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Archive for July, 2006

My god, but this is a telling article from last weeks LATimes.  Almost as surprising:  It was produced from that liberally slanted publication.

Anyway, let’s take a look at this piece by staff writer, Sam Quinones.

Quartet

6 + 4 = 1 Tenuous Existence

An illegal immigrant couple with six children were already living in poverty. Then the quadruplets arrived. They’re still in a daze.

By Sam Quinones, Times Staff Writer
July 28, 2006

Of course, the sub-headline already reveals that the family is here illegally, but the beginning of the article approaches the Magdaleno family’s predicament without revealing that information for several paragraphs, which is actually quite effective.

With two teenage daughters at home and triplets still in diapers, Angela Magdaleno’s family overflowed from a one-bedroom apartment in South Los Angeles that they strained to afford.

Diapers had to be changed 15 times a day, feedings held every three hours. One triplet, 3-year-old Alfredo Jr., needed special attention because he was born with liquid on his brain and partially paralyzed.
Even simple events — like going to the store — required complex orchestration.

And that was before the quadruplets arrived.

On July 6, Magdaleno gave birth to two boys and two girls, drawing national media attention as a bewildered mother of 10 (with nine living at home). Now, she and her husband, Alfredo Anzaldo, 44, must figure out how to provide for everyone on Anzaldo’s maximum pay of $400 a week as a carpet installer.
Angela is obviously not happy at all to have brought four more children into her already bloated family.

As cameras flashed two weeks ago, capturing the 40-year-old mother with her newest progeny, she appeared dazed, even morose. They’d have to leave their $600-a-month apartment for something bigger. They’d have to buy a minivan with room for four more car seats.

“I was afraid,” she said. “I still feel like I can’t believe it.”

U.S. immigrants’ stories often are about reinvention and newfound prosperity, about leaving behind poverty and limitations.

But that is not Magdaleno’s story.

Both Magdaleno and Anzaldo are illegal immigrants, settled for years in an immigrant enclave. Magdaleno has the same number of children as her parents, who were peasant farmers in Mexico. Like her parents, she is living in poverty and struggling to provide for her family.

Angela, along with her husband Anzaldo, have ensured that their peasant lifestyle and culture in Mexico be brought with them here to Los Angeles.  Come here illegally, do nothing to improve your way of life in the process, struggle to support your family, and produce more children that will place even greater stress on lives.

“It’s not sweet,” said her 36-year-old sister, Alejandra. “It’s very sad. The life for girls back there in Mexico is the same as the one Angela has now. They marry and have children, and that’s their lives.”

That was Alejandra, Angela’s sister.  You will want to read further to discover her fate.

Neither Magdaleno nor her husband speaks English, though she has been in the United States 22 years and he 28. Even her teenage daughters speak mostly Spanish; their English vocabulary is limited.

Jesus Christ!  Twenty-two and 28 years and they still haven’t learned English?  None?!  What’s even more frightening is the fact that their teenage children barely speak English as well.  This is very sad.  To me, it speaks volumes on Mexican familial culture–how improving oneself is simply sneaking across the border and continuing a genealogy that one was trying to escape in the first place.

Here in the land of the free though, one can leach off the taxpayers of the state and the country.

Yet all of Magdaleno’s 10 children are U.S. citizens. The triplets receive subsidized school lunches. All the youngsters have had their healthcare bills covered by Medi-Cal, the state and federal healthcare program for the poor.

Alfredo Jr. had been hospitalized all his life until recently. He’s had three state-funded brain operations and will require several more, the family said. The couple receive $700 in monthly Social Security payments to help with his medical needs.

“I thank this country that they gave me Medi-Cal,” Magdaleno said. “There’s nothing like that in Mexico.”

Yes, there’s nothing like that in Mexico.  Thank god they’ve come here to have litters of children.  I love it when my tax dollars, and yours, are vacuumed up in the illegal alien black hole.

And before anyone becomes overly heated because I have no heart for Alfredo’s condition, please forge ahead further into the article to discover how the triplets were conceived.

Magdaleno’s existence contrasts sharply with that of her younger siblings, who followed her to Los Angeles but then left. They have settled in Lexington, Ky., had no more than two children each and built better lives than they had known before. Four bought houses. Their children speak English fluently.

Magdaleno’s sisters struggle in vain to understand her. “She still thinks like people in Mexico — that’s what I think,” said her 38-year-old sister, Justina. “You have to think first of your living children instead of thinking of having more.”

As stated, this is Angela’s sister.  It may be difficult to believe for those of us living in Southern California, and particularly Los Angeles, but this is a Latina making this statement.  She used to be illegal, but she applied for legal status, becoming an American citizen years ago.  Fuck anyone who claims anti-illegal immigration supporters are racist.  Angela’s sister was illegal, and she makes statements that illegal immigration activists claim are racist.

Magdaleno struggles to explain. She said she was wearing a birth-control patch to keep from getting pregnant, then took it off when it made her nauseated.

“I didn’t want any more children,” said Magdaleno, who used fertility drugs to conceive the triplets but said she did not use them in the case of the quadruplets.

I do not believe that statement at all.

“Four is too many. I’m still trying to believe this happened to me.”

SURPRISE!  Not.

Angela Magdaleno’s story began as many Mexican immigrant stories do: in a village where work was scarce and wages were low.

She grew up in Los Positos, in the central Mexican state of Jalisco, the eldest of 10. For girls, life consisted of hard work, little schooling, no birth control and thus, said Alejandra, raising “all the children God gives you.”
Angela and Justina left school at fifth grade to work in fields and tortilla shops to help support their family.

In 1984, hoping to make more money to send home, the girls were the first Magdalenos to cross illegally into the United States. Angela was 19. The sisters found work in sewing factories, and apartments in the growing Latino immigrant communities of South Los Angeles.

Over the years, their eight siblings followed them.

Angela married, had two daughters, then divorced.

Wait!  You can’t do that.  You’re Catholic!  Bad!  Bad!

In 1990, she met Anzaldo, an immigrant from the state of Nayarit, Mexico, who had three daughters from relationships with two women — one in the U.S. and one in Mexico. Anzaldo was working in auto shops.

To me, it just sounds like Anzaldo is a horny mother-fucker, and again, not a very good Catholic.

The couple married in 1992 and had a daughter together.

Magdaleno then had a tubal ligation. She thought she was done having children. But a few years later, things changed.

Anzaldo had only daughters, and the couple were getting older. He saw his chance at having a son slipping away.

“I wanted a son,” he said, “because I didn’t have one.”

Instead of bringing forth yet another welfare child into this world, I would like to give you a punch to your mansack, sir.  How about that?

Magdaleno too had always wanted a boy. Anzaldo paid for an operation to reverse Magdaleno’s tubal ligation. The couple thought they might return to Mexico after the child was born.

Anzaldo paid for the operation?  I seriously doubt that.

But for several years, she didn’t get pregnant, Magdaleno said.

So she asked a woman who returned periodically to Mexico to bring her back fertility drugs. The woman supplied her with various pills and injections over several years, Magdaleno said.

“I took a lot,” she said. “I don’t remember what they’re called.”

Finally, in 2002, Magdaleno got pregnant — with triplets.

And then there were six.

Talk of returning to Mexico ceased when their son, Alfredo, was born with hydrocephalus.

