America's illegal immigration dilemma can't be deported
Friday, August 26, 2005 Time: 4:01 PM
John Hughes writes an excellent piece in the Christian Science Monitor which hit the nail on the head with the illigal immigration situation.
Basically, the people who are here illegally are here to stay and we might as well stop the rhetoric and face that realization. America's ecomony depends heavily on migrant workers and to attempt to deport them will have a tremendous negative impact on our ecomony. Hughes points this out and explains why the critics of illegals are wrong and out of touch when it comes to dealing with the problem.
They're part of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the US, located especially in Western states. Many have crossed furtively and illegally into the states that border Mexico, making the hazardous desert crossing in search of more prosperity than they can hope for in their homelands. If not caught by immigration agents, some will spend their lifetimes here, creating families of children born as US citizens.
They're part of America's enormous challenge of illegal immigration, which must be resolved. It isn't being solved by the Border Patrol agents who are catching only a fraction of those who continue to cross over illegally. It cannot be resolved by the self-appointed "minutemen," who recently stationed themselves on the Arizona-Mexico border in an effort - more symbolic than effective - to stanch the flow. And clearly, the 11 million already here can't all be transported back to their homelands.
The American economy, particularly in agriculture and construction, has become dependent on large numbers of migrant workers. What's needed is some form of temporary legal work permit for those who come here, and then strict enforcement of the immigration laws presently being broken.
Two proposed laws address this problem: one, drafted by Senators McCain and Kennedy, seeks to establish a reasonable temporary worker program; the other, proposed by Senators Kyl and Cornyn, argues for much stricter enforcement. There needs to be an accommodation that would encompass both goals.
The crux of the problem is the 11 million illegal immigrants already here. The proponents of both pending bills agree that the migrants have broken US laws and must pay a penalty. But the suggested punishments vary greatly. The Kyl-Cornyn bill would require illegals to leave the country and reapply for permission to return legally. The McCain-Kennedy bill suggests that they each pay a $2,000 fine and all back taxes, and then have a probationary six-year period to learn English and study civics before seeking permanent status.
Neither the voluntary departure of 11 million people nor their enforced deportation seems likely. Indeed, such an exodus would cause a crisis in some areas of the economy, particularly agriculture.
As Tamar Jacoby writes in the conservative Weekly Standard: "Sooner or later we all will have to face the fact that most of the 11 million are here to stay, and it is in our interest as much as theirs to find a way for them to do so legally. There is simply no practical alternative. The only real question before us is how to structure the transition."
City officals and hate groups like the Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control (CTCIC) don't want to face reality when it comes to immigrants. For city officals, their only concern is to give the impression that they're doing something being that this is an eleciton year (why didn't they try to do somehting last year, or 2003?) and people like the CTCIC only want to spread their rhetoric as they have no realistic solution and like the Minuteman, they're more symbolic than effective.
We need our public officals to offer real solutions and less rhetoric and spin or else we'll never be able to effectively deal with this dilemma and things in Danbury will not change.
"No one works for free", "Pay up or shut up" and "Everyone deserves to get paid" were just some of the signs on the sidewalk in front of the City Ale House last night, formerly the Hat City Ale House at 253 Main Street. Four employees, Suzanne Keseru, 29 of Danbury, Kim and Jason Danka, 29 and 28 from Southbury and Danbury and Chris Adams, 30 of Morris, started picketing on Monday, August 22, because the bar's owner, Ibolya Balazs owed them backpay for three-and-a-half months.
Keseru's father is great friends with Balazs and he and his daughter thought working there would be great for everyone. All 4 employees apparently worked for free for almost 4 months, readying the bar. Such chores were getting the smoke out of the walls and ceiling after 6 years, scrubbing, painting, waxing the floors, installing carpeting and general manual labor.
The employees estimate they worked at least 1,000 hours with 200 logged in before opening, equalling $10,000 between them.
Balazs insisted she had no money, even though patrons were always in the bar drinking. According to Adams, she said, "You'll get paid when I have money." He said the brand new sign above the entrance was done at half price to help her out and when he got paid for materials and labor, the check bounced.
They tried to reason with her and have her pay them at least $100 or $50 a week and she refused.
The group contacted the nearby U.S. Labor Department on West Street in Danbury a few weeks ago. The Agency said they will investigate the matter further and presently, the paperwork is on its way to the CT Labor Headquarters in Wethersfield.
From the comments I've recieved, no one really likes the new place and I wouldn't be surprised if they close their doors by this time next year. Trying to make a business like a bar work on Main Street is hard enough but don't expect ot attract any new patrons if your former employees picketing at the front of your bar and bad mouthing you in the press.
NOTE: Since writing this piece, I went down to the Ale House and did an interview with the picketing employees and I will post the story Saturday as they had alot to say!
With all the hate rhetoric against immigrants happening in Danbury recently, I'm not surprised with the rise in assults agianst Latinos in the area but now, things are getting out of hand. From the Danbury News Times
Leaders in the city's Hispanic community are concerned that anti-immigrant feelings could be motivating a series of strong-arm robberies in the city's downtown neighborhoods.
