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We’ve all heard of how the Feds want to force local first responders and cops to be deputized as INS agents and help round up all them illegals.  Authorities are raiding workplaces.  Families are getting split up and American born children (you know... CITIZENS) are either being ripped from their parents’ lovin’ arms or they’re being deported to countries with no chance at an education or a decent life.

Some communities are taking the predictable route and are denying services, going the English-only route on forms, making it impossible for people to obtain ID or even open a bank account.  That leaves tens of thousands living on the edge of society – not getting healthcare for their (often times American born) kids, going to the police when they’ve been victimized by domestic violence or robbery, or even seeking help from the fire department when they need it.

There’s a move on lately to change all that.  Cities and towns around the country are declaring themselves to be Sanctuary Cities for these immigrants, and are making it possible for them (and their children) to become full-fledged members of their community.

Make the jump...

Some of you may recall my mentioning that my husband is a legal immigrant.  He’s got his green card and has had it for quite some time.  But there was a time when we were terrified that he might lose that status, and had faced the very real possibility of either having our family split up, or all of us being forced to leave.  One immigrant – three American citizens – deported.  Everything’s fine now but I can really relate to those families who’ve been f#cked by those raids recently.

So I was delighted to see an article in the Washington Post recently that tells of a movement to create a haven for illegal immigrants and their families...

HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. -- After federal agents launched a massive raid on an apartment complex here two years ago, other illegal immigrants in this quiet town near Princeton University grew so wary of the law, authorities say, that many began hiding behind headstones in a local cemetery when patrol cars approached.

snip...

In the aftermath of a series of raids in 2004, the town council in this historic borough of 5,300 -- transformed in recent years by an influx of at least 1,300 Latin Americans -- unanimously approved a sort of immigrant bill of rights. Joining a growing list of cities enacting a no-questions-asked policy on immigration status, Hightstown now allows its undocumented residents to officially interact with local police and access city services without fear of being reported to federal authorities.

It has opened new lines of communication here, officials say. One illegal immigrant at the complex where the raids were staged called on the police recently to help place a family member in alcohol rehabilitation; others have reported domestic abuse, extortion, theft and other crimes. Some are calling the town's pro-immigrant mayor for advice on City Hall weddings and landlord troubles. Hightstown has added services aimed at immigrants, including free bilingual computer classes last month. Noting the shift, one Spanish-language newspaper recently dubbed Hightstown the "Paradise Town" of New Jersey.

Imagine that... if you get beat up you feel safe in calling the police for help – something that most of us take for granted.  I don’t know about you, but I think society as a whole benefits when someone’s able to get in to rehab, or is able to report a crime and the perp is caught and locked up.

Frankly, I think it’s a refreshing change from what we’ve been hearing about lately...

With federal authorities enlisting local law enforcement agencies to act as their "eyes and ears" on the ground, a number of towns have responded with highly publicized zero-tolerance policies on illegal immigrants. In Hazelton, Pa., the Illegal Immigration Relief Act -- passed last year but being challenged in federal court -- denies licenses to businesses that employ illegal immigrants, fines landlords $1,000 for each illegal immigrant discovered renting their properties and requires that city documents be in English only. Other towns have deputized police officers to act as local immigration cops.

But equally fervent are a less well-known but fast-growing number of "sanctuary" cities and towns -- from Seattle to Cambridge, Mass. -- where local authorities are effectively rejecting the federal government's call for tougher enforcement and instead bestowing a measure of local acceptance.

In New Haven, Conn., for example, officials have prohibited police from asking about an immigrant's legal status, and in July the city will introduce municipal identification cards, providing undocumented immigrants with a "locally legal" form of ID that will make it easier for them to apply for bank accounts and sign rental leases. Overall, at least 20 cities and towns have approved pro-immigration measures over the past three years, according to the D.C.-based Fair Immigration Reform Movement. Analysts and advocates say almost as many -- including at least five in New Jersey, where about one in 17 residents is an illegal immigrant -- are considering similar resolutions."

snip

Hightstown Mayor Robert Patten, who hails from the core German-Irish stock in this heavily Democratic town, sees things differently. The town square, once peppered with empty storefronts, is brimming with new Latin American restaurants and remittance centers.

snip

"Most of us know this town would have a heck of a time trying to run itself these days without the immigrants," said Patten, a Republican. "They're working at the grocery stores, the fast-food places, they're opening businesses and keeping this town alive and young. We're just being practical by telling them, 'Look, we want you in our community, and we want you to feel like you belong.' "

Even after what our own family went through years ago, I take a lot for granted.  If we didn’t have health insurance and had to pay for things ourselves if our kids got sick, we could still take them to the local hospital for help without fear of deportation or jail.  Not so for illegal immigrants unless they live in one of these sanctuary cities...

"I feel I can get help in this town," said Sonia, a 34-year-old from Ecuador who, like all illegal immigrants interviewed here, declined to give a last name. After getting an HIV test, she was in line to take her infant son for a doctor's visit. "These are things I could never afford. I don't have health insurance, and I'm afraid to go to the county hospital. I don't know what kind of paperwork they ask for. I feel more comfortable here. No forms. No questions. You just have to come in."