Their life became cramped and chaotic, with seven people crammed into their one-bedroom apartment. 

Gee.  I wonder how that happened.

Joanna, Magdaleno’s oldest daughter, now 20, dropped out of high school and moved out with a boyfriend about the time Magdaleno became pregnant with the triplets. She now works in a factory making dolls for Disneyland, her mother said.

It warms my heart to know that Angela and Anzaldo want the best for their children.

Now here is where the article becomes very interesting.  We’re going to discover what happened to Angela’s sisters after they moved from Los Angeles to Kentucky.  I don’t see how they honestly could survive.  I mean, these were illegal-immigrants who had no grasp of the English language.  They were strangers in a strange land.  They would be outcast.  Their lives would become a shambles as Kentuckians, filled to the brim with their proud southern heritage and known for their racist ways, would surely drive the Mexican immigrants from their great state.  Surely.

As Angela was having children, her siblings were undergoing a transformation of a different kind. They were slowly leaving Los Angeles.

Her sister Alejandra was the first to leave. In Los Angeles, she and her husband were barely able to make ends meet. As in Mexico, “there was little work and it’s poorly paid,” she said.

Eight years ago, she and her family moved to Kentucky, where a friend said there was more work and were fewer Mexican immigrants bidding down the wages for unskilled jobs.

While illegal immigration activists are shouting that illegals do not drive down wages, here is one who matter-of-factly speaks the truth.  Yes, illegal aliens drive down wages.  But be wary, dear readers.  It gets even worse for Alejandra.

In Kentucky, Alejandra picked tobacco. The work was hard and she didn’t know the language. But soon, life improved. Over the years, she invited her siblings to join her. One sister married a man who managed a Golden Corral, a chain of all-you-can-eat buffets. Soon several Magdaleno siblings were working in Golden Corrals. Their husbands found work installing windows and as farm-labor contractors. They went to night school to learn English because few people in Lexington speak Spanish.

Today, the Magdalenos in Lexington earn more than they did in Los Angeles, in a city where the cost of living is lower. Kentucky is now their promised land, and they talk about California the way they used to talk about Mexico.

Well, it didn’t get worse.  The Kentucky Magdelenos have done quite well for themselves.  Why?  Because they made a choice to assimilate.  They had to conform to the standards of the community in which they were residing in order to survive.  And guess what?  Their lives have improved significantly because of their assimilation.  That doesn’t mean that they’ve abandoned their culture.  It simply means they wanted to better themselves in their new home.  The Kentucky Magdelenos are living proof that assimilation is not difficult if illegal immigrants from Mexico abandon their peasant culture.

“What we weren’t able to do in many years in California,” Alejandra said, “we’ve done quickly here.

“We’re in a state where there’s nothing but Americans. The police control the streets. It’s clean, no gangs. California now resembles Mexico — everyone thinks like in Mexico. California’s broken.”

Again, a former illegal from Mexico spoke those words, and she speaks the honest truth.  If anyone believes we are not being invaded, simply make a trip to downtown Los Angeles.  There you will see how Mexico has been brought to this country piece by piece.  That’s just the way it is.  But it doesn’t have to be, as Alejandra and her Kentucky sisters have proven.

Justina was the last to leave Los Angeles, about the time Angela was pregnant with the triplets.

She and her husband wanted better schools for their sons, 15 and 9.

In Lexington, she said, “at the school there are just people who speak English. It’s helped my children a lot.” 

Congratulations Justina.  You are awesome.

Justina, who came to the U.S. with Magdaleno, applied for legal residency under the 1986 amnesty law and is now a U.S. citizen. Magdaleno never applied.

The sisters say they have urged Angela to come out to Kentucky — at least to visit. She said she hasn’t because her son has been hospitalized so much.

*Sigh*

This next portion of the article is another telling piece of skewed ethnological retention and culture shock, and once more, reveals how dishonest (or at least how out of touch) illegal immigration activists truly are.

Last year, however, she sent her daughter, Kelly, 17, to Kentucky for several months. Though American born and raised, Kelly hadn’t been outside South Los Angeles.

In Lexington, school was hard because few people spoke Spanish, and the city “barely had one Spanish radio station,” Kelly said.

God forbid!  You mean there are places in the United States where the predominant language isn’t Spanish?  That’s incomprehensible.

Her cousins, she said in English, “use more educational words than here. My cousin is 7 years old, and he has a better reading level than me. He don’t see picture books or drawings or anything like that. He just likes books with pure letters.”

Illegal aliens, and illegal immigration activists, take note of the above.  Amazing, huh?

Girls from Mexican-immigrant families in Kentucky, she saw, were in their mid-20s and still didn’t have children.

“I said, ‘Damn, that’s weird,’ ” Kelly said. “The girls right here in Los Angeles are like in Mexico. There are girls that are 14, they got kids.”

That makes me very sad.

The family in Kentucky “is more in the United States than” her mother, Kelly concluded. “They want a better education for the kids. With less kids there’s better possibility of you having something.”
It would make me very happy to see Kelly take this experience and try to improve herself based upon what she learned from her family in Kentucky–to see her assimilate and cultivate a life apart from Mexico and what she knows of her Los Angeles existence.  The American dream is not an illusion.  It is attainable.

Magdaleno, meanwhile, was raising six other children and using a variety of birth control methods — the latest being the contraceptive patch.

She said she was stunned when doctors told her that she was carrying quadruplets.

“She didn’t do this on purpose,” said Dr. Kathryn Shaw, who delivered the couple’s triplets and their quadruplets. “She was not at all elated, and not excited about the fact that they were quadruplets.”

Regardless, it seems fairly evident that Angela, whether she was fully aware of it or not, was still partaking in some sort of fertility program.  Perhaps she and Anzaldo only wanted one additional member of their family (by the way when do you realized you must stop?!  When you follow triplets with quadruplets?  Is that finally enough fucking kids?)

All are healthy, Shaw said, but weighed between 3 and 4 pounds at birth. They remained at White Memorial Medical Center in East Los Angeles long enough to gain weight, then came home this week.

Now Denise, Destiny, Andrew and Andrey are with the rest of the family.

For Angela Magdaleno, their arrival — 22 years after she left Mexico and entered the United States hoping for a different life — has brought her full circle. Her older daughters, like girls in Mexico, have been drafted into helping raise the new children.

“I don’t have anything,” she said. “Just children.”

And is that the Latino ideal of wealth as I’ve been told before?  Apparently not, as Angela here seems like she’s about ready to put a gun to her head.

Anyway, if anything, this article holds true to the idea that immigrant assimilation is the best means to achieve success in a foreign society.  There is no better testament to the contrary than the epic story of Angela, Anzaldo, and their brood who continue to suck from the state health-care, education, etc. teat, while simultaneously emptying legal residents’ pockets in the process.

I applaud the Magdeleno Kentuckians.  They did it right (apart from initially crossing the border illegally) and have become successful, contributing members of American society.

For Angela and Anzaldo, all I can offer is my pity.  You’ve already got my money.

Affection

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A little over a year ago, shortly after his election win, Mayor Antonia Villaraigosa was seen on every local Los Angeles television news outlet “aggressively” attacking the LA pot-hole problem by going out into the field and filling those roadway annoyances personally.  Smiling, and with sleeves rolled above the elbow in anticipation of the backbreaking blue-collar work in which he was about to partake, he posed for the media wearing a fashionable workman’s hardhat, and wielding a stout shovel that he deftly used to ever-so-gently pat a smattering of asphalt into a shallow depression on a not-so-busy San Fernando Valley street.  And the media was there to capture it all.

