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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    N.C.: Deportation fear fuels flight

    Deportation fear fuels flight
    Immigrants arrested in Wake could soon face return to their native countries
    June 12, 2008

    Sarah Ovaska, Staff Writer
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    RALEIGH - In less than three weeks, Wake County detention officers will have the power to start deportation proceedings against immigrants who pass through the county jail.
    The program is being anxiously debated and discussed in the Triangle immigrant community, with some people deciding to leave the country rather than chance an encounter with a police officer that could lead to deportation.

    Eighteen Wake jailers will graduate Friday from five weeks of special training by federal immigration officers. Deputies from Cumberland and Henderson counties, where jailhouse deportation programs are expected to begin soon, will also receive certificates in the Raleigh ceremony.

    The federal program, named 287 (g) after a provision in federal law, has a tentative start date of July 1 in Wake County. Once Wake and the other two counties begin, North Carolina will have seven counties where federally trained local law enforcement officers can start deportation procedures against legal and illegal immigrants accused or convicted of crimes, more than any other state in the country, federal immigration officials said.

    Many North Carolina sheriffs tout the federal program as an effective way to rid communities of immigrants who commit crimes and a way to close a loophole that has let some convicted criminals remain in the country after committing serious offenses, including rape, theft and assault.

    But it's also sparking intense fear among Triangle immigrants, leading some to flee from counties that have the program in place or are about to start using it.

    Jesi Segura, 24, plans to leave his Raleigh apartment today and move to Venezuela, his wife Alejandra's home country, with their 2-year-old daughter, Vivian.

    "I'm always thinking that if the police stop me, I could lose my family," said Segura, a Mexican citizen and painter.

    Four years ago, Segura paid a smuggler $1,600 to slip him into the United States. His driver's license expired a year ago, and he can't renew it under a 2006 state law that makes it more difficult for illegal immigrants to renew their licenses.

    Harrison eager

    Wake Sheriff Donnie Harrison, who estimates that at least 10 percent of the 1,200 people he houses daily in his three jails are foreign-born, can't wait for the deportation program to start. He brushed off criticism that many of the people facing deportation may be accused of nothing more than traffic offenses, such as driving without a license.

    "They're the ones that made the mistake, we didn't," Harrison said. "They're here illegally."

    Along with the growing fear among immigrants, there's outrage from advocates who warn that the program will create a system in which ethnic profiling becomes the norm and Hispanics become ready targets.

    "They feel the city and the state used them to build the city, to bring economy and growth to the city," Luis Rivas, a Baptist pastor of Raleigh's Iglesia Nueva Esperanza, said of his church members. "And now they're trying to dispose of them."

    North Carolina is quickly earning a reputation for aggressively cracking down on illegal immigration. The 287 (g) program is operating in jails in Mecklenburg, Gaston, Cabarrus and Alamance counties. The Durham Police Department has a single detective trained in the program, but Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez has refused to share many details other than to say it bolsters the department's criminal investigations.

    Statewide, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) estimates that more that 5,300 people have been processed for deportation since 2006 under the 287 (g) program. North Carolina has an estimated 300,000 illegal immigrants, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

    Jim Pendergraph, the former Mecklenburg County sheriff who started the program there and now works for ICE as national coordinator for local law enforcement, said his agency routinely audits local deportation programs to make sure there isn't racial or ethnic profiling. Mecklenburg County's audit begins Monday.

    "You have to have probable cause to pull a car over," Pendergraph said. "You can't just randomly stop cars like you could 30 or 40 years ago."

    Wake District Attorney Colon Willoughby said his staff would start evaluating misdemeanor and lower-level felony cases involving immigrants slated for deportation to decide whether it's more efficient to drop charges and allow the deportation instead of first prosecuting the state crimes.

    Shunning uniforms?

    Rivas, the Baptist minister, warns of the program having a chilling effect on those who are in the U.S. illegally but are otherwise law-abiding -- they may start avoiding all contact with deputies and police officers.

