Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Flash Back to May 26, 2005: Minutemen violence in Garden Grove, Alta California

Hal Netkin identified as driver of Minivan that struck persons at Minuteman protest
by Duane J. Roberts Thursday, May. 26, 2005 at 5:28 AM

The Orange County Register is reporting that Hal Netkin of Van Nuys was the driver of a Minivan that struck three persons who were attending the protest against Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist's appearance at the California Coalition for Immigration Reform meeting in Garden Grove last night..

Hal Netkin

The Orange County Register is reporting that Hal Netkin of Van Nuys was the driver of a Minivan that struck three persons who were attending the protest against Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist's appearance at the California Coalition for Immigration Reform meeting in Garden Grove last night.

Netkin is the founder of, a website that for years has vigorously campaigned against the election of Antonio Villaraigosa as Mayor of Los Angeles. Regardless of what you think of Villaraigosa and his Democratic Party politics, this site is extremely racist and bigoted.

Netkin also is involved in running the website,, which encourages the ouster of Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton primarily because the latter doesn't support policies which would give the police more power to arrest and deport undocumented workers.

One of the persons who got struck by the Netkin's Minivan was Jim Lafferty, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Lawyer's Guild. Lafferty was thrown up against the hood of the Minivan as it accelerated into the parking lot. Two other persons were also flung on the ground.

Another person struck by Netkin's Minivan was taken away by ambulance and brought to a local hospital in Garden Grove. According to a friend of his, he was released several hours later. Although bruised and shaken, the injuries he sustained weren't life threatening.


Duane J. Roberts


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Immigration event turns hostile

The Orange County Register

GARDEN GROVE — An event honoring an anti-illegal immigrant leader tonight was marred by altercations between anti-immigration activists and protesters, resulting in an arrest when two demonstrators were hit by a slow-moving van.

The driver was Hal Netkin of Van Nuys, said Barbara Coe, chairwoman of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform.

Protesters were blocking a driveway when Netkin tried to drive through and knocked two demonstrators to the ground, Deputy Police Chief K.J. Raney said.

Netkin was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. At least one of the protesters was hospitalized.

"Knowing (Netkin), he panicked," Coe said.

Billy Hall, a member of Coe’s group, said shortly afterward that his car window was broken by a protester. Hall said he filed a police report.

The event sponsored by Coe’s group honored Aliso Viejo resident Jim Gilchrist. Gilchrist’s Minuteman Project last month attracted nearly 900 people to patrol a stretch of Arizona border in an effort to stop entry by illegal immigrants. The effort was praised by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger but condemned by President George W. Bush, who called the volunteers "vigilantes."

"I’m damned proud to be a vigilante," Gilchrist told the 150 people assembled at the Garden Grove Women’s Club. "How about you?"

He received a rousing ovation. He also said that deporting the millions of people in the country illegally would lower home prices, reduce traffic congestion and lower taxes.

Nearly 100 protesters picketed and chanted on the sidewalk. One sign read, "Beat Back the Racist Attack."

"Their racist acts are being masked by patriotism," said Obed Sanchez of Garden Grove. "To say illegal immigrants are coming over here and ruining our lives is ridiculous. We need immigrants like a tree needs water. Even President Bush recognizes that."

Source: OCRegister


Garden Grove, Alta California - May 26, 2005 (ACN) There was a very ugly incident of violence at a Minutemen event. It happened last night at a gathering in Garden Grove where the Minutemen vigilante James Gilchrist was scheduled to speak. About 380 Mexican-Americans and other Latinos, primarily from La Alianza Indigena, had gathered outside the Woman's Civic Club of Garden Grove at 9501 Chapman Avenue to protest the upcoming vigilante operations along the Mexico/California border. When the meeting ended and as the vigilantes were leaving the parking lot, one well known anti-Mexican activist in Los Angeles, Hal Netkin, ran down two Mexican-American protestors with his car, one a young girl. The two were rushed to the emergency hospital. Hal Netkin was arrested, handcuffed and jailed pending investigation of the incident.

Late-night snack soured by racially motivated violence

By MIKE WIGGINS The Daily Sentinel

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One minute, Sam and Nathan Corle say, they were sitting outside a Grand Junction fast-food restaurant, enjoying a late-night snack.

The next, they were being assaulted by a group of strangers, leaving the teenagers with black eyes, bloody noses and bruises.

The father of the brothers is decrying last weekend’s attack as random and racially motivated and says he fears it could be symptomatic of a larger problem with street gangs in the Grand Valley.

“I’ve seen this, and this is not something we can tolerate in this community,” Greg Corle said.

The Corle brothers, who are white, say they and a friend had driven to Los Jilbertos, 2812 North Ave., about 1 a.m. Sunday to grab something to eat and were sitting outside the restaurant when a red Honda pulled into the parking lot and a group of young Hispanic men got out.

Nathan Corle, 16, said the men began yelling at them, calling them “white boys” and asking them what they were looking at and if they wanted to fight. He said he laughed because he thought it was a joke.

Sam Corle, 19, said he had his head down and was taking a bite of his burrito when one of the men ran around behind him and punched him in the side of his head.

“I had no idea why they were attacking us,” Nathan Corle said. “No normal person walks up and hits someone for no reason.”

A fight ensued between the Corle brothers and their friend and what they estimated to be six to eight Hispanic men. During the fight, Nathan Corle said he heard the Hispanic males yelling “‘We’re going to teach white boys a lesson. White boys are going to die.’”

The brothers said they fought back but were outnumbered.

“Normally, my boys could take care of themselves,” Greg Corle said, noting that Sam will soon graduate from St. John’s Military School in Salina, Kan., and Nathan, a junior-to-be at Palisade High School, is on the wrestling team. “But when you have three or four guys attacking you at once, you don’t have a lot of options.”

Sam Corle said he ran into the restaurant and up to the counter to try to get away from two men who were assaulting him, but he said employees did not offer any help or call 911.

Two men who appeared to be Mesa State College students and were also sitting outside tried to intervene. The Corles, who commended the men, said one of them was assaulted but still managed to call 911.

Police arrested two men, Cesar Javier Haro, 18, and Edward Portillo, 19, on suspicion of ethnic intimidation, a felony, and third-degree assault, among other charges. Prosecutors are expected to formally file charges against them Friday.

The other Hispanic men who were involved in the attack jumped into a red and white truck and fled the restaurant, police said.

Sam and Nathan Corle each sustained black eyes. Nathan also received a bloody nose and cuts inside his mouth from his braces, and Sam had a lip stud torn out. Greg Corle said he took Sam to the doctor after he complained about neck pain.

The brothers said they have heard from friends of similar attacks on whites by Hispanics in Grand Junction. They said police indicated they have had problems with fights at Los Jilbertos.

Greg Corle said it appears to him the Hispanic men were simply driving around town, looking for some white people to attack.

“If we don’t take it seriously right now, it will turn into a blight in our community,” he said, noting he found himself in the middle of several racially motivated assaults growing up in Albuquerque, N.M.

Grand Junction police spokeswoman Linda Bowman said reports of bias-motivated crimes appear to be rare in the city. Police handled eight cases of ethnic intimidation last year. She said three cases, including the one involving the Corles, have been reported this year.

“Our agency does take these very seriously,” Bowman said, noting an assault in April, which resulted in an arrest, generated more than 20 follow-up police reports and commandeered two months’ worth of officers’ time.

Bowman said police received 89 calls for service from Los Jilbertos last year. As of Monday, officers had received 55 calls for service this year. Most of the calls related to reports of criminal mischief and disturbances.

Mike Wiggins can be reached via e-mail at

Source: GJSentinel

Stormfront Members show up to Minuteman Project city council meeting

By codesilas

Footage from a city council meeting in Lake Forest, CA on November 15, 2005. This was during Jim Gilchrist's(Minuteman Project founder) campaign for Congress. Show is some quick clips to show that Gilchrist and some of his followers, including Debbie Sattler, "Border Raven," and Robin Hvidston," where there. Then appears two members from Stormfront, generally referred to as Neo Nazis. These two were also seen and photographed with skinheads with Nazi swastika flags in Laguna Beach and affiliated people promoting National Vanguard at a protest against immigration at a Home Depot location.

Interesting to note is that the couple were involved in the Gilchrist campaign at some capacity. This was found out by me, Debbie, Robin, and some others. It was confirmed by people at the Gilchrist campaign offices. Some people, such as "Border Raven," have acknowledged this fact while others lie and deny it. All information available show that it was Eldon, half brother of Mary Parker Lewis, who let them and two other Nazi-types into the offices, as confirmed by Deborah-Courtney who was a Gilchrist supporter at the time.

Steve Eichler thanked me for my efforts in informing them on who the couple were, assuming they really wanted to keep those types out and were honest about not wanting to be affiliated with racists. Mary Parker Lewis is the one who kicked me out of the campaign. I went back and asked Eldon questions, he refused to answer and threatened to call the police.

This was a quick assortment of the footage. After the footage is shown some photographs of the couple with the Nazis/skinheads. I may make a better video of this.

Source: YouTube

Saturday, July 28, 2007

All Immigrants Welcome

Dear Editor:

I was just reading the WAKE UP AMERICA letter about illegal immigrants. I'm sure the writer feels justified in her comments and maybe she has been directly impacted by an illegal. But, immigrants helped build this nation and all have faced the same discrimination as the Hispanic's are now receiving.

