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Long week

Thursday, February 02, 2006
Time: 11:25 PM

Oh man what a week!

Between my big story about Democratic senate challenger Ned Lamont which I posted on my other site and covering numerous meetings around Danbury this week, I'm exhausted.

I have information to share about the public forum regarding the new magnet school opening soon in Danbury (with such an large attendance at the forum, I was surprised that the event was not covered in the News-Times).

The public hearing concerning the noise problem at the Danbury Airport got pretty heated tonight. I think it's fair to say that not everyone agreed with Mayor Boughton's comment in today's News-Times today and unfortunately, it seems that residents in Danbury and Ridgefield are still far from finding common ground. You'll see what I mean when you view the video.

Airport noise public meeting tonight

Time: 3:11 PM

From the News-Times
DANBURY -- The public is invited to share their thoughts on a study that looks at noise from the Danbury Municipal Airport.

The study was prepared by the Louis Berger Group, a New York-based consulting company. City officials hired the company in 2003 after neighbors complained about the airport.

While the report states that activity at the airport has declined 40 percent between 1976 and 2002, neighbors aren't so sure.

Strat Sherman, a Ridgefield resident and a member of the Danbury Airport Neighbors Association, said, if anything, the airport is shifting toward larger, noisier jets.

The public hearing on the noise study starts at 7 p.m. in the Common Council chambers on the third floor of City Hall at 155 Deer Hill Avenue.
There might be some fireworks tonight as the residents of Ridgefield are pretty upset and cry foul over the report.
When residents hear about the Danbury Municipal Airport noise study tonight, they may not realize the airport is shifting toward more and larger jets, said one frequent critic of the airport.
Strat Sherman, of Ridgefield, is a member of the Danbury Airport Neighbors Association and of a group that commented on portions of the city's noise report as it was written.

"The most important recommendations by the working group were eliminated from the final report," said Sherman, who is critical of the noise study. "It takes the big important noise issues and sweeps them under the table."

The study, called a Part 150 Noise Computability Study, started in June 2003 to address complaints by the airport's neighbors. The last noise study, done by the Louis Berger Group of Albany, N.Y., was completed in 1987.

Mayor Mark Boughton's take on the report is somewhat different than Sherman's. The airport isn't shifting toward larger jets, Boughton said.

"What the report did is gather empirical data, which was a comparison of the airport in 1987 and in 2005," Boughton said. "The data says the airport isn't noisier."
The airport isn't any nosier now than in 1987? Hmmm, that sounds strange and I think some neighbors in Ridgefield have a different opinion on the matter.

Given the bad blood between the lawmakers in Danbury and Ridgefield over the airport fiasco, we might see some fireworks at City Hall tonght. We'll just have to see how this all plays out. Stay tuned.

Is the police chief in agreement with a hate group?

Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Time: 11:46 AM

Here's an interesting note in today's Stamford Advocate about the latest antics of the our favorite hate-group, Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control (CTCIC), which caught my eye. It seems that CTCIC founder Paul Streitz received word from Danbury Police Chief Alan Baker that, according to city attorneys, the Danbury Police Department can enforce immigration laws.

Streitz has continued his push to get city officials and police officers in the state to enforce federal immigration laws. His group most recently obtained a letter from Danbury's police chief saying that, based on city attorneys' advice, local police can enforce immigration laws.

Streitz said Danbury's police chief is the first in the state to express this view and hopes others will follow.

"We want them to start putting pressure on employers and homeowners that this is illegal behavior," Streitz said, referring to the hiring of day laborers who are in the country illegally.

Danbury's police chief, Alan Baker, did not return a call for comment yesterday.
Why didn't Police Chief Baker return calls from the Stamford Advocate. Why hasn't Mayor Boughton commented on this issue. As of today, we haven't heard anything from the Mayor's office in regards to local police being able to enforce federal immigration laws.

If the police can enforce immigration laws, why did Boughton ask to have the state police enforce the immigration laws in the first place?

Call the Chief of Police (203-797-4614) or the Mayor's office (203-797-4511) and ask him to clarify the local police's role in terms of enforcing a federal law.

Is Streitz lying about the letter (it wouldn't surprise me) or does the city agree with the opinion of a hate-group?

Could helping an illegal immigrant get you arrested

Monday, January 30, 2006
Time: 11:20 AM

That's what the supporters of this bill are hoping will happen and all at the expense of us taxpayers.

Instead of fixing the immigration system, instead we get more silly laws from Washington which does nothing in terms of fixing the problem. Now the out of touch lawmakers in Washington are trying to make it illegal for anyone to offer assistance to a person who is in this country illegally. I just can't wait to see the police raid the soup kitchens and homeless shelters or hate groups patrolling the shelters on the look-out for illegals.

From the News-Times
Every day, immigrants walk into the offices of the Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury looking for help with things ranging from English classes to employment.

Nearly every night, undocumented immigrants bed down for the night at Danbury's homeless shelters.

Now some people who run the shelters and work for social service agencies worry that they get arrested for simply helping illegal immigrants.

Supporters say the Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act marks the first real attempt by the federal government to protect America's borders since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The bill, which is awaiting a Senate vote, would do everything from send unmanned aerial drones to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border to deploy radiation detectors at U.S. ports.

It would also criminalize the act of sneaking into the country, making it a felony. Currently, undocumented immigrants face government sanctions — deportation, for example — but not prison time.


