Editor’s note: The story of one young woman’s harrowing illegal crossing into America, as told to one of our readers, Caroline Chance Melear, leads today’s grab bag of your letters. Keep ’em coming at [email protected]—Ken McIntyre 

Dear Daily Signal: I spoke with a woman I know who crossed the border illegally 15 years ago, when she was 18. I wanted to share some of the incredibly enlightening information she gave me, and I didn’t know who else to share it with.

I’m choosing not to identify the woman, for her sake. She is originally from Ecuador. Before she attempted to cross the border, her mother told her to wear baggy clothes and messy hair and to dress like a boy, so the smugglers would not want to rape her.

The woman told me that every single night, girls were taken from their campsites and raped by the smugglers. If they spoke up or resisted, they would be beaten and killed. Several of those girls ended up pregnant.

Any children with them (there were very few) were intentionally separated from their parents.

In case anything went wrong, the smugglers did not want parents to be distracted by trying to look after their children. When they crossed the Rio Grande, if anyone fell and was taken by the river, no one would help. They did not want parents attempting to help their children.

She said very few people chose to cross the border with their children because it was so dangerous. Most people wanted to come here and send money back home. When President Obama enacted “catch and release,” a huge influx of people with children began crossing the border. She has many friends who did this.

This woman says she supports President Trump’s decision to enforce the laws at the border.

She is now in the process of receiving full residency; she is married to a legal resident. I wrote a letter supporting her, which her attorney shared with the immigration judge. She has spent over 10 years working toward getting her resident card.

She also knew many people who took money from smugglers in exchange for their children, or whose children were kidnapped because adults were able to use them to cross the border without issue. She said all you have to do is pay off authorities to get paperwork that says a child is yours.

Paying off authorities was also effective for seeking asylum. She said if you paid the local cops $100, they would write a fake police report saying that someone tried to kill you.

She told a fascinating and horrifying story of a man who came here under the guise of asylum. He was from the same village as her husband, who is originally from Honduras. This man raped and killed a 5-year-old girl.

The dead girl’s father came after him and tried to kill him for what he had done and was arrested because of massive corruption in the country. He used the police report saying someone had tried to kill him, crossed the border legally seeking asylum, and now lives legally in the U.S. after he raped and killed the 5-year-old girl.

The woman told me she regrets her decision to cross illegally and said she has often questioned why she chose to do that. She works hard every single day to provide for her two children. She does not take a dime from the government.

She knows many, many people from her country who come here and make more money than her by getting government assistance and food stamps. For her, it is frustrating and disheartening to work hard every single day, not be able to spend time with her children, and struggle to make ends meet when she could make more money and stay at home if she lived off the U.S. government.

Many of her friends also support Trump’s decision to enforce the law. She said she does not like everything Trump does, but she said if he does not hold firm to this, it will never get fixed, and it needs to get fixed.

She said the media lies to us and doesn’t have any idea what’s really going on. I told her I wish CNN would interview her. We, as conservatives, cannot let the ideologically driven media steamroll us on this.

We have to get the truth out. We cannot let criminals and the media use children to get their way. This must stop. We must stand strong.—Caroline Chance Melear, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Spotlighting ‘Wonderful Principles of Freedom’

Dear Daily Signal: I am a grandpa with grandkids who occasionally will open up to me about issues of the day. Many are honestly confused because of the crazy reporting and tantrum-like political actions they are exposed to on electronic media.

Your reporting at The Daily Signal is spot on. One recurrent topic is associated with the word “equality.” This word is used interchangeably by many in the media with “equal opportunity” to the point that discussions have become nonsense.

I have told my grandchildren that no individual is “equal” to another: We all are individually different and we should not try to “equalize” everything in life in order to make life the same.

The only thing we should do in our country is to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (not happiness itself). Having equal “rights” is not the same as having equal “things,” such as houses, cars, schools, or families.

This confusion leads to the idea that government is responsible for our welfare, our happiness, and our behavior, and ultimately becomes the rational by which we lose our freedom and ability to think.

Keep up your good work of clarifying, reporting, and dusting off the wonderful principles of freedom so that we can recognize them in the fog of liberality that is so prevalent.—Bryan Butler, Spring, Texas

Questions About Trump and Trade

Dear Daily Signal: You could perform a useful service by enlightening readers with information about why President Trump is so adamant about trade issues.

For example, what are the existing tariffs imposed in each major market area and our own in each of these areas? This might help us understand why the president thinks we are being abused by our trading partners.

The only issue that is clear is that China tries to steal our companies’ trade secrets and technologies. Perhaps the law needs to be amended to deal with this, but this is quite apart from tariffs.

