Illegal immigration heightens tension across nation
Mar10

Illegal immigration heightens tension across nation

Prosperity, freedom and a future. Neon signs, health care and job opportunities. America looks pretty good. From a place of economic despair, violent streets and poverty-stricken residential zones, crossing the Texas-Mexico border into the U.S., by whatever means, is tempting for many. Every year half a million undocumented people of many nationalities try to cross into the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that 11.6 million unauthorized immigrants were living in America in 2008, a vast majority of them Mexicans. U.S. and local governments, however, are buckling down on illegal immigration, not because they want to limit people from finding success and opportunity in the States, but rather because the illicit activity is associated with crimes such as human smuggling, drug trafficking, gangs, prostitution, kidnappings, murders, auto theft, gun running and violence. It is a controversial subject that has affected the economy, civil matters, American culture, national security and government programming. The solution remains ambiguous. Carlos Maldonado is the chief of police in the border city of Laredo, Texas. He believes illegal immigration is a concern. “(It) needs to be addressed at the political level. It’s not just a law enforcement issue,” Maldonado said. The Laredo Police Department’s main goal, according to its chief, is to safeguard citizens and others in the city and to encourage everyone to report crimes. “The last thing you  want to do is to ostracize any particular group of people,” Maldonado said. “If … they become fearful of police, they are less likely to respond to and report suspicious activity.” With many other concerns in the city, Maldonado said checking immigration status is not a top concern for his department. “I don’t think it should be a primary objective from a law enforcement perspective,” he said. “If we have someone engaged in illegal activities, I am going to do everything I can to have them deported. But if it is someone who has committed a traffic violation who works everyday and tries to be a good citizen, although they do not have legal status here, I will probably not ask them to prove citizenship.” Problems exist in the vague interpretation of proper moral procedures. “It’s a challenge for us as a country because they’re really not our citizens to take care of, but they’re here,” Maldonado said. “(We) do the best we can.” The path is unclear on every level of jurisdiction. “It’s a policy issue that needs to be explored where there is no real guidance,” Maldonado said. “It is a fine line that we have to walk, and … the U.S. cannot do it alone. We need to work as closely...

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Basketball teams head to tournament
Feb24

Basketball teams head to tournament

Both the women’s and men’s basketball teams have secured spots in the American Southwest Conference play. This is the women’s fourth and the men’s sixth time to consecutively compete in the tournament. The men have made it to ASC play 10 out of 11 years. Women’s Lady Cru head coach Kim Kirkpatrick-Thornton said the team’s success is a result of hard work. “It’s been a good season but a little bit like a roller coaster,” she said. “We’ve played at times the best we have since I’ve been here. We’ve had some good wins and beat some top teams.” The women have had monumental accomplishments. They beat Howard Payne, the defending national champs, Jan. 17, which broke the Yellow Jackets’ 42 home game winning streak. The women have also faced setbacks with early season injuries. Junior Stacie Stephens, a past starter, tore her ACL and junior Courtney Wolfe is out due to a foot injury. The women have designated time to conditioning and strengthening. “They put in a lot of hours of hard work,” Kirkpatrick-Thornton said. “But it’s not just the hours; it’s what they put into the hours.” The coach said the team has made improvements. “Mentally, we’ve grown,” she said. “We were fairly young last year, so I feel like (the players) understand the game as a whole this season, and that helps us.” Kirkpatrick-Thornton believes the lady Cru’s strength is in their defense. “It has been strong in helping us win some games,” she said. “We’ve improved in ball handling. It’s not where it needs to be, but it has improved.” She said the lady Cru have come together as a whole. “This team especially works hard together and competes from beginning to end,” she said.  We are a well balanced team … (and) have some solid players.” The UMHB women are 13-12 overall and 12-9 in conference. They are focused on their goal,  winning the conference tournament. Sophomore Caitlin Barganier said, “Even going in as the fourth place team, we have a great chance of winning.” Barganier said the team works well together and its chemistry has played a major role in this year’s success. “This season has had its ups and downs, but we have all managed to stick closely together and play to the best of our ability,” Barganier said. “Everybody has different roles on this team, and we all use that to our advantage and come together to be the best we can be. We push each other to our limits, but we also pull each other up when we fall down.” The Cru is thankful for their supporters. Kirkpatrick-Thornton said, “We’re...

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Crusader policeman tells of deployment
Feb24

