By Christine Gutierrez-Boswell
The City Council of League City, Texas just passed a resolution, 6-2, banning all requests by the federal government to house children, in her town, who are coming into the U.S. as refugees. Heidi Thiess, a councilwoman, proposed the legislation based on a vague “health and safety concerns” explanation. It is prudent to note that while Ms.Thiess is concerned about the dangers of refugee children in her city, she vehemently supports Second Amendment rights to bear arms, as she owns a small firearms shop in League City. Also, she is a Tea Party activist who believes in “conservative values” and served in the military, where she claims the rank of Second Lieutenant.
Her biography reads like the buildup of a character from a Tom Clancy novel. She is all about “patriotism” and “sovereignty,” but, unlike the late Clancy, this character has no appeal, there is no substantial endgame and definitely no surprises in her story. Middle-aged, presumably White women (as she claims no other ethnic background), husband and two kids, Tea Party member, and “Abortion is genocide” believer, who is all about small government, lowering taxes (unless it is for her causes), tradition (her traditions) and solving key problems (her problems), like keeping brown people away from her city who haven’t any papers because she fears they all carry disease and most must be criminals! (Did I mention she owns a gun store?) She even quotes, on her website, reminders about the importance of our duty as citizens to usurp “unconstitutional acts” (typical Tea Party playbook stuff) citing the 1871 case of Norton v. Shelby quote, “An unconstitutional act is not a law. It confers no rights. It imposes no duties. It affords no protection. It creates no office.” And why does she stress this importance? Her fear of the repeal of the Second Amendment, of course:
“The federal government CANNOT pass any legislation abridging our Second Amendment, or we can rightfully and legally consider such an unconstitutional act to be NULL & VOID, and we are not obligated to obey it. To NOT comply with an unconstitutional act is our civic duty.”These seem to be fighting words. You know what really struck me on her site? Aside from her desperate and bizarre need to cite different SCOTUS cases about the definition of “unconstitutional,” her latest rampage on what she calls “illegals.” Thorough explanations, apparently on how to pass a resolution in “your town” (using the anti-refugee one as the prototype), as well as the “The Law Against Hiring or Harboring Illegal Aliens” repeated in full.
I would like to draw up a resolution! How about one that states: “I hereby declare Heidi Thiess is not allowed to leave League City, Texas until she gets a grip on reality because I think she poses a danger to democracy and herself.” It means just as much as the heartless, anti-government laced resolution she “passed.” In other words: It’s all talk. (If you read through her website, she points out why she passed this resolution and equates it with walking the walk, instead of talking the talk, obviously not realizing that is all she did with this resolution...just “talked” as it has no merit in the real world.)
First, with all her huffing and puffing about what is “unconstitutional,” she needs to remember we are a Federalist government, and OUR Constitution only outlines powers for federal and state governments. State laws do not supersede federal laws (not to say they don't try, here in Texas, all the time) and local governments are at their state’s mercy. As a city official and front row Christian, why it is she feels unobligated to serve as a balance to all citizens in League City and not skewed beliefs aimed towards her Tea Party following is for her to answer. Who she represents, however, comes to light, reflected from this one-sided piece of nothing she calls a “resolution.” In her blog she specifically writes, “Speak with selected Council Members or County Commissioners who claim to be Conservative…” and “Contact your local Tea Parties, veteran’s organizations (which have large networks of contacts), grassroots groups, etc - they will help you spread the word,“ when explaining how to pass the “no refugee” resolution in other towns and states.