The Polish, the Irish, the Vietnamese, the Puerto Ricans, the Chinese and the Cubans, just to name a few nationalities, who took jobs no one else wanted and slaved their way to acceptability in this country with many dying along the way as a result of the hazardous working conditions they were subjected to.

The fact is they are not going away. They are here to stay. So let's accept those facts and work toward a solution agreeable to everyone. Crime is not anymore indicative of illegals as it is of legals or Americans for that matter. Citizenship doesn't make one a saint nor does a green card.

The logistics of rounding up all the illegals in this country as the writer suggested would be impossible. It's also totally impractical to attempt to do so. An estimated 20 million by many sources, would require a minimum of 60 million American Federal employees to round them up, process them and transport them back to their countries of origin and even then it would require many years to complete the job.

As to the myth, about illegals being a drain on Federal Resources I'd like to attempt to put it to rest, by offering the following study.

Americans believe that undocumented immigrants are exploiting the United States' economy. The widespread belief is that illegal aliens cost more in government services than they contribute to the economy. This belief is undeniably false. A very empirical study of illegals economic impact demonstrates the opposite. Undocumenteds actually contribute more to public coffers in taxes than they cost in social services. Moreover, undocumented immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy through their investments and consumption of goods and services; filling of millions of essential worker positions resulting in subsidiary job creation, increased productivity and lower costs of goods and services; and unrequited contributions to Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance programs. Eighty-five percent of eminent economists surveyed have concluded that undocumented immigrants have had a positive (seventy-four percent) or neutral (eleven percent) impact on the U.S. economy.

Undocumented immigrants, like all U.S. citizens and residents, are required to pay taxes. Despite the historic and strong American opposition to taxation without representation, undocumented immigrants (except in rare and unusual cases) have not enjoyed the right to vote on any local, state or federal tax or other matter for almost eighty years. Nevertheless, each year undocumented immigrants add billions of dollars in sales, excise, property, income and payroll taxes, including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes, to federal, state and local coffers. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants go out of their way to file annual federal and state income tax returns.

Yet undocumented immigrants are barred from almost all government benefits, including food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, federal housing programs, Supplemental Security Income, Unemployment Insurance, Social Security, Medicare, and the earned income tax credit (EITC). Generally, the only benefits federally required for undocumented immigrants are emergency medical care, subject to financial and category eligibility, and elementary and secondary public education. Many undocumented immigrants will not even access these few critical government services because of their ever-present fear of government officials and deportation.

Undocumented immigrants living in the United States are subject to the same income tax laws as documented immigrants and U.S. citizens. However, because of their status most unauthorized workers pay a higher effective tax rate than similarly situated documented or U.S. citizens. Yet, these workers and their families use fewer government services than similarly situated documented immigrants or U.S. citizens. Moreover, unauthorized workers have been denied remedies by the U.S. Supreme Court under the National Labor Relations Act and may be challenged to receive protection under wage and hour, anti-discrimination and workers' compensation laws. As a result, undocumented immigrants provide a fiscal windfall and may be the most fiscally beneficial of all immigrants.

Despite their net positive contribution to public coffers, hundreds of thousands of immigrants enter the U.S. each year without documents because of impracticable quota and labor certification requirements. These immigration restrictions combined with the additional tax or tariff on undocumented immigrants are inconsistent with economically efficient immigration policy. Moreover, the high effective tax rate imposed on the poorest undocumented working families relative to their less unfortunate friends and neighbors is inconsistent with fundamental tax policy.

The myth that illegals work for less than legals and Americans, again is just that, a myth. As with all Americans, the illegals are paid according to their worth to a company. Sadly in the majority of the cases they work harder, show up for work on time and follow job instructions better than most Americans on the same jobs.

Like most Americans I don't like this invasion either. But let's all keep the facts straight when we address this problem. The truth is hard for most to accept, but misinformation creates more harm than good. I cite the War in Iraq as one very good example of what misinformation creates.


Source: BradleyWeekly

Boise St. star's wedding draws racist threats (Ian Johnson)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The Boise State running back who scored the winning points in the Fiesta Bowl, then proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend on national television, says he has hired security for their wedding because of racial threats.

Ian Johnson, who is black, and Chrissy Popadics, who is white, are due to be married Saturday in Boise.

Since his Jan. 1 proposal, Johnson said, he has received phone calls, letters and some personal threats from people who object to their marriage plans.

"You take it for what it is - the less educated, the less willing to change," Johnson, 21, of San Dimas, Calif., told the Idaho Statesman for its Tuesday editions. "But we're not acting like we're naive to all the stuff that's going on. We know what's been said. We're going to make sure we're safe at all times. It's an amazing day for us, and we'd hate to have it ruined by someone."

"It's really sad because a lot of people that are probably doing it are the same people who were cheering me on," Johnson said.

A Boise State football spokesman, Todd Miles, said Tuesday that Johnson hoped to put the matter behind him and did not want to discuss it further. Popadics' family said she was not available.

Source: FoxSports

Suing the KKK

A Nonprofit Law Center Sues Second-Largest Klan Group Over Assault

July 26, 2007 —

Jarred R. Hensley, 24, of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is his state's second highest-ranking official of the Imperial Klans of America, and one of the men who pleaded guilty to second-degree assault for the beating of a 16-year-old boy. (Courtesy of the Southern Poverty Law Center)

They didn't need their white sheets or pointed hats this time.

Their steel-toed black boots with red laces were enough to crack the teenage boy's ribs, break his arm, hurt his jaw and inflict enough emotional damage to last a lifetime.

For Jarred Hensley and Andrew Watkins, two members of the nation's second-largest Ku Klux Klan group, the mistaken belief that Jordan Gruver was Hispanic was apparently reason enough for them to beat the 16-year-old to the ground after showering him with racial slurs, spit and whiskey at a Kentucky county fair in July, according to court papers.

The year was not 1865. It was 2006.

The two Klan members are locked up in a Kentucky state prison for the next three years while, until this week, their white supremacist organization continues to operate undeterred.

But Wednesday, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit group known for taking on some of the country's largest hate groups, added the entire Imperial Klans of America organization and three of its high-ranking officials to a civil lawsuit the organization filed against Hensley and Watkins in February. The consolidated suit seeks an unspecified amount of money for both punitive and compensatory damages.

The IKA, whose headquarters are in Dawson Springs, Ky., "promotes violence and intimidation and calls for the death of racial and ethnic minorities, homosexuals and so-called 'race traitors,'" said SPLC president Richard Cohen in a statement.

There has been a 40 percent rise in the number of hate groups since 2000 as documented by the SPLC  an increase experts say has been fueled by anti-immigration rage aimed largely at Hispanics. The SPLC says legal action has proved to be one, if not the only effective way to put these groups out of business.

The Fateful Evening

On July 30, 2006, a group of IKA members went to the Meade County Fairgrounds in Kentucky to hand out ads for a "white-only" Klan function as part of their official recruiting drive, according to court documents.

Shortly after midnight, the lawsuit says, Hensley, the second-highest-ranking Klan official in Ohio, and Watkins, IKA's webmaster, approached Gruver, a teenager of Panamanian-Indian descent, and "without provocation" began calling him racial slurs such as "f--ing spic."

They surrounded him, knocked him to the ground and kicked and hit him repeatedly, "solely because he has brown skin," Gruver's lawyers said in a news release. During the attack, the defendants also spit on Gruver and poured alcohol on him.

Two other Klan members, including Kentucky's highest-ranking Klan member, referred to in court documents as "J. Edward," allegedly watched the beating with encouragement and made no attempts to stop it, according to the complaint. Edward is one of the three officials named in the SPLC's suit Wednesday.

The 5-foot-3-inch, 150-pound Gruver sustained injuries all over his body from the beating; one of his attackers stood a foot taller than Gruver and was double his weight.

According to a letter from Gruver's attorneys, Hensley and Watkins "showed no remorse for their crime," smirking and gesturing at the victim during their criminal sentencing.

Hensley, 24, the Grand Titan of the group, has appeared on CNN to discuss the Klan and has created a Yahoo screen name (ohioss88) and MySpace account name (violence) to reflect his supremacist mission, according to court papers. Watkins, 26, was a member of the IKA music group known as the Totenkof Saints  German for "death's head"  and performed songs like "No Mercy," which called for the murder of nonwhites, including "spics."

Payback Time

A Meade County grand jury in September indicted the two men on second-degree assault charges for a hate crime, alcohol intoxication in a public place and disorderly conduct.

In February, Hensley and Watkins were sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree assault. On the same day, Gruver filed a civil lawsuit for damages against the defendants with the help of the SPLC, saying that he had endured physical pain and emotional distress and feared future attacks by IKA members, according to the complaint.

SPLC's additional filing this week alleges that the IKA is also responsible for the beating because it knew or should have known that there would be racial and ethnic minorities at the county fair, and that it was "reasonably likely" that its members would act against these individuals.

A phone message to the Imperial Klans of America was not immediately returned. Attorneys for Hensley and Watkins could not be reached for comment and have not yet replied to the lawsuit.

'No Mercy' for the Klan

The SPLC has brought down about 10 of the nations' largest and most violent white supremacist organizations over the last 25 years by helping victims of racial violence sue for monetary damages.

Its recent court victories include a $9 million dollar verdict against four white Texan men who beat a mentally challenged black man, causing him permanent brain damage, and a $37.8 million verdict (later reduced to $21.5 million) against the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (the largest verdict ever against a hate group.)