The bill states anyone who "assists, encourages, directs, or induces a person to reside in or remain in the United States," knowing that person is an illegal immigrant, can be fined and imprisoned for up to five years.

"They added the word 'assist,'" said Kevin Appleby, director of the office of migration and refugee policy for the bishop's group.

"Our lawyers have interpreted when you add the word 'assist,' it could mean anything from providing soup in a soup kitchen, to letting someone stay a night, to giving someone water," Appleby said. "A prosecutor could use that language to come after you."
I can see the writing on the wall. Although this pertains more to border states such as Nevada, Texas, and California, if it passes, rest assured that the hate mongers from the Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control and the social conservative critics of illegal immigrants will put pressure on Mayor Boughton go after ANY agency (including churches and homeless shelters) that "assist" illegal immigrants.

The bill could turn into a campaign issue as both Republican Representatives from the area voted in favor of the measure.

U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4th Dist., voted for the bill. Shays, whose district includes Ridgefield and Redding, said in a prepared statement that "lawyers at the Congressional Research Service believe the government would use prosecutorial discretion in implementing this law."

U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson, a New Britain Republican whose district includes Danbury, also favors the bill. "It is an important first step to give law enforcement the tools they need to uphold the law," said Johnson's spokesman, Brian Schubert.

But Michael Marcus, vice president of ARC, said the bill flies in the face of the Constitution's Bill of Rights.

"It appeared to me the law gives law enforcement the right to incarcerate people without the right to counsel," Marcus said. "The bill appears to not only allow for the incarceration of illegal immigrants but also anybody who helps them."

The Rev. Angelo S. Arrando, of St. Gregory the Great Roman Catholic Church in Danbury said the law would force families to go underground, encouraging black markets.

"It's enforcement only. There is no attempt the fix the immigration system in the United States. None whatsoever," Arrando said. "If this bill passes through the Senate, an illegal immigrant will not be able to get documentation. They will be deported with no appeal."

What we have here is yet another bill that does nothing to address the problems with the immigration laws or the immigration system in general. Instead of Congress passing these stupid laws (which will waste more taxpayers dollars), they should really be addressing the problems with the immigration laws. This is another example of Republicans bowing down to the most extreme element of their party and its going to be at everyone's expense.

How will the police enforce the law? How would they determine that someone is illegal (would they actually raid soup kitchens and homeless shelters)? How will the police department (who are STILL working without a contract and are not the biggest fans of Boughton) find the time to do something like this (more overtime)?

Is this law even constitutional?

Many questions...no answers.

Where's the leadership? Where is Mayor Boughton criticizing this bill and demanding that the immigration problem be fixed? Instead we have a bill that doesn't fix the immigration system, but rather makes it illegal for anyone to help people who are in need. It their twisted mind, it's better if a person who is illegal starve on the street than help them out by fixing the broken immigration process. Case in point, check out this money quote from Elise Marciano, founder of the U.S. Citizens for Immigration Law Enforcement (a group of people from Danbury which were part of the CTCIC until they had a falling out with the leadership over the infamous "MexDonalds" survey they did last year).

"We want the border closed. We want the illegal aliens coming across the border at will with the help of the Mexican government to stop," she said.
Didn't hear anything about the need to fix the immigration system in that quote right? Believe me, you won't and you never will from groups like these because that is not their goal. All they care about is the immigrants that are changing the area in which they grew up (they're still crying over Deep's market changing to a latino store). Unfortunately, the lawmakers in Washington are bowing down to these extremists in order to keep their political capital (gotta love an election year).

Just remember that this is your Republican-led Congress (Shays, and Johnson) hard at work wasting your tax payer dollars when you go to the polls in November. I hope Chris Murphy and Diane Farrell hammer Shays and Johnson over this.

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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.

The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.

Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.

Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.



Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants v.
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
3:06-cv-01992-RNC ( D. Conn. )

(02.25.08) Court docket

(10.24.07) Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Emergency Motion for Protective Order

(09.26.07) Press Release

(12.14.06) Complaint

Barrera v. Boughton, No. 07-01436
(D. Conn. filed Sept. 26, 2007)

(02.25.08) Court Docket

Amended complaint

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss State Law Claims

Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Defendants' Answer to Amended Complaint

NEW HAVEN REGISTER: Immigrant's 2006 arrest was flawed Danbury mayor testifies

(10.05.07 (VIDEO) Boughton mislead the public about Danbury's involvement in raid

(09.18.07) Yale Law Students expose Danbury involvement in raid

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Interview with Yale Law Students at FOI presser

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 FOI complaint media roundup

City Clerk Jean Natale standing next to skinhead sparks outrage

(10.03.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 rally

(09.29.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 case deepens

Word of raid spread across the country

(09/29/06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 protest news conference

(09/29/06) Immigrant newspaper "El Canillita" gives best account of ICE day labor raid at Kennedy Park

trans_button Santos Family Story
VIDEO: Tereza Pereira's ordeal with ICE agents

VIDEO: Danbury Peace Coalition Immigration Forum (April 2006)
featuring Mayor Boughton and Immigration attorney Philip Berns

VIDEO: 2007 Stop the Raids immigration forum at WCSU

2007: Community protest anti-immigration forum

A tribute to Hispanic Center Director and immigrant activist Maria Cinta Lowe

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