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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2006
    Santa Clarita Ca

    Plan: Punish illegal immigrants' landlords

    July 8, 2008

    Plan: Punish illegal immigrants' landlords


    Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger wants the township to consider adopting an ordinance that would penalize landlords for renting to people who are in the country illegally.

    During a Township Committee meeting on Monday, Scharfenberger said he would like Middletown's ordinance to be modeled on a proposal Bound Brook officials will consider during a meeting today.

    "I've been getting a lot of calls about this," said Scharfenberger, who stated that he is concerned about the hazards of overcrowded living conditions. "If we know (there's overcrowding) and we don't do something and there's a death, we would never be able to live with ourselves."

    The Middlesex County borough's proposal would prohibit Bound Brook from contracting with any firm that has employees who are in the country illegally, require landlords to verify the legal status of their tenants and instruct police to notify federal immigration authorities should a person who is arrested be found to be undocumented.

    State code already regulates the number of occupants per square foot a dwelling can legally house, said Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante, who noted that Middletown recently needed to deal with an overcrowded residential unit. The occupants were legal residents, he said.

    "Legal or not, we don't want overcrowded houses," Mercantante said. "It's something we enforce pretty regularly."

    Scharfenberger said he believes the ordinance could supplement the existing regulations.

    "This would further preempt landlords from creating these illegal situations," said Scharfenberger before the meeting. The mayor would expect Middletown's ordinance to be enforced by complaints from residents to township officials.

    "Most people kind of know what is going on in their neighborhoods," Scharfenberger said before the meeting.

    In September, the Burlington County community of Riverside rescinded its local immigration enforcement law after a federal judge struck down a similar law in Hazleton, Pa., said resident John Schwebel, who cautioned the township against embarking down a potentially expensive legal road.

    "When you try to tie laws to citizenship status, you run into trouble," said Schwebel, who believes existing regulations could deal with Scharfenberger's concerns.

    Middletown would extensively review any proposal before it would be presented for a vote, said Bernard Reilly, the township's attorney.

    In 2006, Middletown's total population was 69,870, according to U.S. Census data. Of that, whites made up 63,297, or 90.6 percent of the township's population; Hispanics were 3,584, or 5.1 percent; Asians were 2,600, or 3.7 percent; and blacks were 1,119, or 1.6 percent, according to the data. Hispanics can be of any race.

    Asian, black, Hispanic and white households in Middletown each had an average size of three people in 2000, according to U.S. Census data.

    Middletown's 2006 population increased by 5.3 percent from 2000, when it was 66,327, according to the U.S. Census. During the same period, Hispanics increased by 58.2 percent, Asians increased by 51.4 percent, blacks increased by 39.4 percent and whites increased by 0.8 percent, according to the data.

    Before the meeting, Frank Argote-Freyre, director of the Monmouth County chapter of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, said that given the relatively small size of Middletown's minority population, he questions Scharfenberger's motivation for bringing up the issue.

    "This will further discourage landlords from renting to anyone who looks brown," Argote-Freyre said. "The mayor's proposal turns landlords into immigration agents."

    Angel Matos, the Alliance's secretary, offered the organization's services to Middletown during Monday's meeting. Matos believes the Alliance could assist Middletown in finding a solution to issues like muster zones and overcrowded housing that would avoid costly litigation and best serve all affected sides.

    "We'd be more than happy to provide some value to the discussion that will ensue," Matos said.

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  2. #2
    Member scottiemum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    When I first arrived in the US we moved to an apt building that was more expensive than where hubby had been living (I wanted a dog & they allowed it).

    As I was obviously not American ("accent" profiling??) they asked for proof that I was in the country legally. They were very apologetic but I didn't mind one bit. I had not yet gotten my green card so they took a copy of the visa in my passport for their files. We have moved a couple of times since & I have never been asked about my status again.

    I stayed friends with the Asst Manager of that apt building & recently I asked why they had needed the proof when nobody else seemed to care and she replied "a State Senator keeps an apt in the building & we can't take any chances"!!!!

    So I guess it's more NIMBY.

  3. #3
    Senior Member miguelina's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    "When you try to tie laws to citizenship status, you run into trouble," said Schwebel, who believes existing regulations could deal with Scharfenberger's concerns.
    It's got nothing to do with citizenship status, it has all to do with LEGAL status - is the person legally authorized to be in the US?!
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  4. #4
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Mayor has public support on immigration issues
    August 6, 2008

    Stand your ground, Middletown Mayor Scharfenberger! Your courage and fortitude in addressing the illegal immigration issue is commendable. You have the strength and integrity to meet the problem head-on, while federal and state officials cringe in fear and refuse to enforce the law.

    The liberal media and self-styled, socalled advocacy groups (who have their own agenda) may attack you, but you have the support of a force more powerful than they — the people! I have yet to meet an individual who had anything but praise for your courageous action.

    The magnitude of illegal immigration is such that it cannot be separated from the problem of overcrowding and substandard housing and living conditions — it is a root cause of the problem. And it is a problem that not only affects the community itself, but represents a horrible exploitation of the immigrants themselves.

    And those who cry "racism" are barking up the wrong tree. This has nothing to do with race, religion, ethnicity, color or gender. It is simply addressing a problem that is causing real harm to all — including the immigrants.

    Mayor Scharfenberger, it's really refreshing to hear that at least someone has the courage to respect and enforce the law — across the board and without convenient politically correct exceptions that undermine the foundation of the law itself. Your cautious approach to ensure the legality of any proposed ordinance shows that once again you are putting the interests of Middletown above all else.

    Don't backtrack one bit — the public supports you, even though the media and special interests would give the impression otherwise.
    Kathy Russo
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

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