50°Scattered Clouds

Immigration Advocates to March Through Clarendon Tonight

by ARLnow.com — May 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm 5,226 129 Comments

Pro-immigration groups will be marching through the streets of Arlington tonight to protest the deportation of illegal immigrants.

Protesters will march from George Mason University Founder’s Hall, at 3351 N. Fairfax Drive in Virginia Square, to the Arlington County jail, at 1435 N. Courthouse Road in Courthouse, where they will hold a rally against the federal ‘Secure Communities’ immigration enforcement program.

The march is scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m. Organizers expect the rally outside the jail to start at 7:15 p.m.

“Speakers at the rally will include representatives from Virginia, Maryland, DC, New York, Illinois, California and other locales affected by the discredited deportation program,” organizers said in a statement.

The march and rally will coincide with the start of the Turning the Tide National Summit, a three-day pro-immigration gathering that’s being held this year at GMU’s Arlington campus.

Secure Communities helps federal authorities enforce immigration laws by checking the fingerprints of those arrested by local law enforcement through a Department of Homeland Security immigration database.

In September the County Board voted unanimously to attempt to withdraw from the program, saying that Secure Communities “will create divisions in our community and promote a cultural fear and distrust of law enforcement.” County officials eventually determined that it was not feasible to withdraw from the program. A coalition that helped organize local opposition to Secure Communities was later given the county’s James B. Hunter Human Rights Award.

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  • roquer

    Is this stupid? Or what? What – do these guys want insecure communities? They want illegal aliens to NOT be fingerprinted? They don’t want to have real criminals removed, entirely, from our country? I suppose this protest means, they just want the cops to ignore the crime of these people? How stupid is this whole thing?
    I sure have no problem with folks coming to America and becoming citizens, but to have people coming over here, and doing crime, and then the police doing nothing about it….that’s ridiculous.
    Guess you can’t talk to people that have their emotional head in the wrong place though.

  • ArlForester

    Correction: Pro-illegal immigration groups will be marching. How about they all fill their names and addresses out and we will send some of our finest “surveyors” to get their opinion.

    Why don’t these people understand that the program is used for ILLEGALS who COMMIT CRIMES. It isn’t remotely the witch hunt they make it out to be.

    • http://blacknell.net/dynamic MB

      How about they all fill their names and addresses out and we will send some of our finest “surveyors” to get their opinion.

      So challenges the anonymous commenter on the internets.

      • Jeff

        Great! I C E should also be in attendance taking pictures & getting names. Arrest,Detain & Deport.Repeat as Needed.Why do these people feel so entitled to be here? They are NOT !. To M B: We are all anonymous commenters here aren’t we? So what’s your point?

        • MC 703

          Ironically this was a big argument on the NatsInsider blog last night and into today. Not about illegals – just about anonymice

        • novasteve

          Thank God our state isn’t so insane as MD and gives illegals in state tuition at public universities, at the same time whining that their revenues are down.

        • http://blacknell.net/dynamic/ MB

          No, actually, we aren’t all. Until (as I just again realized) ARLnow’s new comment system, everything I’ve posted here links back to my name. Unlike most here, I don’t sling ignorance and BS at others from behind a shield of anonymity.

          Mark Blacknell

        • John Snyder

          So anyone who advocates a change in law that you disagree with is a criminal? Should the IRS photograph people at tax cut rallies and get there SSNs?

    • brif
      • NOVApologist

        According to that article, 3 of every 4 deported under that law have been convicted of a crime.

        • dynaroo

          Yes, it seems the headline of that article directly contradicts its own source!

          • brif

            No, you just have a reading comprehension problem. The headline was from a south florida newspaper and in that area according to the article “Nationally, 1 in 4 people deported under S-Comm haven’t been convicted of any crime. That ratio jumps to over 50% in Palm Beach, in Miami, and in multiple examples across the country”

          • dynaroo

            Ah, I see – the local stats contradict the national stats.

          • brif

            nope, no contradiction, just a lack of comprehension and understanding on your part.

          • NOVApologist

            “Nationally, 1 in 4 people deported under S-Comm haven’t been convicted of any crime.”

