More Locals Take On Illegal Immigration

A surprisingly balanced article from the NY Times, at least by their usual standards. They did not show their pro-illegal sympathy too much, nor delve too much into the plight of all the “immigrants,” if you get my meaning

Three months after the local police inspected more than a dozen businesses searching for illegal immigrants using stolen Social Security numbers, this community in the Florida Panhandle has become more law-abiding, emptier and whiter.

Many of the Hispanic immigrants who came in 2004 to help rebuild after Hurricane Ivan have either fled or gone into hiding. Churches with services in Spanish are half-empty. Businesses are struggling to find workers. And for Hispanic citizens with roots here — the foremen and entrepreneurs who received visits from the police — the losses are especially profound.

“It was very hard because the community is very small, and to see people who came to eat here all the time then come and close the business,” said Geronimo Barragan, who owns two branches of La Hacienda, Mexican restaurants where the police arrested 10 employees.

OK, it doesn’t start out that well. You are supposed to get out your hankies because of what those damned white racists (first paragraph) are doing.

Sheriff Wendell Hall of Santa Rosa County, who led the effort, said the arrests were for violations of state identity theft laws. But he also seemed proud to have found a way around rules allowing only the federal government to enforce immigration laws. In his office, the sheriff displayed a framed editorial cartoon that showed Daniel Boone admiring his arrest of at least 27 illegal workers.

His approach is increasingly common. Last month, 260 illegal immigrants in Iowa were sentenced to five months in prison for violations of federal identity theft laws.

Good for Hall and the others. Identity theft is a serious issue, which causes actual direct harm to American citizens.

State lawmakers, in response to Congressional inaction on immigration law, are giving local authorities a wider berth. In 2007, 1,562 bills related to illegal immigration were introduced nationwide and 240 were enacted in 46 states, triple the number that passed in 2006, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. A new law in Mississippi makes it a felony for an illegal immigrant to hold a job. In Oklahoma, sheltering or transporting illegal immigrants is also a felony.

Good. Keep it up!

Interviews with more than 25 residents and police officers suggest that the views of Harry T. Buckles, 68, a retired Navy corpsman, are common. Outside his home in Gulf Breeze, Mr. Buckles said the main problem with today’s Hispanic immigrants was that they did not assimilate.

Even after hundreds flowed in to rebuild Santa Rosa County, Mr. Buckles said: “They didn’t become part of the community. They didn’t speak the language.”

And, as I have written before, the assimilation is a big issue. Both migrants and illegals make little to no attempt to be a part of the American melting pot, as previous immigrants did. That does not endear them to the legal residents of the USA, along with the identity theft and the use of American resources.

The Times then tells us that the population percentages of illegals is very low. Well, it is supposed to be, isn’t it? Preferably zero, but, good luck with that reality!

Managers at the restaurants Okki, El Rodeo, China Sea and La Hacienda said police officers checked all employees’ documents, regardless of their ethnicity.

But other business owners, employees and residents said the police focused disproportionately on Hispanics or the foreign born and seemed determined to scare immigrants out of the area. In many cases, employers said, the officers did not even mention identity theft, narrowing their scope to immigrants.

“They were targeting all the places with Hispanic workers,” said Elvin Garcia, 26, a waiter at El Rodeo.

Well, if the police have a report that it was a white male with blond hair, about 6 foot tall, they are not going to go around rousting black females under 5’6″. If you are looking for illegal aliens, well, yes, the police will focus on Hispanics. They are the most likely candidates.

Even without a chase, immigrant advocates say that local efforts to track down illegal immigrants undermine community safety by scaring immigrants from reporting violent crimes.

I’m still waiting for an actual study that proves that out. Still haven’t seen one, but, that is really besides the point. If someone is breaking the law, they are breaking the law. They do not get a free pass. I’ve never heard the Times or anyone else complain about chasing drug dealers being bad because it might scare the people in that neighborhood from reporting violent crimes.

In the immigrant community, fears now cloud the most basic routines. Many Hispanics said they avoided being seen or heard speaking Spanish in Wal-Mart, even if they live here legally. Others detailed their habit of meticulously checking their cars’ headlights, blinkers and registration to avoid being pulled over.

The message many Hispanics have taken from the raids is simple. “We’re Mexican — they don’t want us here,” said Erika Barragan, 20, whose husband, Ruben, came here illegally roughly six years ago and was one of 23 people scheduled to be deported after the February raids. She said she would go back to Mexico this summer.

No, we do not want you here if you came illegally. Do it right, and you are more then welcome. With open arms. Do us a favor and learn some English, and try and be a part of our community, as that would certainly help.

And, yes, we do need comprehensive immigration reform. Do it without the massive amnesty, though. Give some people a chance to become, at least, temporary workers, some to be citizens. Make the penalties on companies who knowingly hire illegals or fail to check the proper documentation very harsh. A better system for allowing and tracking temporary workers, visitors, and students. Attempting to learn English should be a requirement.

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One Response to “More Locals Take On Illegal Immigration”

  1. forest hunter says:

    Victoria, Texas is a town about 80 miles west of Houston.

    Local Hispanic leaders, in opposition to pending Immigration Legislation, boycotted all Caucasian owned businesses in the Victoria area one past weekend as a demonstration of their economic impact on the community.

    The boycott was declared a success in the Hispanic community, noting that revenue in Caucasian owned businesses was down 19%.

    Business owners declared the boycott a success, as well, pointing out that shoplifting was reduced by 77%.



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