This is the kind of America I want to live in – one that welcomes people the way my own ancestors were welcomed generations ago.  One that looks at the good in people and understands that everyone has something to offer if only we let them.

Not one that says I’ve got mine, go to hell.

Originally posted to Alegre on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 10:07 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips / Flames (14+ / 0-)

    I'm probably going to take some shit for this from a very vocal handful of folks, but what the hell.

    I thought this was a pretty cool story and worth sharing with my friends here.

    So what say you?  Good idea - or not so much?

    •  Screw The Xenophobes. (5+ / 0-)

      Thanks for a great diary. It's important to see gratitude expressed for the fact that immigrants are often the force behind a community's survival.

      "One thing we want during this war of terror is for people to feel like their life moving on." George W. Bush, 1/07

      by chuco35 on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 10:10:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are you going to extend that welcome... (3+ / 0-)

      to the snot-nosed illegal punk that stole my son's car a couple weeks ago, and wrecked it in what the police called a "spectacular" car chase and wreck?

      My son's out his car, all the money he put into it, the insurance company is paying $9000.00 for the total, don't know how much damage was done when the guy hit the pole or when the car went end-over-end, or what his hospital bill is going to amount to since he was thrown clear.

      Happily he didn't take any pedestrians or the police with him to the hospital - or the cemetery.

      There is no recourse because he will bolt back to Mexico to avoid all the charges the minute he gets the opportunity.

      This all sounds real good, and there are a lot of good people who are here trying to make a living, but there are other people here that are just raising hell and getting away with it.

      •  I'm Sorry For Your Son (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran, vcmvo2

        but I don't think punishing all of them is the answer.

        •  That's the point of this diary (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Beowulf, importer, theran, Duke1676, Alegre

          Cops should be out catching car thieves, not enforcing immgration laws.

          The LA County District Attorney's office, an organization not known for nativism, has stated that there is a problem with criminals who flee to Mexico.

          DHS should definitely be in jails and prisons, looking for criminals that can be deported.

          Chances are, the guy that stole importers' son's car has been in jail before and a DHS employee should have been there, identified him and sent him back.

          •  There was a card from our county's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Beowulf

            Justice Center - Collections Investigator, so he had already been through the system for something, but was still here.

            When we tried to get my son's stuff from the car, pretty much a waste of time because it was almost flattened, the guy's wallet, cards, id, etc were on the front seat.

            That's the way we knew who he was and that he was illegal because the police here don't give out that information - we are more or less a "sanctuary city" already as are Denver and Greeley-just to name a few.

            •  I've read about Denver (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Beowulf, redcardphreek

              Didn't an undocumented worker kill a guy at the mayor's restaurant a while back?

              Someone needs to do something there.

              •  He killed a police officer.... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Beowulf, Tuscarora, redcardphreek, Utahrd

                We also had an illegal drag his girlfriend to death behind his car in Denver - that was pleasant.

                A teenage illegal girl in Greeley plowed into another car killing the people in the other car and her two little brothers in her car who were citizens.  When a local representative inquired about her status the papers went crazy accusing him of being a racist for even asking.

                The list goes on....be careful what you wish for.

              •  Yeah Someone Needs To Do Something. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                theboz

                Like arrest and deport people who committ real crimes, like what importer describes, instead of wasting police resources on running down violators of administrative regulations.

                "One thing we want during this war of terror is for people to feel like their life moving on." George W. Bush, 1/07

                by chuco35 on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 11:08:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  broken windows (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  importer, Tuscarora, redcardphreek

                  Its like the broken windows theory, if a neighborhood leaves broken windows unrepaired, then its crime rate is dramatically higher than neighborhoods that do.

                  There wouldn't seem to be a link betweeen windows and violent crime and yet there is a correlation.  A neighborhood with so little civic pride that owners don't make basic repairs is one where criminals think they can get away with anything without consequence.
                  Likewise, if the goverment lets people slip on administrative or immigration violations, it makes criminal respect the law less and the public less safe.

                  We do not want to send the message-- whether to citizens or visa applicants who wish to come here legally-- in this country, if you obey the law, play by the rules and wait your turn, you're a freakin' idiot.

                  •  Give Me A Fucking Break! (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    theboz, theran, Alegre, buddabelly, wa ma

                    Likewise, if the goverment lets people slip on administrative or immigration violations, it makes criminal respect the law less and the public less safe.

                    As if the coke fiends and smack addicts breaking into homes and robbing ma and pa stores needed any stimulation to engage in crime. Or as if Abramoff and his ilk saw a green light when illegal migrant numbers began to rise.

                    "One thing we want during this war of terror is for people to feel like their life moving on." George W. Bush, 1/07

                    by chuco35 on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 11:31:46 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  actually yes (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tuscarora

                      though home invasions are very rare in this country (especially compared to Europe), too many Americans have are gunowners, that's exactly right.  If addicts know that they can get away with anything as long as no one gets hurt (because the police are concentrating on "serious crimes"), pretty soon the cops are completely overwhelemed with serious crimes.  

                      On the other hand, if the cops are popping people for buying drugs on the street or chasing down petty burglars, then the crime rate goes down.  One, the stupid criminals are in jail because of some petty drug or property crime charge, and the smart criminals realize the police are putting on too much heat to make crime worthwhile.