            Which means that 3 in 4 deported under S-Comm have been convicted of a crime.
            Which means that this program is used for illegals who commit crimes.
            Which means you might be the one with a little comprehension issue.

          • brif

            sorry, my original comment should have included the word just between NOT and used. is that better?

      • dynaroo

        Isn’t an “illegal” committing a crime by definition?

        • brif

          Immigration violations can be administrative violations, not necessarily criminal violations.

          • dynaroo

            True. And I am certainly not one of those “deport them all now” types. But the assumption is that someone who is here without authorization…shouldn’t be here. And they shouldn’t complain if we actually dare to enforce our own laws and rules.

            Don’t you think?

          • brif

            if we’re talking about administrative violations, then “someone” is entitled to due process which means yes, that “someone” should be here.

          • dynaroo

            Nobody is arguing against due process. Secure Communities does not deny due process. And I don’t think these marchers are complaining about a lack of due process.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            +10

    • Neighbor

      Well said. You can be pro-immigration and against illegal immigration. They are two different things.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Exactly!

  • CW

    Let the comments begin.

  • CC

    On most issues, I come out on the same side as “liberals.” I’m even sympathetic to immigrants and can’t stand racists or those who hate foreigners. But come on, we’re talking about people who aren’t supposed to be here by law, and would have been turned away at the border if they had tried to enter legally. It doesn’t fly.

    Little-known fact – labor rights activist Cesar Chavez led a protest at the Mexican border to protest illegal and temporary workers coming over to take farm jobs from American workers. Wonder what you’d say to him.

  • Curious George

    OK I will bite.

    Ending up at the jail is considerate…..

  • Stu Pendus

    This happens everyday around 3:00 when the construction sites shut down.

  • The Dope of South Arlington

    Will there be a counter-demonstration?

    • novasteve

      God I wish I were an ICE agent or border control. Too bad arlington is liberal overrun, this event would be the perfect place to arrest illegals. Only in America could you have people demanding things when they don’t even have the right to be here, and are breaking the law being here. And are demanding it should be easier for them to break the law. Only in america would you get called a racist for questioning this. Even in e urope they deport these people and put them in camps.

      • John Snyder

        And your assertion that people attending the rally are not citizens or perfectly documented immigrants is based on what? That they don’t look like you? That they disagree with you? I am very glad you are not an ICE agent or otherwise involved in law enforcement.

      • Cate

        I am so sick of people using “liberal” as an insult. Not all liberals feel the same way about every issue, just like not all conservatives do.

        Be a little bit more creative, would you?

        • Skeptical

          +1

        • CC

          No kidding. The more you bash “liberals” the less you get those who agree with you – like me – to lift a finger to do something about it.

    • Stu Pendus

      Yes, but they don’t ride into town until tomorrow.

  • Cate

    Ugh, this is absurd.

    I don’t take issue with someone’s immigration status as long as they contribute to the community by working and above all, obey the law. While I’d obviously prefer every immigrant be here legally, I know realistically it’s not going to happen.

    But people are really opposed to this program??? That’s completely insane. It weeds out the criminals (by that I mean those who have committed crimes other than coming here illegally) who pose a threat to everyone, including their fellow immigrants, legal or not.

    This really pisses me off, Arlington shouldn’t even entertain the idea of “opting out.”

    /liberal opinion

  • rossl

    i sense this will be like the immigration rally a few years ago, when you literally could not even get into any metro stations (especially ballston) because there were so many people.
    awesome.

  • Josh S

    I think it would be useful to understand what their argument is. Does anyone know?

    • Ballstonia

      It seems to boil down to: “Law Enforcement = Bad; Coddling Illegal Immigrant Criminals = Good”

    • brif

      That the secure communities program is flawed, counter productive, excessively harsh, unregulated, unnecessary, misguided, too expensive, and ineffective. Personally, i find it hard to believe that such an expansive program can be administratively forced on localities by a federal agency without any kind of congressional mandate, approval, or review.

      • dynaroo

        HOW is it flawed, etc?

        • brif

          short answer is that the program doesn’t do what ICE maintains it’s supposed to do

          • dynaroo

            Still too short.

          • Sophia

            All of the illegal aliens who are deported under the Secure Communities Program are lawbreakers. It seems that this program is working just fine.

