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Saturday, December 31

The War On Immigrants

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
-Words on the Statue of Liberty


It's post 9/11 and we have got to be careful of who we let in this country because they are a threat to our security and they are taking away our jobs. I was just dying to start up a lawn cutting business and I can't because El Salvadorians are cutting grass these days on Long Island. They have even gotten into the masonry field. What's an Italian-American to do?

You know, some of the nicest, brightest, most hardworking people I've ever met were immigrants. I don't know if they were legal or not but I do know that they really want to achieve the elusive "American Dream" that most of us who were born here know is really a scam to turn us into slaves... but nevertheless this country was built on immigrants and I wouldn't be here if not for my grandparents who toiled and were discriminated against just to give their children a better life. Maybe I'd be working in the coal mines of the Carpathian Mountains.

Alas, Americans, who are nothing but afraid, built the strawmen of the new century... the same old strawmen of last century... immigrants. What's more, Catholic and Christian outreach workers here feel threatened by a new bill in congress, co-sponsored by one of Long Island's own reviled congressman, Peter King (we have 8 in congress from L.I. and King is the only Republican). The bill proposes erecting a 698-mile wall across one-third of the U.S.-Mexico border, turning illegal immigrants into felons and making it a felony to shield or offer support to undocumented immigrants.

This is what's freaking out the Long Island charitable workers. (Immigration Bill Outrages Activists) Many are Christian/Catholic and it's against the religion to ignore a stranger. Yet there are many people who believe that immigrants bring problems to our country and want to punish Americans who offer support to those who are already here and are hungry and poor.

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington said he had little sympathy for groups that help undocumented immigrants.

"These are people who are knowingly helping, knowingly promoting illegal immigration," he said. "The very people complaining about this are the very ones who helped bring about the illegal immigration problem in the first place" by offering them services.
Well Peter King, who is also chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is trying to allieve the fears of local charity workers who fear that the feds are going to raid churches by telling people that he will change the wording in the bill because they say the language is so broad. And rightly so. (King willing to redo bill)

Will I be thrown in jail because Eduardo cuts my grass and Juan does my sprinklers? Will my former colleagues at Parish Outreach be jailed because they collect and distribute food for the poor immigrants in our community? Will the pastor of St Brigids go to jail because there is a Hatian Mass, an Italian Mass and a Spanish one on Sundays? Is he aiding and abetting criminals? Will the Feds be checking green cards outside the church?

"Nobody is going to be going to churches locking people up," Peter King said. "If they are facilitating immigrants coming into the country illegally, that's another thing."

What does he mean by "facilitating"? You know how those neocons have been changing the meaning of words. It's no wonder that people have little faith in what law makers say.
Church and immigrant groups call the bill the harshest piece of anti-immigrant legislation in 70 years. Supporters say it would help bring under control a situation of anarchy at the border that has swelled the number of undocumented immigrants in the country to 11 million, including an estimated 100,000 on Long Island.

King said the bill is unlikely to be passed in its present form by the Senate, which he expected to add provisions for a guest-worker program granting temporary visas mainly to low-skilled workers. However, he did say "a significant portion of it has to become law otherwise no immigration reform bill will pass the House."
This is something I will be keeping my eyes on. Something is very fishy about it.

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