Sunday, July 22, 2007

Proving my point about the "illegal crackdown"

This past week I wrote an article about the anti-illegal-immigrant bill (crackdown on illegals won't "fix" our county). In it I argued that some proponents held unrealistic expectations that their problems would be solved, when in fact their problems weren't with "illegals", but with the burgeoning hispanic community.

In the Washington Post article "Muscling a Web Site into a Social Movement", we see a perfect example from the head honcho himself:
From there, he points to his neighbor's house, emanating loud salsa music, where he believes two "illegal aliens" are living. He doesn't have proof of this, of course, but pronounces his assumption as fact anyway.

Letiecq then points to a house two doors down, saying three families are living there with "six to eight" kids.
Does Greg think that only illegal immigrants like Salsa music? Does he think only illegal hispanic families live together, or that only multi-family households could have "six to eight kids"?

In fact, this comment would be seen by many members of the Hispanic community NOT as an attack on illegals, but on their way of life. Coupled with Greg's comments last week about this not being "the American dream" he bought into, it's easy to see why the WP article suggests there might be more to Greg's anti-illegal movement than simply wanting our laws to be enforced.

Anyway, this is not about the WP article, but rather a thread on BVBL that also proves my point about the illegal immigrant discussion. See, BVBL quoted a brief excerpt from my article in the thread "The Chicken Man", calling it "one for posterity". Citing my comment that throwing out the illegals wouldn't "solve the chicken problem, the parking problem, or the overcrowding problem", Greg says:
I wonder if anyone else out there really believes that by reducing the number of illegal aliens, we won’t have less overcrowding, fewer parking problems, or fewer people who decide that it’s a good idea to unlawfully keep livestock in residential areas. Is there some sort of derangement syndrome associated with this sort of thinking, or is it just the product of someone’s imagination that has not yet been informed by actually talking to the residents who deal with these issues?
The ‘chicken man’ is born, I would think.
I imagine Greg was hoping his commenters would take shots at me, in a forum where I would not see them or be able to respond (because Greg blocks his site). I could note that Greg misrepresented my statement, as "reducing" a problem is not the same as solving it. Or his sad misuse of metaphors. Or I could note Greg doesn't answer my points (not surprising, as they are right), and instead hopes that pointing his finger and laughing loudly will pass for a rational response.

But nothing I could say would be as funny as what happened in the comments. See, 53 people responded, and not ONE of them mentioned me or the column. There were a funny comment about "undocumented" chickens:
Chickens are a Federal issue, and until the USDA steps up and does its job, States and Localities can only have a limited impact. PETA is planning on filing a law suit, as this law targets chickens. Don’t give me that business about “free-range” and “non-free-range”. “Chicken” means the same thing as “Chicken”. Also, I prefer to call them “undocumented poultry”.
And a refressing one about a way to actually solve the problem of illegals:
Cut the benefits. Don’t give them foodstamps, free medical, free education, WIC, welfare, loans, subsidized housing, etc. ... Once we do this…the illegal immigrants will no longer have a “gravy train” to operate from which enables them to continue their chain migration activities.
But many of the comments weren't about chickens, or attacking me for being "deranged" or "imagining things". Instead, they are about -- the problem of Hispanics in our community.

In other words, the comments prove the premise of the article, which is that a lot of people following Greg and his organization are actually more concerned about Hispanics of all kinds than simply enforcing our immigration laws. Here are a smattering of quotes from the remaining comments:
"My neighbors are ALL hispanic and many of them are illegal or supporters of illegals in some fashion. ... People do heavy mechanical work on their cars out in the parking lot while playing their loud mexican music, ... kids all run wild in the street ...."

"The park is lost already because 90% of the people here are either legal hispanics or illegal hispanics, neither of which will support any crack down on this situation.... Since all of them love to live like this and don’t want to have the rules enforced, therefor there is no enforcement. This just mirrors what is going on all over this town. I like to refer to it as forced cultural conversion."

"I just want out of here ASAP and want to return to living in the USA. This is not how I imagined my American dream…"

"The foreclosures are increasing day by day. The house Greg posted Che Guavara poster, has been sold on the courthouse steps!! They began vacating last night. "

"Have you seen chickens in the Park? These “dirty birds” must go along with their owners/trainers.."

"There are now reports of houses taking out their front lawns and growing corn fields in their front yards to help feed the chickens and the illegals."