I always sort of knew Villaraigosa was a bit of an attention whore, but at that moment, I had no doubts.  Not that it really matters in the long run, nor is it much of a surprise (the man loves being on TV) but now, thanks to a leaked confidential memo, the entire city of Los Angeles can see what a prima donna our mayor truly is.

I just think it’s kind of funny.  Sometimes, the Los Angeles Times redeems itself.

Detail oriented

The Mayor Needs It — Now

Villaraigosa is no rock star, but he gets the treatment. OK, where are the breath strips?

By Duke Helfand, Times Staff Writer
July 26, 2006
No carbs. Just fish or chicken. And keep a takeout box handy in case he has to rush. Tea, please (green, with four packets of Splenda). Water (bottled, preferably room temperature.) And never leave his sight.

In the year since he became mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa has undergone a transformation from garden-variety public official to something approaching a rock star, drawing crowds wherever he goes.And attending to L.A.’s celebrity mayor — according to a confidential memo — is no small endeavor.

It’s up to a swarm of harried aides to keep the boss hydrated and happy, primped and pampered, ensuring that he has clean hands and fresh breath (he gobbles Listerine strips by the pack).

Villaraigosa is chauffeured around town by police in a black GMC Yukon.

Two personal assistants, assigned to him in alternating shifts, tend to his needs, shadowing him from morning to night and keeping him in view at all times should he need anything. His seven press aides field questions from reporters, arrange news conferences and keep him in the loop about breaking events.

These sorts of details are expected to remain private — part of the stagecraft that keeps the frenetic mayor gliding effortlessly and relaxed through the city.

But the two-page memo, “Staffing the Mayor,” offers a rare glimpse into the mania behind the man. The instructions — distributed to everyone who works for the mayor and obtained by The Times — portray a chief executive focused on detail and comfort, always appearing in control and on message.

“Your job is to remain at all times within the mayor’s line of sight,” the memo states. “You should constantly adjust your position so the mayor can see you and call you over if need be.”

Villaraigosa, of course, is not the only public figure who likes royal treatment.

Some date the current wave of celebrity pampering to a mischievous act by a hard-rock band.

The group Van Halen once placed a clause in its contract requiring bowls of M&M candy, with the brown ones plucked out. The Rolling Stones responded a year later by demanding candy bowls filled only with brown M&Ms. From there, the practice took hold — Britney Spears, for one, demanded full-length mirrors and Pop Tarts in her dressing room — and has eventually crept into politics as well.

Vice President Dick Cheney asks that his hotel room TVs be tuned to Fox News, while Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) crafted similarly picayune requests of hosts during his presidential campaign — right down to his preference for noncarbonated bottled water.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, already a Hollywood celebrity by the time he entered politics, demands that his staff keep rooms cold because he doesn’t like to sweat. And he often travels with a hair and makeup artist (he took one on a trade mission to China last year), a Hollywood speech coach and another personal aide who carries his papers and places important calls.

Villaraigosa comes to his position more modestly but has developed expensive tastes of his own. Once a labor organizer, he now enjoys a good meal and a pricey bottle of wine. On one recent occasion, he asked the chef of a downtown Los Angeles restaurant to prepare his foie gras specially for him, and he selected a $140 bottle of wine, pronouncing it a “good value.”

Villaraigosa’s staff deals with more mundane details: Newcomers receive step-by-step directions for assisting him before, during and after appearances.

Aides are instructed to carry Listerine breath strips, business cards, two pens, a Sharpie marker, a notepad, a small hand sanitizer, bottled water and an extra copy of briefing materials and speech cards.

Assistants also are reminded to greet the mayor at his car when he arrives at an event, giving him “a full breakdown of the situation,” and to arrange seating near an exit “so that he can leave discreetly if need be.” And they are directed to “have backup exits in case a new route is needed to avoid certain situations such as unruly crowd[s], aggressive constituents, protesters or media.”

Staff members must keep an eye on their own behavior as well, staying in constant eye contact with the mayor but not getting too close. “A 3-5 foot distance is usually good,” the memo states.

Aides need to stay alert at receptions and other crowded gatherings where the mayor is schmoozing. “While staffing the mayor your focus should be on him, not on networking or mingling with guests,” the memo states.

And what if the mayor is a no-show?

“Never under any circumstance should you answer why he is not coming if you do not know the answer,” the memo says.

Deputy Communications Director Joe Ramallo downplayed the significance of the instructions, calling them “suggested guidelines” that carried over from the mayor’s two years on the City Council.

“Give me a break,” Ramallo said. “This is a mayor who is more engaged and active around the city than any other in L.A.’s history. By the standards of most officeholders who have much larger staffs, he is not tightly choreographed. You’ve seen him in action.”

Villaraigosa’s exacting attention to detail can include impatience at those who foul him up. He grew visibly frustrated last week when a translation system failed to work adequately during a town hall meeting in South Los Angeles. “Fix it,” he barked.

He shoots annoyed looks at reporters who forget to turn off their pagers or cellphones during news conferences. “I’m a driver,” he said in an interview Tuesday, “but I’m fair.”

Aides get the message — but won’t comment unless their names are withheld, for obvious reasons. “Everything needs to be impeccable,” one said.

“It’s good to keep the boss happy,” another added.

Others outside the mayor’s office know that it’s smart to please Villaraigosa.

Giuliano’s Delicatessen & Bakery on the second floor of City Hall started carrying Listerine breath strips last year after a Villaraigosa aide asked if they were available.

Now a Villaraigosa staff member arrives once or twice a week to buy strips or to pick up a small Cobb salad the deli prepares — without olives or dressing — just for the mayor, manager Raul Medrano said. The breath strips have become so popular that sometimes the deli runs out.

Standing beneath a framed photograph of Villaraigosa and deli employees posing behind the counter, Medrano said, “We go through a case a week.”

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The image “https://i1.wp.com/spurlockwatch.typepad.com/Spurlock4.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
While I did enjoyed Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me, released theatrically back in 2004, it offered obvious results in circus side-show style format. I kind of took it as Jack Ass-lite–a stupid guy (Spurlock) doing something stupid with stupid and not so shocking consequences–eat like shit and you’re going to get fat and feel bad. It was simple-minded if/then entertainment.

Now, the man who became famous (well, semi-famous) for proving that yes, gorging on excessive amounts of McDonald’s food will greatly contribute to obesity and other health-related issues, launches the second season of his mildly successful, liberally biased, reality/documentary series 30 Days tonight on FX. Spurlock, a sort of thinner, hipper version of Michael Moore minus the dry wit, continues as the show’s creator and host.

I’ve only seen a couple of episodes from last years’ inaugural season, but Spurlock, being a liberally liberal guy politically and socially, definitely skews his show to reflect what he believes people should accept and tolerate. Discussing such issues as Muslims in America, poverty, alcoholism, and more, Spurlock tends to rely on emotion rather than facts to drive his point home. And since we as human beings tend to hurtle ourselves into the void based upon what our empathic selves tell us, 30 Days probably accomplishes what Spurlock intends: emotional violence in his viewers.