                      This isn't exactly rocket science, its what William Bratton and Jack Maple tried in New York in the early 90's-- and its since been copied by cities all over the country and the world.

                      Abramoff is a US citizen, immigration policy doesn't affect him.  Who it does affect are the millions of foreigners who dream about coming here.  If they see and read that the US deports illegal immigrants and welcomes legal ones, then they have every incentive to play by the rules.

                  •  Next You'll Be Telling Us You've Never Gone Over (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    theboz, theran

                    the speed limit, or failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign etc.

                    Folks living in glass houses...

                    •  I have... but not too often (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tuscarora, Morgan Sandlin

                      because when the cops see me do it, I get a ticket.  But if I knew that the cops wouldn't stop me (or per the San Diego US Attorney's immigration prosecutiion policy) or would give me five warnings before they'd write me a ticket, I'd ALWAY speed and I'd only slow down at stop signs.

      •  My Sympathies. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theboz, theran, Duke1676, Alegre, wa ma

        That guy should certainly spend some time in the cooler and then deported.

        But what about the illegal guy who jumped into a freezing lake to rescue two teenagers whose boat capsized, almost drowned in the process, caught pneumonia, and then wouldn't be accepted at the local hospital because he didn't have papers. No publicity. I know this because I was told of it by his neighbor.

        "One thing we want during this war of terror is for people to feel like their life moving on." George W. Bush, 1/07

        by chuco35 on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 10:40:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  double standard (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuco35, theran, Alegre, wa ma

          You will never hear O'reilley do a story on those illegal immigrants that are saving U.S citizens lives everyday, and believe me, it cuts both way..Yes you may have criminal illegal immigrants, but the majority of them are good people.

          You never hear the other side of the story and all you hear from the Lou Dobbs and his supporters here is, how all the illegals are bunches of killers...Its a way to whip up support for mass deportation of all brown people,

        •  dude, that's easy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tuscarora

          Everybody likes a hero, so, sponsor him for a Carnegie Hero Medal.
          http://www.carnegiehero.org/

          Once they've investigated it, and assuming he earns one, call your Congressman and ask him to sponsor a private bill granting citizenship (or at least a Green Card).  Seriously, even Tom Tancredo would vote in favor of a guy who saved two teenagers from drowning.

      •  My Mother was put in the hospital (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        importer

        by an illegal that rammed her while speeding. Good thing she was in an SUV or she would be dead now.

        The illegal spent a few days in the hospital because he planted his face into his steering wheel, was released and never heard from again. Guess the cost of going to the hospital went up because he skipped on the bill.

        I think she was out a thousand dollars for the deductible on her totaled vehicle. And more then a few sleepless nights due to nightmares.

        But remember, the open borders, amnesty for all people say they contribute more then they take out.

        •  While we are told that illegals contribute $$$$ (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tuscarora, redcardphreek

          to the community, we are never told about the casualty losses that people like your mother and my son have to suck up.

          I'm surprised that insurance companies aren't screaming bloody murder over these losses, but I never have heard a peep.

          Without even calculating hospital bills, every reasonably new stolen or wrecked vehicle has to cost someone 10-20,000, that's just a given.

          If you start adding hospital bills, the cost sky-rockets.  That doesn't even begin to assess the nightmares or basic inconvenience to the people who are victimized.

          •  My home state is near the top in car thefts (0+ / 0-)

            included in that was my wife's Honda two years ago.

            Cops did not even blink an eye.

            We were out the deductible and rental car fees.

            Lo and behold they arrested three guys for it based on fingerprints they found in the car about a year ago.

            All had records.

            Two were illegals.

            My wife loved that car.

        •  Can you link to a police blotter? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alegre

          Last time it was you having experience identity theft.  Or maybe it was just me experiencing a troll...

          Tom Menino heard the quad laser is wicked powerful.

          by theran on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 11:59:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hmm (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tuscarora

            I mentioned that it was other people experiencing identity theft. included link to using social security numbers for fraud.

            My experiences with illegals:

            Mother rammed by one on I10 that was not paying attention. Mother spent overnight in hospital. The person that rammed her spent 'a few days' in the hospital then skipped town when released. He did lose a few teeth from what the officer told my Mom.

            My Brother was rammed by two drunks on the 51 that pushed the back of his Wrangler to his seat pretty much. While pulled over to the side of the road and begging my brother not to call the cops, A DPS officer happened to drive by. While talking to my brother the two drunks jumped in their truck and proceeded to try to escape going about 20 mph, which was all their truck could go at the moment. Both sent to jail for DUI and evading I believe. Both here illegally. My brother was out deductible and his Wrangler for over a month as I recall because the insurance company in its wisdom decided to repair it.

            My wife's Honda stolen. 2 of 3 thieves in country illegally.

            Not sure if this one involves illegals, but when coming back from a movie when my wife and I were first dating, my wife slammed into a giant roll of carpet that had fallen out of the overloaded toyota pickup truck that we were following on the freeway. We got the license plate and went to the DPS to find the info so we could go after them for the deductible. DPS officer calls number on records, only speaks Spanish  and states that they do not have the vehicle and they sold it under the table to someone else. DPS officer states it happens all the time. She was out the deductible to fix front end damage and alignment

            Maybe my family just has bad luck? Maybe I just am a troll?