"Riley, Not O’Reilly, Why would they want to reduce global warming there not that smart!" [ed: I always love attacks on intelligence containing spelling errors]

"Corn is being grown in a front yard on Lomond Dr., just past Fairmont heading towards the city. Actually, this house is just a couple of doors down from the house on corner of Fairmont and Lomond, that was busted for prostitution a couple of years ago." [ed: note how the commenter ties this household to prostitution by "proximity"]

"Look at 10131 Lomond Drive. Do you see the trash cans behind the little “blind” they built in the front yard? That’s because the back yard is a parking lot full of cars. So, they don’t have room to put their trash cans in the back."

"It may be a good time to stand up a “Welcome to Manassas Park” website with pictures of all these eyesores. Standing on public property taking pictures of inanimate objects is not in violation of any laws I know. It might even shame homeowners associations and city fathers into action if you got lucky."

“Why don’t they just rename it Mexico Park.”
In some cases the commenters imply that the people are illegal, but gave no evidence, and every one of these examples would apply equally to illegals OR legals.

When an Hispanic person reads the President of the Help Save Manassas organization attacking neighbors for playing "Salsa Music", they don't think "illegal immigrant", they think "racist".

Which was my point -- if you don't intend to be racist, if you really want to halt ILLEGAL immigration because it is illegal, and not just because you don't like people speaking Spanish, you need to watch what you say, and try to stick to the issue of "illegal", not the issue of the culture.

It was nice for Greg to provide such a good example proving what I was saying, even if he meant it for evil, it still worked out for good.

4 comments:

Citizen Tom said...

Charles,

Greg is what he is. I have better things to do than defend him. Nonetheless, it is easy enough to tell which Hispanics are legal. Becoming a citizen requires that you learn English.

Even the people in favor of amnesty acknowledge that we have millions of illegal immigrants in this country. Given the rapidly increasing numbers of Hispanics in this country and our community, we know how they got here. They did not come here legally.

The fact is that most of these immigrants are poor and uneducated. When they flood into a middle class community, they drive housing prices down, and they place a strain on public services. So it is foolish not to do something about this problem.

Unfortunately, there two groups of people who oppose doing something about the problem. The first and the real opposition are the people making money off the illegal immigrants. The second is the softhearted. This latter group provides cover for the greed of the first group.

There is no nice or easy way out of this problem. In the long run, all we can do is punish the employers who hire illegal immigrants and deny the illegal immigrants access to public services. Anything less, and the greedy folks will undermine the system -- just as they already have.

Anonymous said...

Charles,

Citizen Tom is 100% correct. We must hold the corporate pirates accountable and cut off the free public trough for the illegals. They will deport themselves. Hopefully out of the country. But even if it is just out of the county, we will have won the first skirmish. Start small..finish BIG.

You are correct that no one over at BVBL picked up Greg's obvious theme, which was to ridicule you personally. Greg can't count on controlling is band of merry followers. Dumping on you is obviously not as high on their adgenda as it is on Greg's.

Meanwhile, over at BVBL, I think his latest blog is setting all kinds of records. It was at 261 posts and rising a short time ago. Many of the posts have been hostile. Some downright scary. Like I said elsewhere, Greg should thank the WashPo for not putting any pictures of his kids out where those loons can see them.

Anonymous said...

Charles,

Oh..and by the way, I can tell who is illegal just by looking and listening. Some of the illegals don't even speak Spanish. I've seen some Mayan Indios who look puzzled when you talk to them in Spanish.

Charles said...

Tom - While it is true that immigrants are supposed to learn english to become citizens, they don't have to learn english to be legal immigrants.

So unless someone is against all immigration, legal OR illegal, the "english" test doesn't work.

Also, people who speak english as a second language would still likely use their first language when talking to their friends who speak spanish. So if you are just wandering around listening you might not hear any english, but it doesn't mean they can't speak english.

Lastly, if you are born in the country, you are a legal citizen, and you don't ever have to learn english. If you are raised by immigrant parents who didn't learn english, you will only know english if you learn it at school, in an ESL program.

I will note here that Greg was terribly concerned in the WP article that money that could be spent on his child's education would be wasted instead on the ESL program. I guess he'd rather citizens born to non-english-speaking immigrants not learn anything?

But that's because he sees "spanish-speaking" and assumes "illegal immigrant".

Which is often true, but not ALWAYS true. And every legal immigrant and citizen who uses spanish-language programs hear Greg make his comments, and think "racist".