There's so much to talk about regarding this asinine round-up of eleven day laborers at Kennedy park that I don't know where to begin.
From Mayor Boughton's contradicting quotes in the press and the Chief of Police's comment about when he became aware of the day laborer problem at Kennedy Park, to the intolerance, hatred and outright stupidity shown by certain members of the Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control (you know who you are), it seems like things in the area are again going downhill with no end in sight.
Here we are almost three years since Boughton put Danbury on the map as the epicenter of the so-called illegal immigration debate in New England and personally, I don't see relations between the mayor and the immigrant community getting better anytime soon. When you add the racist element expressed by the xenophobes stepped up their harassment of the local immigrant population, you have all the elements for a really bad situation that will bring shame to our state.
I'm sure Jodi Rell is really happy about seeing all this nonsense.
Unlike past episodes, there is a sense that the immigrant community as a whole has given up on the mayor. When one looks at Boughton's quotes in the press and comments from his supporters, it's easy to understand why many have lost faith with the present administration and are simply fed up with the status quo.
Unfortunately, due to my limited time, I'll have to save my detailed account on everything that has led us to this point later. For now, I feel that it's important for everyone in Danbury, Connecticut and the nation to see firsthand the frustration that is felt in the area and I think the video from the press conference speaks for itself.
Advocates enraged over the federal roundup of illegal immigrants at Kennedy Park last week announced a protest march Saturday to urge freeing those they called the "Danbury 11."
"People immigrate to this country with the hope of offering their family a better future, not to face persecution, incarceration and deportation," Wilson Hernandez, a member and past president of the Ecuadorean Civic Center, said at a news conference Wednesday in front of Danbury City Hall announcing the march.
On Sept. 19, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested 11 Ecuadorean day laborers looking for jobs at Kennedy Park.
ICE agents stopped an unmarked van and the illegal immigrants, looking for work, got into the van. They were taken to the Danbury Police Department, then transferred to Hartford for questioning before being locked up in Boston, said Alissa DeRosa, a representative of the Danbury Peace Coalition. She did not cite a source of the information.
"They have not yet been formally charged and have not been able to speak with their families," DeRosa said. "ICE intimidates and harasses the immigrant community," she charged.
Immigration laws should be changed, said the Rev. Hector Leon of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Danbury.
"If this situation continues, it will become a racial situation," Leon said. "This could have the outcome of hatred."
From all accounts, two of the best speeches at the press conference were from Connecticut AFL-CIO President John Olsen and Democratic Common Council member Lynn Taborsak.
Calling the situation "inhumane" Olsen ripped into Boughton and those who support last week's raid. It's great to see someone who represents the largest union in the state take a stance against this type of treatment.
I've seen Olsen give speeches at various functions over the last year and although I didn't see eye to eye on him regarding his support for Joe Lieberman, I always respected his opinion and his defense of worker's rights.
You can't say that Lynn Taborsak is a person with few words...
The Democratic Common Council member really threw out the red meat for the audience and tore into Boughton with a fire-in-the-belly speech that energized the crowd. You know you're in for a good time and that you'll get plenty of interesting quotes when Lynn gets to the mic and as always, she didn't let anyone down.
Here are excerpts from her speech.
I'm here today to chastise the mayor for a number of reasons.
One, for speaking out of both sides of his mouth on the ICE roundup of day laborers at Kennedy Park. First, by saying in the Danbury News-Times that there would be an increase in immigration sweeps on Kennedy Boulevard then, speaking in an interview on WLAD saying there would be no more sweeps and that any employer can sponsor up to six workers to work legally
Our Mayor travel to Brazil...at the taxpayers expense to open a line of communication on the issue of immigration...yet he refuses to use the tool of communication with local immigrant groups to work on this issue
As I stated before, I'm really short on time and I'll do follow ups to this story throughout the weekend. Without further delay, here's my video report from City Hall.
Focilon Lliuspe, 37 Juan Barrera, 42 Isacc Maldononado, 36 Carlos Simbanach, 24 Rodolfo Cabrera, 41 Jose Duma, 22 Nicolas Sanchez, 27 Daniel Chavez, 30 Manuel Alvaraein, 24 Jose Fernandez, 20 Edgar Predrouan, 29
UPDATE 9.29.06: Photos have been corrected and post updated.
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.