    David Jones, director of the Governor's Crime Commission Division, sounded a similar warning. Jones said domestic violence groups report that Hispanic women are afraid to report attacks. If Hispanics become alienated from law enforcement, they could turn to gangs for protection, he said.

    "We're afraid that this could cause a more serious crime problem than we're solving," Jones said.

    But Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan said he won't expect a big change in how people and victims report crime since the Wake program targets only those who are already in jail.

    "The overall issue of 10 million people living in this country illegally, it represents a tremendous challenge," Dolan said. "It's going to have to take a great deal more meeting of the minds."

    The heightened fear of being arrested and deported caused the Seguras to pack up their belongings. A friend will drive them to Miami today to catch a flight to Venezuela.

    They leave behind a life already made difficult when Segura's driver's license expired last year. Since then, his wife, Alejandra, who came to Raleigh on a now-expired tourist visa after the two met over the Internet, has become his de facto taxi service, driving him from job to job. This forced her to quit her own job.

    Rivas' church has shuttles and car pools set up for many of the 200 church members who want to come to services but are afraid to drive because they don't have a license. Some members are returning to Mexico and other countries, Rivas said.

    Set to leave

    Among the families choosing to stay, many are making sure they have passports and money tucked away in case they suddenly have to leave. But some decide to just pick up and go, abandoning empty homes they own, Rivas said.

    Many immigrants already fear profiling and deportation.

    Raleigh taxi cab driver Maria Garcia has seen an increase in calls, as people without driver's licenses become wary of driving their own cars for fear that they'll be pulled over and arrested for not having a license.

    As she juggled three cell phones that periodically rang with customer calls, Garcia sat in the shade in the shopping plaza off New Hope Church Road reading a Spanish-language newspaper story about the program.

    She has no problem with deporting those who commit crimes, especially drunken drivers. But she worries about other immigrants picked up on lesser traffic charges.

    Deputies and police officers on the street won't be checking immigration status on routine stops, Harrison said. Sheriffs are adamant that they're just trying to remove criminals -- if those caught speeding or driving without licenses also end up getting deported, that's the consequence of breaking the law, and it would be the same for drivers of any other race or ethnicity.

    'We can't do that'

    "Why should we treat them any different because they're foreign born?" Harrison said. "We can't do that; I can't do that."

    Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell, the outspoken head of the N.C. Sheriffs' Association, said he won't have the federal deportation program in his jail. Instead, Bizzell has brokered a deal for some of the illegal immigrants arrested in Johnston County to be brought to Wake County, where Harrison's detention officers can start the deportation process.

    Bizzell bristles at criticism of the program, citing his frustration at seeing signs in Spanish in state government buildings. He also points to the recent death of Marcus Lassiter, a 7-year-old Four Oaks boy who was killed in April when he was struck by a stolen car driven by Hipolito Camora Hernandez.

    State troopers have since charged Hernandez, 30, with second-degree murder and accused him of speeding and driving drunk. At the time of the incident, Hernandez had been arrested on previous drunken-driving charges and was wanted for missing court on a pending charge. He was never convicted on the other charges.

    "If he hadn't been here to start with, that wouldn't have happened," Bizzell said. "A 7-year-old that's playing in his front yard pays the ultimate price for another drunk Mexican."

    http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1105229.html
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  2. #2
    lateone's Avatar
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    This is fantastic - except if you live in Durham or Orange County next door. I'm sitting here and going " Oh Crap - here they come. "

  3. #3
    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    Just so you folks know, ALIPAC approached the Wake Sheriff about this and sent him his first informational care package on this issue after the tragic deaths of a 39 year old father and his 9 year old boy, incinerated in a car crash caused by a drunk illegal and frequent Wake jail inmate, down in Clayton, NC

    W
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  4. #4
    Senior Member lccat's Avatar
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    "David Jones, director of the Governor's Crime Commission Division, sounded a similar warning. Jones said domestic violence groups report that Hispanic women are afraid to report attacks. If Hispanics become alienated from law enforcement, they could turn to gangs for protection, he said."