    •  Great idea! (4+ / 0-)

      This is a wonderful, hopeful diary! I want my America back where immigrants are a valued part of our history!

      Yes,'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died? Bob Dylan

      by vcmvo2 on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 10:54:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I live in the shadow... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, theran, Alegre, BlueStateLiberal

    ..of one of the communities that has declared "war" on illegal immigrants (Farmer's Branch, Texas), and the current proposed ordinances are coming up for a vote there.  Since Farmer's Branch has a significant Latino populations, it will be interesting.
     Yet, just across the Trinity River in Oak Cliff, not ten minutes from Farmer's Branch, when you drive down Davis Street or Jefferson Boulevard, you could be in just about any small town in Mexico - the bodegas, the stands selling piñatas, cascarones, lined the streets before Easter, there are stores, lawyers, tax services - all with signs in Spanish....all full of people buying things and payint their taxes.
     Tell me that immigrants do not belong in our society.  Tell the xenophobes whose names may be Murphy, O'Reilly, O' Neal - that not very many generations ago their forebears ran into "Irish Need Not Apply" signs when they looked for work or for places to live...

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

    by drchelo on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 10:16:12 AM PDT

    •  Some Folks Have Short Memories (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theboz, drchelo, BlueStateLiberal

      And I'm sorry, but unless you're 100% Native American you've no right to tell others to stay the hell out.

      And I defy anyone who says yeah but they're breaking the laaaaaaaaw to navigate our immigration laws and stay legal.  It takes years, means filing a shitload of forms (several  every year!), costs thousands of dollars in filing fees, tens of thousands in legal fees... and one misstep or missed filing deadline means deportation and starting all over again.

      After a 10 year wait.  If you lose your status you can't apply again for 10 years.  At least that's how it was when we went through all this shit.

      •  And Those People Who Whine... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alegre, BlueStateLiberal

        ...yeah but they're breaking the law are probably smoking a doobie as they type that shit on their keyboard, after driving home drunk from a party where they were serving underage drinkers.

        Who amongst us has never, ever, broken any law?

        "One thing we want during this war of terror is for people to feel like their life moving on." George W. Bush, 1/07

        by chuco35 on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 10:44:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  oh brother... (4+ / 0-)

    If I was a mayor of a town with a large illegal immigrant population, I'd start mass arrests and give them a choice, you can move to a "sanctuary city" or we're calling La Migra.  If it wasn't too far, I'd even have the city spring for the bus fare.

    Every other country in the world (yes, even Mexico) takes seriously its responsibility to choose which foreigners it allows to live among their people.  If someone commits crimes or is a public charge (i.e. requires welfare), we have no obligation to allow them to live here.  

    Incidentally, if your husband is married to you (a US citizen) and is here on a spouse visa, there is no way, short of an aggravated felony conviction, he'd ever be deported-- it just doesn't happen.   If he was here illegally whe you got married, that's different-- he'd still be able to stay, but your immigration lawyer would make much money in the process.

    •  You Clearly Don't Understand How (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theboz, BlueStateLiberal

      things work where our immigration laws are concerned.

      In general - or specific to our situation.

      •  so you say... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tuscarora, redcardphreek

        on the other hand, I do happen to have firsthand experience in this field.  Both personally (my father, aunt, uncle, cousin and sister-in-law are all immigrants who came here legally) and professionally (I'm an attorney who's worked on immigration cases), I have a pretty good idea of how the immigration system works.

        If you marry a US citizen and all of your paperwork is in order (the biggest hassle really, that's why its important to have a good immigration lawyer), then you automatically get to stay.

        If your paperwork is NOT in order, then it can take months before the foreign spouse can live in the US.  But its just a matter of the bureaucracy catching up with the paperwork, unless he's got a criminal record, the spouse of a US citizen always has the right to live here.  

        Incidentally, until 1908 only a US husband could sponsor a foreign wife.  The rule was, the wife took the citizenship of the husband.  So not only could you not sponsor your husband, you would have lost your US citizenship as well (though divorcees and widows could get it back).

        •  I've Done Immigration Work Too (0+ / 0-)

          In fact, I prepared all of our applications.

          Like I said - you don't know the particulars so please don't assume you have all the facts and can comment intelligently on our situation - or anyone else's without getting to know them.

          Frankly, I think that's part of the problem - a big part of the problem.  People who're gung-ho to deport all those brown people don't take the time to get to know the people in question, and conveniently forget or ignore the fact that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are law-abiding folks.  Much more so than citizens of this great land.

          •  It doesn't matter if they're "nice guys".... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Beowulf

            They are here illegally..thumbing their noses at our system, refusing to recognize our laws.

            If they want to do it right, return to their native country and apply for entry according to the laws of our country, but DON'T whine about how rough they have it because they are here illegally.

            •  I want to send you back n/t (0+ / 0-)

              Tom Menino heard the quad laser is wicked powerful.

              by theran on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 12:29:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Just Curious (0+ / 0-)

              Have you ever had to file immigration paperwork?

              Because I have.  So don't make out like it's a simple matter of filing some form and waiting for your green card to arrive in a couple weeks.

              It's not that simple and only a very small percentage of folks have the resources to do it legally.

              Our system - as it's set up now - only allows the rich to come here.

