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  1. #1
    ladyofshallot's Avatar
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    Jan 1970

    Activists pack Carlsbad town-hall meeting ... _11_05.txt

    Activists pack Carlsbad town-hall meeting

    By: WILLIAM FINN BENNETT - Staff Writer

    CARLSBAD ---- Thursday night's town-hall meeting on illegal immigration at Carlsbad High School was a decidedly lopsided affair.

    Those who showed up after about 4 p.m. for the 7 p.m. meeting didn't get one of the coveted tickets to attend the forum, titled "The Illegal Immigration Crisis."

    One anti-illegal immigration advocate inside the school's 400-seat capacity Community Cultural Arts Center said he believed the reason that so few immigration-rights advocates made it inside was because radio talk-show host Roger Hedgecock, who emceed the meeting, gave his listeners a heads-up on his Wednesday radio show.

    "Roger told his listeners that we should arrive early, so we could fill up the auditorium," said Orange County resident Shain Sternod, 43. "There was no opposition, and he did not take any questions; so, it turned out not to be a town-hall meeting, just a series of speeches."

    When the event's sponsor, state Sen. Bill Morrow, R-Oceanside, asked who among the audience believed the country is in "an immigration crisis" to raise their hands, virtually everyone did so. When he asked for those who didn't believe there is a crisis, only four or five people timidly raised their hands.

    The general theme of Thursday night's speakers was that the government and citizens must do something to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the country.

    The more strident of the half-dozen or so speakers was author Madeleine Cosman, who rattled off a litany of problems she said are caused by illegal immigrants, including everything from a spike in the number of sexual predators in California and an increased homicide rate to an increase in the spread of infectious diseases.

    The night's featured speaker was U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, who, like Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist, received a standing ovation. Both have achieved nationwide conspicuousness in their push for immigration reform.

    The controversial Minuteman Project fielded several hundred volunteers in April along the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona to observe illegal immigrants and report them to the U.S. Border Patrol. The operation drew worldwide media attention. Many of the volunteers were armed, and over the 30 days of the vigil, they succeeded in reporting 300 illegal immigrants who were then apprehended by Border Patrol agents.

    Tancredo has become one of the leading figures in the fight for stronger enforcement of U.S. immigration laws and protecting the nation's borders.

    In his speech, Tancredo charmed the like-minded audience with his sense of humor. Talking about a piece of immigration legislation now working its way through Congress, and sponsored by Sens. Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, and John McCain, R-Arizona, Tancredo said: "I call it the McKennedy bill. I don't have to say anything else, but that it is sponsored by Kennedy and McCain."

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    ---------------------------- ... _11_05.txt

    Illegal Immigration forum draws hundreds

    By: PHILIP K. IRELAND - Staff Writer

    CARLSBAD ---- "A whole lot of heat, but not much light," was how an ethics teacher from Pasadena summed up the scene outside Carlsbad's forum on illegal immigration Thursday night.

    "One side was shouting, 'This is what democracy looks like,' " said Gregory Feldmeth, as he scrawled some of the slogans he'd heard on a newspaper. "But this not democracy. Democracy is sitting down and talking. They are labeling rather than discussing."

    Several hundred protesters and spectators milled about outside the Carlsbad Cultural Arts Center while about 350 people attended the forum inside. Despite concerns of potential violence, the protests outside the town hall-style meeting called "The Illegal Immigration Crisis" remained peaceful.

    Sheriff's deputies broke up a small altercation just after 9 p.m, said sheriff's Capt. Glenn Revell. A few pro-immigration protesters reportedly chased and caught a man, Revell said.

    Officers moved in quickly and freed the man, Revell said. The man made no complaint of injury and was referred to Carlsbad police in case he wanted to file an assault complaint. No one was arrested, Revell said.

    Feldmeth said a variety of ethical issues were raised by the protesters outside the meeting.

    "They (immigrants) are coming for a variety of legitimate reasons ---- economic, security, food," he said, clearly relishing the scene. "I think there's a tension here that neither party sees or knows what to do with."

    Between the rhetorical divide stood a multicity contingent of more than 50 police officers and sheriff's deputies outfitted in riot gear. All were armed, and some officers carried a weapon that looked like a paint-ball gun loaded with pepper balls.

    About 100 more officers from National City, El Cajon, Chula Vista, Oceanside and Carlsbad formed a perimeter around the two opposing sides with the line of officers between. The crowd grew from a few dozen at 6 p.m. to several hundred by 8 p.m.

    The anti-immigration contingent, dressed in golf shirts and creased slacks, seemed to be having a good time cracking wise and smiling as they shouted "Go home illegals." People on the other side ---- the pro-immigration protesters ---- looked decidedly more serious, even angry, but were no less loud and no more creative.

    "Go home racists, go home," they chanted.

    They traded barbs, a few epithets, accused one another of ruining America, and then disbursed. By 8:45 p.m. the bullhorns and a few hoarse hangers-on barked insults back and forth.

    The stone-faced barrier of police kept both sides separated and peaceful.

    The illegal-immigration forum, presented by state Sen. Bill Morrow, R-Oceanside, was canceled last week by Carlsbad school district Superintendent John Roach, who cited concerns about clashes between pro- and anti-immigration protesters.

    Roach said he feared violence could erupt, causing injury to participants and damage to school property.

    Morrow countered, saying his office carried the necessary $1 million liability insurance, and assurances by Carlsbad police that they would be prepared for any contingency.

    Roach did not back down, so Morrow sued the school district, claiming that his First Amendment right to free speech had been violated.

    School district lawyers advised Roach that his cancelation could amount to a constitutional infringement. With that, Roach reinstated the forum, agreeing that federal constitutional rights trumped local school district policy. Roach said he had several conversations with local, state and federal law enforcement officers, who assured him that they would be on site to maintain a peaceful assembly.

    The cancellation sparked widespread condemnation from anti-immigration factions and was the topic of several days of discussion on AM talk-radio programs. Roach said that he had received "hundreds of e-mails" and telephone messages condemning his decision.

    "Half of them were vile, hate-filled racist, anti-immigration e-mails with language that I wouldn't share with anyone, and the other half were thoughtful references to free speech," Roach said.

    Pics: ... pic&t=8023

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    They (immigrants) are coming for a variety of legitimate reasons
    There cannot be a legitimate 'reason' for doing an illegal thing.!!


    PS...Didn't you just love the spin in these reports???
    The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed. " - Lloyd Jones

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