Based on information published in the Public Opinion, it seems that the borough is using the "don't ask -don't tell" approach. I think that this is wrong. They are not called illegal immigrants for nothing. They are breaking the law.
Chuck, I hear what you're saying. But you have to remember that we have a duty to serve and protect all the people. We can't pick and choose who we want to serve and protect. Plus, failing to protect these immigrants (even if they are illegal)from criminals just will promote more criminal activity and hurt our community. I like to compare it to the fire department. If they are called to a house fire and find that the house is owned or occupied by illegals they can't very well refuse to put the fire out. If they did the fire could spread and destroy dozens of other homes. Same with the police. They must first protect the community by catching criminals. If they don't, the next victim of that criminal could be you or me.
Mayor, I completley agree with chuck. The illegal immagrants come into this country and they don't pay any taxes and they work for next to nothing. I think this is completly unacceptable. They steal the jobs of hard working Americans just trying to make a decent living for themselves. THEY TOOK OUR JOBS!!!
I agree with the caring americans in the fact that they took our jobs. Its all illegal shenanigans.
You guys are racist. "Angry" Joe Cullinane is completly idiotic. This has nothing to do with these poor people taking our jobs. They just want a decent living like everyone else. All these people are guilty of is chasing the american dream. Thomas Jefferson states in the US Decloration of Independence that all people are created equal and all people are entitled to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. "Angry" Joe Cullinane you need to be a little more sensitive toward other races of people. You are a little radical in this situation.
Illegal immigration is a national problem and one that requires a national answer. Let's hope that our new Congress and new administration comes up with one. Until it does we at the local level have to deal with this issue. As bloggers have pointed out there is the fear that illegal immigrants are taking local jobs. I'd be curious to know if anyone here locally has been unable to find a job because employers are hiring illegal immigrants. I know most local immigrants are working at unskilled jobs for low pay. Plus, most can't speak English. I'd be surprised if these folks are a threat to the jobs of local workers with a high school education and minimum job skills. I'd also be surprised if local workers would be willing to do the work these folks are doing. In fact, illegal immigrants are probably a much greater threat to the jobs of legal immigrants than they are to the jobs of local workers. I know local dairy farmers and orchards would be in serious trouble without migrant labor. A question for our bloggers would be how much would you have to be paid to pick apples all day? If orchards paid you this would they be able to compete against foreign fruit growers? As to not paying taxes, employers are required to withhold taxes from their employees. If they don't their businesses can be closed by the IRS. If you know of businesses who are not doing so please report them to the IRS. Like I said at the beginning, illegal immigration is a national issue. It's not something we can resolve at this level without significantly increasing the size of our law enforcement agencies and probably stepping on the rights of many of our legal immigrants and citizens.Mayor L
There sre bad immigrants and good ones. I think if they are here and working and are provideing for their family that have here in the united states then let them work and let alone. Hey at least they are not lasy like some of the local people in our city.
Mayor, I don't believe you are hearing Chuck nor do I believe you are seriously addressing this issue. A major problem we have in this country is men holding the idea "There's nothing we can do so why bother?" This seems to be your mentality. I would also like to reject your assertion that illegal labor is acceptable under certain circumstances.Tell us what you are doing right now to address this problem.- Ryan
Ryan,First, I never said illegal labor is acceptable under certain circumstances. I strongly oppose employers using illegal immigrants to do the work of those here legally. Doing so is not only against the law but also drives down wages and most severely hurts, as I said, those legal immigrants who are working hard to provide for their families. Regarding your claim that I believe "there is nothing we can do so why bother" you couldn't be more incorrect. I believe that we, as citizens in a free democracy, can petition our representatives in Congress, in state legislatures, and even in Borough Council to correct this problem. We can offer our ideas on the best way to do so and hope that the solutions they come up with are comprehensive and effective. As someone who is sworn to uphold the law you can be sure that I will enforce any laws or ordinances to control illegal immigration that our elected representatives come up with. But understand, I don't make the laws and I can't arbitrarily circumvent or violate them. However, if you can suggest things I can be doing to better deal with illegal immigrants in our community I'd be anxious to hear them.