              And that's NOT what it says at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

              •  The Statue of Liberty???? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Beowulf

                Last time I looked the Statue of Liberty was not the Law of the Land.

                If you don't like the system, work to change it. But don't ask people to say its okie dokie for illegals to dismiss our laws just because they want to.

                No one forced them to come here illegally...it was their choice.

                •  Just Answer My Question (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  theboz

                  Did you ever have to navigate the immigration laws or not?

                •  It's typical (0+ / 0-)

                  Left with nothing else to say, I am left only with:

                  1.) Reciting the lines of 'The New Colossus', a poem written in 1883 which, as I understand it, like the Statue itself, was not about immigration or immigrants, but instead was about liberty.

                  The classic logical fallacy of Appeal to Tradition.

                  2.) Asking you if you have never sped in a car before, therefore trying to change the subject and equate illegal immigration with a moving violation. At the same time one will notice that while the person making the statement wil not advocate for and end to traffic enforcement, they are advocating for, and do advocate for an end to immigration enforcement - thereby summoning themselves against their own argument i.e. that the two are somehow equal and should be treated equally.

                  The classic logical fallacy of Appeal To Common Practice.

                  You also have the oft used:

                  • Appeal to Consequences of a Belief
                  • Appeal to Pity
                  • Appeal to Popularity
                  • Appeal to Ridicule
                  • Gambler's Fallacy

                  etc.

                  <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                  by superscalar on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 02:38:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  And BTW (5+ / 0-)

      where (please tell us where) in the above article did you see mention of immigrants comitting crimes or requiring welfare?

      •  let's see (0+ / 0-)

        access to "city services", I don't think they're referring to the library's wifi network, oh and the mother with no insurance going to the hospital to see a doctor-- if you need free medical care, you're a public charge.

        •  Nice Try (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theboz, theran

          Needing city services does NOT equate to being on welfare.

          And that mother looking for a check-up for her infant son said nothing of free services at the hospital.  And that health clinic was open to everyone - not just her.

          •  yes it does.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tuscarora

            City services aren't ONLY welfare (I did mention the library wifi network), but part of the city's public services is helping out the needy.  For citizens or legal immigrants, that's cool  The question is, if someone is here illegallly and they are a public charge, why are we obligated to let them stay?  And that's my point, before we offer any kind of amnesty, we need to weed out for deportation the criminals and the public charges.  The remaining illegals who are otherwise law abiding, I wouldn't mind if they were given permanent residency.

            You said "the health clinic was open to  everyone - not just her".  That's great, but "everyone" should only mean those people in this country legally.  Billions of the world's population lives on less than a dollar a day.  Unless you're willing to argue that they have as much right to live in this country and utilize our health clinics and other government services as we do, then surely we'd agree the government has the right to control who can come and live in this country.  

            •  Why are you so angry? n/t (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theboz, Alegre

              Tom Menino heard the quad laser is wicked powerful.

              by theran on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 12:11:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Beowolf.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Beowulf

              Well said.

            •  No - It Doen't (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theboz, theran

              You can repeat the same thing over and over but it still doesn't make it true.

              You claimed she wanted welfare and nowhere in that article does it mention that she's on assistance.

              You said earlier that you do immigration law.  Given the fact that you make your living on immigrants, I'm beginning to see why you have absolutely no compassion for those who can't afford your services.

              •  no need to insult me (0+ / 0-)

                I'm not going to Troll Rate you because I can see you're passionate about this issue, but its not cool to throw out personal attacks.

                I never said I "do immigration law", in the sense of making a living from it.   I don't appreciate your comment that I have no compassion for anyone who can't afford my services.  If you must know, I make enough from corporate clients that I've never taken a penny from an actual human client.  All the immigration work I've done, I've done for free.  

  •  Nonsense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    importer, Tuscarora

    The ONLY argument against the forced repatriation of illegal immigrants is that it is totally impractical.  Were it remotely possible, I'd be 100% for it. Amnesty proposals are a joke and will continue to encourage more illegal immigration.

    The solutions are (1) to criminalize the hiring of illegals and issue massive fines to employers who violate such rules, with criminal sanctions against those who knowingly or reckless violate them (2)  a doubling or tripling of border security personnel along with walls, fences, baricades etc and (3) amending the Consitution so that only those born here with at least one fully legal parent automatically become citizens.

    The current situation is a national disgrace and the Feds have created it with their past amnest bills and porous border security.

    I'm all for immigrants from any corner on earth coming here legally, particularly educated people with advanced degrees.  But I have zero qualms about using every legitimate means to exclude all illegals from coming here.  My tax dollars and income have MUCH better uses than paying for increased teachers, health care costs, prison guards etc for people who do not belong here.

    If employment for illegals in the US became nearly impossible, many would return on their own and countelss others would never attempt to come.  

  •  Santuary Cities (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alegre

    Obviously someone is a Star Trek fan.

    i think this is a decent idea until they either give blanket amnesty and get them citizenship or round them all up and put them in Boxcars back to Mexico, but the term Santuary City creeps me out (probably because in the fiction, it ended pretty badly).

    all Along the Watchtower...... blogroll

    by terrypinder on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 10:44:54 AM PDT

    •  Star Trek? (0+ / 0-)

      Do tell... ended badly?