Those who aren’t so easily manipulated may just look upon Spurlock’s series as a more pretentious version of Wife Swap–white trash dressed up to appear smart and magnanimous.

Tonight’s premiere episode, titled “Immigration,” will focus on the current hot-button, nation-wide issue of illegal immigration. Right off the bat, Spurlock has slanted the topic by referring to it simply as immigration rather that illegal-immigration, which is what it’s really focusing on. Anyway, here’s the episode description.

Participant: Frank George

Age: 55

Occupation: Electronic Technician

Resides: Mojave, California

Frank George, who legally immigrated with his family from Cuba to the U.S. when he was 7 years old–has staunch anti-illegal immigration views. He believes the U.S. military should man all borders and is a member of the Minutemen, a volunteer group that patrol’s the country’s borders.

For 30 days, Frank will live with a family of mixed status who fled their native Mexico in 1995. He will share a one-bedroom apartment with Rigorberto and Patty Gonzales and their children: Uriel, 22; Armida, 17; Ricardo, 11; and Karina, 10. Since Ricardo and Karina were born in the U.S., they are American citizens. Their parents and siblings are illegal immigrants.

During Frank’s 30 day experience, he will work with Rigorberto as a handyman, attend a pro-immigration rally, and travel to the Gonzales’ home in Mexico.

The Gonzales family name is a pseudonym used in this episode in accordance with the family’s request that their real names not be disclosed.

I’m looking forward to see how Spurlock will “educate” me during the 48 minute running-time of this show. Since I know nothing about the participants, I can’t say at this point if he stacked the deck for his favorable outcome, but I think it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that the actual issue of illegal immigration will be overly simplified, and probably trivialized to tell the greater, emotional story in this episode. I’m all quivery with anticipation.

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There is a horrible misconception in this country right now, based mostly on what people hear rather than on what they know, that illegal immigrants perform jobs that Americans won’t do (though of late, this has been altered by illegal immigrant activists to “jobs Americans are too qualified for” since the condescending catch-phrase “jobs Americans wont do” was failing miserably.) This is patently false, but it’s been regurgitated over and over so much that people simply accept it. (There was an incident recently in the post-Katrina south where African Americans looking for work at a specific job site were told to go home because “the Mexicans” were coming to work for less pay.)

For those of us living in border states, particularly southern California, keep in mind that Latino workers makes up only 5% the total workforce in the United States, and they don’t make up a majority of the workforce in any occupation in America–yes, not even car washing, gardening, or house cleaning.

Much of the problem lies with employers who hire illegals for a lower wage than actual American citizens are willing to take (well below minimum.) It’s about a fair wage. Pay American citizens a fair wage and they will do those jobs that so many are claiming only illegals will do because we, as American citizens, are too good to get our hands dirty. In fact, if there weren’t as many illegals doing “jobs Americans won’t do” then Americans would be able to fill those jobs, probably promoting a general increase in wages for many Americans altogether.

American citizens are doing jobs throughout the country that illegal immigrant activists say they won’t do. Americans are making livings and getting paid fair wages gardening, house cleaning, building homes, and working at McDonalds. Often views are skewed by where people live (border states) and what they see in the news.

Many legal immigrants (Latino and otherwise) find great offense to the idea of illegals getting any sort of benefits, let alone amnesty, by being in the country without having gone through the proper channels. Most immigrants have waited with great patience, going through those proper channels in order to become American citizens. The general disdain and disrespect pro-illegal immigration protestors and activists have towards the country that they are trying to win favor from is galling.

What needs to happen? Mexico needs to step up to the plate and provide for its citizens, and the United States needs to stop paying their bills without any help from Mexico. Mexico relies on the fact that its citizens emigrate to the US. It even took out full page ads in American newspapers supporting Bush’s guest worker program! It’s what keeps the rich wealthy, and the poor even poorer. The corruptness of the Mexican government is abhorrent, and if it were governed with any sense of responsibility (doubtful there will be any change even with the new leadership), the situation would probably be different, especially considering Mexico is rich in natural resources. What the illegal immigrant demonstrators and activists should do is use that same determination to protest their own government in Mexico to incite change instead of alienating the American audience it’s trying to win over.

Ultimately this is not a racist issue, at least for me (Since I’ve already done so in the past, I’m not even going to go into the stress illegals place on our health care and school systems–it’s no wonder emergency rooms in southern California are shutting down in record numbers.) This is about providing American citizens a fair shot and keeping our economy running smoothly. Simply, if you pay people more money, they put more money back into the economy. If you pay them less, they put less back in, which weakens the economy. Add to that, most illegal immigrants send much of the money they make back to their families in Mexico and you can see how much of problem this will ultimately become (and already is.)

Late last week in Hazleton, PA, an ordinance, originally proposed by Mayor Louis Barletta, was passed by the city council which would punish employers who hire illegal immigrants. Additionally, any landlord who knowingly rents to an illegal immigrant will be subject to stern measures and penalties.

Of course, not everyone is pleased with the passage of this ordinance.

Anna Arias, who with Natalia Gomez and Dr. Agapito Lopez formed the Hazleton Area Latino Taskforce to fight passage of the ordinance, called it discriminatory, bigoted and racist.

I find it amusing when individuals or groups pull the race card when situations like these arise. Hazleton is simply enforcing the law, with no perceivable or, I believe, inherent racism. It is people like Anna Arias and Natalia Gomez and Dr. Agapito Lopez who are the racists for making such a claim. They are pouring a spotlight on their own intrinsic racist tendencies by even making such an absurd claim in the first place.

Lopez said the Civil Rights Act requires all agencies that receive federal money to provide information to all of the constituents. One-third of the constituents that you are representing is Latino. And some of them do not know English and will never learn English.

I completely understand the concept of pride in country, in community, and who one is and where one comes from. But why will they never learn English? This is why–they are here illegally. If they had actually gone through the legal process of becoming a citizen of this country, they would have been required to learn a respectable amount of English in order to gain that citizenship. Stating that they will never learn English is a positive indication that those individuals are in this country illegally.

As Ive stated before, I believe it will be incumbent upon each state to deal with their own illegal immigration problems. The federal government is not going to help. Hazleton, PA has taken another strong step in the right direction.

Photo

Immigration act passes

Hazleton mayors controversial law OKd amid tension

By STEVE MOCARSKY smocarsky@leader.net

 

This is not about racism. Its about the law.

HAZLETON City council on Thursday adopted legislation that, if it passes expected judicial scrutiny, could have major implications for illegal immigrants nationwide.

By a 4-1 vote, council passed Mayor Louis Barlettas controversial Illegal Immigration Relief Act.

As council President Joe Yannuzzi announced the passage, most of the audience in council chambers broke into applause, and Barletta shook hands with city Solicitor Chris Slusser, who wrote most of the language.

Yannuzzi, Evelyn Graham, Tom Gabos and Jack Mundie voted in favor. Robert Nilles voted against.

Shortly after the meeting began, Barletta explained his reasons for proposing the ordinance, which will punish employers and landlords who employ or rent to illegal immigrants, and makes English the official language of the city. He said illegal immigrants are draining city resources to the detriment of residents with legal residency status.

We must draw the line, and we are drawing it tonight.

Barletta denied accusations of racism and said that suggesting he put the ordinance before council for political reasons is insulting to the families of local victims of violent crime committed by illegal immigrants.

