[UDPATED 5:15 p.m. on November 11: shortly after this article was published, Alvarez removed the Facebook post below.]
Following a visit to Tijuana and the border wall, Anaheim Elementary School District Trustee Juan Alvarez posted on Facebook that “the wall needs to be torn down,” promising to use his “privilege” to fight for “no borders.”
Alvarez is a math teacher at Sycamore Junior High School in the Anaheim Union High School District, and is secretary of the Anaheim Secondary Teachers Association – the union representing AUSHD teachers. He was elected to the AESD Board of Education in 2018 with heavy support from the public school unions and left-wing activists.
He posted these ruminations on his Facebook page on November 6 (highlights added):
All nations have – and have always had – borders. Borders are intrinsic to a country’s nature and existence – just as the defense and control of those borders is central to its political integrity and independence. A border barrier is a means for controlling cross-border movement. A nation can make its own decisions about how generous or restrictive it will be regarding the movement of peoples across its border – but it is that nation’s decision to make. Immigration is good for this country. So are borders.
These are not a new or radical principles and practices. On the contrary – they are ancient and true and proven. They are common sense. And the vast majority of Americans agree with them.
The radicalism is to be found in Alvarez’s extreme views.
Alvarez attacks the “ridiculousness” of a border barrier. He not only says it “needs to be torn down,” but insists the United States should have “no borders” at all – while apparently giving no thought to the practicality or consequences of doing away with the border.
Alvarez is a left-wing political activist and his declaration met with approval from his fellow left-wing activists. One person, however, asked him very politely, and almost sheepishly, why he thinks there should be no borders?
Alvarez replied that he believes borders are a “human created construct” that make him feel “restricted” and “confined,” and are therefore “fundamentally wrong.”
Drayden replies that she can “see how it can be viewed that way” but also points that her house has a fence and “people cannot come and go as they please.” She goes on to state the obvious for Alvarez: “without laws we have no way to govern. Without boarders [sic] we do not know when one country ends and one begins. I feel like there should be a distinction between the two.”
She also states her support for better pathways for legal immigration.
Alvarez clearly found Drayden’s pursuit of a reasoned discussion to be exasperating. He declared his belief in “honest discourse” before telling her that any attempt to change his mind is “evidence of the systematic oppression that runs deep within the framework of the American experience”:
“I believe in honest discourse…unless you systematically oppress me by trying to change my mind.” There’s tolerance and open-mindedness for you. Carolyn Torres, the left-wing activist just elected to the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education, was one of those “liking” Alvarez’s social justice warrior dodge.
Undeterred by this dismissal, Drayden tried once again to have a respect dialogue with Alvarez. Among other things, she asked how the existence of a border restricts his family and his choices – pointing out that any American with a passport can fly or drive to Mexico and Canada. Given that Alvarez wants to accord Mexican citizens in the US the same rights at Americans, Drayden asks Alvarez if he thinks Mexico should do likewise for Americans in their country:
Alvarez ignores her questions and basically tells Drayden she can never understand the issue from his perspective, and then complains that other people cannot “wrap their head” around his belief that the real problem is national borders:
Other Anaheim progressives chimed in their agreement with Alvarez’s views – including his AESD Board of Education colleague J. Paolo Magcalas, who teaches Ethnic Studies at Loara High School. Magcalas started the Ethnic Studies program there in order to “liberate” students from the being “oppressed” by “Euro-centric” U.S. history curriculum.
Magcalas posted a photo of the small Vermont village of Derby Line, which abuts the small Canadian village of Stanstead – as if this sleepy section of the northern border refutes the need for border barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border:
Another Anaheim progressive activist, Luis Zuniga, dismisses Mr. Drayden’s support for laws and borders and orderly immigration as a “type of mentality” derived from “hundreds of years of imperialism and colonization of this country,” topping off his dismissal with a de rigeur condemnation of European migration to the Americas. It’s truly astonishing how quick progressives are to dismiss contrary viewpoints as “the legacy of racism and colonialism.”
Another Alvarez friend had this to contribute:
“Borders didn’t exist until now”? Really? That would be news to the city-states of ancient Sumer. Borders are as old of human society.
Support for open borders by Alvarez, Magcalas and their comrades is squarely on the extreme fringe of American opinion. Poll after poll shows the vast majority of Americans oppose open borders. While Americans differ on the appropriate level and types of legal immigration, they overwhelmingly support the federal government’s right to control and secure the border.
Has Alvarez given any consideration to the implications of abolishing the border in terms of national security or combatting the trafficking of drugs and human beings – just for starters. The drug cartels doubtless agree with Alvarez’s disdain for borders and border enforcement. Alvarez’s views are so far out of the mainstream as to put him on another planet, politically.
What is concerning is these fringe viewpoints are viewed as received wisdom among the claque of OC progressive-Left activists who are working hard to secure seats on Orange County city councils and school boards. It’s fair to say that when a politician or elected official espouses extremist views on something as basic as whether countries should have borders, it calls into question the legitimacy and seriousness of their views on a range of important issues.