|06-28-2010, 01:37 PM|
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Philadelphia to bar immigration agents from arrest data
Philadelphia is expected to end the arrangement that permits federal immigration agents to scrutinize the city's computerized list of arrests, including country of origin and other data, Everett Gillison, the deputy mayor for public safety, said Sunday.
Immigrant advocates say the year-old agreement between the city and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement service, known as ICE, has resulted in deportation proceedings against immigrants arrested on even minor charges. Under the agreement, ICE agents can routinely access the city's Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System (PARS). That agreement is up for renewal on Thursday.
"It is the mayor's view that the PARS agreement should not be extended," Gillison said, speaking at a South Philadelphia church meeting attended by more than 300 immigrants and their supporters.
He said there would be a formal announcement of the city's position in the coming week, probably on Friday.
Mayor Nutter has expressed concern about the human rights of all immigrants, regardless of their legal status.
In a directive he issued a year ago, he barred municipal employees on official business from inquiring about the immigration status of any person, including, but not limited to, victims, witnesses, arrestees, and detainees.
Gillison said Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and District Attorney Seth Williams "agree with the mayor" that the ICE-PARS arrangement should be terminated.
His announcement, which followed an hour of public testimony from immigrants about their fears and mistrust of the police, drew chants of Si, se puede! - Yes, we can! - from a mostly Latino audience that also included members of the city's Asian communities and a contingent of suburban supporters from the Central Baptist Church of Wayne.
Organized by a coalition of proimmigrant groups, including Juntos and the New Sanctuary Movement, the standing-room-only meeting took place in the basement of Annunciation Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary on South 10th Street. It was conducted mostly in Spanish, with electronic headsets available to permit simultaneous translation into English.
In addition to Gillison, officials in attendance included City Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez; Police Capt. Michael Weaver, commander of the immigrant-rich Third District in South Philadelphia; and Leslie Davila, assistant director of Victims' Services, who represented the District Attorney's Office but who left before the end of the meeting without addressing the group.
Because Williams did not attend, someone had filled the seat reserved for him with a large cardboard cutout of the district attorney's face.
"This is about human rights. It's about civil rights," Sánchez said. "And I am very, very encouraged by [the administration's] movement around PARS."
Some of the speakers who provided testimony about their encounters with police used their real names. Others used pseudonyms. They spoke from a lectern decorated with a poster that said, "Public Safety Now."
One man, who gave his name as Ignacio Aguirre, described the arrest of his son. He said the boy had been at the beach, where he used a knife to cut a watermelon. He put the knife into a backpack. Several days later, without thinking about it, he took the backpack to school and tripped a metal detector. It was an innocent mistake, the man said, but it resulted in a visit from ICE and house arrest with an ankle bracelet for his child.
He did not elaborate on the status of the case but said, "Now I'm afraid to call the police for anything."
Guadalupe Hernandez said she came to the United States from Mexico in 1996 to escape domestic abuse. She said her 16-year-old son was arrested in Philadelphia in 2007 while trying to stop a drunk friend from slashing car tires on Dickinson Street.
"My son tried to take the knife away," she said, but when police arrived, he found himself arrested "as an accomplice."
Although the boy eventually was exonerated, she said, "ICE wants to deport him."
Mark Medvesky, a spokesman for ICE in Philadelphia, said he could not comment in detail about the city's intentions regarding PARS until it took formal action.
But he did say, "Our priority is convicted criminal aliens, getting dangerous people off the street. That's one of the reasons we wanted access to PARS."
|07-07-2010, 06:33 AM||#2|
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* Tuberculosis (TB) kills approximately 2 million people each year. It is estimated that between 2002 and 2020, approximately 1,000,000,000 people will be newly infected, over 150 million people will get sick, and 36 million will die. TB is a highly contagious disease. Like the common cold, it spreads through the air. When infectious people cough, sneeze, talk or spit, they propel TB germs, known as bacilli, into the air. Each person with active TB will infect on average between 10 and 15 people every year.
The United States currently has one of the lowest rates of TB in the world. Mexico has 10 times the rate of prevalence and many African countries along with Afghanistan, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Indonesia have rates that are 100 – 150 times higher. Making matters worse, a few years ago a Multi-Drug-Resistant (MDR) strain of TB has emerged that is resistant to all standard anti-TB drugs. Treating a single case of MDR TB costs over $250,000 and as much as $1,200,000 per person, and even with treatment about half of the patients with MDR-TB prematurely die.
* The MSM report ad nauseam that illegal aliens are only “doing work that Americans won’t.” This mantra is mercilessly bandied about by illegal immigration supporters and echoes throughout the halls of Congress and the White House whenever the topic comes up. What is never mentioned, however, is that the illegal aliens are artificially depressing compensation and that illegal aliens are the only ones who will do the work at such low wages. In actual fact, illegal immigration distorts the law of supply and demand in a capitalistic society. Additionally it is grossly hypocritical to want to raise the minimum wage on one hand while the other hand winks at illegal aliens working at far below prevailing wages.
* While some of the costs summarized above are subsets, e.g. cost of the murders as part of the cost of crime, as you can see the economic costs of tolerating illegal immigration is quite considerable. You are paying for it in terms of higher taxes, insurance premiums, et cetera. Some estimates place the net costs of each illegal alien in the country at $50,000 – $100,000. (FYI: 12,000,000 X $50,000 = $600,000,000,000) When the all the indirect costs are factored in, it is probably even higher. In any case, it is a cost that YOU are paying for.