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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ratbstard's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    New Alien City-(formerly New York City)

    Minutemen group pushes ballot measure to ban hiring illegal

    Minutemen group pushes ballot measure to ban hiring illegal immigrants in Springfield
    Minutemen sponsoring bill that could head to the ballot in February

    by Mike Landis, KY3 News

    12:41 a.m. CDT, July 20, 2011

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- As national unemployment hovers at 9 percent, an Ozarks group is trying to curb what it believes is part of the problem.

    "Having illegal aliens coming in and taking those jobs is a real issue for some people," said Jerry Wilson, spokesman for the Ozarks Minutemen, a group pushing for local immigration reform. "We believe that the United States government has failed the American people in their responsibility to control illegal immigration."

    The local Minutemen chapter submittted signatures for an initiative petition that would force businesses to dig deeper to verify the immigration status of employees. The organization needs about 2,100 valid signatures of registered voters in the city; it says it submitted 2,400 to the city clerk's office. The city clerk still has to verify the signatures on the petitions.

    Under the initiative petition, businesses would be forced to check the immigration status of employees using the federal E-verify database. Currently, Missouri law already requires all entities doing business with the state to use the system.

    "It has nothing to do with racism, it has to do with the law of the land," said Wilson. "We support legal immigrants. Our country was founded on legal immigration and built by immigrants.

    The City of Springfield could levy fines, and suspend or take away business licenses for places caught hiring those in the country unlawfully. However, the constitutionality of part of the initiative is being called into question.

    "The suspension of licenses, business licenses is probably fine. But that provision about the finance director issuing fines would probably fail," said City Attorney Dan Wichmer.

    Wichmer bases his thought on the Belt vs. City of Springfield decision by the Missouri Supreme Court in March 2010. That ruling stated the city cannot administratively levy fines. The case has been used as an argument against the constitutionality of Springfield's red light camera system.

    "Do I think there are some concerns about parts of it? Yes," Wichmer said. "But the other parts of it appear to track what the [U.S.] Supreme Court said was valid in Arizona."

    In May, the high court of the land ruled Arizona could indeed mandate use of the E-verify system, and could suspend or strip business of their licenses for hiring illegal workers.

    If the signatures are verified, the initiative would make its way to City Council. Members could then vote on it themselves, or forward it on to the citizens for a vote in February.

    KY3 contacted Grupo Lationoamericano, a local immigrant advocacy group, for its opinion regarding the proposal. The organization was unable to offer comment by newstime. ... 999.story#
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  2. #2
    Immigrant status check petition effort generates opposition

    Community leaders are asked to fight Minutemen proposal.

    Church, business and Hispanic community leaders are being urged to fight a petition to force local businesses to check the immigration status of their employees -- or be fined.

    A meeting Monday night called by Grupo Latinoamericano held in the Drury University Diversity Center drew a capacity crowd that included Hispanic immigrants, concerned non-Hispanic residents, members of the NAACP, church pastors and local business operators.

    The pastoral group included Mark Struckhoff, executive director of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks.

    The effort by the Ozarks Minutemen to get its proposal before city voters is disturbing, Struckhoff said after leaving the meeting.

    The effort by the Ozarks Minutemen to get its proposal before city voters is disturbing, Struckhoff said after leaving the meeting.

    Struckhoff said he'll ask member churches to examine the petition carefully.

    "I'm disturbed in spirit," Struckhoff said. "It's a message that doesn't belong in the community. It's a message of trying to dominate other people and dominate other people who are just making it."

    Last week, the city informed the Minutemen the group was about 300 signatures short of the 2,101 signatures needed to put an initiative petition on the ballot.

    The organization has until next Monday to seek the additional signatures of voters who live in Springfield.

    The proposal would require employers inside Springfield to use the federal government's E-Verify program to check the status of employees.

    The proposal also would require the city to fine businesses that employ illegal aliens $499 and suspend their business licenses.

    Monday's session was intended to develop a strategy to legally counter the Minutemen effort, Grupo Latinoamericano Executive Director Yolanda Lorge said.

    The petition might mention undocumented immigrants in general, but it's really aimed at Hispanics, and Mexicans in particular, she said.

    Seeing such a measure enacted would affect all of Springfield, she said.

    "This has been personalized," she said. "Illegal alien equals Mexican."

    The petition isn't aimed at a particular group, Minutemen spokesman Jerry Wilson said when contacted after the meeting.

    "Our basic position is you are either eligible to work in the United States, or you are not," he said.

    The organization plans to turn in the additional signatures needed for the petition effort today, Wilson said.

    The Mayor's Commission on Human Rights will meet next week and discuss the proposal, group chair George Davis said.

    One of his concerns is the petition could be flawed because it doesn't protect citizens or legal immigrants from harassment, he said.

    Enactment of the Minutemen's proposal could put an economic burden on local businesses, Missouri Immigrants and Refugee Advocates executive director Vanessa Crawford said.

    Using the government's E-Verify immigration status system can be time-consuming for small businesses, and the economic penalty the petition calls for would be damaging, she said.

    Members of his church are worried about the proposal, Iglesia del Pueblo pastor Anthony Garcia said.

    Hispanics just want to be members of the community, work and have a good life with their families, he said.