Crusader policeman tells of deployment

As a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve, former campus policeman, Stephen Mosley, is doing exactly what he dreamt of, helping in the military. “Serving my country is something I always wanted to do,” Mosley said. “Serving in the armed forces is not for everyone, but there is a connection that those who do, have that you don’t see anywhere else.” Assigned to the 320th PSYOPS, or Psychological Operations Company, out of Portland, Ore., Mosley was deployed to Iraq in 2008 to do face-to-face communication with civilians, gather information and pass along messages to officials from targeted communities. “I find out what the locals need, like water or power,” he said. “I try and get a feel for what they are thinking and how they feel about the local government, and if they support it or not.” While in Iraq, Mosley ran into Maj. Byron Duke, an executive officer whose twin sons, Denton and Dextor Duke, play football for UMHB. “(It) was one of those ‘It’s a Small World’ occasions,” Mosley said. “We were talking about where we were from, and one thing led to another. Now we talk about Cru football when we are together, and we even give each other the Cru hand sign when we pass on the base and during briefings we both attend.” Freshman Denton Duke said he hadn’t expected his father to tell him he was working with a Crusader employee. “It was so random and a big surprise,” Duke said. The student is encouraged by his father and those who work in the service. “It means a lot to me,” he said. Duke is more than ready to see his father when he comes home to Granbury, Texas, in a few months. “We are close,” Duke said. “We are all looking forward to when he gets back. It’s been hard on our mom, too.” Maj. Duke will be back to the states soon. He is a reminder of home for Mosley , and what he has to look forward to when he returns. Mosley originally joined the Army as an armor crew member of operating tanks in 1995. He then transferred to the reserves in 2001, becoming a military policeman. The MP unit was shut down, so Mosley transferred to the PSYOPS operations where he currently serves. Overseas, Mosley loves experiencing other cultures and talking to different people groups. “I actually enjoy what I do and where I am,” he said. “I get to try new foods and customs. I do miss my wife and son, but I am by no means suffering. I really enjoy serving and will continue to...

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The voice behind the phone: serving the Cru with every call

Many people talk to her. Few know her name. Debbie Bennett, the university’s administrative receptionist, directs countless calls each day. Responsible for the school’s main phone line, Bennett’s entire attention is on helping others. “I get to meet a lot of great people,” she said. “It’s an interesting job.” Bennett approaches her duties, which include answering phones, directing callers and assisting human resources and the admissions offices, as the chance to humbly serve others. “A student will come in crying because something didn’t go right,” Bennett said. “They’re lost and don’t have a clue. There are also those first-time parents who are sending their children off to college. I can relate.” She tries to meet the various needs that come through the Sanderford office doors, which is one of the lessons her mother taught her. Bennett dwelled on the concept “always help people.” She said her mother, who is 78 and lives in Monahans, Texas, set the perfect example. “She is very active and goes to church every time the door opens,” Bennett said of her mom. “She takes anywhere from two to three women to go with her who are normally not able to go. She’s the best mom.” Bennett has modeled herself after her mother’s attitude, according to her daughter, Lori Tupin. “My mother has always had the kindest heart, and she always put us before herself,” Tupin said. “Our needs were always met, and we are better people because of my mother’s generosity and loving heart.” Bennett’s past jobs have all been about assisting people. “(She) is the most selfless person that I know and she has a heart of gold,” Tupin said. “Any act of kindness that she gives is out of good faith, and she never expects anything in return.” Though born in Rockdale, Calif., Bennett was raised in Andrews, Texas. Her father was in the Marines. She then moved to Odessa, Texas, where she went to Odessa College and took a nine-month secretarial business class. In that same city she met and married David Bennett, her husband of 27 years, who is employed by the Texas Depart-ment of Transportation in Austin. David’s job has taken the family to various Texas cities, which have all brought a variety of adventures, including different jobs for Debbie. “Every time we’ve moved, it has been a better position for him,” Debbie said of her husband. Bennett has always been willing to make the adjustments, but it hasn’t been easy. “I’ve been very lucky to get good jobs, but it has been hard,” she said. “It’s difficult going to a town where you don’t know anybody and nobody...

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Valentine’s Day: A love-hate holiday relationship
Feb10

Valentine’s Day: A love-hate holiday relationship

“This is the day that the Lord hath made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Feb. 14 is a day of conflicting feelings. Depending on who you are, your stage of life and your relationship status, Cupid can shoot either painful stinging arrows or endless love bullets into your heart, causing you to enjoy or despise the holiday that plasters affection across every superstore isle and through every American mind. It’s quite interesting and sometimes disappointing to examine Valentine’s Day and its effects on the general public. While I do not claim to be an expert on national, holiday, celebration protocol, I’ve compiled a list of why Feb. 14 is such a healthy holiday for our nation. Sales thrive off of people madly in love. The holiday brings in annually over $14 billion. Suddenly giant stuffed animals are worth 50 bucks, and the cost of your average Hershey’s bar wrapped in red displaying “I love you” inflates to a dollar more. Men are willing to ignore outrageous price tags to surprise their ladies with diamond rings and the sort. Flower businesses see skyrocketing profits as carnations and arrangements flood vases or melt young women’s hearts as their man waits at the door with a dozen roses in hand. In an economically-thirsting stimulation, what could be better? Babysitters also experience a peak in business on this day as the demand is high and the labor is low. Parents, desiring romantic escape, are willing to fork out big money for someone to watch their children. Other service industries benefit, too. Waiters and waitresses can expect to see big tips because nothing seems to speak louder than “here’s an elegant, expensive meal for you honey and don’t I look great if I give our server a monster tip.” Now, for those who do not have a significant other, this is no reason to pout. Just because Mr. or Mrs. Right didn’t give you a box of chocolates doesn’t mean you can’t spoil yourself with some sweets. Many pessimists have renamed Valentine’s Day as Singles Awareness Day, wearing shirts that promote destruction of lovely holiday festivities. This is ridiculous. If it takes a national holiday to make you aware of the fact you are single, then you have bigger problems to address than not having a boyfriend. Then there are those people who use the holiday as a reason to publically practice unneeded romantic gestures. While intimacy is a gift God gave to couples, children do not need to see what it looks like or how it works prematurely. PDA overhaul should not be abused, nor is it justified because of...

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