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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Bush & Illegal Immigration

It's ironic that President Bush is down visiting his boss Vicente Fox in Cancun, Mexico while the illegal immigration debate has reached a boiling point. I myself am getting fed up with the disengenuous arguments the other side is making. This debate is not about immigration, but ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. We are a nation of immigrants, but they need to do it the right way. Why is it easier now to emmigrate illegally than the other way around? It just boggles the mind.


  • At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Bruins Suck said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Ron I. said…

    A few days ago, Lee made a comment about building fences along the U.S.-Mexico border. I think that is a great idea. However,I really think you must take it one more step further. We need to build a fence 50 feet deep. Not only are illegals crossing the border above ground, but also below ground. We should use reenforced concrete. Also, we should tax all outgoing remittance leaving this country. It doesn't matter where the remittance is going, it should all be taxed to prevent discrimination. Lastly, my approval rating for Mr. President is at an all time low. This guy has the guts to go to Mexico and talk with Mr. Illegal himself. Our president is trying so hard to get the hispanic vote that he has abandoned his party. Anyway, great blog Allan.

  • At 12:13 AM, Anonymous Lee Lemke said…

    Here's how majority Hispanic city helps illegal immigrants:

    Welcome to Maywood, Where Roads Open Up for Immigrants
    The mostly Latino city's council wants it to be a sanctuary. Some warn about 'testing the limits.'

    By Hector Becerra, Times Staff Writer
    March 21, 2006

    At a time when communities across the nation are considering efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, one small city south of downtown Los Angeles is charting a different course.

    In Maywood, where 96% of the residents are Latino, and more than half are foreign-born, the City Council has vowed to make the municipality a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants, and over the last few months it has set out to prove it.

    First, the city eliminated the Police Department's traffic division after complaints that officers unfairly targeted illegal immigrants. Then it made it much more difficult for police to tow cars whose owners didn't have driver's licenses, a practice that affected mostly undocumented people who could not obtain licenses.

    In January, the City Council passed a resolution opposing a proposed federal law that would criminalize illegal immigration and make local police departments enforce immigration law. Now, some in the community are pushing to rename one of the city's elementary schools after former Mexican President Benito Juarez and debating measures to improve the lives of illegal immigrants.

    Maywood leaders say they hope their actions will serve as a counterpoint to other cities, such as Costa Mesa in Orange County, that have moved forward with crackdowns on illegal immigrants and groups like the Minutemen border patrols.

    "You just couldn't keep quiet. I think we needed to amplify the debate by saying that no human being is illegal," said Councilman Felipe Aguirre, 53. "These people are here … making your clothes, shining your shoes and taking care of your kids. And now you want to develop this hypocritical policy?"

    But Maywood's actions have made the town a lightning rod for criticism on conservative radio shows and websites. On KFI's "John and Ken Show," the host blasted Mayor Thomas Martin for making the city a "magnet for illegal immigration."

    Even within the city, the stance is controversial. Longtime residents believe the City Council has gone too far and is embracing lawlessness. They also question whether Maywood can handle more illegal immigrants.

    "I'm afraid we're testing the limits of the law, and that's dangerous," said longtime resident J. Luis Ceballos, 52. "I think there is a danger of people thinking that they can do whatever they want."

    Maywood is an unlikely city to be a political trailblazer. With a population pegged officially at about 29,000 — but actually closer to 45,000 when illegal residents are factored in, according to city officials — Maywood is a compact 1.2 square miles of tightly packed homes and apartments, strip malls and mom-and-pop shops amid the factories and industrial businesses that dot southeast Los Angeles County.

    The city was developed in the 1920s and '30s as a working-class bedroom community for factory workers of L.A.'s industrial belt. But like the neighboring cities of Bell Gardens and Huntington Park, Maywood saw an influx of immigration as the area's factories began to close in the 1970s.

    The campaign for immigrant rights has its roots in a long-brewing political divide between newer immigrants and older immigrants, who consider themselves more "Americanized," said Ceballos, who came to the United States as an illegal immigrant from Jalisco, Mexico, 37 years ago and is a longtime Maywood political observer.

    "Many people who came here a long time ago feel that they had to sacrifice a lot more and do with a lot less than people who come to the country now," Ceballos said.

    This discord was evident at a recent City Council meeting. On one side sat a group of newer immigrants who addressed the council in Spanish. On the other side sat a few of the city's longtime Anglo residents and Latinos who spoke in English.

    At one point, when Anglo resident Kathleen Larsen spoke out angrily against naming an elementary school after Juarez, the audience members sitting behind her applauded. Most of them were Latino, and many were immigrants.

    Then Oscar Corona stood up and asked why the person who usually translates the meeting into Spanish wasn't there. He accused Councilman Sam Peña of laughing at him and demanded that he speak to him in Spanish.

    "Speak to me in Spanish, please," the 44-year-old forklift operator said, his voice rising. "Speak to me in Spanish, Mr. Peña. You know how to speak it."

    Peña was part of the old guard who ran Maywood until last November's election swept in the pro-immigrant-rights slate. Now he is in a minority of two on the five-member council.

    For years under the previous majority, the city's police set up sobriety checkpoints that began in the afternoon. But the roundups also nabbed many drivers who simply didn't have licenses, most of them illegal immigrants.

    The city had a 30-day car impound period, which resulted in large fines for the immigrants. The city stopped the checkpoints amid complaints, but many illegal immigrants were still being stopped and having their cars impounded because they had driven without licenses.

  • At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Time for public declarations.

    I will change my registration to Independent if the Senate/House pass amnesty, even if they try to dress it up as something else.

    No more time or money for the Republicans.

    Miriam Bertram

  • At 8:52 AM, Blogger Allan Bartlett said…

    I am going to stay in the party no matter what the outcome is on this debate, but I will not give support or money to any Republican candidate that votes for this Senate amnesty bill.

  • At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Ron I. said…

    The debate for illegal immigration is really heating up. There is suppose to be another protest in Santa Ana today. Most of the high schoolers there probably really do not understand the topic at hand. Most probably go to get out of school. Nonetheless, what can we do as a grassroots organization to start educating the general public, even though most Americans I think after reading poll numbers understand what is at stake? We live in a bubble here in Irvine. Step outside the bubble and life is different. As Republicans that are true to our party, I think we need to do something.

  • At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Lee Lemke said…

    Here is an interesting comment I found on the LA Times website about the attitude of a Mexican to the proposed US House bill:

    I am the son of two immigrants from Jalisco, Mexico, and I consider myself just as much Mexican as American. My family has resided in Maywood since 1983, and we have no plans to leave. We've seen the city go through problems with gangs, drugs and even apparent abuse from the local leadership. It is only through working together that our city has achieved these changes, and I know the same overall plan will be needed if we plan on defeating this upcoming congressional bill [that would make it a crime for organizations or agencies to assist illegal immigrants]. As mentioned in the article, the division between "Americanized" and newer immigrants is a clear and monstrous one that must be eliminated for the good of the entire Latino community.

    Just like African, Irish and Italian Americans, we are saying we are here and we are not leaving, so live with it. I pray that our government hears this cry and reacts long before people might decide to act out in any negative way.




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