Charles Breiterman's picture


  by  Charles Breiterman

I could have saved money on my utility bill on Sunday morning because of the New York Times. After reading this article, Debate Intensifies Over Deportations, I could have fried those eggs I had for breakfast on my head instead of the stovetop.

The article is about the Secure Communities Program. This is an effort started under the Bush administration and continued by the Obama administration to identify and deport illegal aliens when they are arrested for other crimes, such as robbery or drunk driving. The article focused on the implementation of the program in Houston, Texas. Sheriff Adrian Garcia was quoted as saying, “We are taking people off the streets of Houston, off the streets of Harris County, who have indicated they are not interested in following the rules around here.”

There were plenty of quotations from people who claim to be “immigrant advocates,” but are really “illegal immigrant advocates,” and actually the correct term under current federal law would be “illegal alien advocates.” I do not accept those persons as having a credible point of view because they attempt to facilitate intentional lawbreaking activity when the laws are perfectly reasonable and non-racist. Also, we do not have a worker shortage and I do not believe we ever did. In November, 2006 somebody advertised jobs in New York City at $10.75 per hour, (not a high wage in New York City), thousands of people showed up to apply for the jobs. That event shows that even when the unemployment rate was 4.1% in New York City, at the height of the phony sub-prime economic boom, we had thousands upon thousands of people that were eager to work- if the wage was decent. I strongly suspect that it was and is true in large urban areas all over the United States.

But the most egregious part of the article is this:

Mr. Bringas Nimrod was one of about 10 illegal immigrants the local police had locked up on misdemeanor charges that afternoon. One was Celio Velásquez, a 23-year-old construction worker from Honduras, who was accused of drunken driving and running over a volunteer firefighter with a car, making it necessary to amputate his legs. Another was Jaime López, a 48-year-old Mexican citizen with a bloody bandage over one eye. He had been arrested on aggravated assault charges for the second time. Jay K. Aiyer, a Houston immigration lawyer, said few people here disagree that dangerous criminals should be deported. But Mr. Aiyer said he had handled several cases in the last eight months in which illegal immigrants faced deportation proceedings after the state had dropped criminal charges. But John T. Morton, the assistant secretary of homeland security in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, does not see the roundup of relatively harmless immigrants as a flaw.

“Harmless immigrants.” Unbelievable. A volunteer firefighter has had to have his legs amputated due to the actions of a man who should not even have been in the country, and they are "harmless immigrants."

The case of Celio Velasquez encapsulates the entire macabre circus of illegal immigration. Housing construction has plummeted from 193,000 new housing starts in June, 2005 to 58,000 in June 2009. We have plenty of unemployed construction workers. We do not need Celio Velasquez here illegally working in construction. Nor did we ever need him: some 4 million came here during our phony housing boom of 2002-2007 that was based on sub-prime loans. The home building lobby said, “They are helping us build these houses.” But it was people who should never have been in this country building houses that never should have been built. The illegal aliens earned money and sent a good chunk of it out of the country as remittances to their country of origin. Now, the illegals are still here and they are competing for jobs with unemployed Americans, and we are stuck with these unsold and foreclosed homes. The Bush administration facilitated this with its non-enforcement of the law until this country cried out.

Celio Velasquez ran his car over a volunteer firefighter, causing the amputation of the man’s legs. A man who volunteered to rescue us from danger has lost his legs because of somebody who should never have been in the country. It was a drunk driving incident that never should have happened if our government would enforce the laws.

Another case that happened in the Houston area was that Juan Felix Salinas, here illegally, killed Fenisha, S.J., and Xavier Williams while driving drunk. Now Salinas did have a prior arrest for shaking his wife violently, but I’m sure he held a job and was a hard worker. Nevertheless, he should not have been in this country and those people should have be alive.

In Minnesota, a “harmless [illegal] immigrant” crashed into a school bus and killed 4 school children. She was driving without a license.

In Georgia, a child named Dustin Inman was killed by an illegal alien drunk driver. The Dustin Inman Society was founded in his memory. Links are here and here The website Immigration’s Human Cost has a list of American casualties. FAIR has an ongoing list. But it is impossible to keep track of thousands of deaths and injuries with limited resources.

CHARLES BREITERMAN is an attorney and writer/researcher with NumbersUSA

American workers
Interior Enforcement

Updated: Thu, Aug 13th 2009 @ 5:51am EDT

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