It wrote that its courtroom costs are funded entirely by its supporters and that it takes no legal fees from clients.

Copyright © 2007 ABC News Internet Ventures

Source: ABCNews

White supremacist cards surface in Yonkers


(Original publication: July 27, 2007)

YONKERS - City resident Martin Frankel, 72, said he was disturbed by a white supremacist card he found on his lawn.

"It makes me feel pretty rotten that there are some of these white supremacists floating around in Yonkers," said Frankel, who found the card Wednesday afternoon and contacted The Journal News. "It is extremely anti-Semitic, anti-black and very very much pro-, well not pro-Nazism, but white supremacist."

The card mentions Vanguard News Network, a Web site that advocates white supremacy. On the back of the card are swastikas. Vanguard could not be contacted yesterday for comment.

Police say multiple cards have surfaced around Odell Avenue and Colonial Parkway and that the Special Intelligence Unit was investigating. They also said the cards seemed to be randomly placed and that no particular group had been targeted. If a specific group were targeted, the cards would qualify as harassment, Sgt. Edward Geiss said. Otherwise, they might fall under freedom of speech.

Reach Marc Epstein at 914-694-5077 or

Source: TheJournalNews

Racist notes still being found

Screeds found at mayor's, NAACP head's homes
Staff writer
FREMONT -- Notes containing racist writing continue to crop up in yards and driveways in several areas of the city, including at the homes of the city's mayor and the head of the local NAACP chapter, and police are asking residents for help.

Earlier this year, the Sandusky County Sheriff's Office and Fremont police received complaints from residents after letters containing hate-filled messages were found wrapped in plastic and weighted with pieces of candy. The letters, which contained an address for the National Socialist Movement, included derogatory statements about blacks, Jews and Mexicans. Fremont Police Chief Monte Huss said police officers have received 10 complaints of hate-filled messages since January, and he believes there have likely been other incidents that have not been reported.

A message left with the National Socialist Movement was not returned Thursday, and Huss declined to say whether police believe that group is involved in recent incidents. He said it is also unclear whether the notes are being dropped off by a group or an individual. Sandusky County sheriff's detective Bill Kaiser said the incidents seem to have slowed down across the county. The sheriff's office has not received a similar complaint since February, he said.

According to a report by Fremont police, Fremont Mayor Terry Overmyer discovered a letter in his driveway Wednesday. Overmyer said the letter was rolled up and stapled in a newspaper.

"They just used the newspaper for weight so they could drive by and keep going," he said.

Huss said the incidents seem to have been occurring more frequently since May.

"This type of behavior is very disturbing for a lot of people," he said.

Huss said police are investigating, but declined to provide further details. He also said police are asking residents to watch for suspicious activity and report similar incidents.

"The only way we're going to resolve these types of issues is if we all pull together, and if they see some of these acts report it immediately."

The notes found are not always the same. In one case, the letter was stapled to a flier for "Terra Tech." Another letter appeared to reference a white supremacist presidential candidate. The letters have been found on Granville Boulevard, Hayes Avenue, Croghan Street, McPherson Boulevard and James Street.

While Huss said it is not necessarily illegal to distribute the material, it can be if it threatens an individual. Several of the letters were found at the home of Dallas Leake, the president of the Fremont chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Michael Payton, executive director of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, said the issue is one he plans to discuss when he visits Fremont to speak with members of the local NAACP on Saturday. He said similar acts are a problem for the entire community, not just the individual victims.

"That has a way of isolating families and heightening friction," he said.

E-mail Matt Sanctis at

Source: CentralOhio

Immigration rallies planned today in Morristown

by Maura McDermott
Saturday July 28, 2007, 6:49 AM

Hundreds of people are expected in Morristown today for separate rallies and a prayer vigil on immigration. The rallies, both in support and opposed to immigrants' rights, are scheduled for noon to 2 p.m.

A rally protesting illegal immigration, organized by the Mount Olive-based ProAmerica Society, will take place outside Town Hall on South Street, while a silent counter-protest will be held across the street.

The prayer vigil, in support of immigrants' rights, will be held in the parking lot of St. Margaret's Church on Sussex Avenue, about a mile from Town Hall. The vigil is sponsored by Wind of the Spirit, a local immigrants' resource center, and by the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the American Friends Service Committee.

More than 1,000 people are expected for the ProAmerica rally, in part because of a high-profile court ruling this week as well as a radio advertising campaign.

On Thursday, a judge struck down a law in Hazleton, Pa., that would have penalized landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and employers who hire them, finding the measure unconstitutional. As many as 200 people are expected to travel from the Hazleton area, in part to express their displeasure with the ruling, said Daniel Smeriglio, a Hazleton resident who plans to speak at the ProAmerica rally.

Mayor Donald Cresitello said he will speak at the ProAmerica rally as long as the event does not take on a bigoted tone.

"If it does go in a direction I don't like, I might speak out against that and make it clear that's not what Morristown is about," he said earlier this week. "I'm not against immigration. I'm just against illegal immigration."

Members of a white supremacist group called Stormfront plan to attend the Morristown rally as well, according to that group's Web site.

Robb Pearson, who founded the ProAmerica Society, said he vehemently rejects Stormfront's message. About five Stormfront members attended a rally in Hazleton last month, and they carried signs but did not cause problems, Smeriglio said.

"This is not a message of hate that's being put out, it's a message of, if anything, respecting the United States of America," Smeriglio said this week. "Regardless of race, color, religion, political affiliation, we are all American citizens."

Additional police officers will be on duty to make sure today's events remain peaceful and orderly, Cresitello said.

Source: NJ

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Federal judge rules immigration ordinance unconstitutional

Court throws out city's illegal immigration law
Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:46PM EDT

By Jon Hurdle

HAZLETON, Pa (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday struck down as unconstitutional a local law designed to crack down on illegal immigration, dealing a blow to similar laws passed by dozens of towns and cities across the country.

U.S. District Judge James Munley said the city of Hazleton, 100 miles north of Philadelphia, was not allowed to implement a law that would fine businesses that hire illegal immigrants and penalize landlords who rent rooms to them.

"Federal law prohibits Hazleton from enforcing any of the provisions of its ordinances," Munley wrote in a 206-page opinion following a federal trial in which Hazleton's law was challenged by civil rights groups.

The city of 30,000 blames a recent rise in illegal immigration for boosting crime and overburdening social services. The law was passed in July 2006 but was not implemented because of a court injunction won by opponents.

About a third of the city's residents are immigrants from Central America and around a quarter of the immigrant population is believed to be undocumented, according to civil rights campaigners.

Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta said the city would likely appeal the decision.

"I believe both sides realized this wasn't going to be the last day. This small city isn't ready to stop fighting yet," Barletta told CNN.

Dozens of towns and cities have modeled their own immigration laws on Hazleton in a bid to deal with an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.

Source: Reuters

Southern Poverty Law Center Sues Major Klan Group Over Beating of Latino Boy

By: Southern Poverty Law Center
Published: Jul 26, 2007 at 07:43

The Southern Poverty Law Center today filed suit against the nation's second-largest Klan group and five Klansmen, saying two members were on a recruiting mission for the group in July 2006 when they savagely beat a teenage boy at a county fair in Kentucky.

The lawsuit claims that as part of an official recruiting drive organized by the leadership of the Imperial Klans of America (IKA), several members went to the Meade County Fairgrounds in Brandenburg, Ken., to hand out business cards and flyers advertising a "white-only" IKA function.

Unprovoked, two of the Klansmen at the fair began harassing a 16-year-old boy of Panamanian descent, calling him a "spic," according to the lawsuit. The boy, who stands 5-foot-3 and weighs just 150 pounds, was beaten to the ground and kicked with steel-toed boots by the Klansmen, one of whom is 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds. The beating left the boy with two cracked ribs, a broken left forearm, multiple cuts and bruises and jaw injuries requiring extensive dental repair.

"The defendants are members and high-ranking officials of one of the most violent white supremacist groups in America," said SPLC President Richard Cohen. "They promote violence and intimidation and call for the death of racial and ethnic minorities, homosexuals and so-called 'race traitors.' They targeted and viciously beat our client solely because he has brown skin."

The SPLC has documented a 40 percent rise in the number of hate groups since 2000 -- an increase fueled by anti-immigration fervor aimed largely at Latinos. The boy who was attacked is a U.S. citizen.

The lawsuit says the boy has endured physical and mental pain and suffering from the attack. It seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Two IKA members at the time of the beating -- Jarred R. Hensley, 24, of Cincinnati and Andrew R. Watkins, 26, of Louisville -- each are serving three- year prison terms for the beating after pleading guilty to second-degree assault. Hensley was the IKA's Grand Titan in Ohio. Watkins served as the IKA's webmaster.

The center earlier sued Hensley and Watkins for their actions, but Wednesday's filing adds the IKA and three other individuals.

The suit names Ron Edwards, the IKA's founder and highest-ranking member; J. Edward, who as an Exalted Cyclops had "authority over and responsibility for the operations and activities of the IKA in Kentucky"; and Joshua Cowles, another member participating in the recruiting drive.

The IKA's compound in Dawson Springs, Ken., is situated on 28 acres owned by Edwards. It is the site of Nordic Fest, a music festival that brings together Klansmen, skinheads and members of other violent hate groups each year in May.

