Residents in California, Pennsylvania, a small borough of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area, have said they are outraged after the federal government moved 40 Romanian ‘gypsies’ into the town of 7,000 as part of the government’s Alternative to Detention program.
On Thursday, more than 150 residents attended a community meeting about the immigrants, who residents say have failed to assimilate to American customs and norms. The residents cited trash in yards, disruptions in town markets, children and men defecating in public streets, and immigrants cutting off the heads of chickens in public areas, according to a report by WTAE-TV. None of the immigrants, who are undocumented, have been charged with any other serious criminal offenses.
“We’re a very diverse town, we’re very open, but they aren’t assimilating to our laws,” said Pam Duricic, a resident of California, according to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We are understanding that these are immigrants. But this is not the same scenario as our grandparents. They didn’t come here to raise havoc.”
The Romanian immigrants ended up in California borough as part of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Alternative to Detention program, which allows immigrants to live in U.S. communities instead of being detained while they await a final decision about their immigration status.
The Romanian immigrants have said they came to America to escape persecution. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports they belong to a group called Roma, minorities in Romania that are distinct from most of the Romanian population. The 40 Romanian immigrants have self-described themselves as “gypsies.”
It’s unclear why they ended up in California borough, rather than in some other neighboring town or in nearby Pittsburgh, but the Post-Gazette reports one of the Romanians said at the town meeting they came to California borough because of its affordability and friendly reputation.
At the town meeting, town officials and the police chief told residents they had received no warning from the federal government about the immigrants’ arrival.
About 600 residents have signed a petition demanding the gypsies change their living habits.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the Alternatives to Immigration Detention program was implemented in part to save taxpayer money. About $2 billion is spent every year for immigration detention. The ACLU also claims the AID program is “more humane” because the immigrants involved in the program would otherwise be detained only to ensure that they show up for their hearings, not because they’ve committed crimes.
Posted in Government, Immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan defended his saying last week that illegal immigrants “should be afraid,” but CNN buried his justification based on humanitarian grounds in their article Friday.
Homan had made the comments before Congress last week, but expanded on why he said what many might find controversial.
“It needed to be said,” Homan explained. “And by me saying you should be worried, you should be afraid — if you lie on your taxes, you’ve got to be worried, ‘Is the IRS going to audit me?’ … When you speed down the highway, you’ve got to worry, ‘Am I going to get a speeding ticket?’ You worry. It’s natural human behavior.”
But he also explained that he had seen many terrible horrors as the result of lax immigration enforcement, and by enforcing the law in a strict manner, those evils could be prevented.
“Why am I so strong in what I’m trying to do?” Homan said. “Because people haven’t seen what Tom Homan’s seen … They haven’t seen the dead immigrants on a trail that were left stranded. They weren’t in Phoenix, Arizona when these organizations were holding people hostage, raping the women, molesting the children, killing people that couldn’t pay their smuggling fees, doubling their smuggling fees after they got to the United States.”
“People weren’t standing with me in Victoria, Texas, in the back of a tractor trailer with 19 dead aliens including a five-year-old child laying dead under his father that suffocated in the back of this tractor trailer by these smuggling organizations,” he challenged.
CNN only added this humanitarian reasoning in the last of their 17-paragraph article.
Even illegal immigration advocate and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos admitted that the precipitous drop in illegal immigration meant that fewer migrants would make the dangerous trek to the United States, preventing many tragedies.
Homan also dismantled the oft-used argument that strict immigration policies break up families.
“The constant story about us separating families,” he explained, “when someone enters this country illegally, or someone overstays their visa, they know they’re in this country illegally. If they take it upon themselves to have a child in this country and becomes a US citizen by birth, he put his family in that position, not ICE, not Border Patrol. And to vilify the men and women of ICE as separating families is unfair.”
Homan continued to argue that when local authorities impose “sanctuary city” policies, they force ICE to sweep illegal aliens at their homes and other places. These actions are then falsely reported as raids to vilify immigration enforcement.
“Is ICE putting the fear in the community or is it other people putting fear in the community?” Homan said. “The false stories out there (are) what’s sending the chill down the spine of the immigrant community. If I had the cooperation I needed, most of these arrests could be made in a county jail.”
ICE has reported an unprecedented drop in illegal border crossings, while arrests have increased considerably since President Trump entered the Oval Office.
Posted in ICE, illegal immigrants, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Politics