Mayor Boughton claims that illegal immigrants are draining the city resources but have you noticed that he has never shown us the figures to back up these claims. Because of this, I ask just one question: If you don't have the numbers to back up your claims, then how do you really
know illegal immigrants are draining the city resources? Till this day Mayor Boughton has failed to give any documentation showing exactly how illegal immigrants are costing the city money.
We attended a town hall meeting at Broadview School a few months ago and asked the Mayor to explain to us which city resources are being drianed by the illegals and by how much. Not only did he fail to produce any data (becasue he had none), he tried use illegals using the services of the Danbury Hospital as an example which immedately was denounced by the audience (there is no connection between the Danbury Hospital the the City of Danbury when it comes to city resouces) and was forced to retract that claim and use other examples such as housing, social services, and overcrowding of schools.
My problem with these assumptions is that we simply have no figure on the impact of illegal immigrants are costing Danbury and becuase Boughton's broad and unsupportive allegations has created an atmosphere where hate-groups like the Concerned Citizens for Immigration Reform (made up of former members of that other hate-group called the Conneecticut Citizens for Immigration Control (CCIC) can thrive thus, Danbury is labeled as an anti-immigration and hate city.
NOW, after almost a year of Boughton claiming that illegals are costing the city money, he is finally trying to figure out how much money the city is actually losing. Is it me or am I the only person who sees this as rather confusing. Here we have a mayor who has been claiming for almost one year that Danbury is losing money because of illegal immigrants only now is he trying to figure out how much money the city is losing (if any).
And how exactly is Boughton going figure out how much illegals are costing this city? Seems like The Danbury News-Times would like to know how is he going to figure this out also...From the News Times
Mayor Mark Boughton says he is working with municipal leaders in Connecticut, New York and elsewhere to come up with a way to determine how much money illegal immigrants cost towns and cities.
Ultimately, the goal is to present federal lawmakers a laundry list detailing how much illegal immigration costs — a figure that simply isn't known at the moment.
Just how Boughton plans to do this isn't clear.
Boughton has repeatedly said Danbury and other cities affected by illegal immigration should be reimbursed by federal officials because a broken federal immigration policy caused the problem. The mayor said the debate over illegal immigration should move out of the city's neighborhoods.
"The objective is to move immigration reform out of the local arena and down to Washington, D.C., where it should be," Boughton said.
Danbury has been a focal point for the illegal immigration debate for the better part of a year. During that time, Boughton asked that state troopers be deputized as immigration agents to help deal with the thousands of undocumented residents in the city from Central and South America.
Also, Concerned Citizens for Immigration Reform, an anti-immigration group, held its inaugural meeting in Danbury. The events drove a wedge between longtime residents and immigrant rights groups.
City officials estimate anywhere from 9,000 to 20,000 illegal immigrants are in Danbury. They said the additional people puts pressure on schools, housing and emergency services.
In addition to figuring out how much illegal immigration costs taxpayers, Boughton said it also would attempt to measure immigrants' monetary contributions to communities through things such as monthly rent payments.
"We also want to see what the immigrants put into the system. They put money into the system, so we have to account for that," Boughton said.
Since garnering the city national press attention for his stance on illegal immigration, Boughton said leaders throughout the country have contacted him, saying they have the same issues.
However, Joyce Hamilton Henry, executive director of Democracy Works in Hartford, said Danbury has earned a reputation for being anti-immigrant.
Henry's organization just published a study with The Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., that attempts to measure immigrants' impact on the labor force.
She said the study shows assumptions about the state's immigrant population simply aren't true.
"What I think will be a surprise to readers is to see how many immigrants in our state are naturalized citizens — 50 percent of the immigrant population are naturalized citizens," Henry said. "And 22 percent are in the pipeline to become citizens. We tend to focus on the undocumented population and it casts all immigrants as undocumented terrorists or pariahs."
