We’re Arresting the Wrong People!
Yesterday, something unusual happened at the crossroads of Flamingo and Fort Apache, in Las Vegas.
There’s a Home Depot on the southwest corner of that busy intersection. On most mornings and afternoons, for-hire Latinos hang out in front of the store, hoping for a few hours work. If someone drives by, they often wave and hope to the catch the eye of a homeowner in need of labor. Presumably, most if not all of these workers are undocumented. In other words, they’re illegal aliens.
What was most unusual on this otherwise magnificent Saturday afternoon was the appearance of three police cars in the parking lot, blue and red lights flashing, as the illegal aliens were being rounded up. I’d never seen that before. I’ve shopped at that Home Depot perhaps 50 times in ten years and have never once witnessed any kind of disruption, nor problems of any kind. I’m not sure why those illegals on this day were suddenly being arrested. Sure, they were probably here in this country illegally. But the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department certainly has better things to do with their time and resources than chase lots of poor people across the border back to Mexico. Besides, isn’t that the job of of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service?
So, what were the cops up to? Was there a civil disturbance? A criminal act? Did someone voice a complaint? Might this be the bitter turn we’ve now taken in what’s become a hostile political climate towards illegal immigrants in America? Aha! These must be the serial rapists and murderers sent across the border by the Mexican Government that Donald Trump was talking about. That’s it. They were here to rape our virgins and take away our jobs.
Whatever your view of immigration, the disturbing scene of lots of poor people simply out looking for an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work all being rounded up and hauled away like criminals was paradoxical given the cringe-worthy spectacle that was happening only 200 yards away, at the same aforementioned intersection.
Walking out in the middle of the street, unfazed and undisturbed, zipping back and forth in between idling cars waiting at traffic lights were two lowlife con-artists who have turned panhandling into a full-time occupation. This couple (one male and one female) begs six or seven days a week. Oh, and they’re white. I might have sympathy were this kind of begging merely a temporary condition. But these two scummy thieves have been conning people for more than a year. The female appears to be quite able-bodied. She looks to be about 30-years-old, and works on one side of the intersection. The take must be pretty good, because I’ve seen her taking smoking breaks while talking on a cell phone, that is, when she thinks no one’s watching. Her loser boyfriend works on the other side of the intersection and occasionally meets up with the female where they probably divide up the day’s heist. I’ve seen this despicable couple, likely drug addicts, hustling in two areas — at Flamingo and Fort Apache intersection as well as the Charleston-Fort Apache intersection (next to Claim Jumper). Drive by there sometime, you’ll probably see them.
I’ve written previously about the shady subclass of lowlifes who desecrate the very best intentions of others. The generosity of strangers isn’t just being misused to feed selfish addictions. Giving money to these meth-mouthed bums detracts from extra funds and human kindness that might go to others who really are in need. Such acts of forgery also scars public trust in doing what’s right. Most of us do want to help others who desperately need a handout. But we also don’t want to be taken as suckers, and that’s precisely what the scum who patrol the intersections of west Las Vegas are doing — fueling selfish addictions, depriving others in desperate need of money, and killing our goodwill towards each other. Shame on them.
More background, including my views on begging, can be found here:
Apparently, come to find out, it’s legal to panhandle here in Las Vegas, so long as the act isn’t considered overly aggressive (whatever that means). However, it’s illegal to step out into public streets and move from car window to car window, requesting money. In other words, the druggie couple is clearly breaking the law. Virtually every day of the week, they’re committing a criminal act (a misdemeanor). Accordingly, they should be arrested.
So, where were the cops?
That answer’s easy. They were 200 yards away, rounding up illegal aliens — for who knows what.
The cruel irony here is that each one of those poor men hanging out in front of Home Depot badly wants to work. They’re willing to bust their asses out in the blazing sun, without asking any questions, requesting no breaks, willing to do whatever it takes to make perhaps $5, or even $10 an hour, if they’re really lucky. They didn’t come here to this country to beg or steal. They came here to be productive and try to get ahead. They came so they might be able to send a few dollars each month back to their families at home. And even though we treat them like total shit, they often smile at us, and try to be helpful. They even wave when we drive by, oblivious to any sense of humanity or decency.
Shame on us for the way we treat these good, honest, hard-working people. Shame on the demagogues who deride the cruel misfortune of the working poor to win the twisted political adoration of a privileged class of selfish bigots. The national dialogue on this issue has become a disgrace.
Instead, we should be arresting the actual con-artists among us and start cleaning up the streets of the real filth that’s become an epidemic in some parts of the city. Let’s start with rounding up the two frauds who are out there panhandling under false pretenses, making a mockery of the public’s trust. Let’s send them across the border to Mexico, instead. Our country would be far better off with a few more illegal aliens, willing and eager to work, and less native-born swindlers polluting our intersections holding up cardboard signs.
Hey, we’re arresting the wrong people.