Not illegal to hire workers on sporadic basis

It rankles me that the Minutemen try to drive day-laborers from street corners where they congregate looking for work, but not for the reason attributed to me in your article on the so-called Escondido Citizens Brigade ("Escondido man forms city's Minutemen Brigade," Feb. 1).

First, street corners are public areas where there is a right to engage in hiring-related speech. Second, many day-laborers are in the country legally, but the Minutemen invariably tell potential employers that all of them are illegals and that any proffered papers are fake. The fact that Minutemen do not see an employer examine documents that verify an individual's authorization to work in this country does not necessarily mean the employer is violating the law.

I am not currently a practicing attorney, but the Bureau of Immigration Customs Enforcement should be able to confirm that an I-9 Form is not required to be completed when you employ someone for casual domestic work in a private home on a sporadic, irregular or intermittent basis. The brigade was on its best behavior while your reporter was at the Escondido day-laborer site. ... See

Claudia Smith

Border Project director
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation

A role model for nation

I read the Feb. 1 article on the Internet "Escondido man forms city's Minutemen Brigade." This is what being an American citizen is all about ńń standing up for the rule of law, we the people, in the streets of America.

This Escondido brigade is the role model for the nation. Kudos to Escondido!

Robin Hvidston

Group not a good thing for Escondido

It was very disappointing to read about the newly established Escondido Minutemen for two reasons (Feb. 1). First, the fact that there are Escondido residents who want to emulate the ... tactics employed by other so-called Minutemen groups is disturbing. The article describes how this group desires immigration reform, yet expresses this desire by picketing ... day laborers who want to work and employers who have work to be done. They paint all day laborers with the same brush, not knowing who is in the country legally or not. They are not interested.

One only needs to read carefully what this article really says, and this is the second reason for serious concern. In one paragraph Mr. Cline is described being at a protest at a location where day laborers congregate. He is quoted as saying that he is not so much against illegals as the people who hire them. But he is near a sign that reads something to the effect that illegal aliens murder police and civilians. Further, another Minuteman, Mr. Rench, says he is particularly concerned when he sees Latinas walking with their babies, derogatorily termed anchor babies. The Minutemen have repeatedly demonstrated that they cannot distinguish between persons who may be in the country illegally or legally. ... This is not a good thing for Escondido.

Bill Flores

spokesperson, El Grupo

Duped by the rhetoric of human rights activist

Tina Jillings has again falsely accused me/us of being racists and worse for merely wanting the illegal immigration crisis to be addressed just like hundreds of millions of Americans (Letters. Jan. 2).

Tina and her friends routinely accuse us of horrible things that they know we do not do. Go to to see some amazing videos of these activists in action.

She is angry because of all our successes in the past year and that we have more Hispanics ... in our organization than she does. She knows that most legal Hispanic immigrants are against illegal immigration. She gives true human rights activists a bad name.

I feel sorry for all the good Latinos in North County that have been duped by her rhetoric. She does them and the community a great disservice.

Jeff Schwilk

San Diego Minutemen
America is a for-profit business

Let's get a couple of things straight. This country is doing just fine when you consider what it actually is, as opposed to what we have been persuaded to hope it is. Prosperity is breaking out all over. That is because the country is in the business of businesses.

Put out of your head all the high-minded slogans about mom, home and apple pie and realize that this is a capitalist country, which is to say it is a for-profit business. The reason we are in the Middle East is for oil so we don't use up our reserves until we deplete theirs.

Business runs the country by buying the politicians they want to represent them so they can make a profit. Illegal aliens are welcomed because of the bottom line (profit). Diversity, equality and justice are all set up for profit. Two Border Patrol agents are [in] prison because they interrupted the lucrative, illegal drug trade, which is big business here in our business state of America. Let's quit kidding ourselves, it is not personal, it is business.

Fred Schuster
Raids are supposed to create fear

Regarding, "Raids create fear, distrust of police," Jan. 27: Well, excuse me, but isn't that what criminals should be, afraid? Did you people read this article? The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents' raid caused mistrust and fear. Fear of being found here illegally, fear of being found out after committing crimes, etc.? They should be afraid; that means the agents are doing their jobs.

Now these illegals are afraid to take their anchor kids to school, go to the grocery store, be seen out of their hideouts. Could someone from the ACLU tell them they can go back to where they came from and stay outside all day, free.

Operation Return to Sender has arrested more than 13,000 since the operation was launched in June. Good job, guys and girls. Keep up the good work. Illegals, be afraid, be very afraid.

Janet Kay Osborn
Economic equality needed

Carol Mitchell (Community Forum, "Enlist all of Oceanside in stopping gangs," Jan. 26) first calls for a massive citywide response to the Oceanside gang problem by creating a "small committee," a laughable suggestion. Then she suggests the local TV broadcaster air a "community forum" comprised only of established community leaders otherwise referred to as "all the usual suspects," but egregiously fails to include the other community leaders, the gang members themselves.

Like it or not, our neighborhoods are breeding violent gangs and they are, like it or not, members of our community. Their point of view needs to be heard, too. The more repressive and economically unequal America becomes, the more dangerous it will be. Anyone disbelieving this axiom should review the recent events in Brazil. Economic inequality is a good place to start in solving the gang problem.

Edmund Bentivengo
Lake Elsinore

Release back to Mexico

Here's an idea: Let's release all incarcerated illegal immigrants, dope dealers and thieves, and throw in a couple cop killers, from prisons. We can give them a deal. They will be released provided they go to Mexico and not return to the U.S.A. They can contribute to the Mexican economy and we will be rid of them.

It seems like we are always chasing criminals who are hell-bent on getting to Mexico and instead get caught. These criminals should not be in our institutions receiving free room and board, medical, dental and educational benefits. They have clearly demonstrated their disrespect for the laws of the land and, most assuredly, are repeat offenders. Let Mexico deal with them. If they return and are caught, they will be deported immediately to an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Let 'em fish!

Al MagliettoOceanside