi of Tempe said the protest was disgusting and staged to intimidate people who come to the consulate for services.
Sure enough, it turned out that mingled in with Lawless' crowd were some noteworthy neo-Nazis on the local scene. And later that very same day, Lawless and her "Border Guardians" group attended a neo-Nazi gathering with them:
- Eight months ago Border Guardian leader Laine Lawless denied her ties to the neo Nazi organization National Socialist Movement. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Lawless not only attended the neo-Nazi National Vanguard Winterfest after her flag bar-b-que at the Mexican Consulate in Phoenix on Saturday, she was accompanied by neo-Nazi leader Donald Pauly (as a pagan she probably wasn't interested in Christmas caroling).
The local ADL officials had it about right:
"By attending a neo-Nazi event with Holocaust deniers and known racists, Lawless has demonstrated that she is not just an activist concerned with the problems of illegal immigration, but an anti-Hispanic bigot using the border issue to forward her own hateful agenda."
You all remember Laine Lawless, don't you?
For awhile, back in Tombstone, Lawless was one of Minutemanmeister Chris Simcox's right-hand, er, persons. That is, he claimed, until he discovered her "radical beliefs" (perhaps her purported lesbianism) and they ostensibly parted ways, although Simcox remains vague about just how long they actually were associated.
Mostly, you may recall Lawless as the subject of a Southern Poverty Law Center report (as noted here) that she was surreptitiously urging skinheads and neo-Nazis to start inflicting violence on illegal immigrants:
- At the request of Lawless, who declined to respond to questions from the Intelligence Report, Martin posted her suggestions to a number of neo-Nazi bulletin boards. Those suggestions included:
"Steal the money from any illegal walking into a bank or check cashing place."
"Make every illegal alien feel the heat of being a person without status. ... I hear the rednecks in the South are beating up illegals as the textile mills have closed. Use your imagination."
"Discourage Spanish-speaking children from going to school. Be creative."
"Create an anonymous propaganda campaign warning that any further illegal immigrants will be shot, maimed or seriously messed-up upon crossing the border. This should be fairly easy to do, considering the hysteria of the Spanish language press, and how they view the Minutemen as 'racists & vigilantes.'"
More recently, Lawless has been involved with the same group of charming folks who were intimidating Latinos at the polls on Election Day.
Just makes ya feel red, white, and blue all over, doesn't it?