      • MC 703

        These good folks are not protesting because they are concerned about the burden on administrative costs on localities… In fact they are in favor of increasing the burden on as many localities as they and they’re friends back in El Salvador can make their way to.

        They’re just protesting a program that threatens their law-breaking way of life.

        And if you come back with that “it’s not a crime and they pay taxes” hooey, you’ve obviously never had your identity stolen by an illegal alien so he can piggy-back on your SSN and ruin your credit in the process.

        • Z

          This really is a problem, I know two people that have had their IDs used to fraudulently open accounts by people with hispanic names. Not a generalization, just stating the facts. Both were for cell phone plans.

          • MC 703

            This is a huge problem. I’ve worked in many restaurants through my HS and college years and knew numerous fellow employees name Carlos Gonzalez or Margarito Cruz yet when they clocked out or got their paychecks, the name was William Johnson or Sarah Matthews.

            They do not give a hoot. All illegal aliens are selfish. They only care about themselves and their families. They say: screw everyone who is waiting in line to enter legally and screw whoever I hurt by stealing their identities.

            Screw them for once. Jeez.

          • Thes

            Just FYI, those people were quite likely paying Social Security and other taxes under those names, without qualifying the resulting benefits. Sounds pretty generous of them!

        • Bluemontsince1961

          +100

      • Josh S

        I’m ready to be sympathetic but as Mr. Ubiquitous below points out, this summation of the argument is circular. It’s bad because it’s bad.

        Why is unnecessary?
        How is it excessively harsh?
        How is it counter productive?

        Etc.

        And then, to top it off, it would be nice to read what the proposed alternative is.

        • Thes

          Josh,

          In light of the flood of racist rants this subject produces on ArlNow, I can understand why informed commentators hesitate to choose this forum to answer your question. I am not an expert on this area of policy, and so I will not claim to provide “the” views of proponents of this march. Nonetheless, you must first recognize that it is virtually impossible for most people in the United States to immigrate to this country legally (unless you are a relative of a US citizen). Second, because of generations of intentionally lax border and internal controls, the United States is currently economically dependent on many millions of workers not possessing the legal right to work. Seriously attempting to expel them all would have an effect similar to attempting to expel every American college student under 21 who has consumed alcohol. It’s not a serious thing to propose. There are just too many people. And even if “we” (Americans) wanted to do this, “we” (Arlingtonians) have zero legal power to deport anyone.

          Next, ICE enforcement is terrifying and inefficient. Deportation, when it does happen, is often preceded by months or years of detention without trial in prison-like conditions. It is not unheard of for people who are not native speakers of English to be detained EVEN THOUGH they are not illegally present in the United States. In this respect, immigration enforcement is thought by many to have racially disparate impacts. As you can see from the other comments here on ArlNow, it also has racist proponents, if not motivations.

          So the remaining question is what is the best strategy for our local police (the ones who have no power to deport anyone, and certainly not the ability to deport everyone), who already face language and cultural barriers within our immigrant communities. Their main job, as far as I am concerned as a taxpayer, is to prevent and investigate crimes that could affect me, like robbery, theft, arson, vandalism, financial fraud, rape and murder. I want our Arlington police to be able to gain the trust of the majority of immigrants who wish only to violate our labor law and no other laws. I want these individuals to feel encouraged to report street crime to the police, to volunteer to be witnesses, and in general to be helpful neighbors. Also, I want those accused of petty crimes, like speeding, littering, or public drunkeness, to submit to and cooperate with police when confronted, receive their ticket and improve their behavior.

          If Arlington Police are required to turn over information on 100% of the people they detain to ICE, then that level of cooperation will drop. This will make me less safe. It will not, however, make much of a dent in the number of illegal immigrants in our community. So that’s why I as a US citizen, could oppose this practice.

          Finally, because the major effect of this practice is to chill and frighten the immigrant community, with only a marginal benefit to law enforcement or immigration enforcement, the immigrants themselves (including legal residents who expect to be mistaken for illegal immigrants) are protesting it. In other words, the law and practice is, in their view, disproportional to the offense.

