Monday, December 31, 2007

Immigrant Hell in Maricopa County, Arizona

For an expose of the the harsh treatment of immigrants in Maricopa County, Arizona, click here.  According to the story, "[t]he situation for undocumented immigrants in Maricopa County is arguably the worst in the country, thanks to two men: County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio."  Both have aggressively targeted undocumented immigrants.  "A crackdown by Arpaio's deputies on law-abiding immigrants — including food vendors, college students, and day laborers — has left the community so frightened that many immigrants will not even leave their homes to visit the grocery store or go to church. Even American citizens of Hispanic descent say they are nervous. One citizen New Times spoke with carries his United States passport around to prove he's a citizen."

As we have written about in past blog entries, Arizona's new employer sanctions law goes into effect tomorrow.  So things are unlikely to get better soon in Maricopa County or, for that matter, in the rest of Arizona.


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You call the treatment harsh but there's nothing in this article which indicates that these people aren't given anything less than due process under the law, and that the sheriff is doing anything more than zealously carring out his responsibilities to the expectations of his electorate, the citizens of Miracopa Country.

Immigrant Hell in Maricopa County, Arizona?

I suggest that you re-title the posting to read "Illegal Alien Hell.............", as it is well-known that the good sheriff is interested only in non-immiigrants known as illegal aliens, persons not recognized as immigrants under our immigration laws. It would be fair to accuse him of lacking sympathy for these people, and that he is aggressively enforcing the law, but it is wrong to demonize him. It's so uprofessional of you to do so. Also, if thse people are living in hell, they have no one else to blame but themselves.

"..............accused of committing felonies, to his campaign against identity theft, almost every political move Thomas makes has anti-immigrant rhetoric at its root."

Identity theft is a crime, regardless of whether one is an illegal alien or a citizen. If an illegal alien commits identity theft, he's entitled to prosecution under the law, just as if he were a citizens or legal resident (true immigrant). Remember that business of equal protection under the law? It applies to citizens as well. Forgiving illegal aliens and prosecuting citizens for the same offenses would hardly be serving the intent of the 14th Amendment. The advocates of illegal aliens like the 14th Amendment when it comes to entitlement to due process, but hate it when that equal treatment includes prosecution for criminal behavior on par with citizens. This is one of those inconvenient truths that immigration lawyers and illegal alien advocates will never overcome by wagging their tongues. Blaming Arapaio for enforcing the law of the land is hardly a clever stategy for discrediting him. Stick to scrutinizing his application of the law and maybe he'll slip up and make your day.

I'm not aware of any promise made by the American people that illegal aliens are entitled to the welcome wagon or to feel secure against arrest and deportation. Such feelings are delusions promulgated by their complicit immigration lawyers, and ethnocentric Hispanic advocacy groups who've given them the impression that they would somehow be immune to the consequences of the law or that it would be a foregone conclusion that they would be amnestied. Quite the opposite is true, while we should welcome all immigrants, we shouldn't provide the same welcoming treatment to illegal aliens, some of whom have malicious intent and would do harm to our citizens.

I find this article just a case of more outrageous whining by people who, having broken the law, are now feeling the consequences and looking for sympathy. Happiness can never be found in cheating the system.

Until Arpaio is found to violate the law in the performance of his duties, complaints by immigration lawyers and advocacy groups are little more than rhetoric designed to influence national politics through the use of melodrama. The American people have come to see through such ploys.

Posted by: Horace | Jan 5, 2008 7:22:59 AM

It's interesting that you don't mention how much citizens have to put up with when it comes to these so-called "innocent" illegal immigrants. The persons in your article could easily be guilty of the same crime of identity theft that inconveniences the fellow in the Dallas Morning News the article that follows my narrative. Should we tolerate illegal immigrants when they are the cause of so much identity theft crime? By the pathos of your human interest stories you would have us believe that illegal immigration is simply a misdemeanor and have us forget the common felony of identity theft that often accompanys it. It's just another inconvenient truth that immigration lawyers would have us ignore.

'Why me?' California man asks of Texas impersonator

Chicken plant worker using his ID gets him into trouble with IRS

11:42 PM CST on Friday, January 4, 2008
By HOLLY YAN / The Dallas Morning News

Guillermo Espinoza learned he was a victim of identity theft by a Pilgrim's Pride worker when he received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service in 2006 saying he owed $6,000 in taxes.

Even though he knew he was innocent, Mr. Espinoza, 36, said he was terrified for his financial future.

"I mean, this is the IRS. They will take your money," he said. "They'll garnish money from your wages. I'm on a budget. I can't afford this right now."

Mr. Espinoza suspects his identity was stolen after he lost his wallet – once in 1986 and again in 1998. Everything, including his Social Security card, was in his wallet each time.

He now keeps his Social Security card at home.

Mr. Espinoza said he believes someone has been using his identity for years. In 2001, he went to an IRS office in El Monte, Calif., to try to clear his history of missed tax filings.

"I went to the IRS because I hadn't done my taxes in a few years," he said. "I was trying to make sure I was up to status. I don't want it to come back to my future."

There he got a surprise.

"They told me I owe money from working in Texas," said Mr. Espinoza, who lives in Pasadena, Calif. "I said, 'Nope, I've never lived in Texas. I've never worked in Texas.'

"They said they would take care of it, so I didn't think much of it," he said.

So he was especially surprised to receive the letter in 2006.

"This guy had been working there for years, clearly," Mr. Espinoza said of the man using his identity.

After showing additional proof of his identity, Mr. Espinoza said that the IRS has cleared him of tax evasion from Texas.

Fortunately, he said, the ordeal has not had a huge impact on his work life or credit. He has a good job as a metal bond assembly employee for an aerospace facility, and he said his credit was already bad, but he is trying to fix it.

He has mixed feelings about the man who assumed his identity.

"I know he's got to earn his living, but it's wrong. It puts somebody else through all the hassle," he said. "I don't know if he's got a family and children to feed, but at the same time, why me?"

Mr. Espinoza, who has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, said he was just starting to turn his life around when he realized his identity had been stolen.

"I've decided that I've wasted enough of my life," said Mr. Espinoza, who was in and out of jail between 1990 and 2000 for drug offenses.

He said he finally cleaned up his act after finishing a year-long sentence in 2000.

"You want to settle down, you want to have a family," he said. "I want to have the American dream."

U.S. citizens like himself, with Hispanic surnames, are particularly vulnerable, he said. And he's afraid another strike could prevent him from reaching that "American dream."

"If this person has [my information], what's stopping another person from using it?" he said. "It makes you think, is this going to continue? What about if I want to buy a house? It's scary."

Posted by: Publius | Jan 5, 2008 8:14:32 AM

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