The Oklahoma House and Senate recently passed HB 1804 (the Senate vote was 41-6); I blogged about HB 1804 here, so I won't go into all the details. Our Governor, Brad Henry, has yet to decide whether he will sign the bill or not.
Why do I talk so much about illegal immigration? I live in a town that has seen a HUGE influx of immigrants--not all of them illegal I'm sure--but I encounter alot of them that don't speak English at all or very well (my neighbors--although they do seem to have a handle on "English profanity"). They also seem to be intent on NOT assimilating into the American culture.
In recent years, our property value has decreased over 20%! Talking with several realtors in the area, I've been told that the decrease in property values is directly related to the influx of immigrants into certain areas of town--ours being one of them.
Our local paper prints the "police blotter" and court docket for each week; this week there were 81 cases listed. Of those, 30 were for no drivers license on person and/or no proof of insurance. Going merely on last names--and I'm sure I'll be accused of being racist, but I can't figure any other way to work this--I counted over half of the offenders as probable "immigrants", i.e. last names of Rodriguez, Ramirez, Gonzalez, etc.¹ According to a police officer friend, no license usually means "not legal." See this recent post.
I don't consider myself to be racist. The fact is, my sister-in-law and her family are Philippino and one of my good friends is Hispanic. Both families are here in the USA legally. My "beef" is with illegal immigrants that come here, use our services, and don't pay their fair share of taxes. And before you start down that road, I've already heard the argument that they pay taxes whenever they purchase something, but I've got ten bucks that says they didn't file a 1040 and send in a check like I did a couple of weeks ago! The point is: if you're gonna live here, you should live by the rules; if you're not willing to do that...get out!
Here's a couple of examples that really set me off:
- Federal officials raided a discount mall in a predominantly hispanic neighborhood in Chicago this past week. They arrested 22 individuals suspected of "being part of one of the nation’s largest operations to produce counterfeit identification documents." The raid upset some immigrants/immigrant advocate groups who claimed the raid was "carried out to intimidate the immigrant community just days before a May 1 rally on proposed changes in immigration policy." Are you kidding me?! This has nothing to do with intimidation--these people were COUNTERFEITING DOCUMENTS! That's against the law, "amigo!"
Click here for the whole story
- The ACLU (gosh, I can't stand that group) has filed a lawsuit in San Francisco on behalf of six-year-old Kebin Reyes, claiming his civil rights were violated when Immigration Agents took him into custody on March 6 this year. Why was Kebin taken into custody? Seems his dad, Noe Reyes, was one of 65 illegals arrested in a San Rafael raid. "The father was arrested and there was no one to take care of the boy at home, so they had the boy come with his father," said ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley. "He went with his dad so he wouldn't be left home alone." For crying out loud! The dad is illegal--has been for at least seven years since the implication is Kebin is a U.S. citizen, and I'm supposed to be upset because the Immigration Agents showed enough compassion to NOT LEAVE THE KID HOME ALONE!? Sounds to me like they were trying to help out, even though the father is a lawbreaker.
Click here for the whole story
Some severe thunderstorms moved throug our area this past week. I took this shot from our front porch as the sun was setting. I liked the way the colors reflected off the clouds.
Nothing really significant about this shot. I was playing with some of the effects on my camera. I'm trying to learn how everything works on it before we go on vacation to the Grand Canyon. I hope to take some great pics there.
More great photos by people why more talented than me at:
flickr: Friday Photo Group
¹ Source: Owasso Reporter, April 26, 2007