          • http://www.twitter.com/jennrubenstein jenn

            thank you for posting this. i fear most people seem to have made up their minds regardless and won’t bother reading it, but they should. i’ve known multiple people who were in this country legally – as students, with completely legal student visas – who were absolutely terrified of being mistakenly taken into custody and left in a cell for months, long enough for their schoolwork to suffer and student visa to be revoked. unfortunately, they feared this for a reason – they had heard horror stories from people it had happened to. the system is broken, and needs to be reworked. i’m not going to this rally, but if i was, that is why i would be protesting. not because i think illegal aliens should all get free passes.

          • http://twitter.com/jennrubenstein jenn

            oops, wasn’t signed in. didn’t mean to post quasi-anonymously.

          • ArlForester

            You have any proof of this happening or only the boogey man stories of it?

          • http://twitter.com/jennrubenstein jenn

            i’m sure i could email my old grad school classmates if you’d really like contact info?

          • ArlForester

            It just seems like everyone has these horror stories of legals being detained except there is no proof of it.

          • http://twitter.com/jennrubenstein jenn

            please do realize it was less of a “i heard that my friend’s boyfriend’s cousin’s best friend’s aunt’s grandson…” and more of a situation where they were literally given warning from the officials who processed their student visas before they came to the US. one of my grad school classmate was born and raised in montreal, but her mother had immigrated (legally) to canada from south america… i want to say argentina? luckily her student visa never had any issues, at least not serious ones. her work visa was another story, yet more evidence of a broken system.

          • ArlForester

            It is broken because of the number of illegals. If everyone obeyed the rules, there would be no issues.

          • http://twitter.com/jennrubenstein jenn

            last clarification for now, promise:

            i got a little sidetracked, but my initial post was following up on the point made by the previous poster, Thes, re: fear of ICE. whether or not the stories are true is possibly less important an issue than whether the existance of these stories is causing legal, productive, tax-paying non-citizens to be fearful, as well as preventing non-criminal folks (legal or not) from reporting violent crimes.

            also, i made a typo in the above comment (should have been an s on the end of “one of my grad school classmates…”) and i just couldn’t let that go. former proofreader here. sorry!

          • Thes

            @ArlForester Here is a bona-fide example for you of a U.S. citizen and veteran who was recently and wrongly detained for 13 months and then deported. Many more where that came from…

          • Stu Pendus

            “If Arlington Police are required to turn over information on 100% of the people they detain to ICE, then that level of cooperation will drop.”

            Clearly someone does not know how this program works.

            That was the same talking point Tejada rolled months ago when Arlington challenged their participation in ICE. He (and that silly bit of rhetoric) could not have been more misinformed about how the program is administered.

          • Thes

            @Stu. Why don’t you correct the record for us, then? Tell us how the program actually works. Consider this is a direct quote from from ICE’s own website: “Traditionally, fingerprint records taken by local law enforcement during booking are checked against the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) criminal history records. With this enhanced information sharing capability, these fingerprint records are then automatically checked against the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) immigration records, providing valuable information to accurately identify aliens in custody.”

          • Stu Pendus

            “ICE stated that Secure Communities is a federal information-sharing program — which links two federal fingerprint databases,” Donnellan wrote. “The program does not require state and local law enforcement to partner with ICE in enforcing federal law. State and local law enforcement do not have any role in enforcing immigration law.”

            http://www.arlnow.com/2010/11/05/arlington-declines-to-opt-out-of-ice-database/

            There is no partnership with ICE, and Arlington does not turn over any information to ICE. Nor were they ever asked to.

            Always happy to help.

          • Josh S

            Thank you, Thes. A well reasoned and articulate statement, to be sure. I am much closer to understanding the nuances of the situation. Unfortunately, these nuances are not easily communicated via bullhorn or chant. I wonder if a rally is possibly counter-productive.

          • pleazzer

            If they cannot work they will deport themselves as long as we do not keep giving them free money and services.

      • ArlForester

        Why are you so supportive of law breaking illegal aliens?

        • DC123

          Just because someone supports immigration reform doesn’t mean they support illegal immigration. Perhaps I just realize, unlike most, that our country has certain needs that aren’t met with the current system. For example? Migrant labor needs in California agriculture.

          Narrowing everything down to the “soundbites” makes things sound so much better, doesn’t it?

