Tuesday, May 16, 2006

But They ARE Criminals

If there are two things that bother me the other side of the debate on the illegal immigration issue, they are: (1) the constant claim by "undocument workers" (read illegal aliens) that "we are not criminals," and (2) the inevitable comparison made between the plight of illegal immigrants and the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

This morning on the radio, I heard the "we are not criminals" quote three times on different news broadcasts, so I was already "stewing in my juices" (as Pops likes to say) a little by the time I got to work. When I checked email, the very first note I read was from longtime reader Daffyd Sperling, who from time to time makes it his mission to find items in the news that he thinks will provoke me. Today, he is batting 1.000.

This morning's Sacremento Bee reports on newly proposed laws being considered in San Bernardino, California, that would far outshine any reforms the national government will even consider.
A proposal that would impose sweeping restrictions on the ability of illegal immigrants to live and work in the city will be put before voters after the City Council refused to adopt it.

The proposal would prohibit landlords from renting to undocumented people, force day laborers to prove legal residency to work, ban taxpayer-funded day-labor centers, mandate that city business be in English and deny permits to businesses hiring illegal immigrants.
Impressive, to say the least, especially coming from the Left Coast and an area where "nearly half of residents are Hispanics." Note that the article does not distinguish between legal, voting residents and illegals. But might be expected, the writer feels obligated to play the whine card:
Councilman Rikke Van Johnson cited his upbringing in Alabama as he denounced the measure.

"In Alabama, you knew who the Klan were. They openly paraded around in sheets," Johnson said. "In California, racism has taken on a more covert approach. Here they wear suits, they have Web sites and they use initiatives to spread their message of hate."

Roberto Arreola, 30, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, addressed the council before the decision.

"We are not criminals and it doesn't make sense for the city to pass a law against us," said Arreola, speaking in Spanish with a translator.
What these people do not seem to understand is that they are criminals, or at the very least lawbreakers. They are in this country illegally! The only reason states and cities are even considering such "sweeping restrictions" is because for years now the federal government has refused to enforce laws that are already on the books.

And I will never understand the claims of widespread racial discrimination such as this city councilman is making. I expect that San Bernardino, as do cities across this country, has plenty of examples of Hispanic American citizens that have succeeded in business and the community. No one is proposing that American citizens of Hispanic descent should be discriminated against or treated as second class citizens; or if some extremists are, they are few and far between, and their views are not supported by the general populace. These laws and restrictions are aimed not at a racial group, but a group of lawbreakers — people who have shown a total disrespect and disregard for our country's laws.

And while I do not remember ever hearing of blacks donning white sheets and joining with the cross-burners back in the 1960s and before, I have heard, seen and even met example after example of Hispanics — both those who were born and raised in America and others who have become citizens through the legal naturalization process — who have joined their voices in opposing both the unstemmed influx of illegal immigrants and the idea of granting amnesty to those already here.

UPDATE: I had thought this was an original piece from the Sacramento Bee; it turns out it is actually an Associated Press article picked up across the country, including by the Washington Post. — Songbird, 9:38 am, 5/16/2006


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought you would "enjoy" that article. I couldn't beleive that one illegal showed up at the city council meeting to protest the proposed law. And had to use an intrepretor, to boot!

5/16/2006 11:28 AM  

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