I suppose I misinterpreted “I'd also be surprised if local workers would be willing to do the work these folks are doing.” I apologize if that’s the case.I would point you to the example of Prince William County in Virginia. The local government decided to get serious there a few years ago regarding criminal activity. I’ve included a link to an article written by the Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. In short, they cracked down on those in their county illegally and saw crime drop dramatically.http://www.coreystewart.com/blog/violent-crime-rate-plunges-36-8-prince-william-countyWhat are your thoughts?
I read the article you recommended. I think we have to understand that comparing our situation with that of Prince William County is not helpful. The percentage hispanic population of Prince William County went from 4% in 1990 to over 20% by 2006. Total hispanic population was 78,371 by 2006. Meanwhile overall population of the County tripled during that period. These two factors, overall population growth and immigrant hispanic population growth put a tremendous strain on the social fabric of the county. I'd recommend you read the study prepared by the Brookings Institution in February of this year, "Immigrants, Politics, and Local response in Suburban Washington". You can get it online at: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/reports/2009/0225_immigration_singer/0225_immigration_singer.pdfWhile I won't comment on whether I think the steps the County Supervisors of Prince William County took to address this strain were effective, or were the best way for their community to address the illegal immigrant issue, I will state that such steps are unnecessary here. First, we have nowhere near the number of immigrants in our County as there are in Prince William County and consequently nowhere near the number of illegal immigrants. Second, we have nowhere near the problems with illegal immigrants that Prince William County seemed to have. Our crime rates are steady and our increase in calls for service is more a factor of overall population growth in the Borough than the activities of illegal immigrants. In fact, as I've said before, hispanic immigrants (both legal and illegal) are more likely to be the victims of crime than the perpetrators. Finally, the actions necessary to weed out these illegals would put a strain on our police manpower and our Borough budget. I note that Prince William County will spend $11 million over the next 5 years to enforce its new statutes. I agree with the recommendation of the Brookings Study, " A logical start would be to bring the public together on the immigration issue in ways that curb conflict rather than inflame it, and seek effective policies that successfully address long-term demographic changes and challenges". These policies include promoting english proficiency, assiting in naturalization, working to build trust between immigrant communities and police, and supporting organizations that work to socially and economically integrate immigrants and their families.
Let me be clear, my concerns have nothing to do with those in the Borough legally. They have the same right to live here as you do. My concern lies in the mentality that wishes to wait until something is out of control before steps are taken to correct it, especially when that something is flat out wrong and unfair to the tax payers. I was brought to concern because it seemed as though you were willing to hang back and wait for the federal government to handle the issue.I appreciate your reading of the article I supplied and I’m equally gracious for the one you supplied. I think I now have a pretty good idea of where you stand on this issue.Mayor, I thank you for your time.
Mr. Mayor,1. You said:"In fact, as I've said before, hispanic immigrants (both legal and illegal) are more likely to be the victims of crime than the perpetrators."I disagree with part of that statement. I believe that 100% of illegals are 100% likely to have perpetrated a crime because they are, in fact, illegal. They are breaking a Federal law just by being here.If a citizen knows for certain of an illegal and would report it to the boro police department, what would be done? I'd be reporting a crime as it's my responibility as a citizen. If I reported an illegal and Joe Shmoe reported John Q for a burglary, would both be investigated equally?If not enough is done now to get the message across that Chambersburg isn't a safe place for illegals, then you're going to be facing a lot more in the future. And then you're going to have an expensive problem.What exactly has the boro police been instructed to do when they know for certain they have a illegal?You also said:"I agree with the recommendation of the Brookings Study, " A logical start would be to bring the public together on the immigration issue in ways that curb conflict rather than inflame it, and seek effective policies that successfully address long-term demographic changes and challenges". These policies include promoting english proficiency, assiting in naturalization, working to build trust between immigrant communities and police, and supporting organizations that work to socially and economically integrate immigrants and their families."Wouldn't a logical start be to find the ones committing the crime of being here illegally and prosecute them? Begin with enforcement of the law, weed out those who aren't supposed to be here then go with the Brookings study and commit less resources because you have less people (but legal people) to require them? Help out those who are new citizens, are here on visas and so on but are here legally.Also, do you think illegals would honestly make good citizens when the very first thing they do here is break the law? When you go the route that isn't enforcing the law, you take away from those who ARE here legally. All the hard work and effort they put in to it is trampled on. Those are the people I feel the most for.Are you willing to publicly pose the question to the citizens of Chambersburg and ask for their ideas on how to handle this situation? It's possible that if you give the problem the attention it deserves, they may not want the spotlight and move out on their own.Respectfully submitted,Daniel*Sidenote: When I use the term "illegal", I refer to those of all races. White, brown, purple or green, a law breaker is a law breaker.