    • Chris Slatt

      The main issue with Secure Communities is illegals get deported after being arrested, even if they haven’t been convicted of anything which makes illegals avoid all contact with the police, including testifying against criminals, reporting crime, etc.

      The big poster child is a woman who reported her husband for domestic abuse, the cop who came to investigate charged her with selling phone cards without a business license, which was enough to get her run through Secure Communities and now she’s set to be deported even though the charge was dropped.

      So in one major way, it makes our communities less safe by creating a huge portion of the population incapable of going to the police for help which opens them up to serious extortion and exploitation by criminals. Want to get away with crimes? Just do them in an immigrant-heavy area – nobody will be willing to go to the police to report it, testify, etc because God forbid there was some sort of mix-up, confusion or false accusation shot back against them – then it is deportation time.

      • CC

        “The main issue with Secure Communities is illegals get deported after being arrested, even if they haven’t been convicted of anything”

        So? They’re here illegally.

        “So in one major way, it makes our communities less safe by creating a huge portion of the population incapable of going to the police for help”

        Jesus, that’s an insane argument. It’s like arguing that we shouldn’t enforce ANY laws.

        If you want police protection, don’t sneak into a country without permission! If you fear the police, it’s for a reason.

  • Mr. Peanuts

    Well, I guess we all know where Jose Walter Tejada will be tonight.

    • Patrick

      +100

      • DC123

        You make it sound like a bad thing! Can’t wait to see him there.

  • MC 703

    Makes me ill.

  • LyonSteve

    “If you see something, say something.”

    Is this an appropriate use of the tip line? Inform Immigration and Customs Enforcement there may be illegal aliens in that area?

    • Max

      Hispanics =/= illegal activity.

      • dynaroo

        Right, because he said Hispanics. Oh wait, he didn’t.

        • DC123

          Does he need to spell it out for us to say something about it? Max makes a point – just because its a pro-immigration rally means it’ll be full of illegal immigrants?

          I’ll make sure to take my passport that proves I’m a U.S. citizen, just in case. And here I thought I was in VA, not AZ.

          • dynaroo

            “Max makes a point – just because its a pro-immigration rally means it’ll be full of illegal immigrants?”

            But that’s not what Max said, did he?

      • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

        Post edited. Please refrain from name-calling.

  • TGEoA

    Hickory Shampoo time!

    • dynaroo

      You already posted that a while back. It was mildly funny then.

      • TGEoA

        desobediencia civil sigue siendo la desobediencia

        • John Snyder

          So peaceful demonstrators should be attacked by thugs. Are you from the Hosni Mubarak school of civil liberties? Or just another anonymous internet creep threatening violence–again?

  • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

    Somebody call Rolling Thunder.

  • Mickey

    OK, let’s allow illegal immigration……but also pass a law of open season on them like deer season. When we find one and turn one in, the person turning one in gets a groupon to a local Mexican restaurant! or a Somali restaurant…..get it? We could also pass a law like Arizona and take the business licenses of those that hire the illegal immigrants. Face it…..illegal is illegal.

    • DC123

      I’m sure you have some GREAT ideas about how you’d determine if someone was illegal.

      And seriously, referencing deer season? I guess you forgot vigilante justice is illegal too.

  • What?

    I really don’t understand this. They are protesting against the deportation of ILLEGAL immigrants. How can anyone argue against this? They are here illegally, they are breaking the law, what more is there to argue?

    One a side note, I may stop by there tonight to see if I can find some cheap labor to fix up my yard.

  • Jim

    Where is ICE when you need them???

  • Kate

    Why are there so many right wing nut jobs on Arl Now? You live in Arlington VA, one of the most liberal counties in the country. And yes, there will be protests here for unlawful immigration policies. I’m really not sure where the outrage is coming from. Maybe you all should move to Fairfax?

    • TuesdaysChild

      Supporting the federal immigration laws does not make someone a right wing nut job.

    • Thes

      @Kate: Several of them already live in Fairfax, or even farther out. They are trying to import their values here.

      • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

        Actually, Kate, I doubt too many people who don’t live in Arlington care too much about the politics of Arlington unless they have some other tie to the area. The bigger issue on this board is individuals posting with multiple screen names touting the same political line to make it seem like a lot of people favor his position.