    Or just maybe they could return to their HOME COUNTRY and thus not be ILLEGALS in the United States!!!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member miguelina's Avatar
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    But it's also sparking intense fear among Triangle immigrants, leading some to flee from counties that have the program in place or are about to start using it.

    Jesi Segura, 24, plans to leave his Raleigh apartment today and move to Venezuela, his wife Alejandra's home country, with their 2-year-old daughter, Vivian.
    That's exactly what they should ALL be doing!



    She has no problem with deporting those who commit crimes, especially drunken drivers. But she worries about other immigrants picked up on lesser traffic charges.

    Deputies and police officers on the street won't be checking immigration status on routine stops, Harrison said. Sheriffs are adamant that they're just trying to remove criminals -- if those caught speeding or driving without licenses also end up getting deported, that's the consequence of breaking the law, and it would be the same for drivers of any other race or ethnicity.

    'We can't do that'

    "Why should we treat them any different because they're foreign born?" Harrison said. "We can't do that; I can't do that."
    Give it a rest sister, sure we can! They're not being treated differently for being foreign-born, they're paying the consequences for committing illegal acts aka illegally entering the US, illegally holding jobs, stealing ID, using fake ID, driving without licenses, fraud and much, much more. If you are here illegally, you WILL be deported, enuff said!
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)
    "

  6. #6
    Senior Member Populist's Avatar
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    Wake Sheriff Donnie Harrison, who estimates that at least 10 percent of the 1,200 people he houses daily in his three jails are foreign-born, can't wait for the deportation program to start. He brushed off criticism that many of the people facing deportation may be accused of nothing more than traffic offenses, such as driving without a license.

    "They're the ones that made the mistake, we didn't," Harrison said. "They're here illegally."

    Correct. If we are to restore credibility in our immigration system, at some time (i.e. now) we are going to have to finally stop making exceptions, stop making excuses, stop looking the other way, and actually start enforcing the law.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  7. #7
    Senior Member MyAmerica's Avatar
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    Rivas, the Baptist minister, warns of the program having a chilling effect on those who are in the U.S. illegally but are otherwise law-abiding -- they may start avoiding all contact with deputies and police officers.

    David Jones, director of the Governor's Crime Commission Division, sounded a similar warning. Jones said domestic violence groups report that Hispanic women are afraid to report attacks. If Hispanics become alienated from law enforcement, they could turn to gangs for protection, he said.

    "We're afraid that this could cause a more serious crime problem than we're solving," Jones said.
    Like a broken record...over and over...........

    Many illegal aliens have a distrust of the police based on experiences in their home country.

    Turning to gangs for 'protection'---another crime.

    They leave behind a life already made difficult when Segura's driver's license expired last year. Since then, his wife, Alejandra, who came to Raleigh on a now-expired tourist visa after the two met over the Internet, has become his de facto taxi service, driving him from job to job. This forced her to quit her own job.
    Must have had two vehicles.
    "Distrust and caution are the parents of security."
    Benjamin Franklin

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  8. #8
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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  9. #9
    Senior Member hattiecat's Avatar
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    It's about time! Wake County is suffering greatly from the impact of illegal aliens; on our roads and anchor babies in our schools!
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  10. #10
    Senior Member crazybird's Avatar
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    David Jones, director of the Governor's Crime Commission Division, sounded a similar warning. Jones said domestic violence groups report that Hispanic women are afraid to report attacks. If Hispanics become alienated from law enforcement, they could turn to gangs for protection, he said.
    OOOhhh....is that supposed to scare people? Do as we want because if you think it's bad now.....wait till later? Ya....an hispanic gang is going to protect an hispanic woman from her hispanic guy who is probably a member of the gang. Please. OOhh....hispanic women are afraid.....lets see other races of abused women aren't? They don't worry about their kids, home, future, income, will he come back, will they take my children, how am I going to make it? Oh no....I guess the rest of us are "different". Please.
    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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