Over the past 25 years, the SPLC has crippled some of the nation's largest and most violent white supremacist organizations by helping victims of racial violence sue for monetary damages. Its victories include a $7 million verdict against the United Klans in 1987 for the lynching of Michael Donald in Mobile, Ala.; a $12.4 million verdict against the White Aryan Resistance in 1990 for the brutal murder of an Ethiopian student in Portland; and a $6.3 million verdict against the Aryan Nations in 2000 that forced the organization to give up its 20-acre compound in Idaho.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Montgomery, Ala., is a nonprofit civil rights organization that combats hate and discrimination. For more, visit See our new Hatewatch blog at

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

North Texas fugitive found at lake hideout

08:46 PM CDT on Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Keith Dempsey was found under a mobile home.

He's a documented member of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, an accused car-jacker from Dallas and a federal fugitive in custody - thanks to Louisiana marshals.

Fugitive Task Force members in Bossier tracked Keith Dempsey to Lake Bisteneau, east of Bossier, where they say he'd been hiding out for at least a week.

"It was just a matter of time before he started doing it here. We just got lucky with some really good detective work by some task force members to be able to pin him down and get him apprehended," said Chris Tucker from the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force.

Bossier City K-9s helped corner Dempsey under a mobile home.

He had cuts and scrapes from the scuffle, and other abrasions when taken to jail.

"The burns are - from what we've seen - indicative of some type of drug-cooking activity," Tucker added.

Deputies say he's been involved in 19 aggravated robberies in North Texas, most of which were car-jackings, including at least three shootings.

Local officers will arrange for his extradition, which should happen within days.


Source: WFAA

BROWN is the new WHITE

Macy's Says 'No Mas' To Racial T-Shirt
Some Call Shirt Offensive

Macy's department store is no longer selling a T-shirt that might offend some members of the Hispanic community.

According to Macy's, one of its goals is to provide an exclusive line of clothing geared toward Latina shoppers looking to express cultural identity through fashion.

However, one such item might have actually offended potential Hispanic customers, so the company pulled it during the weekend.

The T-shirt, which reads "Brown is the New White," is offensive, according to Hispanic marketing expert Dr. Ed Rincon.

"Macy's doesn't know a whole lot about what Hispanics want in the way of clothing. It also says that Macy's doesn't understand Hispanic culture. More importantly, it says that Macy's doesn't understand the Hispanics that lives in the U.S. and the kinds of products they are looking for," Rincon said.

However, Rincon said some Hispanic customers might enjoy and even purchase the shirt.

Macy's apologized for its decision to sell the shirt, releasing this statement:

"We are constantly looking for unique and differentiated merchandise that will resonate with our customers as hip, current and trendy. We also continue to work in developing business relationships with minority vendors to serve the growing diverse customer base. We apologize if customers have found some of the merchandise offensive and have removed the style that they found objectionable."

Source: MyFoxDWF

Monday, July 23, 2007

Time to hit back against anti-Latino bigotry

Andres Oppenheimer

Tribune Media Services

July 23, 2007

Here is what the National Council of La Raza -- the biggest U.S. Hispanic organization -- should do at its annual meeting in Miami this week: draw from the experience of blacks and Jewish Americans by launching an all-out campaign to expose anti-Latino bigots in the media, entertainment and politics.

The recent immigration debate in the Senate, which ended with the defeat of a bill that would have given a path to citizenship to many of the 12 million undocumented workers, has given way to the biggest explosion of anti-Hispanic sentiment I have seen since I arrived in this country three decades ago.

Most Hispanics feel the same way. A new nationwide poll by Bendixen and Associates says 76 percent of U.S. Hispanics agree with the statement that "anti-immigrant sentiment is growing in the United States," and 62 percent say this phenomenon has directly affected them or their families.

Few Hispanics believe statements by rabid anti-immigration radio and television hosts who say they only oppose "illegal immigration." When asked what fuels the current anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States, 64 percent of Hispanics in the poll mentioned one factor: "racism against immigrants from Latin America."

Indeed, in recent times we have heard statements on radio and television that go far beyond the boundaries of fair debate over the need to fix the U.S. immigration system, and that twist the facts in ways that make it difficult to believe in the good faith of those who make them.

It's not just what fearmongers such as CNN's Lou Dobbs or radio talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage allow to be said in their shows, which systematically blame Hispanics for many of America's ills. Prominent academics such as Harvard University political scientist Samuel Huntington are getting away with sweeping statements such as "America's Latino immigration deluge ... constitutes a major potential threat to the cultural and possibly political integrity of the United States."

While the 44 million Hispanics are the biggest minority in America, you don't see the kind of nationwide protests, legal actions or calls for boycotts on a scale that you would probably see if these statements were directed against blacks or Jewish Americans.

When you visit the Web site of the NAACP, one of the first things you see is an 'NAACP 'Stop' Campaign" headline, which is a call to action against racism in the media.

The NAACP and other black groups regularly launch name-and-shame campaigns, and most recently forced the firing of radio host Don Imus over an April comment calling the Rutgers University women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos."

The Jewish Anti-Defamation League has been exposing racism in the media since 1913.

But when you go to The National Council of La Raza's Web site, you don't find a similar emphasis on fighting bigotry. The group's main theme is "Ya es hora!," a voter registration drive conducted alongside the Spanish-language Univision network and other Latino organizations aimed at adding 2 million Hispanic votes for the 2008 election.

La Raza President Janet Murguia conceded in an interview Friday that Hispanics need to do more to fight back against bigotry in the media.

"We do need to rethink our strategy; there is no question about it," Murguia told me.

"But the key change that we need to focus on is to make sure that we can influence the outcome of elections. Getting madder doesn't necessarily help, but getting smarter will help."

My opinion: The National Council of La Raza and its sister institutions are doing the right thing with their "Ya es hora!" citizenship drive. But they should also launch a nationwide "Ya basta!" campaign to identify, name and shame those who systematically bash Hispanics.

If anti-Hispanic sentiment is allowed to keep growing, we will soon have an underclass of 12 million immigrants that will feel not only frustrated by not having a legal path to citizenship but increasingly insulted by the mainstream media.

And social exclusion mixed with frustration can be a dangerous cocktail, as we've seen in the violent 2005 riots by Muslim youths in the suburbs of Paris.

The time for Hispanics to say "Ya basta!" is now, before it's too late.

Copyright © 2007, Orlando Sentinel

Source: OrlandoSentinel

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hispanic group aims to stop 'wave of hate'

July 22, 2007

By Stephen Dinan - MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — The nation's largest Hispanic advocacy group says it must come up with a strategy to combat "a wave of hate" its leaders say came from talk radio's efforts to sink the Senate's immigration bill.

"That had an extraordinary impact in the Senate, and as a nation, I don't think we should be comfortable with the fact that the United States Senate responded to what was largely a wave of hate," Cecilia Munoz, the National Council of La Raza's senior vice president for research, advocacy and legislation, told The Washington Times after meeting with NCLR affiliates to talk about a new strategy.

Stung by the collapse of the immigration bill in the Senate last month, NCLR leaders and members at the group's annual convention in Miami Beach, which began yesterday, say they will have to start a campaign to register and mobilize voters, to warn against crossing the line in the debate and to force lawmakers to take a clear stand on what they are willing to tolerate.

"I think we have to shine a light on it," Ms. Munoz said. "At the end of the day, we believe people need to take sides, that you can't stand on the sidelines, especially if part of what is motivating the actions of the United States Congress is not really about the public-policy debate, but is about their discomfort with Latinos."

NCLR's convention continues today with addresses by the two leading Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.

With Hispanics already considered a key swing voting group, both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama are trying to win those voters for themselves in the primaries and for Democrats in the general election.

Meanwhile, NCLR is trying to make sure more Hispanic voters are to be won over in 2008. The organization held a workshop to help legal permanent residents begin the citizenship-application process, and 200 immigrants were lined up before the door opened yesterday morning, organizers said.

Janet Murguia, NCLR's president and CEO, told attendees that with the failure of the immigration bill, they are going to "double our efforts on civic engagement." She encouraged the affiliates to make voter registration more a part of their services back in their own communities.

The convention is a mix of advocacy and education, combining sessions on encouraging early-childhood reading and looking at how banks serve Hispanic communities with policy sessions on improving Jewish-Hispanic relations and working with black groups to advance minority rights.

And although immigration is a top-priority policy issue, NCLR also takes stands on a host of issues facing Congress.

The group backs bills to protect credit card users and make it easier for foreign-born workers to send remittances back home. The group also supports stronger assessment and accountability provisions when Congress updates the No Child Left Behind education bill, and it opposes efforts to make English the "official" language of the United States.

Speaking to delegates during lunch yesterday, Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Florida Republican and a Cuban immigrant, urged them to help preserve Spanish.

"It is important that we emphasize the Spanish language and that we keep the Spanish language, and that we transmit that emphasis to our children and our grandchildren," he said.

The Senate's immigration debate included a fight over making English the official language, and the result was indecisive. The bill, which was blocked in a filibuster, would have tied increased resources for border security and workplace enforcement with a guest-worker program for future workers and a path to citizenship for most current illegal aliens.

Democrats who opposed it said it was unfair to American workers, while Republicans called it an unworkable amnesty for illegal aliens that was unfair to legal immigrants. Spurred by discussions on talk radio, callers flooded the Capitol switchboard demanding their senators oppose the bill, and many Republicans credited that phone traffic for killing the measure.

