Saturday, January 28, 2012

MD: Hysterical Frederick county commissioner compares immigration proposals to Nazi Germany

Thus admitting that he is losing the argument and thus tarnishing the reputation of his county

One longtime Frederick County commissioner is comparing another commissioner’s decision to crack down on illegal immigrants to 1940s Nazi Germany and the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.

Commissioner David P. Gray (R) made the comparison during a discussion at a Board of County Commissioners meeting Thursday about a package of legislation targeting illegal immigrants in the county.

“I find it chilling with all these proposals,” Gray said. “It conjures up images of when people sanctioned Jews in Germany. For God’s sake what kind of images are we trying to put forth for Frederick County. I think it’s absolutely terrible.”

Commissioners President Blaine R. Young (R) in November announced his intention to crack down on illegal immigrants after the 2009 murder of Jacinta “Patty” Ayala by her co-worker at a Burger King in Frederick — Jose Reyes Mejia-Varela, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador.

In one of Young’s proposals, local businesses would be forced to use a federal database to check the immigration status of their employees. Another could prohibit apartment rental agencies from allowing illegal immigrants to live in their properties. Commissioners also are considering eliminating day labor sites in the county and creating an ordinance making English the official language of Frederick County.

Commissioners voted 4-1 to take to public hearing next month only the proposal to create an ordinance making English the official language. Gray was the lone vote against the public hearing, which has not been scheduled.

The proposed ordinance would replace a resolution already adopted by the county that declares English the official language. The resolution is more ceremonial and did not require a public hearing, County Attorney John Mathias said. The ordinance specifies that all actions by the county government be in English, he said, with some exceptions.

For example, a language other than English could be used to teach English, protect public health or collect money owed to the county. Since the ordinance only applies to county government actions, commissioners will have to determine how to enforce it, Mathias said.

Commissioners decided to get more information from Mathias on the ramifications of the other three proposals before taking them to public hearing. Frederick County Sheriff’ Chuck Jenkins (R) told commissioners Thursday his officers do not have the authority to punish businesses that do not track the legal status of their employees or apartment complexes that rent to illegal immigrants.The proposals are not specific enough because commissioners are not sure how they can enforce them.

Most of the apartment complexes in Frederick County are in the city of Frederick, where a law adopted by the County Commissioners would not apply.

“There are ought to be a specific proposal we can evaluate,” Commissioner C. Paul Smith (R) said, in reference to the proposal requiring business owners to use a federal database to check the immigration status. “I think the last thing we want is to go forward in a general area and not know what we are doing. I’m not dismissing the idea of doing it, but I don’t see what I would want to get behind.”

Commissioner Kirby Delauter (R) agreed. “I’d rather see some more information on it,” he said. “I’m not against it. I think its a good idea. I just don’t know how you’re going to measure it right now.”

Gray, however, criticized the proposal to prohibit apartment agencies from renting to illegals. “I think the whole idea is wrong,” he said. “This is chilling. This is not what this country is made of. How sick are we. This is just absolutely repugnant. I think this should be dismissed out of hand and forgotten.” [He's good at emoting]

Young responded by saying, “Why don’t you dismiss the constitution while you’re at it?” “You’re talking about how many people you can have in your home,” Gray countered. “Your home is your castle for God sakes.”

The county already has some illegal immigration enforcement in place.

Jenkins spearheaded the implementation of the 287g program, which allows deputies to check the immigration status of every person arrested in Frederick County. The policy began in April 2008, and the county is the only one in Maryland currently operating the program. More than 1,000 illegal immigrants have been arrested in the county through the program, Jenkins said.


Romney assures Florida’s Hispanic voters the GOP isn’t ‘anti-immigrant’ as primary day nears

Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney urged conservatives to back off aggressive anti-immigration policies as the Republican presidential candidates vied for Hispanic votes Friday, entering the final, frenzied weekend before Florida’s primary.

“I’m very concerned about those who are already here illegally and how we deal with those 11 million or so,” Romney said. “My heart goes out to that group of people... We’re not going to go around and round people up in buses and ship them home.”

The compassionate approach, like Gingrich’s calls for politically practical reform, was aimed at improving the Republican Party’s tarnished reputation among Hispanics. Both men delivered speeches Friday to the same group of Hispanic leaders gathered in Miami but avoided — at least briefly — criticizing each other in what now looks like a two-man race for the nomination.

Any calls for temperance on immigration didn’t apply to personal attacks elsewhere. The former House speaker released a new television ad in Florida using former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to question Romney’s integrity. “If a man’s dishonest to get a job, he’ll be dishonest on the job,” Huckabee says in the ad.

The outburst overshadowed a detailed discussion about immigration, in which the rivals called for democracy in Cuba and across Latin America, touching a theme that caused clashes between the GOP front-runners at Thursday night’s debate in Jacksonville.

Immigration is a flashpoint issue in Florida for the GOP candidates, who are trying to strike a balance between sounding compassionate and firm about stemming the tide of illegal workers. The state has roughly 1.5 million Hispanic voters.

Gingrich pushed for a measured approach to revising the nation’s immigration laws, “because any bill you write that is comprehensive has too many enemies.” The former House speaker says he wants stricter border control, faster deportation proceedings and a guest-worker program for certain immigrants.

If elected, Gingrich said, he would bring to bear “the moral force of an American president who is serious about intending to free the people of Cuba, and willingness to intimidate those who are the oppressors and say to them, ‘You will be held accountable.’”


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