As a military person why does she not understand the Homeland Security Act of 2002, section 462, signed by President Bush in 2003 which explains how unaccompanied children coming into the U.S., refugee or not, are protected, housed and cared for, until they can be repatriated, BUT are definitely NOT just set free to roam the U.S. like a bunch of kids being let out to recess? (The first refugee legislation was established in 1948, was utilized big time in 1975 after the fall of Saigon and the end of Vietnam, followed by the Refugee Act of 1980, 2000 and it was in 2003 when President Bush established that unaccompanied children were to be deferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and then updated again in 2005, 2008 and 2010. However, we have been taking refugees of all ages all throughout.) Also, why hasn’t she read and understood that under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ ORR, that children are given full health exams and if a communicable disease is found they are quarantined? In terms of being affiliated with gangs, doesn't she know that it is often the situation they are escaping and they, themselves, are not violent? I mean, we have gangs and crazies here in the U.S.; she does not seem too concerned about making resolutions about other groups of violent criminals. As a matter of fact, in any of her “resolutions” have I ever read about banishing potential Timothy McVeigh’s or pen “The Mexican Cartel,” or the “Zetas,” as the subject of her “resolutions” for health and safety reasons. Or how about the anti-vaccinators? Or vacationers coming back from exotic countries? Just child refugees? Because you think they carry disease or could kill people in your town? (Did I emphasize she owns a gun store in a city that has the most Concealed Handgun Licenses per capita in the nation?)
As a self-proclaimed Veteran’s advocate and Tea Party activist (irony to the fullest), I would like to know, instead, where she stands, fiscally, on this Veteran’s bill which was recently passed in the Senate 93-3, only to be held up by Republicans in the House because they felt the bill is too expensive? (Did I mention it was Senators John McCain and Bernie Sanders who drafted the bill?) Even though it would provide for:
“…the construction of 26 new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics in 18 states, as well as the hiring of additional VA medical personnel. The bill also allowed veterans currently living more than 40 miles away from a VA facility to see a private medical professional.”The bill was passed in the Senate a month ago! I mean if she’s are going to roar about something, then here is her opportunity! [Crickets] I have to say it does not surprise me she would say nothing because Tea Party people are all about proving their fiscal conservatism, going as far as saying out loud that veterans, who are on disability from the VA, need to make sacrifices (Blake Farenthold)!
Finally, as a traditionalist, what about the traditions of questioning our laws through due process? After all, if everyone acted upon their opinion of what is considered “unconstitutional,” there would be repeats of Shay’s Rebellion, or worse, the Whiskey Rebellion, over and over again! There are other traditions, such as loving thy neighbor, equality and justice, being kind and I KNOW there are traditional teachings Christians must follow, like helping in times of trouble, and not just raising your hands in the front row, but, rather, your hearts to others…why not use those traditions? Then there is the biggest tradition of all: What about the tradition of our country, as it stands to today, being built by immigrants? I would be interested to know her family bloodlines.
I’m not fooled. Personally, I think this is about her playing it up to her voters. I am sure that most who support her are poorly informed, extremely non-progressive, doomsday-prepping people she feeds off of in order to feel like a leader. She’s not—except to that part of the universe. She’s a clown, in the middle of a circus, honking her horn just to draw attention to herself. (The government is not even considering putting up a detention center in her town.) I am just glad she does not represent me or anyone near me. And speaking of… I am the daughter and sister of two decorated, combat Marines (Semper Fi) who are Wounded Warriors and who are on disability; she’s wrong in terms of veterans being mostly conservative, Tea Party and anti-refugee (as she implies on her site about appealing to Veteran’s groups when trying to pass this crappy resolution in other towns and states). See, it’s disrespectful to clump everyone into that tiny group of self-soothers (the Tea Party, NOT our Veterans), who feel their rights are being taken away! She loses a LARGE majority of us, every time, with her very narrow (minded), cultural perspective. There are THOUSANDS of Latino Veterans, alone, in the Rio Grande Valley who would HATE her rhetoric…imagine the rest of the country—poor people and people of Color who went off to fight rich man’s wars? Only to come home and be spat on? As we say in the South: “You ain’t foolin’ no one but yourself!”
I see her boy is at West Point who loves and supports his mother, and that is understandable, but will a large part of the country ever have confidence in his abilities to protect ALL PEOPLE who are in the United States? Will we ever trust his leadership skills? We shall see. I have learned this kind of thinking is taught and, therefore, needs to stay out of positions of trust. Leaders should stand for equality and justice for all and I will hold every single one of them accountable when they do not!
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.