Five times in the past five days, Hispanic men walking alone after dark have been set upon by small groups of assailants, beaten and robbed. Several of the victims required hospital emergency room treatment.
The most recent incident occurred Tuesday evening, when a 23-year-old Morris Street man was jumped by two attackers on Grandview Avenue.
One man hit the victim in the head with a bottle. The other rifled through his pockets, taking a wallet, about $30 cash and a watch, police said.
But both Maria-Cinta Lowe, executive director of the Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury, and Wilson Hernandez, a founding member of the Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants, expressed fears that anti-immigration sentiment may be behind the crimes.
In recent months, the city's immigrant groups have felt themselves under scrutiny, they said, highlighted by Mayor Mark Boughton's unsuccessful request to have state police help track down illegal immigrants and a rally sponsored by an anti-illegal immigration group.
"I really would not like to think that this has something to do with race or nationality. That would be really bad for the city," Hernandez said.
"Five in a week?" Lowe said incredulously. "We never had anything like that before."
Five assults in a week is alot for a place like Danbury and when all five victims are Latinos, that should raise eyebrows.
Mayor Boughton's ill-advised rhetoric against the immigrants helped in the creation of hate groups like the Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control (CTCIC) who do nothing but terrorize the immigrant population. I put the blame of this increase in crime on them because they indirectly contributed to this situation and if it wasn't for people like Boughton and the CTCIC, their never would of been the increase in crimes against the immigrants in the first place (crimes against Latinos have never beeen this high as immigrants from Brazil and Equador lived in the area for the last ten years).
As a resident of Danbury, I'm very aware of the racist tactics of the Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control (CTCIC) and I'm not going to use this entire post to express my pure hatred of these bunch of jerks (well, yeah I will but that's later in the post) but quite simply, these people symbolize the most extreme hate-filled portion of our state and deserve no respect whatsoever from anyone. Do get confused by the rhetoric they say in public, their mission is to get rid of ALL immigrants, legal and illegal and they will do and say anything to get their message in the media. I know of many activists who attended their meetings in secret and I can say that what they say in private would make the KKK look like the Boy Scouts.
A controversial group that advocates against immigration wants to boost its presence in Connecticut by forming chapters, including one in the Stamford area.
Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control, which has been most active in Danbury since forming in April, plans to hold a number of organizational meetings in the fall, including one for Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and Norwalk in October. The group, which opposes illegal and legal immigration, has caused controversy in several Connecticut towns where it has met, prompting protests and the formation of one immigrants' rights group.
Connecticut Citizens hopes to form chapters in Stamford, Stratford, New Haven, Meriden, Torrington, Norwich and New London, co-director Paul Streitz said. Most of the 250 members on the group's mailing list live in Danbury, followed by Waterbury and Hartford, he said.
Philip Berns, a Stamford attorney who represents immigrants, said Connecticut Citizens is a "racist, anti-immigrant hate group." The group will find interested members in any city, Berns said, but he does not think most Stamford residents will support it.
"There is a small minority of people in Stamford who are going to be very welcoming to the distorted message that immigrants are criminals, that they refuse to become legal, that they refuse to learn the language, that they come here to take, take, take and not give anything," Berns said. "But one of the things that Stamford has that Danbury sadly does not have is we have a mayor who looks at local problems and looks for local solutions to those problems and sees the huge opportunity that the presence of these immigrants gives us."
Amen to that. Danbury Mayor Boughton is the ultimate flip-flopper who only got critical over the immigrants once his political base criticized him over his proposal to make a place in the center of town where the day laborers to gather and lessen the congestion on Kennedy St.
Once his political base was upset (and seeing that it was an election year) he changed his position and called for the state police to round up the illegal immigrants and went on a media blitz saying that there were up to 15,000 illegal people in the city and they were the draining city resources (FYI: the population of Danbury is aprox 79,000 which would means that based on Boughton's estimate, illegals account for 15-16 percent of the population which any person from hat City can tell you is laughable (take 79,000 and add 15,000 and that gives you 94,000. Now take 15,000 and divide that against 94,000 and that gives you Boughton's so-called percentage of illegals in Danbury).
Boughton has yet to provide any evidence that would back up his claim that resources are being drained and has done nothing but use the immigration issue to hide from his own shortcomings as mayor such as the overdevelopment of the city with new condos being built every day, traffic congestion at an all-time high, lack of a police contract which is reason officers are leaving the city, ising taxes, etc. Boughton's rhetoric has created the monster called the CTCIC and not only should the mayor and the CTCIC should be held accountable for their actions, but both should be greeted by protest at every given opportunity as their views don't represent the majority of people in this great city.
Note to Stramford: do yourself a favor and boot the hate group out of your city!
04.25.22 (RADIO): WSHU Latino group call on Connecticut lawmakers to open a Danbury charter school
06.03.22 (OP-ED): KUSHNER: "Career Academy ‘a great deal for Danbury"
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.