During public comment, council heard several people speak for and against the ordinance.

Anna Arias, who with Natalia Gomez and Dr. Agapito Lopez formed the Hazleton Area Latino Taskforce to fight passage of the ordinance, called it discriminatory, bigoted and racist.

Lopez said the Civil Rights Act requires all agencies that receive federal money to provide information to all of the constituents. One-third of the constituents that you are representing is Latino. And some of them do not know English and will never learn English. So you have to provide city documents in Spanish for them because they are paying your taxes and they are attending to their businesses here, fixing up their homes.

Amilcar Arroyo, president and publisher of the local Hispanic newspaper El Mensajero, urged council to consider that the number of Latino businesses in the city increased from four in 2000 to almost 70 this year, and that approximately 2,200 Latino families here earn about $8 million in salary every month and spend most of the money in the city.

Hazleton resident Gene Cannon paraphrased Thomas Jefferson, saying the United States has an obligation to provide asylum to immigrants, but the first consideration in immigration is the welfare of the receiving nation, state or city.

This is not about racism. Its about the law and the welfare of our community. I for one am thankful that Mayor Barletta has had the courage to advance this ordinance and I call on council to pass it without delay.

Bill Hines, mayor of Beaver Meadows, said he and his borough council support the ordinance. He hopes legislators in Harrisburg and Washington notice that Hazleton is stepping up to the plate.

John Homa, vice president of locally based Citizens Opposing Political Suppression, said his organization has qualms about parts of the ordinance for various reasons, and cautioned council to spend more time considering its adoption.

Abe Amoros, a former councilman from York, said he disagrees with the section of the ordinance that claims illegal immigration leads to higher crime rates, contributes to crowded schools and subjects hospitals to hardships.

The anti-immigrant sentiment is particularly disturbing. Singling out those individuals whose primary language is not English today is just as wrong as those signs that appeared in the 30s and 40s that said No Irish need apply, No Italians need apply,.. Amoros said.

Ed Makuta of McAdoo said he grew up in Hazleton and is saddened that he has to tell his daughter that he cant take her to the playgrounds where he spent his childhood because crimes are being committed there by illegal immigrants.

Councilman Nilles said he voted against the ordinance because he received legal opinions that say were on dangerous ground.

Nilles said there are federal programs that mandate housing for mixed families, some of whose members have legal residency status and some of whom do not.

He said the parts of the ordinance that would, in effect, deny housing to illegal immigrants conflict with federal regulations and policies and might be subject to legal challenge on pre-emptive grounds.

Nilles added that states and localities are pre-empted by federal law from making their own independent assessment as to whether an alien has committed an immigration violation, and (from) imposing penalties against such aliens along with persons who have provided them with assistance.

These are some of the legal questions that will need to be addressed, and hopefully not addressed in a court of law, where its going to cost us and you, the taxpayers, money. We need to address this before we get to that. We need to find out why we are in this position to begin with.

City officials can expect legal challenges to the ordinance, despite Solicitor Slussers assurances that it will pass judicial muster. Eleven attorneys sent the mayor a letter earlier this week promising legal action if the ordinance was passed.

After the meeting, Lopez said the attorneys have been in town collecting plaintiffs among the (Latino) people here, and they are ready to present their case, probably in as short as one week.

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38 Counts of Battery
By Pig Destroyer
Release date: By 01 January, 2001

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NOTE: Please excuse the excessive cursing and venom in the following editorial.

Mobile conversation
Look! It’s a stupid asshole on her cell phone.

You stupid motherfucker. Get off your damn cell phone if you’re driving your damn car (I’m not talking about you, Poopy .)

This is probably my biggest pet-peeve when it comes to drivers and driving in Los Angeles–morons with a cell phone in their hand, their fist to their ear, and one hand on the wheel all while speeding down busy freeways and surface streets so they can get to the nearest Starbucks as quickly as possible for their double-latte caffeine enema.

I ride a motorcycle, and the majority of the times I’ve almost been involved in a collission have been a result of assholes not paying attention to what they’re doing because they’re chit-chatting away on their little cellular tumor box. I truly believe cell phones are the major distracter while driving, and the leading cause of assholism in drivers.

People just don’t pay attention and they don’t care. It’s so very easy to run to the store and pick up a head-set for your phone. Why not do it? Oh, yeah! Because you’re an asshole. I forgot.

But forget about bad driving for a moment how about the fashion statement made by that headset or wireless Bluetooth earpiece?

“I’m not going to walk around 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with one of those things in my ear,” said Thaddeus Breaux, a project manager from Los Angeles. Breaux said his girlfriend uses a hands-free headset and he doesn’t exactly like the look.

Thaddeus Breaux, project manager from Los Angeles, you, my friend, are an asshole. You are also a stupid motherfucker. When you buy a bluetooth or a standard headset, they do not physically graft the device onto your ear. There is no painful surgery involved in order to attach the earpiece to your flesh. Miraculously, it works sort of like a pair of pants. You can actually put it on, and then remove it at your leisure. That’s amazing isn’t it, asshole?

James Banks, a Los Angeles attorney, also has problems with a ban, and thinks the safety concerns are overblown.

“I think it’s no more distracting than listening to the radio, no more distracting than changing CDs and all that navigational system junk,” he said.

James Banks, Los Angeles attorney, you sir, are an asshole. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one less distraction then? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if you’d just admit that you’re an asshole and go buy a headset? Come on, asshole. You’re an attorney. You probably rake in the dough. Go buy a headset you stupid motherfucker.

But Panzella wondered how much safer phones with headsets really are. “You have to still look down to dial the number. Using a cellphone is definitely a distraction,” she said as her own phone rang, as if on cue. Her friend was calling to explain she was stuck in Westside traffic and would be late for their lunch date.

Panzella, you stupid asshole. Did you know that bluetooth headsets allow you to simply say out loud the name of the person you want to speak with? It’s true. Then like magic, the number is dialed, and within moments you can be chatting with your stupid asshole friend in Westwood.

But perhaps you don’t have a fancy phone that features bluetooth technology. Then I would suggest upgrading your phone. If you don’t feel like going to that trouble, then go down to the fucking store and spend $10 on a standard headset. Sure, you still have to dial the number in while driving, and that is distracting, but at least you won’t be distracted by the cell phone shoved in your stupid fucking ear for the next 40 minutes. You’ll even be permitted to drive with both hands on the wheel. Wow!

And, on a side note, to all you single assholes zipping around in your stupid fucking SUV’s while yapping on your cell phones. Fuck you!

Patched in
Wow! Another stupid asshole on his cell phone. And he’s in an SUV! Kewl!

Limit Cellphones in Cars or Just Let Freedom Ring?

By Bob Pool and Lynn Doan, Times Staff Writers
July 14, 2006
He doesn’t own either a cellphone or a car. But Jim Love was taking a proposed restriction on phone use in cars personally Thursday.

“I’ve been hit twice by women talking on their phones on this very street,” the retired computer worker said as he watched traffic pass on busy Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. “The last one knocked me down. They just kept yakking and kept driving on.”

The debate over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s support for a ban on the use of hand-held cellular phones by motorists was the buzz at the Sherman Oaks Starbucks and beyond.

Two camps quickly emerged: those who already use hands-free devices and think it’s reckless not to, and regular cellphone users who vigorously defend their behavior as actually being safer than pulling a headset on and off.