      •  without delving much into the plot (0+ / 0-)

        which involved time travel and was somewhat convoluted, Santuary cities were created to put the downtrodden, the poor, the sick and et cetera, and walled off from the rest of society like the Ghettos of the Nazi era, or like a giant open air debtor's prison. They rioted (the riot being the centerpoint of the plot). eventually they were all dismantled.

        despite it being science fiction, I could see such an outcome happening in real life unless we make some changes in how our society is run.

        all Along the Watchtower...... blogroll

        by terrypinder on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 11:59:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The term comes from the Sanctuary Movement (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alegre

      That started in the 80's as a reaction to the mayhem and death that resulted from Regean's dirty wars in Central America  

      The Sanctuary movement was a religious and political movement of approximately 500 congregations in the U.S. that helped Central American refugees by sheltering them from
      denominations were involved, including Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Jews, Quakers, and Mennonites. The movement originated along the U.S. border with Mexico in Arizona but was also strong in Chicago, Philadelphia, and California. In 1981, Rev. John Fife and Jim Corbett, among others, began smuggling Central American refugees into the United States. It was their intent to offer sanctuary, or faith-based protection, from the political violence that was taking place in El Salvador and Guatemala.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      There was also a movement that revolved around Chilean refugees escaping from the death squads of Pinochet.

    •  This was (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Duke1676, Alegre, BlueStateLiberal

      written about in by Robert Jamison, a columnist for the Seattle PI, this morning's issue.

      Seattle has taken a progressive step. It is Seattle police officers' policy not to inquire about immigration status except if an officer has reasonable suspicion a person was previously deported or committed a felony. Officers, after all, have more pressing daily tasks than walking the immigration beat.

      But given Seattle's liberal bent, could the city go further? Should Seattle be a sanctuary city, perhaps one with ID cards?

      It's a tough question. One thing is sure: We can't have a segment of our population perpetually afraid of the police and living in the shadows.  

  •  It's a growing trend (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, Alegre, BlueStateLiberal

    From just this past Tues:

    Santa Cruz city leaders asked to take stand against immigration raids

    City leaders want to prevent illegal immigrants from being rounded up and shipped back to Mexico.

    A proposal before the City Council today would prohibit using city funds or resources to assist immigration enforcement by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcment. The feds rarely ask for local help but the proposal's advocates want to be prepared if they ever do.

    The policy, written by Councilman Tony Madrigal, was created in response to the countywide raids that took place in September, an operation dubbed "Return to Sender" The effort resulted in the arrests of 107 undocumented residents from Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Hollister.

    "This resolution sends a message that Santa Cruz values its immigration community," Madrigal said. "We don't want immigration officials to come into our community to tear apart families like they did in fall 2006"

    The policy comes on the heels of an uptick in crackdowns statewide since December. More than 300 illegal immigrants were arrested last week in San Diego and Imperial counties.

    Santa Cruz Sentinel

    I believe that until meaningful reform is finally enacted we'll see these divisions continue.

    The problem for the strict-enforcement municipalities is that many of their anti-immigrant laws and ordinances haven't held up in court. Haezelton will be the big test if they're allowed to keep their policies.

    In the mean time, every day I see another story about a new sanctuary city.  

    •  I haven't read your links, but (0+ / 0-)

      I assume that the Republican farmers that hired these undocumented immigrants have not missed a Tee Time since this happened?

      It costs a lot of money arrest 300 immigrants.

      It's cheap in comparison to arrest one Republican campaign contributor who hired them.

      •  that very well may be the situation in this case (0+ / 0-)

        And business interests may have played a part swaying the decision.

        But sanctuary cities are spring up all over the country in communities large and small. And certainly big cities like New York, LA and Chicago are not controlled by the kind of provincial business interests that would be able to force this kind of legislation down their throats unwillingly.

        I see it as a general trend that seems to divide areas that have traditionally had high immigrant populations and those that have only recently seen a large influx of foreigners.

    •  Hazletown (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Duke1676

      Yup, many experts beleive that the Hazletown enforcment laws will be shot down and even the mayor was quoted saying they will probably loose.

      Hopefully, once the Hazeltown law is rejected by the court, this will stop all the silliness going around.

  •  "Treating immigrants like people" may not work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alegre

    Let's face it, a lot of us don't like brown people and we don't like people who don't speak English.

    Yes, I know you're making the Ingles Sin Barreras people rich; but stay with me here.

    Immigrants are good for business.

    Rather than concentrating on "inhumane" treatment of immigrants, something that may not work in the country that elected George W Bush twice, immigration reform advocates should point out that immigrants make money for us Gabachos.

  •  again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alegre

    what's your solution for the 12 million illegal immigrants that are already here and have deep roots in the American culture.

    Even O'reilley moved a bit more to the center on immigration because he's for current illegal immigeants to register and be granted some kind of visa that would allow them to stay here for a while.

    Others like Lou Dobbs and his supporters on DKOS dont want to hear any of that...They want walls and mass deportation for the brown people.

    All i hear from those anti-immigrants people is, just enforce the law, but they refuses to respond to how they should deal with the ones already here...Im all for cracking down on employers or whatever, but you need to udnerstand that trying to starve 12 million human beings hoping they will limp back to Mexico, is not going to happen and neither i nor the democratic establishment will stand for such evilness.