But Ms. Munoz told Hispanic activists that the fight appeared to be about race and national identity — a conclusion she said has been bolstered by recent floor debates.

She cited amendments she said would require even naturalized citizens to produce records showing they aren't claiming Social Security benefits for time they worked illegally and an amendment she said will come up later this month to apply to foreign-born legal residents and food stamps.

"All these people who have been saying to us, 'We just want people to follow the rules and be here legally; we have no problem with legal immigrants ...' — Well, they're going after legal immigrants on the floor [of Congress] about once a week," she said. "And some of those attacks don't just go after legal immigrants; they go after U.S. citizens, if they happen to be foreign-born. So that sounds to us like this is not about legal immigration. This is a broader attack, and that attack looks like it's against us."

Source: WashingtonTimes

Minuteman shouts "Go Home Mojado" (wetback)

Battling hate

Neo-Nazi movement active in Mass.
Christopher Loh,

Neo-Nazi and white separatist movements are active in the Boston area and showing signs of growing statewide.

At the same time, FBI statistics show Massachusetts is among the five states with the most hate crimes per capita in the nation. State officials said they are now considering reconstituting the Governor's Task Force on Hate Crimes, disbanded in 2003 by then-Gov. Mitt Romney, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

Among the hate groups documented in the state are the National Socialist Movement, the National Vanguard, Volksfront - all in Boston - North East White Pride in Chelsea and White Revolution in Haverhill, according to the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Web forums, such as that of North East White Pride, give a variety of groups a place to share their messages of intolerance and plan meetings, leafleting campaigns and rallies. operator Robert O'Donovan - who also owns the domain with Nazi-inspired name - said an Aug.4 get-together planned for Salem could draw the "boot-wearing, shaved-head" skinhead and others with similar leanings as other meetings have.

Attendance at these meetings, he said, has grown from a handful a couple years ago to dozens, and individual members on the site are now in the hundreds.

Stormfront, a Florida-based national white supremacist site, claims 2,000 Bay State members.

The site espouses the view that "the white race is in peril and that our No. 1 job is to defend the white race. The peril is being dispossessed, displaced or ethnically cleansed," said Stormfront owner Jamie Kelso. "We're being shoved out of our neighborhoods, schools, crowded off our freeways, pushed out of employment - it's happening everywhere."

Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report, said those views are typical of today's white supremacist.

"They tend to be people who have other problems in their lives - work problems, personality problems - and who are looking for an explanation that doesn't involve any personal responsibility," he said. "For these people, it is much easier to blame their own problems on the family of different color who moved in down the block - it's classic scapegoating."

White supremacist group members and those who monitor them alike note the vast majority of hate crimes - anything from threats, violence to scrawled epithets - are committed by individuals rather than the groups themselves.

Leonard Alkins, president emeritus of Boston's chapter of the NAACP, said as tough as it may be to swallow, our nation's guarantee of free speech allows these groups to exist.

"The most you can do is monitor their activities and to make communities aware of who they are and where they are so that they can be alert to make sure they don't do anything that violates the law," said Alkins.

Published on Sun, Jul 22, 2007

Source: BostonNOW

Weston urges light response to rally

Friday, July 20, 2007 388-8557

Public Safety Chief Dan Weston is asking members of the community to scrap plans for an event to counter a white-supremacist rally planned for Kalamazoo in August.

``It's my suggestion that you don't have counter rallies,'' said Weston, who spoke Thursday night to about 40 members of the Metropolitan Kalamazoo Branch of the NAACP.

The rally is being organized by Hal Turner, of North Bergen, N.J., who has called an Aug. 4 protest in Kalamazoo in response to reports of alleged assaults by black teenagers against whites.

Turner has called for white-supremacist organizations to send members to Kalamazoo for the rally, according to a press release issued by Turner. It is unclear how many people will actually respond to the call.

Weston spoke to the local NAACP to assure members that the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has been researching rallies organized by Turner in other areas and will be ready with a plan to protect protesters and the community from violence.

``I do want you to know we are not asleep at the switch,'' Weston said.

But the chief wouldn't offer many details for what he called strategic reasons.

Nevertheless, some at Thursday night's meeting pointed out that Turner on his Web site has posted information about security arrangements planned for the rally in Kalamazoo.

It calls for the main parking lot of the KDPS headquarters on Crosstown Parkway to have an area fenced in to secure it from anyone opposed to the rally. The parking lot will be a security zone and everyone entering the area will be subject to magnetic wanding for weapons and a pat-down search for projectiles, according to Turner's site.

Weston said this morning that the details posted on Turner's website are steps his department is considering. He said what Turner's website discussed relates to steps KDPS took when the Klu Klux Klan held a rally in Kalamazoo in 1998.

The public safety chief also urged people not to attend Turner's planned rally.

``Don't give this guy or this group an audience,'' Weston said. ``If you want to undermine his activities and show you don't support him the best way to do that is to stay away.''

Weston said that in a supremacist rally in Lansing last year, organizers learned what police were planning to do and went to court two days before the event to get a court order to prevent some police activities.

``They will be able to guess what we are going to do because it's what police do in just about everything,'' he said. ``But we are not going to help them and publicize our main plan.''

Weston said Turner has spoken at past hate-group rallies in Toledo in 2005 and Lansing in 2006. He warned that a counter-rally that emphasizes peace could become a target. That happened in Lansing last year, the chief said.

``They came out there and they ran to the other rally and quite frankly the cops were not expecting that,'' Weston said. ``They almost didn't get them cut off before they got to the other rally.''

Weston said white-supremacist groups use the Internet extensively now to know what's going on in a community and to target counter-rallies to their events in order to create confrontations.

He told attendees at Thursday's NAACP meeting to not label events they may hold during the Turner rally a ``peace event.''

``Don't make it sound or look like you are doing it because this guy is pushing our buttons. That's what they are looking for, and that's what they want.''

Counter-rallies also mean KDPS will be stretched thin in providing protection. The date of Turner's rally is the same day as Ribfest, one of the largest festivals in downtown Kalamazoo.

``We have to defend not only the community and the residents but we got to defend Ribfest,'' Weston said.

Yolanda Neals, a local activist who attended Thursday's meeting, said she was working with a group called Mothers of Hope to organize an Ultimate Family Reunion to keep area youths away from Turner's rally.

Others said talking to teenagers about the rally was important.

``We really want our teenagers to know about this because they have nerves of steel and they will want to go and counteract,'' said Bertha Barbee-McNeal.

``I think all of us really need to calm them down,'' Barbee-McNeal said, who added that families need to spend quality time with youths as a counter to Turner's rally.


Mothers plan peaceful alternative to rally

Friday, July 20, 2007
By Kathy Jessup 388-8590

A group of more than 100 Kalamazoo-area mothers is asking for city, church and community help in organizing an alternative to an Aug. 4 white supremacists' rally planned here.

Organizers hope to pattern ``Party With a Purpose'' after traditional family reunions and include activities and food that will appeal to people of all ages.

The daylong event will conclude with a candlelight prayer vigil dedicated to ``supporting a truce between the territorial division which is segregating the north, south, east and west sides of town,'' said Stephanie Moore, one of the organizers.

Mothers of Hope is making a public appeal for volunteers, financial support, donated prizes and food to underwrite what it hopes will be a peaceful event for hundreds of people.

Organizers are keeping publicly mum on the location for the alternative rally, saying they fear white-supremacist supporters could show up to incite violence. The white supremacists' rally will be in the main parking lot of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety's headquarters on Crosstown Parkway, according to an Internet posting by Turner.

Moore and Yolanda Neals, Mothers of Hope members, said local churches will serve as pickup and drop-off points for participants. The group has asked Metro Transit to assist in transportation, and church buses also are being enlisted.

``We are feverishly reaching out to the city of Kalamazoo, business and organizations to drum up money and support to pull off this miracle,'' Neals said. ``We hope to host what we are calling the ultimate family reunion in a way that is massively attractive to the African-American community.''

Gwen Hillman and Delores Johnson, founding members of Mothers of Hope, said local church youth groups and choirs are being invited to provide entertainment. They've also asked churches to encourage ``a strong presence of men at this event.''

Kanika Fullerton, also on the planning committee, said young people have helped design the events and are organizing ``a street team to spread the word.''

Some minority residents have criticized the city's low-key approach to the supremacists' event, suggesting local leaders should show more outspoken opposition.

Local law enforcement and government officials said the city will be on alert and are encouraging people who disagree with the anti-minority message to stay away from that rally.

New Jersey radio talk-show host Hal Turner said he's staging the white-supremacist event in Kalamazoo in reaction to recent crimes here he attributes to black youths.

Taylor's opponents say he advocates racial bigotry and violence, pitting whites against all other races.

For information on the alternative rally or to offer assistance, contact Neals at


11-year sentence in assault of man blinded by beer mug

11:27 AM MST on Friday, July 20, 2007

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A Tucson man suspected of being a white supremacist has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for hitting a black man in the face with a beer mug.

Blake Joseph Edwards, 32, received the maximum sentence under terms of a plea agreement in Pima County Superior Court on Thursday.

Edwards pleaded guilty to assaulting Reginald Sampson, a North Carolina resident who was in Tucson in February 2006 on a business trip.

Sampson was picking out songs on a jukebox at Las Cazuelitas restaurant when Edwards assaulted him with the beer mug, according to court documents. Witnesses reported hearing Edwards making racial slurs about Mexicans and black people just before the assault.