You said: "First, I never said illegal labor is acceptable under certain circumstances. I strongly oppose employers using illegal immigrants to do the work of those here legally. Doing so is not only against the law but also drives down wages and most severely hurts, as I said, those legal immigrants who are working hard to provide for their families. "Then do something about it if you know it exists. It's illegal! Does that make you an accomplice to illegal activity since you know it's going on? (said with a bit of levity)
Several people have recently posted comments about illegal immigrants. The point of their postings is that the CPD should be doing more to identify and arrest illegal immigrants living in the Borough. The question is what more, specifically, could we be doing? We still live in a country where, thank God, the police can't arbitrarily stop people and ask for their ID and/or proof of citizenship. Illegal immigrants don't wear signs saying they are illegal. Therefore, only in the course of normal police activity, i.e. criminal investigations, can we seek to determine someone's citizneship status. If the person has committed a crime and is here illegally he/she will be detained,charged with that crime, ICE will be notified, and the person will be held in County jail pending ICE's instructions. Please understand, the CPD has 34 officers to serve and protect the 20,000 residents of Chambersburg. Time spent chasing illegal immigrants who have not committed a crime is time not spent investigating murders, assaults,roberies, burgleries, and other serious crimes. Yes being here illegally is a crime and I hope our federal legislators resolve this issue. But my first job as Mayor is to ensure that the CPD is protecting and serving the people of Chambersburg. Over the last week we arrested 5 people, all local good old American citizens, who committed a bank robbery, two assaults, and one burglary. These are the people I want our police to worry about. Not people who, although here illegally, have not committed a serious crime and are not not a threat to our residents safety or security.
Mr. Mayor,First off thank you for not only allowing the posting of my comment/questions, but also addressing the issue.Instead of being a person who just asks questions without offering any ideas for solutions, I'd like to take a moment to try to help.Would it be possible to try for a city ordanance banning the renting of properties to illegals? In order to get a place to live, they must produce documentation that they are here legally. If a landlord is found to be breaking the law, possibly impose a fine of $1,000 like San Bernadino suggested for their city? Also pass a local ordanance banning employers from utilizing illegal immigrant workers? Again, imposing a fine. Also to encourage help from the community, anyone with a solid report that leads to a fine would get a reward. This solution costs the community and the government $0, encourages the communities help and supplies the local government with another form of revenue. It's a win/win situation for everyone and only comes with a pricetag of a couple of press releases to get the word out.My first post wasn't so much that the police should do more (they can only follow the Constitution and enforce the law) but rather I wanted to ask a few questions, get your stance and see what is being done.I believe that the best thing Chambersburg can do is to make it as harsh an environment as possible for illegal immigrants to live and work. Now when I say harsh, I don't mean harrassing, but rather make it hard for them to rent a property and get a job. Without either option, they have no choice but to leave. Unfortunately this only makes it someone else's problem, but if more and more towns followed suit and if it spread far enough, it could make a difference. But in the meantime, it will become someone else's problem and save the funds the city of Chambersburg need for other beneficial projects and services.Respectfully submitted,Daniel
Daniel,Understand that this dialogue is what the blog is all about. I welcome your comments and hope others feel free to join this conversation.Regarding your suggestions:1. I'm pretty sure the Borough can't issue an ordinance regarding the hiring of illegals. However, I believe there is already a federal statute requiring employers to verify citizenship (via ssn's) of employees.2. The Muicipal Planning Code controls what we can do with landlords and renters. I doubt we can require landlords to verify citizenship however your idea should be brought up at a Council meeting and our solicitor could probably answer you. If I remember I'll ask him tonight.3. Regarding making life harsh for illegals. Again, if we could easily distinguish illegals from legal resident aliens and citizens your idea might have merit. However, in real life doing what you suggest could quickly lead to racial profiling, a quasi police state and also create undue stress on those here legally. Further, do you really want the police chasing down reports of people here illegally? Do you realize how much time and effort and money we'd spend because someone didn't like their neighbor or someone's daughter was dating someone they didn't like, or, well you get the idea. That said, if you information about a crime that may have been committed by an illegal alien please notify the CPD. But the key word here is crime.
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