Tuesday, July 17, 2007


If you travel north out of Chicago on Lake Shore Drive, you’ll come to Waukegan about eight miles before the Wisconsin line. With a population of about 90,000, 45% are Hispanic and 31% white.

Last night there was a demonstration outside city hall. The hot topic inside was immigration; specifically, whether or not the city should have a couple of officers trained by the feds as deputy ICE agents. They actually voted on it a few weeks ago but the protesters slept through it so the council agreed to vote on it again.

This time they had a boycott, a prayer vigil, and a protest at the meeting in an attempt to sway the city fathers.

They even had a court order from the judge regulating the tickets for entry into the hall itself.

But once again, support for the program came through. Waukegan will request federal training for two officers.

One of the arguments was that this program will result in racial profiling. The theory goes that now the police have deportation powers (a false statement to begin with), they will pull over people for minor traffic offenses and ship them out of the country. If only it were that simple.

What these protesters don’t seem to realize is that this training will actually include coursework in avoiding racial profiling. It will give those officers an even greater understanding of the problem.

And there is a misunderstanding due to “silent amnesty” about who is legal and who isn’t. It is far too easy in our society to assume that all brown-skinned people with a heavy accent are here illegally. That simply is not true.

At least with this training, the police will be able to know for sure. And those who are here legally have even less to worry about. (By the way, those who are here on visas and green cards are required by law to carry the documents on their persons at all times.)

It always bothers me when people come out to protest like that. Are they in favor of lawlessness? How can they openly admit to harboring? And to threaten that they will take millions of dollars out of the community (as one Hispanic businessman claimed on TV last night) means that the problem is so deeply entrenched that they have no shame.

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