Joyce Henry makes an excellent point which is simply no one knows for sure how many immigrants are illegal. Danbury has 78,000 people. Are you telling me that there are 10,000 to 20,000 people in this city who are illegal on top of that? Pull out a pen and paper, do a google search for the census data, and add up the numbers yourself. How did they come up with this figure? Doesn't a range of 10,000 seem pretty wide? Does any resident of Danbury honestly believe that there are 20,000 ILLEGAL immigrants in this city? What makes a person illegal? If you're illegal but in the pipeline to become a citizen, are you still considered illegal?
No one wants to say it so I'll just come out and say it. This isn't about illigeal immigrants but immigrants
in general. If every immigrant were in Danbury legally, the old-timers would STILL have a problem, they just wouldn't be able use the terminology "illegal immigrants."
They don't want to admit it but you can hear it in their voices everytime they complain. What they talk about usually has nothing to do with illegal immigrants but having to deal with having to deal with immigrants taking over their
Listen when they complain that their Deeps Market is gone and replaced by C-Town which caters to the immigrants (they bitch and moan all the way to the Bethel Market). You hear it when they say that they don't go down Main Street because immigrant have taken over ALL the stores (I didn't illegal immigrants could open a store). You hear it when they complain that people at McDonalds and Burger King can't speak English (I wonder if they would of said this about the European immigrants who populated working in hat factories over a century ago...and believe me, not all of them talked good English). All you need to do is tune to In Our Opinion and listen to Lynn Waller and you'l see what I mean as she constantly complains about immigrnats. She can take up the entire show ranting about Deeps Market closing, people not speaking English, her approval of groups like the hate-group Concerned Citizens for Immigration Reform and how she can't stand Main Street.
Waller and people like her just stand the fact thatno matter where they turn, they see something which is immigrant related. These people will never be seen in a Latino resturant, they complain about "those people" ruining their downtown, and they really
hate the fact that part of Danbury is called Little Brazil.
These same old-timers would have no problem if those same immigrant stores (which are locally owned) that populate Main Street were taken over by more "friendly" trendy stores and coffee houses which would cater to their
needs such as like Starbucks, Borders, Talbots, and the other type of stores which populate areas like Mt. Kisco (which also had an "immigrant" problem some time ago).
In essense, they despise that immigrants have taken over their dear old city that they remember so well (although they forget that Main Street was a ghost town after the North Street shopping plaza and The Danbury Fair Mall was created. It was because of the old-timers abondoning the shops on Main Street that many of the businesses had to close shop). They hide behind the term "illegal" immigration because they can get away with it but it's just a smoke screen as a majority of their complains has to do with immigrant in general. Don't get me wrong, their are serious problem with illegal immigrants (and immigrants in general) which need to be address the most important being the overcrowding of people in apartments (which wouldn't happen if the landlords were responsible and not so damn greedy). The volleyball situation also needs to be worked out as the home games have gotten out of hand but this also can be done without the bombthrowing crowd having a fit.
Mayor Boughton is riding this issue for all the political points he can get and how can you blame him as he is taking on a issue which is very popular with his conservative base. Hell, this could be his ticket to bigger political goals in the future (Nancy Johnson can't be Congresswoman forever and who better to take her spot than a young three time Republican maoyor of a large city in the 5th district). Don't forget, this is the same mayor who originally wanted to build a depot for the day laborers until he got a earful from his political base (who happen to be the old-timers).
This entire issue has put a black eye on this fine city. Danbury CT is now looked at as an anti-immigrant city and it's a shame. Unfortunately, the people who could put a stop to this madness are too lazy to let their voice be heard and are allowing the small precentage of the population to set the agenda for the entire city (look at the the total voter turnout number compared to the total number of registered voters and you'll see what I mean).
From what I've seen and heard, most people could care less about immigrants would rather want the city officials but more energy into other concerns such as what's being done to slow down the pace of development in the city (how many more condos can we build), why aren't there enough schools (talk to a parent who has a kid going to a middle school and you'll see what I mean), what's going on with the police contract and why we're losing so many police officers. And let us not forget, what is being done to deal with the horrific traffic deliema we now face.
As long as the old-timers rank as the highest percentage of people who go to the polls, immigration will continue to be a hot issue and get the most attention and press coverage. We can't wait to see Mayor Boughton's findings when he makes his report public (whenever that will be).