        • Stu Pendus

          Oh yeah, like hoo?

          • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

            Ha ha. Pay close enough attention and it will begin to be obvious after a while.

        • doodly

          Nobody cares enough to post with multiple screen names just to make them look bigger either. Everyone knows its an internet board that has no impact on the real world. People post with multiple screen names for other, much more mundane reasons.

    • Cate

      I’m ridiculously liberal (from Massachusetts), and I support this program. Obviously there are cases to be made against it (a poster up the page wrote a long comment which definitely has me thinking), but I lean more towards thinking it’s a good idea. I don’t have a huge problem with illegal immigration – it’s just not feasible to stop it – but my reasoning is that if someone is here illegally and commits a crime (non-immigration related), they should be deported.

      I genuinely curious as to why you’ve described the Safe Communities program as “unlawful” – could you expand on that? (Honestly, I’m not looking for an argument, I’m just wondering)

      But IA on the right wing nut jobs. Quit whining and leave Arlington if it’s that big a problem. I used to live somewhere that was too conservative for me, so I left.

    • CC

      1. I’m quite firmly in the Arlington liberal mainstream. I can’t stand the right-wingers. Yet I find it preposterous that people find all these ways to excuse illegal immigration and oppose enforcement of immigration law.

      2. It’s fundamentally un-American and un-liberal to suggest that people who disagree with something should move away instead of speaking out. And it’s also kind of ironic in this debate.

  • Hank HIll

    I am ashamed to be in Arlington. Illegal ailens should know that many residents of Arlington want you out.

    ICE is nowhere to be found. I will have my camera out to expose the illegal ailens.

    • MC 703

      They do not give a hoot. All illegal aliens are selfish. They only care about themselves and their families. They say: screw everyone who is waiting in line to enter legally and screw whoever I hurt by stealing their identities.

      Screw them for once. Jeez.

      • http://www.twitter.com/jennrubenstein jenn

        i’m going to start copying and pasting the same comments multiple times under the same post to see if anybody notices.

        just saying.

      • Arlington, Northside

        MC703- you don’t even seem to understand what the line is. It is pretty much non-existant to the uneducated/unskilled. Currently the United States give out only 10K visas a year for unskilled laborer, TEN THOUSAND, the Arlington Hotels alone could use up those 10K workers as banquet servers and house keepers. With the number of folks wanting to come here from around the globe, let alone those just south of our border, it is almost easier to win the PowerBall Lottery than for these folks to get a visa to do it legally. We need strong border protection, and we need to deport the truely crimminal, but we also need to provide a way for these hard working folks to come to America and work to support our economy, so that they don’t sneak in providing cover for the true crimminals.

    • Steve

      Actually most residents of arlington are bleeding hearts who want them here DESPITE the rules and nlaws of this country.

  • What?

    I enjoy paying taxes and letting illegals get all the benefits of living here without paying any taxes, that’s just good for America. I don’t see what the fuss is all about. I also don’t mind paying taxes for them to get free Emergency room care. It really seems odd that this is even an issue. Tonight I plan on walking to a largely hispanic neighborhood and giving out my credit cards, pin numbers, and cash to them. I just seems right.

    • Thes

      Immigrants do pay taxes. Often they pay more than you do.

      • steve

        Are you referring to people legally working here who pay income tax, or are you referring to ILLEGAL immigrants? Can you be specific?

        • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

          Of course he is talking about legal immigrants. It was intended to be a discreet post with regard to ILLEGAL immigrants. The M.O.

        • Westover

          Illegals have been paying FICA, Social Security and Medicare using my SSN for years. Add to that the sales tax and lottery tickets they buy here in Virginia, they pay a decent amount of taxes, probably a higher rate than half the Citizens of our Nations.

          • doodly

            Well, just to quibble, many of that half you’re referring to also pays FICA, SS, Medicare and sales taxes, just no direct income tax.

          • Westover

            Which still puts them at a lower rate than those using the stolen/bogus SSN’s who can’t/won”t be filling for a refund.

          • doodly

            True, just noting that it’s more than zero, which isn’t quite clear in the studies that claim that half our population pays zero taxes, which I assume you were referring to.

