It is seldom that I have an opportunity to write about the good things El Paso has to offer. In this case, not only is the topic close and dear to me it is also an opportunity to dispel the myth that the United States does not want immigrants. That the hate group “Border Convoy” was expelled from El Paso was just icing on the cake. As most of you are aware, a group of self-style “coalition of citizens who share a deep concern for the invasion currently happening unchecked” at the border, decided to convoy from Murrieta, California to McAllen, Texas. Their website states that they are hoping to “encourage communities to rise up and take a stand against unconstitutional federal incursions”. Although unwritten on the public relations materials, the “incursions” they refer to are the undocumented aliens coming into the country.
Unfortunately for the Border Convoy, although they expected a welcoming community on the border for their message what they got, instead, was a group of individuals pointing out their hate-filled message. Instead of their planned rally, they, instead, had to rely on the El Paso Police Department to escort them out of the city to ensure peace was maintained in light of their hate-led tour.
Because the group is attempting to distort the public message in order to keep their lie alive, I thought it important to give you a firsthand account of what actually transpired in El Paso. As you know I am not living in El Paso, therefore I was not able to personally witness the events.
Instead, Rosemary P. Martinez, who was actively involved in stopping the convoy from delivering their hate has graciously accepted to share with us her first person account of what happened. Miguel Juárez who was the second driver in the incident also contributed to this account independently of Martinez.
Rosemary Martinez writes that on August 3, 2014, she and her husband were having dinner at L&J with some friends. After dropping off their friends, they received a call from another friend who informed them that the Border Convoy had been spotted leaving Las Cruces and headed to El Paso. Although Miguel Juárez was under the impression that the convoy had decided not to go to El Paso, he and his wife inadvertently saw them on I10 as they were returning from Las Cruces. Juárez adds that they lost them after pulling over to gas up their vehicle and after not finding them at the scheduled rally point in El Paso they headed towards the freeway.
Martinez wrote that at about 5:30 in the afternoon they joined up to the convoy headed east on I10. Martinez describes the convoy as driving erratically and interfering with the traffic flow. Martinez’ group, of two vehicles, decided to follow the convoy to see if they were going to hold a rally or if not follow them to the county line. Juárez was in the second vehicle with his wife.
Rosemary adds that it appeared to her that the convoy seemed lost and stopped on Trowbridge, next to the refinery. As they waited for the convoy to continue, Martinez writes that she was informed by Juárez and his wife that a “guy with a rifle” walked towards her friends. Miguel Juárez writes of the incident that it seemed to him that the convoy had purposely boxed in Martinez’ car near Western Refinery and he became concerned for Rosemary and her husband. Because of this, they “waited about 40 feet away” from the stopped convoy. At this point, Juárez writes that a “heavy-set bearded” exited a “white sedan with Arizona plates” and came up to them holding a rifle and asked Juárez and his wife if they were following them. Juárez replied “no”. Juárez then writes that the rifle-toting man told them “then you best get going”. Juárez and his wife proceeded to join up with Martinez’ vehicle.
Martinez, in her account, wrote that she asked her friends to call 911 as both vehicles got together for safety. Rosemary Martinez added that she witnessed the individual with what appeared to her to be a “barrel of a gun”.
A few minutes later, the convoy proceeded to return to the freeway. Martinez writes that “at approximately the Yarbrough exit” there was an “attempt to remove” them from the convoy. Martinez provided a link to a Youtube video showing the incident. The Youtube video appears to have been filmed by a member of the convoy riding in an RV.
Accepting that the video was filmed by the RV in the convoy you can clearly see how the black pickup truck was dangerously surrounded by members of the convoy. Looking closely you will notice that the RV, filming the event, was on the emergency lane of the highway. Further, look closely at the flag-wrapped vehicle to the left of the pickup and you will notice that there is an individual hanging out of the passenger window holding what appears to be a camera.
Not only are these two actions a serious violation of the traffic laws and are dangerous to all traffic in the vicinity, they are also a threatening action directed at the pickup.
At this point, Martinez writes that the flag-wrapped vehicle was pulled over by an El Paso police unit, Martinez and her husband pulled over in order to press charges against the two drivers. Martinez writes that she witnessed at least one vehicle with an armed individual in it. Juárez, in his account writes that they encountered an El Paso Police vehicle on North Loop, which they flagged down to report they had been threatened with a rifle. The officer asked that Juárez and his wife follow him “in case” they “needed to ID the person who had the rifle”. Juárez wrote that the person who had brandished the rifle was not among the vehicles that were stopped on shoulder of the freeway.
Eventually, as you all know by the news media reports, the convoy was escorted outside of the city limits by El Paso Police officers.
It is gratifying that El Paso came together and let the Border Convoy know that the El Paso community welcomes and supports immigrants who ultimately represent the values of the United States.