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  1. #1

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    Danbury Ct. votes for 287g program

    Danbury Ct. voted for participation in the 287g program tonight. YES!

    Passed........despite just about everyone in the audience and on the streets against it.

    Several in town local businesses closed for the day (mainly serving the Hispanic populations) in protest of the 287g program.
    They said their earnings are down and will be hurt, possibly out of business if 287g goes through.

    Guess they'll head further north, like New Haven and its unfortunate neighboring towns.

    Nice to know we have one town with guts and not wimps running it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Populist's Avatar
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    Good. Hope they vigorously follow through with this. The illegal aliens have broken our laws and should and must return to their countries of origin.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Senior Member cvangel's Avatar
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    City by city, state by state the momentum builds

  4. #4
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    City hopes ICE panel eases fear
    By Eugene Driscoll STAFF WRITER
    Article Last Updated: 02/10/2008 09:50:17 AM EST



    DANBURY -- The city is forming a steering committee that Mayor Mark Boughton hopes will quell fears about the ICE ACCESS program.

    "We're sending two or three detectives for training. That means there are 151 or 152 officers who are not receiving this training," he said.

    "That's the kind of communication we need to share with people, because there seem to be individuals that, frankly, are not willing to recognize that. That is something we have to overcome," Boughton added.

    All about ICE

    ICE ACCESS is a program in which local police receive training from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Once trained, the officers have the authority to enforce immigration law.

    Opponents said immigration enforcement is the job of the federal government. They said the new authority will be used to harass illegal immigrants in Danbury and that anyone foreign-born could be subjected to racial profiling.

    They also said illegal immigrants will no longer go to the police if they are the victim of, or have information about, a crime in the city.

    Furthermore, opponents argue that police are already able to do their jobs quite well without additional federal powers.

    As proof, they point to the drop in the crime rate in 2007.

    City officials, meanwhile, promise the authority will be used as a tool to supplement criminal investigations with an illegal immigration angle, such as document fraud and human trafficking.

    The average illegal immigrant walking along


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    a street in Danbury will not be stopped and deported, officials said.
    Committed a murder in your native land and now on the lam in Danbury? You could get detained by an ICE-trained detective, officials said.

    That detective could access a federal database, find out you entered the U.S. illegally, find out what you're wanted for back home, and issue an immigration detainer himself, as opposed to having ICE do all that.

    On Wednesday, while thousands of people rallied outside City Hall urging the city to reject the ICE program, the Common Council authorized police Chief Al Baker to proceed with an agreement.

    Before casting their votes, several members of the Council made from-the-heart statements about the program, vowing to intercede if reports of civil rights violations surface.

    Opponents of the measure were not satisfied.

    The Greater Danbury Partnership for Unity and other unnamed groups who organized the massive protest outside City Hall issued a press release after the vote condemning the decision.

    " ... the city council has shown that it is out of touch with public opinion and the will of the people," the statement read in part.

    Communication breakdown

    Some members of the Common Council said the controversy over ICE was due to misinformation spread through the immigrant community. Illegal immigrants have been leaving the city in droves, downtown merchants said, because of fear over the ICE program.

    The whole debate underscored a fact -- that there is a glaring communication problem between elected officials and the city's immigrant population.

    Boughton said Wednesday the information about ICE never got out or people simply didn't believe it.

    The mayor hopes formation of the steering committee -- which is mandated by ICE -- will be a way to improve that broken communication. No one has been picked for the committee, but the mayor said the immigrant community will be represented.

    The steering committee, according to a sample memorandum of agreement from ICE, will make sure what is happening with the officers matches what is in the agreement.

    Members of the steering committee will be supplied specific information on case reviews, complaints filed, media coverage, and, when available, statistical information on immigration activity.

    Robert Riley, a Republican on the Common Council, said the city may need to go beyond creating a steering committee. It may be time to start a task force that will work to heal the divisiveness the immigration debate has caused in recent years, Riley said.

    A task force formed after a race riot in 1976 proved to be effective, said Riley, a former Danbury teacher.

    "Maybe if we all just sat down, maybe we can have a better understanding on all sides," Riley said. "Maybe we could help with documentation.

    "At the same time members of the Hispanic Center could help send word about certain things we want to get across. Things like, 'We know it's hard and we want to help you, but you've got to help yourself.' You have to get a driver's license, insurance, things like that."

    Boughton, who has already received a deluge of inquiries from people who want to serve on the ICE ACCESS steering committee, said he is not sure multiple committees are needed.

    "Certainly communication is key. We're going to work to do that with the various organizations. We'll look for help from various faith-based organizations and nonprofits," Boughton said.

    However, the mayor's relationship has soured over the years with some nonprofits and faith-based groups that oppose his efforts to combat illegal immigration.

    Boughton said Friday the groups have a responsibility to relay accurate information to their constituents, something that did not happen with ICE ACCESS, he said.

    "Some of those organizations were not willing to sit down and take the time to understand what the (ICE ACCESS) program does and, more importantly, does not do," said Boughton.

    Ivon Alcime, an employee at Ives Manor apartments and host of a cable-access talk show in Danbury, said the Common Council could have saved the city embarrassment by forming a committee with citizen representation when the proposal was first brought up in October.

    He said Boughton has been re-elected twice using illegal immigration in his platform.

    "The people support him. He has the votes. To be honest, we need to get rid of criminals. There is nothing wrong with that," Alcime said. "They could have sold that to the people.

    "They failed to have a good, solid, inclusive PR campaign. They should have went to the (immigrant) community and said, 'Look, we are not coming after you. We're going after real criminals.'"

    Boughton argued that forming a committee before the fact would have resulted in even more division and controversy in Danbury.

    Renata Amaral, a U.S. citizen from Brazil who has lived in Danbury for 21 years, said the steering committee must include people who opposed the ICE program.

    Anything that brings the community back together and gets the truth out helps, Amaral said.

    The ICE discussions have had a devastating effect on downtown Danbury, said Amaral, who co-owns an insurance agency on Main Street.

    She said her company received 120 phone calls from clients who wanted to know if it was safe to come in to pay their insurance bills in person.

    Business owners downtown, meanwhile, have received anonymous hate mail instructing them "To get out or else," Amaral said.

    Many immigrants, especially those who are not citizens, do not trust police, he said.

    "I'm not saying they're doing a bad job, but there are stories about certain officers' conduct toward certain members of the community. A task force would not only build a bridge between us and the legislatures, but between us and the police department," Amaral said.

    Danbury Police Chief Al Baker said he will contact ICE offices in Boston on Monday about the Common Council's vote.

    Next, an ICE official will come to Danbury to do an assessment. ICE will then decide whether to accept Danbury police into the program. A memorandum of agreement will be drafted, tailored to the programs Danbury and ICE agents want. At that point, Danbury will send officers to be trained.

    In the meantime, Baker is scheduled to talk Monday night to Danbury pastors whose congregations are mostly foreign-born. Tribuna, a Brazilian newspaper, is sponsoring the forum.

    Baker said he is looking forward to setting the record straight.

    "There are unrealistic expectations on both sides of this issue. The anti-immigrants expect us to go door to door and sweep people off Kennedy Park (a day laborer hiring site). The pro-immigration people are fearful of that, too," Baker said.

    "It is not going to happen. It is going to be used as a tool to catch criminals."


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