Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Features · Nightmare at the border: Liz...
. . . .

Nightmare at the border: Liz Larios

Rick Coates - November 29th, 2010
Nightmare on the Border
Liz Larios deported to drug-riddled town in Mexico
By Rick Coates
For all practical purposes Liz Larios considers herself an American.
She graduated from Traverse City Central High School and has lived in
the United States for the past 18 years since the age of six. Since
high school, she has been holding down two jobs to pay her bills and
planned on marrying her boyfriend of six years, Russell Horn, sometime
next year. There was just one problem, the 24-year-old Traverse City
resident was born in Mexico.
On Tuesday November 9, Liz Larios was out in her yard with her dog
when a large black SUV pulled up, two man dressed in black suits
approached her asked for her name, handcuffed her and took her away.
The men were agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE
-- the principal investigative arm of the Department of Homeland
Security). Her arrest was part of a sweep through Northern Michigan
that led to the arrest of 17 individuals believed to be illegal
“I came home from work and new something was up; we only have one car
and she was not home,” said Russell Horn. “We were getting along great
and besides some money issues we were living a fairytale life, so I
knew she hadn’t left me. I called her sister and she told me that the
ICE agents had been to her house and had taken her parents as well.”
Horn learned the fate of his fiance two days later when she was
finally permitted to call.
“I was mortified. They didn’t even identify themselves and they
wouldn’t let her change her clothes, she was in her pajamas. Then they
drove to her parent’s house arrested them and then headed off to
McDonald’s where the agents went in and had lunch while all the people
they arrested waited in the vehicles handcuffed,” said Horn. “After
lunch they proceeded to a detention facility in the Soo. Well, Liz
was crying hysterically as she didn’t know what was happening to her
or her family. The one agent kept yelling at her to quit her crying
and repeatedly told her to ‘shut the f*ck up.’ Well, he got fed up
with her and radioed to the vehicle ahead to pull over.  He got out
and dragged Liz’s mother back to vehicle with Liz in hopes that would
shut Liz up.”

For Horn, the whole ordeal has been a nightmare and what worries him
most is he feels that Liz will only survive a few weeks back in
“She speaks broken Spanish. Her cousin was murdered just a few months
ago,” said Horn. “These border towns are run by the drug cartels where
murders and rapes run rampant daily.”
Larios’ parents left Mexico 18 years ago to seek a better life in the
United States as the drug cartels were taking over (even their home
was overtaken by the drug cartel). When they left Mexico they had work
visas and started as migrant workers before her father Ignatius landed
a job working for an insulation contractor, a job he has had for 10
years. Her mother worked an office job for seven years before being
laid off; she recently worked for a local dry cleaners. Her brother
was the first detained and his return trip a few years ago back to
Mexico did not end well.
“This is what has me worried. He went back because he violated his
visa by fishing without a license. Well, he and his wife went back to
the family farm and the drug cartel showed up and demanded money and
drugs. Right in front of him they blew his wife’s head off. They
pistoled whipped him, but he survived,” said Horn. “He escaped back to
the U.S. but was caught and deported back. Well, he had nowhere to go
but back to the family home. The drug cartel caught him, tortured him
and hung him to death. Now Liz’s Uncle was the chief of police. He
started investigating the murder and a week later was murdered.”
Since being arrested on November 9, Larios had been moved to four
detention centers around Michigan before being deported to Mexico on
November 23. Russell Horn has been selling off everything he and Liz
own, taking pennies on the dollar to raise money to rescue his fiance.
He started “Operation Save Liz” and via Facebook has marketed his
belongings by offering to be available 24/7 for interested buyers.

“I am just waiting on my passport to arrive,” said Horn. “I have quit
my job and right now I have $600 raised. As soon as that passport gets
here I am driving to Mexico with whatever cash I have.
My mom is going to keep the sale going after I leave. I also have
opened an account at Members Credit Union where people can send
donations to help.”
What’s the plan when he gets to Mexico?
“I am going to find Liz and her parents and head to Cancun. She worked
in housekeeping here for the past three years,” said Horn. “She has a
high school diploma, which is like having a college degree down there,
so I think she could get a job at one of the resorts. I know this --
that if the drug cartel gets her first I will never see her again. She
will be raped and murdered. You do what they tell you and when you
don’t cooperate or they no longer need you they kill you.”
So does Horn hope to return back to the United States with Liz?
“That is the plan. It is not going to be an easy one though. We will
get married as soon as possible in Mexico. I will return here and
submit the necessary paperwork and we will have to go through an
interview process to prove that we didn’t get married just for her to
return to the U.S.,” said Horn. “Then once I get approval from the
U.S. I have to get approval from the Mexican government and that will
cost about $10,000.”
Horn doesn’t know where the money will come from but right now his
only concern is keeping Liz alive, even if that means risking his own
“Her father told me to tan, start growing a beard, wear a hat and not
look at anyone,” said Horn. “The cartels will shake down Americans in
these border towns when they are traveling alone.”

For Liz Larios, saying “I Do” is something that she wishes she might
have done three years ago.
“When she learned her visa had expired during a hearing in Detroit
four years ago I asked the attorney what I could do. The attorney said
I would need to marry Liz before the end of the day,” said Horn. “I
asked Liz but she didn’t want to get married under those pretenses. We
were young and we certainly didn’t understand the ramifications of our
decision at that time. We figured we would return home and save the
$10,000 needed to head to a border town and get her visa renewed.”
Horn expects to leave this week for Mexico. At press time, Larios had
been flown to the border town of Laredo, Texas and escorted in the
pajamas she was wearing when arrested to the Mexican line and
released. Horn had shipped clothes to Larios’ grandmother in hopes
that she and her parents would be able to make their way there.
These were Liz’s last words to her fiance before being deported: “This
will be the last time I talk to you, until I’m in Mexico,” said
Larios. “Don’t cry babe, I’ll be okay. My dad is with us again. I’ll
get a cell when I get there so that I can call you. You just wait up
there for your passport and drive safe.”

If anyone is interested in contributing to the Operation Save Liz Fund
they may do so by calling 231-409-3085. Contributions may also be made
at Members Credit Union locations in Traverse City. To purchase items
Russell Horn is selling, find him on Facebook.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5