On the one hand, Trump seems to realize that free trade is good. I was under the impression, perhaps erroneously, that NAFTA was close to free trade. Maybe it was when enacted, but tariffs have since been added that upset the balance and raised his ire.

What is it that has put him on the course he has chosen? With more illumination on these issues, his economic advisers might have more success in educating him on what he should be seeking.—Bob Byer

EPA Abuses and ‘Stories That Must Be Told’

Dear Daily Signal: Your articles concerning past abuse by the Environmental Protection Agency are stories that must be told. I had a company that purchased property used by a chemical company for rocket fuel production and testing rocket engines. The sales document specified that the property had been decontaminated and could be used for any purpose, including a school building.

Sixteen years later, the EPA came by and asked permission to put in a pipe for groundwater testing. The results showed a slew of chemical contaminants that were never used by my company. The pipe was located 800 feet away from our building, where the previous owner had production and testing facilities.

Water flows downhill, and in spite of all the evidence, the EPA designated the site as the Radiation Technology Superfund site, which resulted in protesters picketing the plant.

I took dirt samples containing runoff from the heavy salting of the road leading to our site, which cut across the property. To my surprise, the samples tested under proper controls by an independent lab showed many chlorinated hydrocarbons found in the groundwater.

This data was sent to both the EPA and the state of New Jersey, which refused to consider what the impact was on our public company. Twenty years later, the site was renamed the Thiokol Superfund site, but the damage to me, my family, and the shareholders already had taken its toll.—Martin Welt

Reconsidering Some Security Clearances

Dear Daily Signal: By some reasoning, I should be able to access any top secret information, even though I retired from military service some years ago (“Trump Targets Security Clearances of Brennan, Comey, Other Antagonists“). That is not the case, as my clearance became invalid when I retired—as should all clearances when the holder retires or quits, no matter what position they held while doing the assigned job.

John Brennan and others should not be treated any differently. They no longer have a need to access this information and should not use the excuse of an “advisory role” to hold on to access.—George Sedgwick, Foley, Ala.


I have had a top secret compartment security clearance for more than 50 years. You are granted that honor to work for the government agency that sponsors you—from the old Air Force Security Service to the CIA, National Security Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and National Reconnaissance Office.

When you no longer “need to know” information to do your job, you are debriefed and sign an oath not to reveal anything you worked on, heard, or said.

That goes for everyone, and it should be applied to Brennan, Clapper, and Comey. No ifs, ands, or buts. It is not personal, it is the rule.—John Neary

What to Do About Rogue Operations

Dear Daily Signal: The public hearing with FBI agent Peter Strzok was needed to help re-establish oversight by Congress of bureaucrats in federal agencies who apparently have had a free rein in the deep state swamp (“7 Takeaways From FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s Testimony Before 2 House Committees“).

Now if they’ll just stop the pony show and exercise their power to seek justice for taxpayers and the Constitution. Bloviating about probable criminal activities won’t satisfy taxpayers without results.

Congress already should have taken action to secure documentation at both the FBI and the Justice Department last year, but failed. It emboldened the higher echelon of both agencies, which views their actual bosses in Congress with disdain.

It’s imperative that Congress reassert its authority over all agencies to end rogue operations against our citizens and our constitutional republic. We want and need closure, with equal justice and accountability for all citizens in the private sector and public sector alike.—Brannen Edwards, Savannah, Ga.


Regarding Fred Lucas’s story, “Indictments of 12 Russians Hit Ahead of Trump-Putin Meeting”: Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., let the cat out of the bag on the Russia probe July 13 on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” Nothing is going to happen. Gowdy said that since all the current heads of bureaus are Trump people, no indictments could happen.

Sad, they are all going to get away with it. It all further proves my contention that Washington is full of people doing nothing. I sure would like to see special counsel Robert Mueller’s daily calendar. Months and months of nothing.

FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page: We’ve seen hundreds of text messages, no actual work on behalf of taxpayers. Multiply that by the thousands of government workers in Washington, and it is easy to see what the problem is. I would like to have one of those high-paying, do-nothing jobs.

Where is Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and why hasn’t anyone been fired?—Robert Bodimer

Missing ‘Mister Rogers’

Dear Daily Signal: About your podcast featuring Fred Rogers, my first exposure to “Mister Rogers” was as a preschool child in Pittsburgh in 1953 (“Podcast … Fred Rogers’ Legacy“). His show “The Children’s Corner,” on which he was occasionally mentioned but never appeared, was on WQED-TV in the early afternoon during the summer.

One day in August, he came on the screen after the show and told us that they knew that we would be starting school soon, and they wanted to move the show to later in the afternoon. He wanted us to tell him if we preferred 4 or 4:30 or 5.

He was talking to me! This man on the television wanted to know what I thought. This was his way. He never spoke down to the children.—Israel Pickholtz, Jerusalem