    So while your tough talk on illegal immigration might sound tough, your mass deportation or starvation ideology will not be supported by a majority inside your own democratic party.

    Ive always said that if you want mass deportation or no second chance for current illegal immigrants, then you should vote republicans because they are the party with this kidn of policy.

    I believe in second chance..And i refuse to equate an illegal immigrant to a killer or rapist that cant be granted a second chance.

    At the end of the day, a comprehensive immigration policy will be enacted..The Democratic party will never pass an enforcement-only bill because the hispanic voting block will punish them for it...The dems can not piss off their loyal base.

  •  So you FAVOR Illegal Immigartion? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tuscarora, redcardphreek

    Why is it SO important to you to have low skilled, low wage, non english speaking workers who have come here illegally continue to come here or stay here?

    And your tax argumenst are flatly wrong.  I pay over $8,000 per year in school taxes alone (based on property ownership).  Those who do not own property pay NO school tax at all.  There are illegal families in my district who have two or three kids in the school system at an aevarge cost per pupil of about $14,000 per kid and they pay almost none of it.  How do oyur studioes possibly account for that.

    How may illegals own homes and pay property tax ins high tax states, like NY and NJ, where school revenues are derived from local property taxes? I would guess its less than 2% of the illegal population.

  •  So you favor mass deportation? (0+ / 0-)

    I favor a centrist immigration bill that will stop "future" flow of illegal immigration, but allow those immigrants that are already rooted into our society to be granted a second chance and a path to citizenship.

    Im not a huge supporter of the guest worker, but im for path to citizenship for immigrants that have no criminal histories....Saying that, i support enforcement and the crack down on people that would hire anyone that is here illegal, but it has to occur ONLY after the current illegal immigrants population get access for some legal status.

    When its said and done, your policy is too much to the right..Your policy is just do enforcement and starve those illegal immigrants but you should know that you will be starving U.S citizens kids too because those immigrants have children that were born here, therefore, starving off the parents will must likely, starve off U.S citizens.

    This is why your enforcement-only policy is inhuman and should not be passed.

  •  Sanctuary cities (0+ / 0-)

    The majority of the so called "sanctuary cities" are all Liberal democratic stronghold, and i believe this is one of the major reason why liberal democrats are less likely to support mass deportation/enforcement only legislature.

    The english-only enforcement-only cities are all conservative stronghold....This is why this immigration issue is bigger in their primary while all democrats running for president have a pro-path to citizenship stance on illegal immigration.

    Those democrats will need Cities like chicago,LA,Oakland,NYC and many more, to win and those cities are not only liberal thronghold but hispanic stronghold....Passing legislature that disrespect immigrants,is not good for Obama, Hillary or Edwards.

    The democratic cant piss people off, and Hispanic will hold their feet to the fire if they follow Lou dobbs's lead...La Raza will go crazy on them..Many hispanic groups will not stand for an anti-immigrant democratic party.

  •  The mayor is a Republican (0+ / 0-)

    Im not sure what you are trying to say on your last post, but the mayor is a republican...

    You will see a huge divide across the country and it will go like this....Liberal stronghold will move to pass sanctuary city laws while republican conservative town will move ahead and pass english only enforcement laws.

    You will have a divided country...This is why a "centrist immigration bill has to be law...A bill too far to the right, will enrage those liberal stronghold sanctuary cities.

  •  As long as the better character of Humans exists, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alegre
    There will always be Free Ports on the Main Drag....

    (In memory of Laura Nyro, and dedicated to Miss Devore)

    What an excellent day for an Exorcism... SCI/Kenyon

    by DianeL on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 12:48:55 PM PDT

  •  Mass Deporation couldnt work (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DianeL, Samulayo

    Won't work and unfortunately, those born here are already citizens. YES, I would change the 14th in a heartbeat to make citizenship more difficult, but Dems would never go for it because illegal immigration is a HUGE source of political power for them just as giving unjustified tax breaks to the elite and big business is the lifeblood of the GOP.  Dems need a permanent underclass that sees itself as oppressed to remain relevant just as Rethugs need an elitist oligachry to remain in power.  Both parties are ruled by the extreme elements of each side.

    As for any economic data from CATO, itsSO slanted and predicatble its pathetic.  Any policy or program that affords low wages will be supported by CATO, which, as I recall, as advocated for such things as the outright repeal of social security and a zero capital gains rate.  Enough said.

    I am a democrat solely based on economic fairness issues, e,g,. I'm pro union in the private sector and favor fair taxation, but as to defense and most social issues, save the wingnust contempt for sexual pleasure - which explains their zeal to outlaw abortion,  I think democrats live in a fantasy world that's never existed and never will exist; one in which people are essentially good and nice and want to work hard and contribute to society without trying to get over. If that were true, we would'nt need the SEC or DOL or numerous other regulatory oragnizations.

    My belief is that most who favor open immigration want the U.S. to become a "browner" nation, have strong socialitic tendencies (beyond favoring unions and the like) and resent what they view as the oppression of people of color throughout the world.