Court documents show that Sampson's left eye was cut and blinded. The attack also caused cataracts in both eyes, neck and spinal injuries, and nerve damage to his face.

Under terms of a plea agreement last month, Edwards pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and three other charges of aggravated assault were dropped. He faced between 3 1/2 and 11 years in prison.

Judge Howard Hantman said he was unhappy about not being able to sentence Edwards to more than 11 years, and said it was "incomprehensible" the plea agreement was ever offered.


Michigan Klan Member to Speak at Kalamazoo White Supremacist Event

randy gray of the ku klux klan

When racist radio show host Hal Turner hosts his so-called "rally" in Kalamazoo on August 4, joining him on the list of speakers will be Midland County resident Randy Gray. Gray, on whom the Southern Poverty Law Center said it had no information in a recent article in Between the Lines, is a Ku Klux Klan organizer with the Knight's Party. As Media Mouse has with Hal Turner and the Michigan-based Christian Identity pastor James Wickstrom, Media Mouse did some research into Randy Gray's background and his involvement with the organized white supremacist movement.

Randy Gray is referenced in our Far Right in West Michigan Database due to a speech he delivered at the fiftieth anniversary of the Knight's Party faction of the Ku Klux Klan. Gray spoke on the use of public access television as a recruiting and organizing tool for the white supremacist movement. Since 2005, Gray has filed the paperwork necessary to air the program "This is the Klan" on Midland Community Television. The program, hosted by Thomas Robb and Rachel Pendergraft, is a thirty minute program designed primarily for viewing on the Internet. Additionally, Gray maintains a website listing upcoming programs of interest to the racist movement. On that page the program "Yahweh's Truth" by Michigan racist James Wickstrom is also listed.

Gray has attended various racist events with and without the Ku Klux Klan in recent years as well. He is quoted in a May 2004 article in the Tennessean in which the Ku Klux Klan planned a rally against a "Gay Day" event at the "Dollywood" theme park. Gray is quoted in the article stating that he organized the protest because the "Gay Day" event is "totally opposite of what theme parks are for," expressing concern that somehow the theme park was no longer for "families." That article also says that Gray has organized Klan rallies and protested city council meetings in Newport, Tennessee. Gray was twice (1, 2) kicked out of city council meetings for protesting the city's permitting process in relation to a Klan protest against the Martin Luther King holiday.

In May of this year, Randy Gray organized a Midland, Michigan "Gas Out" protest (1, 2). In the footage available online Gray did not identify as a klansman, although it did appear linked on a white supremacist news site. The protests that Gray organized in relation to the "gas out" and the "Gay Day" at Dollywood show the degree to which white supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan frequently try to steer other conservative movements in a racist direction. This tactic has recently been seen with the white supremacist movement's focus on the murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom. The racist right has taken the murders and shifted made them a "racial" issue, despite police assertions that the murders had nothing to do with race and comments from Christian's parents that race was not a motivating factor.

Despite this, the case has been taken up by a number of white supremacist groups and is being used as a means of instilling fear of African-Americans in white people. The rhetoric by the racist movement has claimed that the case is an example of "rampant" "black on white crime" that could mean "genocide" for the white race.

randy gray of the ku klux klan

Gray has taken an active role in promoting this view, both speaking at and promoting a rally held in June in Knoxville, Tennessee organized and attended by various white supremacist groups. In a video posted on YouTube to promote the rally, Gray made several racist statements. Gray asserted that America is "becoming a third world cesspool" and arguing that "it is time to wake up white people" to his view. Gray said that the video: an invitation to all of our white brothers and sisters in the United States or in the world, this is an invitation to you to come to Knoxville, TN June 16 from 1 to 3 at the court house and the reason why we are doing this is because we are protesting the black on white crimes that are happening to our people in the United States of America and the world and the media cover-up.

Gray attempted to use fear of allegedly rampant crime epidemic to promote racist conclusions. In the video, Gray holds up a copy of a booklet called "The Color of Crime" by the "New Century Foundation" that purports to prove that African-Americans are more likely to commit violent crimes than white people. However, Gray fails to tell the viewer that the New Century Foundation publishes American Renaissance, a racist publication that has historically functioned as a vehicle for "intellectual" racists and white supremacists to argue and attempt to prove the alleged genetic and moral inferiority of people of color. Gray argues that:

It's time that people wake up and realize diversity and multiculturalism is a plague on our society. It's been a plague ever since it started in this country.

randy gray of the ku klux klan

Finally, like the other white supremacists joining Gray at Hal Turner's upcoming, Gray has not been afraid to argue that violence may perhaps be needed to "protect" the white race:

You really need to, if you don't already, have a concealed weapon, you need to get one. You need to get the license, you need to get the gun, and our people need to quit becoming the victims and we need to protect our families even if that means having to defend them and having to kill somebody else for self-defense. If that's what is going to take, then so be it, cause we're becoming the victims when we're unarmed.


South Valley paper issues apology following disturbing discovery

July 20, 2007

Fresno, CA - The publisher of a South Valley newspaper is apologizing to readers-after some discovered disturbing flyers stuffed in their papers.Flyers promoting a local white supremacist gang were found by some subscribers of The Porterville Recorder.

by Liz Gonzalez

The publisher of a South Valley newspaper is apologizing to readers-after some discovered disturbing flyers stuffed in their papers.

Flyers promoting a local white supremacist gang were found by some subscribers of The Porterville Recorder.

The first flyer was reported Monday in an east Porterville neighborhood. Others have also found the flyers in their mailboxes.

Experts tell KSEE 24 news the sheet is a recruitment tool for the creator skinheads-a validated gang in Tulare County.

The flyers promote the skinhead way of life.

The newspaper's publisher says in the past, his staff has found circulation ads and other flyers stuffed in the newspaper boxes-- but never anything of this nature.

"We are very concerned about our standing in the community, and we in no means want to be represented as having anything to do with an organization such as this," said Mark Fazzone, publisher of The Porterville Recorder.

Porterville Police tell KSEE 24 News they are investigating the origin of the flyers.

The U.S. Postal Service is also investigating the case.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Attacking those who are different


July 15, 2007

The people who call themselves the Minutemen claim to be a cross between a law enforcement auxiliary and a giant neighborhood watch program that patrols the border to stop illegal immigration.

If so, there goes the neighborhood. The Minutemen don't just construct their own reality. More and more, they account for their own reality show.

Members of the San Diego unit recently picketed St. Peter's Catholic Church in Fallbrook and held up an effigy of the parish priest, the Rev. Edward “Bud” Kaicher, depicted as the devil. According to one Catholic civil rights organization, the Minutemen used bullhorns to hurl invective at parishioners and taunted Hispanic children who were on their way to make their First Communion, telling them their parents were in the country illegally. Things got really crass when some of the border-watchers made references to the Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandal.

A posting on the group's Web site questioned why, “with all the pediphelia (sic) problems going on in the church,” the clergy would promote a situation where you “have 50 loitering men watching little children playing on the playground each morning.”

What got the Minutemen's sheets in a twist? Father Kaicher tried to help workers find employment by allowing the church to serve as a day laborer pickup site. This put Kaicher and the Catholic Church in the crosshairs of the civilian patrol movement, elements of which have morphed from being anti-illegal immigrant to anti-immigrant and just plain anti-Hispanic. And now, anti-Catholic?

That is the view of the New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, which recently jumped into the fray on the side of Father Kaicher and condemned the San Diego Minutemen for their “flagrant anti-Catholic bigotry.”

In a harshly worded statement, Catholic League President Bill Donohue insisted that there are legitimate ways to express an opinion, but that this wasn't one of them. “By succumbing to anti-Catholic bigotry and harassment,” he said, “the San Diego Minutemen have discredited their cause and have no moral grounds upon which to make their appeal.” This group and their tactics, he said, should be opposed “not only by Latino Catholics, but by all Catholics.”

Here is something else that should concern all Americans: the fact that what apparently motivates many of these Minutemen to take up a vigil in the desert or protest in front of a big-box store where day laborers gather is a fear that these immigrants are trying to – in the words of Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minuteman Project – “colonize” the United States by changing the cultural landscape.

We used to say that those who believed this sort of thing were racist or nativist. Those labels still fit. According to videos posted on Web sites such as YouTube, the Minutemen have harassed U.S.-born Hispanics and demanded they “go back to Mexico,” and accused Mexican-American police officers of being in league with illegal immigrants from Mexico.

Lately, these citizen patrol groups have turned their attention to employers. In Vista, a Superior Court judge recently blocked a public records request by a group calling itself the Vista Citizens Brigade – an offshoot of the Minutemen – which sought the names, addresses and phone numbers of 111 people who have registered with the city for permission to hire day laborers.

Judge Michael Orfield said he “would have some concerns as to what would happen with that information.”

You think?

OK, so these border bullies aren't fond of immigrants or Catholics or employers. No surprise there. They don't even seem all that fond of each other. Individuals associated with various Minutemen groups around the country have publicly feuded, sued one another and traded accusations ranging from harassment to mismanagement to embezzlement.

Gilchrist was fired by the Minuteman Project's board of directors and accused of running off with hundreds of thousands in donations from private citizens. Gilchrist denied the accusation and sued the board to win back control of the group. Meanwhile, he's set up his own offshoot called “Jim Gilchrist's Minuteman Project.”