    "That is one of my feelings, that this word is not being carried to the entire community," he said. ... 351/-1/RSS

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ratbstard's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    New Alien City-(formerly New York City)
    Illegal immigration debate continues to heat up in Springfield
    by Paula Morehouse, KY3 News

    Video at link

    10:27 p.m. CDT, August 8, 2011
    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Dozens of people against a proposal to require businesses in Springfield to check the immigration status of employees through E-Verify gathered on Monday night to talk about how they can fight back.

    The deadline for the backers of the initiative petition to gather enough valid signatures of registered voters is Aug. 15. As of Friday, the group behind the drive -- the Minutemen -- needed only 25 more signatures. It's a move that some folks do not want to see passed.

    "We are not against anything that would be for the law," said Yolanda Lorge, leader of Grupo Latinoamericano.

    While they say they're not for breaking the law, they do question the Minutmen's motive, and they're gearing up for a fight.

    "We do have to get our voice out there, and in a structured approach, and argue against these elements of the Minutemen -- who we know what they are, they are a hate group," said Joe Robles Jr., who opposes the proposed ordinance.

    They cite Minutemen publications that encourage residents to look out for illegal immigrants, stating you can spot them since many, as the literature claims, walk with their head down, wear button-down shirts while working, hang out at home stores, and do their shopping late at night.

    In previous interviews with KY3 news, Minutemen representatives have said their only motivation was to ensure that workers are legal.

    "We believe that the United State's government has failed the American people in their responsibility to control illegal immigration. It has nothing to do with racism, it has to do with the law of the land," said Jerry Wilson of the Ozarks Minutemen.

    That may be an impossible position to sell to folks who believe they are under attack.

    "This is about an ordinance that would put people like you and I on the lookout. How are you going to know if that person is documented or undocumented?" asked Lorge.

    If enough signatures are gathered and certified, the issue would go before city council. Council can either pass it or not. If it doesn't, the measure would automatically go before the voters at the next municipal election in the city.

    Consequences for violating the proposed ordinance range from fines to business license suspensions or revocations depending on the number of violations. ... 9680.story
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ratbstard's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    New Alien City-(formerly New York City)
    Illegal Alien Employment Petition Submitted, Racial Profiling Questioned
    The Ozarks Minutemen gathered 2,101 signatures to push initiative ahead

    Mary Moloney, KSPR News

    7:54 p.m. CDT, August 9, 2011
    Springfield, MO—

    2,101-- that's how many signatures it took for the Ozarks Minutemen to get an initiative against undocumented workers in front of the city council.

    Under the proposed ordinance, all businesses in the Springfield city limits would have to check immigration status through the E-Verify system. If companies do not provide the E-Verify papers when asked they can face penalties such as a $499 fine or a revoked business licence.

    Critics said the initiative unfairly targets industries such as lawn maintenance and construction.

    "Our industry and many others are already hurting," said Amber Gladson with The Lawn Care Company. "Although we do not employ illegal aliens, this legislation targets small businesses and costs valuable time and resources."

    Yet Jerry Wilson, spokesperson for the Ozarks Minutemen sees it differently.

    "That business who is following the law, hiring American citizens and doing the right thing has no recourse," he said. "We say there is an unwritten rule between the employee, employer and federal government. The employee presents documentation that appears valid, the employer asks no questions and the federal government looks away. We need to change that."

    Currently, the free program is used by city, state, and federal governments as well as other organizations such as MSU.

    "The City of Springfield has used the system since August of 2008 and according to our human resources department we've had no issues," explained Springfield Public Information Officer, Mike Brothers. "It takes a matter of seconds and we've hired hundreds in the last three years."

    Yolanda Lorge is the President of Groupo Latinoamericano. Her organization helps immigrants assimilate into the American culture by teaching citizens classes and giving English lessons. Although she supports all laws on the books, she says the proposed initiative goes too far.

    "It is a target population for this. We know it and they know it is. It is the Hispanic population, because they are not describing the Russians," said Lorge.

    Critics fear racial profiling will increase, especially since it's the job of the people to blow the whistle on companies hiring suspected illegal aliens.

    The Minutemen website has a list of suspected traits people can use to spot an illegal alien. Under the heading "How can I determine if workers are illegal aliens?" characteristics such as "frequenting businesses that are open late - 24 hour stores or markets" and "children enrolled in school without birth documents" are listed.

    To see the Ozarks Minutemen website, click here.

    "Why are they describing how can you tell if this child is undocumented? I thought we were talking about E-Verify. Are you going to E-Verify at school as well?" asked Lorge.

    Wilson explained people should focus on the bigger picture and not just one characteristic.

    "It is profiling, but it is behavioral profiling," he said. "That type of profiling has been used by our immigration customs enforcement root of our government for some time."

    Although most do not dispute the legality of hiring undocumented workers, some feel the federal laws should suffice.

    "What population are we talking about here? What is a big problem? We have bigger problems in this area," said Lorge. "We have meth cookers, meth producers big time. And if the state or the city or the county is not taking care of that problem, will they take care of it?"

    If passed, the city's financial office will serve as the enforcement agency. The ordinance is scheduled to be on the next city council agenda on August 22. The council can choose to vote on it or place it on November's ballot. ... 5572.story
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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