  • Just Me

    I am sick of Arlington protecting the illegals, it is not fair to the legals that took the time and spend the money to do it correctly.

    There are a lot of nice things about Arlington but protecting the them not one of them. When I retire I will be moving to a county in Virginia that supports laws of this country.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      +1000

  • MC

    I think we have exhausted the secure borders debate by now, unless the County Government does something new.

    However, I am confused why people from California and Illinois are coming here to protest. Who are they trying to influence exactly. Who at the Courthouse is supposed to be listening, and what are they supposed to do?

  • LyonSteve

    Two things:

    1) A police escort, really?

    2) They were chanting “Amnesty now!”

    • ArlForester

      So they cost the taxpayers money? Typical.

  • Brandon C

    I missed the point where ARLnow became the WTOP comments sections.

    • DC123

      Welcome, Brandon!

      I guess you haven’t been on ARLnow too long ;)

  • Dave

    I was eating dinner at Pete’s last night when this crew rolled by and everything they were chanting was in Spanish. How am I supposed to support their s—- cause if I can’t understand them. They also ruined a minute of my meal which I’ll never get back and I’d say THAT’S a crime.

    • DC123

      Somehow, I have a feeling you wouldn’t support their “s—- cause” if they were speaking the Queen’s English and paying for everyone’s dinner at Pete’s last night…

  • Hey Christians!

    What would Jesus do? Seriously: think about that to yourself. Didn’t he say something like “What you do to the least among us, you do to me”? I bring this up because around here, most conservatives claim to be Christian–and yet some of you have such zeal, such gleeful derision of illegal aliens.

    I too support deporting people arrested for robbery, burglary, assault of any kind, murder, etc.–and because of that, I support this program. But at the same time, have some compassion! Most of the illegal aliens are barely feeding themselves. They come here because our federal policies (agricultural and otherwise) screwed up their own countries.

    Does that mean I support the status quo? Or that we should let 15 guys rent a house in Manasses? Or that we shouldn’t be concerned about how illegal immigration drives wages down for low-income workers? Or costs a lot of money in healthcare (mainly from the ER)? No. Those are real problems, with complicated solutions.

    But these are human beings. So should you be.

    • Cate

      This might be the best comment in this whole post.

    • CC

      Compassion should come in the form of rewritten immigration laws.

      It should not come in the form of ignoring or not enforcing laws.

    • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

      What would Jesus do? Great question. I suspect Jesus would not knowingly break the law of a country and enter it illegally.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Amen, amen, and right on, Overgrown Bush!

      • Josh S

        I suspect you are wrong. I’m no Christian, but if I understand Jesus’ message it’s that compassion and love for the less fortunate members of society are more important than obedience to the ruling class. If you skip back to the Old Testament, well, then God tells a different story. And certainly any institutionalized church has generally also preached the obedience to laws credo. But if you’re gonna go down the What Would Jesus Do road, it’s hard to come up with any answer other than love and show compassion to all those around him, no matter their circumstance.

      • CC

        Jesus was most certainly a law-breaker. He routinely broke laws he thought were fundamentally unjust, and was crucified for it.

        But I don’t think he’d break this law because it’s not fundamentally unjust.

        • Josh S

          And there you have the heart of the immigration debate. How does one deal with immigrants, both legal and illegal, justly?

          It is truly amazing to me to listen to all these people here who assume that once a person steps one foot into this country without having gone through the process to gain a visa, it automatically means they are deserving of no further consideration and must always be branded with the scarlet C, for criminal and that this is the sum total of what one needs to know about that person.

          I don’t subscribe to that brand of justice as, to me, it is so clearly unreasonable.

          • dynaroo

            Nobody said that’s all they need to know about that person!

            I’m sure these are really really nice people. But that doesn’t excuse their actions. They shouldn’t get special treatment any more than someone who steals because they’re poor would.

            If you want to propose an amnesty, that’s one thing. But we don’t have one now, and nobody is entitled to that.

  • Westover

    http://reason.org/files/a87d1550853898a9b306ef458f116079.pdf
    The reason why we have people sneaking in, there is really no other way for them to get in to work.

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