Further Adventure(s) in Xenophobia

(Updated with more government neo-nazi hijinks below) 
(Further Update — Irving, TX, model city?)

It appears the xenophobic wing of Congress is willing to destroy our cities (as in literally “let them get blow’d up real good”) in order to save them. Or is it to show them? From Salon:

Oct. 4, 2007 | Al-Qaida‘s targets on 9/11 were in New York City and Washington. But if Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., and 233 other members of the U.S. House have their way, those cities and others at high risk of terrorist attacks, including some that have reportedly been the target of foiled plots, would be stripped of the federal funding intended to keep their citizens safe from attack.

At issue are so-called sanctuary cities. There is no single definition of a “sanctuary city,” but in essence it is one that takes a “don’t ask, don’t tell” stance toward the immigration status of its residents. For example, a sanctuary city might bar local police from inquiring about or disclosing the status of a victim or witness of a crime. A comprehensive list of sanctuary cities would have to include a huge swath of urban America. It would include the four biggest cities in the United States, the majority of the 25 biggest cities, and every one of the six urban areas the Department of Homeland Security says face the highest risk of terrorism — New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Houston.

Spurred by the GOP base’s anger over illegal immigration, Republicans in the House have introduced several bills and amendments that would impose financial penalties on those sanctuary cities. Two measures, amendments to larger spending bills, have already passed. Such proposals have also become an issue in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, and several candidates have voiced their support.

But the proposals involve depriving the nation’s biggest and most vulnerable cities of their anti-terror funding. To fight the War on Illegal Immigration, the party is willing to defund the War on Terror. For residents of America’s major cities, it might therefore be reassuring to know that most of the measures, even as they’re approved by Congress, are written in such a way that they’ll be hard to enforce.

Tommy Boy Tancredo and his friends  may think they’re riding a big wave of political momentum, and sadly, they may be. But somebody has to say this: NOT ONE OF THEM CAN HENCEFORTH EVER EVEN PRETEND THEY GIVE A RAT’S RED REAR END ABOUT THIS NATION’S SECURITY!

“Of course,” they may protest, “we mean no one any harm. Don’t get so excited. We simply want these cities to cooperate in our anti-illegal immigrant efforts.”

Alrighty then. Every American must do their part for the fatherland. Every teacher, every doctor and nurse at every municipal hospital, every cop intervening in a mugging, do your part. When you come upon a brown-skinned person with a funny accent, demand their papers. If no papers, to the detention centers! That’s your part.

If this sounds personal, it is. My own son works in lower Manhattan, right next door to Ground Zero. These politicians holding my son — and millions of other sons and daughters — hostage to their neo-McCarthyite posturing will say anything to whip up hoi polloi into a frenzy, proving that they themselves finally have no more sense of decency than Joe McCarthy!

UPDATE: NY Times editorial outlines who Tommy Boy’s insisting we pitch in to help out:

Armed squads bursting into homes in the dead of night with shotguns and automatic weapons, terrorizing families and taking away anyone who lacks identity papers, even if they have raided the wrong house. It may sound like Baghdad, but it is the suburbs of New York City, the latest among hundreds of communities around the country where federal agents have been invading homes and workplaces in search of immigrants to deport…

Last week, dozens of federal agents fanned out across Nassau County, Long Island, to execute warrants on accused gang members. County Executive Thomas Suozzi and Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey were so dismayed that they have refused to cooperate on further raids until ICE gets its act together.

They described a seriously botched “cowboy” operation by dozens of ICE agents — some in cowboy hats — who had not trained together, used inappropriate weapons and mistakenly drew them on Nassau officers. They said that ICE misled them — that what was supposed to be a targeted gang crackdown was actually something much more sloppy and indiscriminate. They said the agency ignored repeated invitations to check its list of targets against Nassau’s up-to-date gang records and ended up raiding many wrong homes.

The raids were stunningly ineffective. Nassau says they caught only 6 of 96 fugitives. ICE, using a looser definition of “gang member,” said it got 13 in Nassau and 15 in neighboring Suffolk. There, Peggy De La Rosa-Delgado, an American citizen, said her Huntington Station home was raided by mistake last Thursday at 5:30 a.m. It was the second predawn raid looking for the same man at the same wrong address. Her husband and three teenage sons, legal residents, were terrified, she said.

ICE officials callously shrug off such mistakes as collateral damage, but advocates for immigrants have filed a class-action lawsuit asserting that recent raids in the New York City area were unreasonable searches conducted by agents who did not show warrants and misidentified themselves as police officers. Mr. Suozzi has written to the Homeland Security secretary, Michael Chertoff, asking him to investigate the Nassau debacle.

UPDATE II:

And this must be Tommy Boy’s vision of a model city. From the Dallas Morning News:

Immigrant parents who fear deportation are “on the run” and are withdrawing their children from public schools, Irving ISD Superintendent Jack Singley said Wednesday.

Mr. Singley estimated that 90 children have withdrawn from school in the last week because of the deportation fears in Irving, where a police program has prompted warnings by the Mexican Consulate. The superintendent hopes their parents will re-enroll them somewhere else.

“My concern is that some of them won’t put those children in school anywhere because they’re on the run,” he said. “They get this notion that someone is going to actually come to school and snatch their children.”

… Recently, the Mexican Consulate began warning Mexican citizens to stay out of Irving because the city’s Police Department has been working with federal immigration authorities to identify illegal immigrants who have been arrested and deport them. Irving police have turned over more than 1,600 people to immigration officials since the program began last year.

More than 1,000 protesters, most Hispanic, gathered outside Irving City Hall last week to raise concerns about racial profiling and about deportations separating families.

Irving Mayor Herbert Gears defended his city’s policy Wednesday.

“If they’re not being booked into our jail, there’s nothing they should be worried about,” he said.

He said parents need not fear that immigration officials or police will pick up their children from school campuses.

“Hopefully, people aren’t making the wrong choice about whether or not to live in Irving,” he said.

Many people in Irving support the City Council’s immigration policy, Mr. Gears said. Many of them believe illegal immigrants overburden social services and overcrowd public schools…

Pedro Portillo, pastor of Santa Maria de Guadalupe Lutheran Church, said a parishioner with school-age children has told him she would move out of Irving because her husband was deported…

Nimitz senior Abigail Carranza, 17, an American citizen, said she’s also afraid.

“I don’t like driving anymore because I don’t want them to pull me over,” she said. “We’re all scared that they’re pulling over anyone that’s a little darker.”

Oh, Abigail… your mayor told you not to worry…

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One response to “Further Adventure(s) in Xenophobia

  1. Dave Preisinger

    All this stuff is pretty scary. With the current laws made in the name of security we have lost our civil rights. Reading of the raids without warrants and the ignoring of protests reminds me more and more of the book 1984. Big Brother is definitely watching. I think we have lulled ourselves into thinking we are safe. I am not Latino so right now I may not be an easy target, but eventually someone will find out my political leanings, and if they don’t like them, they may just raid my house and have me arrested in the name of homeland security.
    What do we do? How do we raise the awareness?

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