Then there were those who thought it was a good idea as long as it applied to someone else.

“L.A.’s way too crazy and wild a place to be pulling people over for talking on their phones,” said Charles “C.J.” Jacobson of Sherman Oaks, a producer of TV commercials. “Maybe there should be a permit system. There’s a slew of professionals who need to use cellphones in cars. But soccer moms don’t need to be doing it.”

While some fear that driving in California would change forever if state lawmakers prohibited drivers’ use of hand-held phones, the lessons of other states that have adopted similar rules might offer pause.

New York, with much fanfare, banned hand-held cell use three years ago. Though authorities issued more than 142,000 citations for illegal cellphone use the first year, a state survey found that half of all New York drivers thought it “was not likely at all” that they would be stopped.

And a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an independent auto safety research center funded by insurers, found that drivers obeyed the law the first year but went back to their old behavior by the second year.

“I’ll use my cellphone on speaker phone when cops are nearby,” Harry Beck, a New York City transportation analyst, admitted via cellphone from New York. “If they aren’t, I use it normally.”

New Jersey officials said they don’t even keep statistics on cellphone tickets because officers rarely issue citations.

Connecticut and the District of Columbia have also outlawed the use of hand-held cellphones while driving. And California is one of several states considering such a ban.

“My family lives in Pennsylvania, and they’re going to do that very soon back there too,” said Heather Panzella, an elementary school teacher from Huntington Beach who was waiting for a friend on a Westwood Boulevard corner at noon Thursday.

But Panzella wondered how much safer phones with headsets really are. “You have to still look down to dial the number. Using a cellphone is definitely a distraction,” she said as her own phone rang, as if on cue. Her friend was calling to explain she was stuck in Westside traffic and would be late for their lunch date.

“She was driving. She wouldn’t have been able to pull over to make a call. Just look at this traffic,” Panzella said.

Indeed, critics of the proposed ban argue that hands-free models aren’t much safer. Motorists must still dial the number and can still get distracted by calls while driving.

“A hand-held ban seems to send the message that hands-free is OK,” said Russ Rader, spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, adding that studies by the group found that cellphone use of any kind increases the likelihood of accidents. “You send the message that it is safe, which is not the case.”

James Banks, a Los Angeles attorney, also has problems with a ban, and thinks the safety concerns are overblown.

“I think it’s no more distracting than listening to the radio, no more distracting than changing CDs and all that navigational system junk,” he said.

L.A. resident Pam Tyler thinks the legislation is a step in the right direction, though her feelings are even more extreme. She programs her cellphone to automatically direct all calls to her voicemail. The message begins with: “I can’t take any calls right now because I’m probably driving ”

“I have huge, huge antipathy for people driving while on their cellphones,” she said. “They run red lights and they can’t stay in their own lanes.”

But forget about bad driving for a moment how about the fashion statement made by that headset or wireless Bluetooth earpiece?

“I’m not going to walk around 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with one of those things in my ear,” said Thaddeus Breaux, a project manager from Los Angeles. Breaux said his girlfriend uses a hands-free headset and he doesn’t exactly like the look.

Robert Nehmadi, owner of a Sherman Oaks cellphone store, says that newer wireless headsets are getting smaller and less noticeable.

“Like this one,” he said, pulling it from his ear. “I’d forgotten I was even wearing this.”

Nehmadi, of Woodland Hills, said he favors a law restricting the use of hand-held cellphones by motorists.

At a Jamba Juice shop, 21-year-old fashion model Erin Miller acknowledged that newer cellphone services, such as the text messaging she does with her “Sidekick” phone, can be distracting while at the wheel.

“But I need a phone when I’m driving to get directions,” she said. “And I usually only message ‘OK’ to answer a text message when I’m driving.”

Nearby, cellphone hit-and-run victim Love and his buddies continued their phone-ban debate outside the Starbucks on Ventura Boulevard near Van Nuys Boulevard. “The law’s a good idea, but it’s not enforceable,” Love said. “You’d have to have a cop for every car. It’s not going to work.”

A bill that was approved by the state Senate in May would make driving while using a hand-held cellphone an infraction punishable by a $20 fine for the first offense and $50 for subsequent ones. Schwarzenegger’s endorsement of the idea is seen as a big boost as the state Assembly considers it next month, though it could still face a fight from the cellphone industry.

Cellphone user Bela Flasch, a retired airline worker, shook his head. He uses a hands-free earpiece when he is driving and predicted that a law with some teeth to it could persuade other motorists to do the same. “The fine they’re talking about is way too small,” he said. “Twenty dollars for the first offense? Make it $100.”

Tablemate Henry Dillon, a retired government worker, scoffed at that. “A hundred’s too high,” he said. “Arnold’s finally getting on the right track on something.”

Former produce dealer Pete Fettis suggested a compromise: a $50 fine for the first holding-the-phone-while-driving offense. “I scream at people to put their hands on the steering wheel when I see people making turns in big SUVs while holding a phone to their ear,” he said.

On Thursday, it seemed this was one cellphone conversation that wasn’t about to end.

*

(INFOBOX BELOW)

Cellphone Q&A

What does the proposed California legislation actually ban?

It would ban the use of a hand-held cellphone while driving a motor vehicle except for during emergency situations. It would be legal to use hand-free cellphones while driving.

*

Is there a fine for violators?

Violators would be fined $20 for the first offense and $50 for every subsequent offense.

*

Why do proponents believe hand-held cellphones are unsafe for drivers?

They cite studies and statistics showing that drivers on cellphones are more likely to get into accidents than those not using them. They say cellphones distract drivers from the road. In 2005, the California Highway Patrol reported 1,098 auto accidents, including six fatalities, caused by drivers holding cellphones.

*

Do others disagree with the proposed ban?

Yes. Critics say a ban on hand-held cellphones gives the wrong impression that using a hands-free set while driving is safe. They say drivers using hands-free phones still must dial and are susceptible to distractions. The CHP last year reported 102 crashes caused by motorists talking through a headset or intercom.

Source: Times reports

*

Times staff writer Hemmy So contributed to this report.

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I Stand Alone
Release date: By 05 June, 2001

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The Guide to Denying Illegal Immigration

https://i0.wp.com/iml.jou.ufl.edu/newszine/Archive/021605/national/Images/Mexico3.jpg

Since it’s looking more and more like the House and Senate are not going to come anywhere near a compromise on an illegal immigration bill before the end of the year, and more importantly before elections in November, individual states are apparently taking steps to protect themselves as the federal government continues to demonstrate it’s love affair with illegal aliens, offering no help to a country that is close to literally drowning in illegal immigration.  We’re already up to our foreheads here in California.

Colorado lawmakers took a decent step in shoring up their levee’s so to speak, by passing what is possibly the toughest legislation in the country designed to curb illegal immigration.  While I think it could have gone even further (denying benefits to all illegal immigrants rather than those 18 and over–yes, I know I’m a cold bastard), it’s a good step, and a modest nudge in the right direction for the rest of the nation, i.e. each state will probably be required to deal with illegal immigration on their own terms since the federal government refuses to take any meaningful action on the matter.

Go Broncos!

Illegal Immigration Bills Passed in Colo.

