09 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

To my friends “South of the Border” in Mexico

Greetings and well wishes on the results of your recent national election. Democracy and the freedom to elect your representatives is truly a great thing my friends!

I am writing this letter to inform you a little bit better about not only who I am, but my philosophy and my positions as they relate to cross-border relations with Mexico. It is my sincere wish that this letter resonates with you and that you will realize you have a friend here, that once elected, with which to work to help both our citizens and our economies.

As background, I am a retired United States Marine Corps Naval Flight Officer, combat veteran Vietnam through Desert Storm, a California credentialed General and Special Education teacher with two Master Degrees in Education, former Nonpublic High School Principal, the 2008 and 2010 Republican Nominee for Congress (CA-53) and a dad. I taught school primarily in southeast San Diego and in Barrio Logan for seven years to mostly Spanish speaking populations.

In the recently held California Open Primary on June 5th, I finished a strong second out of 7 candidates appearing on the ballot to represent the newly redrawn California 51st Congressional District (CD). The top 2 vote getters move forward to our General Election this November.

The 51st CD now represents the entire California border with Mexico, stretching from where the International Border fence enters the Pacific Ocean in Imperial Beach extending 170 miles east to the Arizona border. CA-51, as one large community of interest, is larger than our states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware combined. As one unified CD, it finally affords us the unique opportunity to address border issues with commonsense and pragmatic solutions.

As an American first, I believe that the United States is truly blessed to have friendly neighbors on its borders to its north, Canada, and to its south, Mexico. With respect to Mexico, I believe the United States has a responsibility, as a good neighbor, to extend a hand of friendship to Mexico and help resolve cross-border issues equitably with fairness and understanding.

As a candidate to represent all of California’s southern border areas with Mexico, I recognize that the border community recognizes that it’s high time to elect someone who knows how to solve border problems. I do, and I will. For the last decade, this area has been represented by two
representatives that failed to address numerous cross-border issues. We certainly do not need more of that mindset going forward. What we do need, however, is an individual exercising

independent critical thinking skills, devoid of being tied to partisan political party agendas, positions and ideologies. My priority is to focus and bring fresh ideas and innovative solutions to shared problems.

In the post 9-11 era, America has to protect all its borders and ports of entry. The stakes are just too high for us not to when considering the threats posed at us. In being elected to represent CA-51, I will be totally focused on the International Border and what is coming through, around, over and under it. Recognizing that there are a multitude of issues involved, here is a brief listing of my firmly held beliefs from having lived close to the border with Mexico since 1976:

Immigration issues: The United States didn’t arrive at the present state of the contentiousness of this issue overnight. It has festered for decades and will be solved by neighbors arriving at mutual understandings and then enforcing them. Not by entities using the issue and racial profiling to bash certain groups. The historical strength of the United States has been, is, and will continue to be immigration. Today, legal immigration. Post 9-11, we have to know who and what is transiting our border with Mexico as does Mexico with illegal weapons and cash flowing south. As sovereign nation states, both the United States and Mexico have every right to enforce their respective borders and immigration policies. Today, there is an abundance of workers in Mexico available to be tapped into desiring to come across the border and work in our economy and agriculture-based industries. What I propose is that the United States produces a tamperproof ID card, which the Mexican citizen pays for, which includes a current photo and fingerprint along with a retina scan and DNA swab which will be placed separately into a national database for tracking purposes. This would be used in conjunction with a mandatory E-verify (electronic verification) requirement for all US employers, which have to be met under stiff financial penalties/fines before any non-citizen hiring takes place. The combination use of the ID card and the enforcement of E-verify will solve many problems and offer many opportunities to transient non-citizen guest workers.

Secure Pedestrian Parks: I propose and support reopening Amistad Park in San Ysidro and further building another such park in the Calexico area out in the Imperial Valley. The benefits of doing such are many without any downsides. First, it enables our Spanish speaking communities a safe and secure area where they can mutually meet family members/relatives from the opposite sides of the border without having to sit in long traffic lines coming and going through the traditional border crossings. Aside from saving massive amounts of time sitting in lines, it saves the environment from endless streams of cars idling, wasting gas and polluting the atmosphere. I envision the parks to be open during daylight hours only, be totally on the American side with playground, bathroom, and picnic facilities. Additionally there would be two separate and equal flagpoles for an American and Mexican Flag with the national anthems of each country played each day on an alternating basis. Imagery is important to both our American and Mexican citizens and conveys a spirit of working together to solve problems. These parks could serve as models for the rest of our border states with Mexico and they would be maintained and supported by a small user fee paid by the visitors from both sides utilizing them.

Water: Historically, in the American West, water and water rights have and will continue to create heated disagreements and sometimes violent confrontations. We have seen in our own lifetimes what catering to the environmentalists, the not-in-my-backyard (nimby’s) types and the build-absolutely-nothing-anytime-nor-anyplace (banana) crowd have subjected the rest of us to. Not only do we lack adequate water storage capacity (e.g., reservoirs and dams) but we suffer roadblocks to solve this issue by what is perceived to be protecting endangered species. I propose we actively pursue environmentally cleaning up both the New and Alamo Rivers in addition to exploring a joint relationship with Mexico in bringing a desalination plant powered by alternative power sources (e.g., wind, solar, geothermal) and backed up with clean burning fossil fuel, to the northwestern shore area of the Sea of Cortez. With joint United States and Mexico cooperation, we could make the southwest desert literally bloom with agriculture jobs and produce an endless supply of fresh water. This is a win-win project for both the United States and Mexico creating a multifaceted job producing environment (e.g., agriculture, fishing, recreational) on both sides of the border..

Administrative liaison: Once elected, I will appoint an aide and dedicate office space to specifically address cross-border issues to the benefit of all and for those American citizens who may encounter legal problems while living in and transiting through Mexico.

Following the example set by President Elect Enrique Pena Nieto, by affixing my signature to this document here today, you have my solemn promise, that when elected to the United States Congress in November, I will have as a goal and a priority to see that what I stated above comes to fruition in regards to our cross border relationships.

With best regards, I remain

Michael Crimmins
Candidate for U.S. Congress (CA-51)

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