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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion

    Immigration info meeting takes place quietly in Elgin

    Immigration info meeting takes place quietly in Elgin
    • Minuteman Project: Session focuses on the role of local law enforcement

    By Nathaniel Zimmer
    staff writer

    ELGIN — Roughly 60 people gathered Monday night to hear from members of the Illinois Minuteman Project and to watch a video featuring two law enforcement officers who discussed their efforts to combat illegal immigration.

    It was the third Minuteman event held in Elgin since November, when a gathering of around 100 project supporters drew a roughly equal number of protesters, leading police to call in 40 to 50 officers in riot gear.

    There were just as many officers on hand for a Minuteman meeting held at The Centre of Elgin in February, but the mood was less tense as a handful of protesters waved signs outside and a mainly Hispanic crowd gathered at a nearby church for what organizers billed as a celebration of the city's diversity.

    The atmosphere at Monday's event at the American Legion at 820 N. Liberty St. was still calmer, with no protesters in evidence.
    There were fewer police as well, although more than a half-dozen police vehicles were parked throughout the neighborhood surrounding the hall.

    The attendees were almost entirely white. Most were middle-aged or older. They heard from Rosanna Pulido, the state project's director, and, on video, from Sheriff Daniel Beck of Allen County, Ohio, and Police Chief W. Garrett Chamberlain of New Ipswich, N.H., who were taped at a recent appearance outside Rockford.

    Elgin resident and Minuteman member Doug Heaton spoke about the frustration he experienced trying to get city police to explain what they do about illegal immigration. Heaton's persistence led Elgin Police Chief Lisa Womack to outline the department's efforts at last week's city council meeting.

    In a lengthy, discursive presentation, Beck and a lieutenant from his department discussed, among other things, the bafflement they experienced when, while searching for a rape suspect in 2004, they happened upon a building full of what they said were illegal immigrants who spoke no English and were living in overcrowded conditions.

    Beck said that since that time he has had his officers trained in detecting false documents. He said he has also worked with employers in an effort to find illegal immigrants, a program he said had "opened up" about 130 jobs.

    Chamberlain discussed a 2005 incident in which he arrested an admitted illegal immigrant on a criminal trespass charge after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement declined to take any action. The case was later thrown out by a New Hampshire judge who said the charge was unconstitutional and that immigration enforcement is a federal matter.

    Pulido implored the audience to get involved in attempts to crack down on illegal immigration. Citing instances in which illegals driving drunk have killed American citizens, she said, "Americans are dying. They're being killed by illegals."

    Among those in attendance was Eric Langfield, 29, of Melrose Park. He said that he has followed the activities of the Minutemen since they first came to prominence last year with their patrols along the border with Mexico.

    "I think what they're doing is positive," said Langfield, a laborer and Army veteran. "I'd like to see the present laws enforced."

    Not everyone was so committed.

    Terry Smith, 58, said he was "just curious."

    "We're just here to see what it's all about," said the South Elgin resident, who had come with his mother.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion

    Views on targeting illegals
    Illinois Minuteman shows video to show Elgin other towns’ examples

    By Christine Byers
    Daily Herald Staff Writer
    Posted Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    About 400 feet away from a jail in Allen County, Ohio, last year, a three-story structure with 18 apartments was housing nearly 300 undocumented immigrants all employed by local businesses there.

    In May 2005, a 21-year-old Mexican man admitted to a New Hampshire police officer that he was an illegal immigrant during a routine traffic stop.

    Police chiefs in both towns took action in these situations that have brought them national attention and, on Monday, the interest of about 75 people gathered at the American Legion Hall Post 57 in Elgin for an Illinois Minuteman Project meeting.

    The group met in November at the Legion hall in Elgin. Fifty riot-ready police officers from 25 neighboring departments stood by during the discussion about how illegal immigration is affecting the Fox Valley — and it was peaceful.

    This time, about five Elgin police officers guarded the parking lot and no other groups showed up to protest the showing of a video in which Ipswich, N.H., Police Chief Garrett Chamberlain and Allen County, Ohio, Sheriff Daniel Beck discussed how they handle illegal immigrants in their areas.

    Chamberlain directed his officer to arrest the Mexican man for being in the country by charging him with criminal trespassing. Beck made it a priority to train his deputies to spot false identification cards as well as enforce existing laws that fine businesses for employing illegal immigrants.

    Beck said about 130 jobs opened at a major national company, which he would not name, soon after their special enforcement began.

    “If you are a cop, you swear to uphold the law,” Beck said in the video, generating applause from the audience. “And this is a legal and illegal issue.”

    The video showing in Elgin comes just days after about 300 mostly Hispanic residents gathered at the Elgin city council meeting to protest former Elgin Area U-46 school board member Doug Heaton’s suggestions on how Elgin can do a better job when it comes to enforcing immigration policies.

    Elgin Police Chief Lisa Womack answered many of Heaton’s questions, including why police do not forward information about illegal immigrants guilty of drunken driving or those who cannot provide valid identification to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    She also said Elgin does use the Law Enforcement Support Center to check a person’s immigration status.

    Elgin would not benefit from having its officers trained to become deputy immigration enforcement officers under the 287g Immigration and Nationality Act because “we already do what 287g allows us to do,” she said.

    But Heaton vowed to continue to question city council members at upcoming meetings on more ways the city can be proactive when it comes to enforcing immigration laws.

    At least one audience member Monday night wished him good luck.

    “You will not get accountability from the city staff,” said Terry Gavin, who was a city council member from the mid-1990s to the late 1990s. “Staff will lie to the face of the council and they will go right along with them.”

    But Rosanna Pulido, who leads the Illinois Minuteman Project, urged the crowd to remain committed.

    “If there ever was a time for you to get involved, it is now because we’re losing America,” she said.
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