It all brings back memories of another group with a colorful past. They preyed on the weak and powerless. They targeted immigrants and Catholics, and anyone else who was different. Their pictures are in history books, waving the American flag and holding rallies. Still, it's hard to know much more about these folks. You can't see their faces. You know, with the hoods and all.

Navarrette can be reached via e-mail at


County sued over alleged racism

Leslie Parrilla
A former county Drug and Alcohol Services employee has sued the county, saying her department was rife with racism and that she was harassed when she refused to take part in the culture.

The lawsuit — filed July 11 against the Drug and Alcohol Services Department, director Star Graber and employees Vicky Wolf and Debbie White—seeks unlimited damages, according to court documents.

The suit alleges Natalia Acosta was retaliated against and forced to work in a racially hostile environment and that the department did nothing to prevent the discrimination and harassment.

Assistant County Counsel Wyatt Cash said his office has not yet been served with the lawsuit and had no comment.

A lawsuit represents only one side of a case.

Acosta, a Mexican-American, was hired Jan. 31, 2006, as a counselor in the department. She said harassment began immediately, with employees creating an us-versus- them mentality between white and Mexican-American employees.

“On (Acosta’s) first day at work, another county drug and alcohol services employee, defendant

Vicky Wolf, asked (Acosta) if she was Mexican and if she spoke Spanish,” the lawsuit showed. “When (Acosta) answered yes to both, defendant Wolf said … it was good because there were only five of us and us Mexicans need to stick together.”

Over the next several months Acosta said Wolf repeatedly made disparaging remarks about white co-workers.

“Wolf displayed open hostility to other white employees and promoted a racially-based environment of us against them,” the suit reads.

Other employees also are accused in the suit of contributing to the hostile environment.

When Acosta remained friendly with white employees, tensions rose between her and nonwhite co-workers, according to the lawsuit. She filed a complaint about the conditions with a supervisor.

Shortly thereafter, Acosta claims, retaliation started and Graber, Wolf and White would slam doors in Acosta’s face, not interact with her in a professional manner and respond to her with scowls and silence, the lawsuit said.

Graber is accused of further retaliating against Acosta by criticizing work she had praised before the complaint.

It is unknown if the complaint was investigated.

Acosta left the agency June 15, 2006, because of the work environment, according to the lawsuit.

After filing an unemployment compensation claim that the county rejected, Acosta’s Grover Beach attorney, David Hagan, said it was ultimately approved after a hearing about the working environment.

“It really is an unusual situation,” Hagan said. “It’s a situation where the principles of racial harmony are certainly not being taken seriously.

“… My client is a bilingual minority, and she found herself in a situation where she was expected to pick sides. It just seems really unusual in 2006 that that would be going on.”

See a copy of the lawsuit


A racist storm blows in Louisiana


LAST week , the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People held a mock funeral for the N-word. But a chilling case in Louisiana shows us how far we have to go to bury racism.

This story begins in the small town of Jena. Last September, a black high school student requested the school’s permission to sit beneath a broad, leafy tree in the hot schoolyard. Until then, only white students sat there. The next morning, three nooses were hanging from the tree. The black students responded en masse.

Then the police and the district attorney, Reed Walters, showed up. Walters told the kids he “could end your lives with the stroke of a pen ”.

Jena, a community of 4000, is about 85% white. Tensions rose.

Robert Bailey, a black student, was beaten up at a white party. Then, a few nights later, Bailey and two others were threatened by a white man with a sawed-off shotgun at a convenience store. They wrestled the gun away and fled.

The next day, December 4 , a fight broke out at the school. A white student was injured, taken to the hospital and released. Bailey and five other black students were charged — with second-degree attempted murder. They each faced 100 years in prison. The black community was reeling.

Independent journalist Jordan Flaherty was the first to break the story nationally. He explained: “I’m sure it was a serious fight, and I’m sure it deserved real discipline within the school system, but he (the white student) was out later that day. He was smiling. He was with friends … it was a serious school problem that came on the heels of a long series of other events … as soon as black students were involved, that’s when the hammer came down.”

The African-American community began to call them the Jena Six. The first to be tried was Mychal Bell, a talented football player who was looking forward to a university scholarship.

Bell was offered a plea deal, but he refused it. His father, Marcus Jones, said: “Here in LaSalle Parish, whenever a black man is offered a plea bargain, he is innocent. That’s a dead giveaway here in the South.”

Before the trial, the charges were lowered to aggravated battery, which under Louisiana law requires a dangerous weapon. The weapon? Tennis shoes.

Bell was convicted by an all-white jury. His court-appointed defence attorney called no witnesses. Bell will be sentenced on July 31; he faces a possible 22 years. The remaining five teens, several of whom were jailed for months, unable to make bail, still face second-degree attempted murder charges and 100 years each in prison.

Flaherty, who grew up in New Orleans, sums up the case of the Jena Six: “I don’t think there is anyone around that would doubt that if this had been a fight between black students or a fight of white students beating up a black student, you would never be seeing this. It’s completely about race. It’s completely about two systems of justice.”

Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco gained national prominence during Hurricane Katrina. There’s another hurricane that’s devastating the lives of her constituents: racism.

The families of the Jena Six are asking her to intervene. Walters says he can end the boys’ lives with his pen. But Blanco’s pen is mightier. She should wield it, now, for justice for the Jena Six.

n Goodman is the host of Democracy Now!, a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on 500 stations in North America.


School trustees appoint man who wanted to charge Mexico

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Anaheim schools trustees have appointed to their board a man voters tossed off the school board in 2002 after he proposed billing Mexico for educating illegal immigrants.

Harald Martin, a retired police officer who served on the school board for eight years, was appointed by a 3-1 vote Thursday to an Anaheim Union High School District board spot created by the death of Trustee Denise Mansfield-Reinking.

Martin is also known for a failed proposal to turn new students over to federal authorities if they could not prove legal status. He ran for the school board in November and came in seventh out of eight candidates.

The appointment sparked sharp criticism.

Alexandria Coronado, a conservative Republican who served with Martin on the Anaheim board for four years, called Martin "evil."

"He is the biggest racist I have ever met in my life," she said.

Members of the Latino community reacted strongly.

"It's like nominating segregationist George Wallace," said Art Montes, past president of Orange County's League of United Latin American Citizens.

Martin, 52, said he wanted to be on the board again because he felt he had unfinished business in raising district standards. He said he had no intention of revisiting the proposal to bill Mexico.

"Conceptually, it has proven to be a bad idea because it's divisive," he said, adding that he had proposed billing Mexico as a symbolic measure and never expected money. But "what everyone missed in the whole jumping up and down, in the hysteria, all I was trying to do was get money for those kids in the school system."

Information from: Los Angeles Times,

A service of the Associated Press(AP)


Farmers fed up with lack of immigration reform

By Ruben Navarrette Jr.

FRESNO, Calif. -- To listen to right-wing talk radio or the fear-mongers on cable TV, you would think that the only people upset by the unraveling of immigration reform are open-border liberals or left-leaning Latino activists.

Nope. Farmers and ranchers are as conservative as they come. Yet right about now, they're angry enough to spit nails.

American agribusiness is fighting off foreign competition from Asia and Latin America while losing workers to other industries. Someone who grows peaches in Central California might pay workers about $7 per hour, while construction firms often pay twice that.

The reason for the disparity is wrapped up in how much people are willing to pay for what they consume. A lot of Californians won't think twice about forking over a million dollars for a house, but they'll balk at the price of an apple, especially when they have the option of going to another store where the apples are cheaper because they come from China.

And given that California agribusiness generates more than $30 billion annually, the labor shortage is a concern for everyone in the state -- whether they realize it or not.

That point is not lost on the community leaders associated with the Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno. The institute, named after a former state senator who cast a long shadow on local and state politics, sets out to train new leaders and find creative solutions to public policy issues.

We need both. So when the institute invited me to my hometown to participate in a forum on immigration reform, I gladly accepted.

The economy of the Central Valley hums in the summer months and then suffers a downturn in winter. It's all tied to the harvest. A grape grower has a good year, and he buys himself a new pickup truck. The person who sold it to him then has money to afford private school tuition for his daughter. And then the school has enough money to add a new wing. And then the construction company that gets the contract to build it lures away workers from the farmer who set the whole thing in motion.

Now what is the farmer supposed to do? Think the average American college student wants to do those jobs? As one of the other forum participants put it: "Of course no one wants their kids to become farm workers. Not even farm workers want their kids to become farm workers."

Some farmers in Colorado and Idaho have turned to prison inmates to fill the void. It's a cute stunt but not a long-term solution.

So farm groups pressed Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. They were especially interested in the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act of 2006, or AgJobs, which would have created a new guest worker program and granted legal status to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who work in agriculture.

Instead, farmers watched Republicans push racist hot buttons over how we shouldn't have to "press one for English," and how any illegal immigrant who gets legal status would go on welfare. Then they watched Democrats attack the guest worker plan in order to pander to organized labor desperate to protect union members from having to compete with foreign laborers. Meanwhile, pundits in Washington and New York showed their ignorance. The city folk suggested that farmers use machines to pick crops, but farmers maintain that could bruise fruits and vegetables and destroy their profit margin. Try picking blueberries with a machine -- you'll wind up with puree. Do it with strawberries and, before you know it, you'll have jam.

Then there's the money. Congress' failure to pass immigration reform is especially galling since many in agriculture have forked over millions in campaign contributions to officeholders from both parties. And when farmers asked for one thing in return, they got the runaround. They also got insulted; the anti-reform lobby painted them as greedy growers hungry for more illegal immigrants to exploit.