By STEVEN K. PAULSON and JON SARCHE

DENVER Jul 11, 2006 (AP) State lawmakers approved a measure late Monday that would force a million people receiving state or federal aid to verify their citizenship, part of a package of bills dealing with illegal immigration that Democrats called the toughest in the nation.

The measure would deny most non-emergency state benefits to illegal immigrants 18 years old and older forcing people to prove legal residency when applying for benefits or renewing their eligibility. The measure passed the state Senate 22-13 and the House 48-15. Both are controlled by Democrats.

“At the end of the day, everybody who serves in this building as senators or representatives knows we’re making Colorado history,” said the bill’s sponsor, Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald. “We want to be able to look in the mirror and say we did legislation that is tough, enforceable and humane.”

Republicans said the bill didn’t go far enough, and left glaring loopholes, including allowing benefits for minors and denying voters the chance to have a direct say on the issue.

The bill would apply to Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, energy assistance programs and aging and adult services. Republican Gov. Bill Owens said an estimated 50,000 illegal immigrants could be thrown out of those programs.

“It simply puts teeth into existing federal regulations,” Owens said.

Sen. Dan Grossman was one of the four Democrats to vote against the measure.

“I don’t think the poor people of the state of Colorado or businesses of the state of Colorado should have to pay because we want to play politics with immigration,” Grossman said.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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World’s Largest Dungeon
By Inc Alderac Entertainment Group
Release date: By August, 2004

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This past Wednesday, the 5th of July, Congressional Republicans held public hearings on the east and west coasts concerning the illegal immigration problem this country is currently mired in. Most attendees felt the hearings were nothing more than a dog and pony show designed to generate political support towards election season. This is probably true.

Still, it’s always interesting to hear public officials spew forth their opinions, especially over such a politically divisive issue as illegal immigration.

Our very own Los Angeles County Sheriff, Lee Baca testified at the west coast meeting held in San Diego. If this man has done little to fight crime in the years he’s been sheriff, he certainly demonstrated his lack of will to deal with the illegals in LA county or to discourage employers who hire illegal aliens, despite the fact he readily admits that the Los Angeles area hosts more illegals than any other region in the United States.

At the house committee hearing, Baca made the outrageous claim that illegals provide a service to the country, and should they be deported, and those employers jailed, the economy would suffer greatly. Wow. I didn’t know Sheriff Lee Baca was an economist, but apparently he’s changed careers. He’s already kicking it off to a bad start if so.

First of all, no one is proposing that employers who knowingly hire illegals be incarcerated for that infraction. Fine them heavily, and expunge their workforce of the illegal workers. Do that to enough shady employers and I guarantee countless more will spook to the point of firing their undesirable staff.

Second, no one is saying that we will need to locate and deport all illegal aliens. Again, much like the first point, find and deport enough of them, and many more will become terrified, voluntarily smuggling themselves back across the border (I know not all illegal aliens are Mexicans. Many are from various countries who have simply overstayed their visas. Most however are from Central and South America, and particularly Mexico for the obvious reason of border proximity.)

Selective deportation is a proven tactic. It’s been done many times, and it’s worked. Many illegals do become frightened and leave the country, if only temporarily.

This of course brings up the need for more dependable border security. We need stronger borders. We need to enforce our borders. We need to maintain a border vigil electronically and physically because right now our southern border is so porous as to allow a convoy of MX missiles to cross with nary a pair of eyes in hundreds of miles to even take notice. While I am clearly exaggerating, don’t think something to this effect couldn’t happen on a smaller scale with devastating results. There are countless human traffickers who will smuggle anyone across the Mexican border as long as they get paid to do it. Not only will they transport people, but anything, any item one has the desire to move into the U.S.

Apparently New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg has forgotten 9/11 and/or he doesn’t care, as is apparent from defeatist statements concerning the tide of illegal immigration he made at the east coast hearings held in Philadelphia, PA (story below.) This is especially timely today considering the FBI made public a plot to blow up the Holland tunnel in New York.

Bloomberg’s comments were similar to those made by Baca in San Diego–economic doom and gloom. If anything, the recent “Day Without an Immigrant” demonstrated the only communities that were significantly harmed by that boycott were high Latino populated regions and businesses. Other economic damage was negligible if even noticeable–Los Angeles was not shut down, and the country is still here. The idea that our nation would be damaged and thrown into economic turmoil is preposterous. All a “Day Without an Immigrant” accomplished was to confirmed that the country would still function normally without illegal labor. But then again, I’m not an economist like Sheriff Baca.

I am all for the House enforcement bill. I am wholly against the Senate “Path to Citizenship” bill (Amnesty by any other name.) Border enforcement must come first for many reasons before we can even think to consider granting citizenship to a swath of people have no concerns for even minimal assimilation, who willingly break our laws on a daily basis, who put stress on school systems that were struggling to begin with, and who chip away at our health care system while offering nothing in return but cheap labor to unscrupulous employers who have no desire to pay a fair wage to American citizens, no matter their ethnicity.

Lawmakers hear Americans’ voices on immigration

SAN DIEGO Congressional Republicans heard lively testimony Wednesday from mayors, sheriffs and ordinary citizens in two public hearings held on both coasts to discuss illegal immigration.

The hearings in San Diego and Philadelphia marked the opening of a summer season that will take proponents of competing immigration proposals in Congress across the country. The aim is to demonstrate public support for their plans.

The House bill focuses on enforcing the border and cracking down on companies that hire illegal immigrants.

The House version does not include the proposal of the Senate bill to create a path to citizenship for most of the estimated 12 million people living here illegally.

In Washington, President Bush appeared at a donut shop in Virginia owned by an Iranian immigrant to reaffirm his call for a bill that allows some of those here illegally to qualify eventually for citizenship. Although he called for more border security, Bush said, “We’re not going to be able to deport people who’ve been here working hard and raising their families.”

On the West Coast, much of the talk was about how hard it is to handle the stream of Mexican citizens coming across the border.

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the subcommittee on international terrorism, said that if Congress approved the House-passed bill, it would establish “operational control of our border.”

“It is elementary: To defend ourselves, we must secure our borders,” Royce said.

Law enforcement officials testified that a large number of criminals were slipping across the border.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said 27f the inmates in his jails are illegal immigrants. Rick Flores, sheriff of Webb County, Texas, says his department duels with drug cartels and smuggling operations across the border in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

“We need your help,” he said. “The Mexico government is in on the narco-smuggling.”

Darryl Griffen, chief of the San Diego sector of the U.S. Border Patrol, said he needs not just more officers but better technology to stop illegal entrants.

He said electronic monitoring equipment that assists officers covers 9 miles of the 60 miles of border for which he is responsible.

“They’re turning our country into their country,” said Dan Colandria, 34, of Vista, Calif.

Colandria said he is a member of the Minutemen, a volunteer group that patrols the border with Mexico and calls authorities when people are spotted trying to sneak across.

“It’s just not right,” he said.

Democrats mocked the Republicans for holding hearings they said would not lead to solutions.

“These hearings are not designed to legislate they are designed to whip up public opinion,” said Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican, urged lawmakers to find a way to let illegal immigrants remain in the country. He told the panel in Philadelphia that New York City is home to more than 3 million immigrants and a half-million of them came here illegally.

“Although they broke the law by illegally crossing our borders … our city’s economy would be a shell of itself had they not, and it would collapse if they were deported,” he said. “The same holds true for the nation.”