    I dont give a rats ass about the rest of the world. I am of Irish descent, have been there multiple times, and still have relatives there, but cI ould care less if Ireland melted into the sea.  Life is competiton and yes, we need to regulate it, but in a manner that ensures that AMERICA prospers as a whole and under 25 plus years of Reagonomics, that can not occur.  The third world's woes interest me not and are of their own doing.

    Anyone who believes illegals have a net positive effect on the economy, other than through working for subsistence wages, is in a serious state of denial.  Aside from the miltitary, healthcare and schooling are collectively (state, local and  federal combined) among the greatest expenditures in the country.  And yes, if people are going to live here anyway, from a  purely selfish standpoint we MUST educate them so I favor every child being fully educated, which would be easier if we HAD english only laws and limited ESL to perhaps a two year period.  My wife, a legal immigrant, came here at 14 and by 16 was fluent in English and has no accent whatsover, although she is fluent in her native langauge, so it can be done.  And she, an educator, finds ESL as currently applied to be a huge hindrance to kids being mainstreamed.

    I just can't comprehend how anyone who is not seeking to undermine America can view illegal immigration to the US as beneficial.  

         

    •  Browner Nation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theran, DianeL

      Pretty much tells us where you're comin' from pal.

      •  Standin in the middle (0+ / 0-)
        need to to take time to understand that meaning - underneath those lines....

        Why are we letting technology rush us to a place where we, as human beings, don't even have the opportunity to read that text....Can't we sloooooooooooow down?  (What... exactly,.... prevents us from doing so?)

        Too much brew?

        I think not.

        Who am I?

        a piece of you.

        Whether you like it....

        or not!

        What an excellent day for an Exorcism... SCI/Kenyon

        by DianeL on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 01:54:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  NYCRacist is more like it n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theboz, Alegre

        Tom Menino heard the quad laser is wicked powerful.

        by theran on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 02:09:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It has come down to an inner party war (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Morgan Sandlin

      A war between the so-called 'pretax' Democrats and the so-called 'posttax' Democrats - 'posttax' Democrats to include the entirety of the DLC.

      Rangel Proposal Won't Pacify the 'Seattle Democrats'

      Left out of all this sudden optimism about trade is the reality of the part of the Democratic Party that I have termed the "Seattle Democrats" in honor of the 1999 antiglobalization protests in Seattle. These Democrats–such as Sens. Jim Webb of Virginia and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, as well as "netroots" activists of the blogosphere who revolve around the Daily Kos website–see free trade as the mechanism though which globalization is lowering wages, destroying unions, unraveling communities, increasing income inequality, hollowing out U.S. manufacturing, and transforming America into a sort of corporatist state where the motto is "What's good for globalization is good for America."

      They also think that too much of the Democratic Party is beholden to Wall Street–its campaign cash in particular–which has a free-trade agenda.
      Here is what Dave Sirota, a veteran Democratic campaign operative, megapopular blogger, and free-trade critic, had to say about the Rangel deal in an E-mail to me:

      I then got another E-mail from Sirota, telling me how a coalition of some 700 labor, environmental, farm, and other organizations will vigorously oppose any new grant of trade authority to Bush despite the Rangel plan. Sirota and other Seattle Democrats are what you might call pretax Democrats, meaning that they want to alter the trade environment–reopen NAFTA, for instance–so it produces few losers, even at the risk of less global trade.

      Alegre is the prototypical 'posttax' Democrat i.e. I want endless social programs and free health clinics, but I want to at the same time eliminate both the notion and distinction of citizenry, want to eliminate any form of immigration law, and want to eliminate the notion of a semi-closed group of people working for the common good of that group.

      Any mess that is caused by all of this - I will either just ignore that it exists or could exist - or I will tacitly admit that it may exist ... and I will promise to clean it all up later.

      Fortunately - I believe that 'pretax' Democrats have both the luxury of time, logic, and a majority of the American people on our side.

      <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

      by superscalar on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 01:41:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Racist? Very funny (0+ / 0-)

    I rarely see anything along racial lines.  I grew up in a mixed working class neighborhood of the Bronx, had as many black friends as white ones growing up, and have dated and even loved, black women, latin women and women of other races. Two of my oldest friends of over 25 years are black, one was my best man, and both are upscale successful professionals who agree with me on many issues concerning immigration and even race.

    An aside, ass one said about Imus today, and I quote as best I can "the Jesse's and Al's of the world look for any excuse to take down an old white dude who knows what phonies they are.  Granted, man shouldnt a said what he said, but Al act like the 21st century leader of a lynch mob - we can't kill that white cracker m'fer so lets kill his job instead."  

    I think too many white liberals and people of color see almost EVERYTHING through the stigmatized and poloarizing lense of race - because they have been taught to see everything that way.  Thus, for example, they are incapable of understanding how affirmative action will forever perpetuate negative stereotypes and does much more harm than whatever margical good it promotes.

    My comment about "bronwer" was geared to what I suspect radical lefties want for America; a more colorful nation, along with, down the road, a one world solidarity government in which all people are treated "fairly", something that is humanly impossible and is thus a perverse fantasy I'd die today to prevent and would encourage both by young sons to do likewise.   I am an AMERICAN.  I want AMERICA and all AMERICANS who are here properly too to prosper, period!

    If there were two million legal immigrants coming here next year,  none of whom were white but all were well educated, I'd welcome them here with open arms.

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