Not true, farmers say. They want a legal work force, they insist, but Congress won't even create a tamperproof ID card so that employers can be sure that their workers are legal. They say they are running out of options. And they've already run out of patience.

They admit that as many as 90 percent of agricultural workers are illegal immigrants. But they wonder, just where are the Americans who are supposedly desperate to have these jobs?

I bet at least some of them are trying different supermarkets, shopping around for the best price for a piece of fruit.


Ruben Navarrette's e-mail address is .


Immigration Non-Harvest

July 20, 2007; Page A12 (WSJ)
Peak harvest season is approaching in much of the country, and the
biggest issue on the minds of many growers isn't the weather but how in the world they'll get their crops from the vine or off the tree. Thanks to Congress's immigration failure, farmers nationwide are facing their most serious labor shortage in years.

The problem was bad enough last year that some 20% of American
agricultural products were stranded at the farm gate. And it's looking even worse this year, with estimates of crop losses in California, America's largest agricultural producer, estimated to hit 30%. This spring, labor shortages forced Michigan growers to leave asparagus rotting in the fields, while farmers in North Carolina lost nearly a third of their cucumber crop last year. They're growing fewer cukes this summer.

In Washington state, the apple harvest begins in mid-August, but growers can't find the workers they need now to thin the crop so trees don't set more fruit than they can support; the cherry harvest is taking all the available hands.

The labor shortage is especially acute in "specialty crops" like fruits, nuts and vegetables. They constitute about half of the nation's overall crop value but require about three-quarters of all farm labor. Growers who can't find enough workers to pick cantaloupe and eggplant are already substituting row crops such as wheat, corn or soybeans that are more highly mechanized. The irony is that specialty crops are also the fastest-growing segment of agribusiness and the least subsidized by taxpayers. So the farm labor shortage could push growers toward government-subsidized crops that distort the world trading system.

All of this is a result of the low U.S. jobless rate combined with a
shrinking supply of foreign -- i.e., immigrant -- labor. Migrant workers, often illegal, have picked American crops for decades, crossing the U.S. border during the harvest season and returning home when the work was done. This farm labor system operated almost as its own informal guest-worker program.

But a more heavily fortified southern border and government immigration raids have busted up this efficient North American labor
market. Fewer potential farm workers are crossing the border, and when they do make it here fewer are going back because they know it might be harder to return next year. Instead, they stay on as illegals and migrate to other industries such as construction or hospitality.

The resulting labor shortage is leading some employers to desperate
measures. In upstate New York, dairy farmers have formed informal
networks, so that when one farm is raided and loses workers, surrounding farms spare some of their own labor to help minimize the economic damage. We doubt al Qaeda is intimidated by these farmworker raids, but they are doing active harm to the U.S. economy.

By the way, this turns out to be a good test of the Lou Dobbs theory of labor economics, or the proposition that illegals are "stealing" jobs that Americans would otherwise do. Immigration restrictionists claim that if only illegal labor vanished, U.S. employers would raise wages and Americans would flock to Yuma to pick lettuce.

In the real world, Americans are already employed at other jobs, and
growers can only afford to pay so much and stay competitive. So instead the labor shortage is increasing pressure on U.S. growers to move production offshore.

According to Tim Chelling of the Western Growers Association, whose 3,000 members in California and Arizona generate half of the nation's fresh produce, "there's a quiet exodus going on already, tens of thousands of acres and millions of dollars in economic activity."

A number of large-scale growers have moved chunks of their operations
south of the border to places like Mexicali Valley, Ensenada, Caborca, Guanajuato and Baja. That means the U.S. will be importing more artichokes and other high-value products. If the U.S. can't import foreign workers to help harvest American farm products, the U.S. will have to import more foreign farm products harvested by foreign workers. Either that, or Americans will pay a lot more for fruits and vegetables as their supply shrinks. Blame Mr. Dobbs and Tom Tancredo the next time you're appalled by prices at the grocery.

If the politicians insist on more immigration raids and border enforcement, then they need to allow for more legal farm-worker migration. Part of the immigration reform that failed last month in Congress was an "AgJobs" provision to overhaul the badly broken and little-used system for admitting foreign agriculture workers. The bill has bipartisan support, and it could serve as a pilot program for how a larger guest-worker system might work.

All that's needed is for Congress to show some political will, which these days is as scarce as farm workers.


Let’s stop pretending

[Original source: unknown ]

America, we can’t have it both ways. We can’t pretend to be for family values and impose uncanny barriers on immigrants reuniting with their loved ones. We can’t be pro-business and drive underground a large segment of our labor force. We can’t favor a living wage and allow businesses to exploit undocumented workers. We can’t be part of a global economy and shun bilingualism. We can’t be proud of ourselves as a nation of immigrants and continue to vilify and ostracize immigrants. We can’t have food on our tables and a roof over our heads while ignoring the rights of hard-working immigrants who harvest our crops and build our homes.

Immigration is the new hot button issue in our communities. We all are suffering the consequences as Congress continues to waiver on resolving this complex issue. The worst of our history is now repeating itself as we hear unabashed anti-immigrant rhetoric printed in our newspapers and promoted by radio hosts and politicians.

The accusations being shouted against immigrants today are as racist and unreasonable as they have always been. These same words were aimed at the Irish, the Italians, the Chinese and others. With each immigration wave, the more established immigrant communities worry that “these people” are bringing crime and disease, are a drain to the system, are refusing to “assimilate” and are not learning English. Somehow, America always manages to be bigger than the sum of its parts, and wave after wave of immigrants have learned English, put their kids through school, advanced economically and integrated into this nation within one to two generations.

Why is there an assumption that Latinos are any different?

We need a serious dose of honesty with ourselves and with each other. North Carolina has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation (in Chatham County the rate is even lower), and in 2006 we had a $2 billion surplus in our coffers. The positive economic impact of Latinos in North Carolina is estimated to be over $9 billion per year and has the potential of being even higher if undocumented people are allowed to integrate by earning a path to legalization. The argument that immigrants are a drain to the system simply doesn’t hold true.

One of the most common concerns that I hear about the undocumented population is that they are not paying taxes. Nothing could be further from the truth. Immigrants, documented or not, who are working in processing plants, factories, the service industry and every other sector have federal, state and FICA/Medicare taxes taken out of their paychecks, just like everyone else. The difference is that undocumented workers are not entitled to Medicare or Social Security benefits, even as they are paying into the system. What is true is that many undocumented immigrants are not filing their income tax returns, which is very different from not paying taxes, and, if they filed, many would be entitled to refunds. The IRS now has millions of dollars in unclaimed tax refunds.

A few years back, the IRS began reaching out to Latino centers to encourage them to help Latinos apply for an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number). The ITIN is a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS for tax-filing purposes to anyone who’s not entitled to a Social Security number, such as foreign investors who are not residents or U.S. citizens. More recently, with the growth of the undocumented community, the IRS saw an opportunity to set its own records straight and encouraged workers currently ineligible for a Social Security number to apply for an ITIN, allowing them to file taxes in their own name and, if applicable, claim their tax refunds for overpayment of taxes throughout the year. It is worth noting that in order for anyone to become a legal resident, they must prove to Homeland Security that they have filed income taxes for all the years they have lived in the U.S., legally or not; this rule has been in place for a long time and it will apply if Congress agrees on immigration reform in this session. As undocumented immigrants learn about this through immigration attorneys, the media and Hispanic centers, more and more are applying for ITINs and filing their current and past years’ income taxes. It must be clarified that an ITIN cannot be used to apply for employment and it is not a substitute for a work permit.

As the immigration debate rages on, many more U.S. citizens are realizing that it is unfeasible and unconscionable to consider enforcement-only strategies to resolve this issue. Currently, there may be 12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., at least 25 percent of whom are not of Hispanic/Latino descent. It would take the deportation of approximately 1,000 immigrants a day for the next 30 to 40 years to “rid” America of its current undocumented immigrant population. This is not a workable solution and is doomed to failure. Besides, what would farmers, construction companies, service industries and factories do without their labor force? Move abroad? Lure in a whole new set of immigrants? From China, perhaps?
We can’t have it both ways. If we’re to keep America vibrant and keep our businesses within our borders, we must take collective responsibility for the workers that we have lured into the country and we must treat them like human beings. Right now, you and I are benefiting from and eating the fruits of an underground immigrant workforce.

We see today a terrible proliferation of what I call “Juan Cuervo” (“John Crow”) laws – with states and municipalities going beyond the rule of federal law to impose their own restrictions on immigrant communities out of fear, ignorance and vengeance.

Thankfully, some are also choosing to make their towns safe havens for immigrants because they recognize and understand that immigrant labor has infused their municipalities with economic opportunities and prosperity.

Many of us are dismayed by immigration reform proposals coming from Congress that would change our immigration system from employment and family based to a classist point system that places a higher value on education and wealth versus family ties. This is an unprecedented approach, ironically coming from the party of “family values.” Families will not bear being divided, no matter what the law says.

We take much pride in the Statue of Liberty, our most recognized symbol of freedom.

The torch she holds is a symbol of enlightenment; it lights the way to freedom and shows us the path to Liberty. More important are the words carved on this symbol: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

May we never forget that we are a nation of immigrants with all the gifts and challenges that this brings. It is time to fix our broken immigration system and bring millions of immigrants into the lit path of freedom, liberty and democracy.