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson and representatives of Pennsylvania’s dairy, landscaping and hospitality industries testified in favor of giving illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship.

Louis Barletta, the Republican mayor of Hazleton, a northeast Pennsylvania town of 22,000 people, said his city has been “terrorized” by illegal immigrant drug dealers and murderers.

He said he is pushing an ordinance that will impose tough penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

“I have had enough,” Barletta said. “This ordinance is intended to make Hazleton one of the most difficult places in the United States for illegal immigrants.”

Kiely reported from Philadelphia

Bloomberg: U.S. can’t stem immigration tide

NYC, Hazleton mayors disagree at hearing here

By DAN GERINGER
geringd@phillynews.com 215-854-5961

IF THE government expects beefed-up border patrols to stop undocumented workers from pouring into this country, “you might as well sit on the beach and tell the tide not to come in,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s immigration-reform hearings here yesterday.

Testifying at the National Constitution Center, Bloomberg called the nation’s immigration laws “fundamentally broken” because “employers are required… not to do anything more than eyeball” a worker’s documents, knowing that bogus Social Security cards and “fake green cards are a dime a dozen.”

Instead of “winking at businesses that hired illegal immigrants,” Bloomberg said, the government should require all workers to carry “biometric” Social Security cards that use DNA or fingerprint ID – and require employers to check the cards against a national database.

Bloomberg and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson agreed that it is not the job of city cops to enforce federal immigration laws.

Johnson told Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who chaired the hearing, that Philadelphia police will help any immigrant crime victim without first asking that person to “show me your green card.”

The commissioner said that enforcing federal immigration laws would destroy the positive relationship between police and the immigrant community that is vital to gathering intelligence for his department’s primary mission – fighting crime.

Both Johnson and Bloomberg testified that city police departments are legally mandated to spend their budgets on public safety, not on immigration investigations, but Hazleton Mayor Louis Barletta strongly disagreed.

Barletta recently attracted national attention by championing an “illegal-immigration-relief” ordinance, effective July 13, that will effectively shut down for five years any Hazleton business caught hiring “illegal aliens” and any landlord caught renting or leasing to them.

The ordinance states “that illegal immigration leads to higher crime rates, contributes to overcrowded classrooms and failing schools, subjects our hospitals to fiscal hardship and legal residents to substandard quality of care, and destroys our neighborhoods and diminishes our overall quality of life.”

Barletta did not offer any statistical evidence to support those claims yesterday.

He told the Daily News that he did not know how many “illegal aliens” lived or worked or went to school or committed crimes in Hazleton.

Barletta repeatedly cited three recent crimes in Hazleton – a murder, a playground shooting and a crack-cocaine operation – that involved illegal immigrants.

He said that those crimes had tied up the 31 police officers who serve 31,000 residents and that “every minute spent on policing illegal immigrants is a minute not spent on serving legal residents.”

But he could not say how many Hazleton crimes had been committed by “illegal immigrants” and how many by legal residents.

He said that his small-town budget was “buckling under the strain of illegal immigrants” but that he did not know how many undocumented workers contributed to the city’s budget by paying taxes.

Bloomberg, on the other hand, said that 75 percent of New York City’s 500,000 undocumented workers paid their taxes and that the city’s tax base and its economy would be “decimated” without their contributions.

Bloomberg said that instead of talking about deporting the nation’s estimated 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants – who have violated civil, not criminal, laws – as felons, the country should give them the chance to earn permanent residency and remain united with their families here.

Ricardo Diaz, of the Day Without an Immigrant Coalition, led a small group of protesters who demonstrated peacefully outside the National Constitution Center.

The protest was small, he said, because the hearings were a “dog-and-pony show,” rather than a congressional debate, and were not worth asking immigrants to miss a day of work for – “What was I going to do with 10,000 people here?” he asked.

“That’s not dialogue,” Diaz said of the divide between the big-city and small-city mayors. “It’s time for [anti-immigration congressmen] to put their Goliath against our David, and let’s do it.

“Let’s make a stab at a reasoned compromise and pass legislation. These hearings will not get us to a solution, and that’s sad.”

Local Hearings Provide Point, Counter-Point, in Congressional Immigration Debate
Published: 7/6/2006 12:51:46 AM

The first in a series of congressional hearings on immigration reform was held Wednesday at the Imperial Beach Border Patrol Station, where a number of officials weighed in on the divisive issue.

The packed hearing is one of several organized nationwide by Republican congressional leaders, who pledged to hold such sessions before negotiating a compromise immigration bill with the Senate.

The Senate plan would beef up border enforcement, offer a path to legalization to millions of undocumented migrants and create a guest worker program, while the House plan focuses on border and interior enforcement.

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, who chairs the House subcommittee, said the Border Patrol’s budget has increased 64 percent since 2000, but the federal government needs to do a better job securing the border.

“More needs to be done since there is chaos in many (Border Patrol) sectors and the border is still very porous,” Royce said.

Rep. Bob Filner, D-Chula Vista, apologized to Border Patrol officials who were called as witnesses at the hearing, saying they were part of a “huge cover-up” in Washington, D.C., because the borders have gone unprotected.

Filner said no Republicans have consulted him on border issues, even though his district runs along the border from San Diego to Yuma, Ariz.

Nine Republican and six Democratic Congressional representatives attended the hearing.

Darryl Griffen, chief of the San Diego Border Patrol sector, testified that his agents have apprehended about 108,000 illegal immigrants this year.

He said the recent deployment of California National Guard troops will “very much so” help in patrolling the U.S. and Mexico border.

Griffen said his biggest needs are remote video surveillance equipment and technology that can detect border tunnels.

Corrupt agents are also a problem.

U.S. Border Patrol agents suspected of smuggling drugs and humans into the United States were in hiding today after they apparently were tipped off about the probe, it was reported.

Brothers Fidel and Raul Villarreal, who quit their Border Patrol jobs abruptly last month when they found out they were being investigated for aiding smugglers, may have fled to Mexico.

A little more than a month ago, two customs officers at San Diego border crossings were charged with waving cars loaded with illegal immigrants in exchange for cash.

In January, Oscar Antonio Ortiz, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who got a job as a Border Patrol agent, pleaded guilty to conspiring to smuggle people into the United States.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca told the panel that 26 percent of his jail population is composed of illegal immigrants.

Housing illegal immigrants in Los Angeles County jails costs about $80 million per year, he said. Last year, the county was reimbursed $11 million by the federal government, he said.

“That means radio calls, patrol cars on the street, are cut back,” the sheriff said. “The situation is severe in Los Angeles County. We have more illegal immigrants in Los Angeles County than anywhere else in the country.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, a Republican, reeled off a list of taxpayer-borne costs associated with illegal immigration.

“Our health care delivery system has become the HMO for the world,” he said.

He said one of every 15 people in California was in the country illegally and suggested that the U.S. set up medical clinics in Mexico to stem the northward flow.

About 50 people against the House’s proposal for immigration reform protested at the entrance to the meeting site.

Pastor Art Cribbs, with the Christian Fellowship United Church of San Diego, called the meeting a “sham,” contending that not all the sides were heard.

“We will not be silenced,” he said. “We will not be ignored. We will not be counted out. We are here as the uninvited.”

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Release date: By 11 July, 2006

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